Written in Blood

Written in Blood

by Diane Fanning
4.3 9


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Written in Blood by Diane Fanning

An army brat-turned-marine, he saw combat in Vietnam, and returned a decorated soldier. An avid reader, his dreams of being an acclaimed novelist came true. His desire to find love was fulfilled when he married brilliant executive Kathleen Atwater, the first female student accepted at Duke University's School of Engineering. The Petersons seemed the ideal academic couple- well-respected, prosperous, and happy.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250102201
Publisher: St. Martins Press-3pl
Publication date: 02/28/2005
Pages: 422
Sales rank: 984,030
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.94(d)

About the Author

Diane Fanning is the author of many books of true crime, including the best-selling Mommy’s Little Girl, A Poisoned Passion, The Pastor’s Wife, Gone Forever and Through the Window. Written in Blood was an Edgar Award finalist. She has been featured on 48 Hours, 20/20, Court TV and the Discovery Channel, and has been interviewed on dozens of radio stations coast to coast. Before becoming a nonfiction writer, Fanning worked in advertising, and she earned more than 70 Addy Awards. She lives in New Braunfels, Texas.

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Written in Blood 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Durham County court reporters are still trying to finish a final transcript of the Michael Peterson saga, but as far as I'm concerned -- with the publication of Diane Fanning's book, 'Written in Blood,' the official record is now complete. Fanning provides a full account of the epic Peterson murder mystery. Her writing is superb. Most importantly, Diane Fanning has written a true-crime book focused more on the truth than on the crime, and in that sense, her work honors the spirit of the victim, Kathleen Hunt Atwater. Rich with devastating details and ironic insights into the stranger than fictional world of Michael Peterson, Diane Fanning's book is a triumph. She has untangled the impossibly complex and grotesquely contorted story of money, malice and murder and laid it bare for all to see. 'Written in Blood' fills in the familiar framework of the notorious North Carolina case with important new details (the strange death of George Ratliff) and bits of dialogue (Peterson to Candace: 'I can either turn the heat on or buy four plots. I can't afford to do both.'), and a treasure trove of background information. (The secret of the red carnation.) Diane even manages to out-Peterson Peterson, with her vivid rendering of his anxiously offered heroics in battle during the Vietnam War. Not content to merely expose the decades of deceit, petty greed and random violence that led to Michael's premeditated murder -- Diane Fanning goes on to give a nearly day by day account of the contentious, 5-month trial. The cynical showboating and underhanded courtroom strategies of deluded defense teammates, Rudolf and Maher, are painfully rendered. Accounts of Caitlin Atwater's dawning horror throughout the legal ordeal are particularly effective. Diane's summation of the marathon murder trial forces her reader to feel every stinging insult Peterson's courtroom charade added to the vicious injury he caused Kathleen Peterson and so many, many others. Diane Fanning's 'Written in Blood' is a beautifully written record of the truth. I believe her superbly crafted monument will bring some measure of satisfaction to Kathleen Peterson and Elizabeth Ratliff's family and friends, and to those of us who never knew Michael Peterson, but who agonized over his senseless killing during the disconcerting courtroom drama. The truth is marching on and we move on with it. Thank you, Diane. The book is perfect. As with the brilliant work of columnist, Tom Gasparoli, it is most ironic that Michael Peterson's evil fictions would finally serve as the subject of such masterful writing. Onward! Vance Holmes, February 2005
Guest More than 1 year ago
Not once, during either of two frantic calls to Durham 9-11 did Michael Peterson mention the blood...and there was a lot of blood. During the early morning hours of December 9th, as Kathleen lay dying on the stairs, police and rescue personnel rush to the home on Cedar Street. Connecting the complex sequence of dots that convinced a jury of his peers that Michael Peterson was indeed guilty of murder would have been the easy part, because the evidence had been painstakingly detailed during the five month trial. But, Diane Fanning takes the reader behind the carefully orchestrated performance in the court room and delivers the journey through the raw, unfiltered eyes of those who lived it. Detailing the crime scene, police procedure, the autopsy and the trial I fully expected, however, this book is chock-full of extras. Intimate conversations between Kathleen and her beloved sister, details concerning the exhumation and autopsy of Elizabeth Ratliff, the suspicious death of George Ratliff and much more. There's also eight pages of photographs that give the reader a glimpse of the Peterson's before, during and the aftermath is punctuated with a single photo of Kathleen's headstone. During the trial, the defense displayed an air of arrogance both in and outside the courtroom. And much to the chagrin of Peterson's few remaining supporters, the author pulls no punches describing the showboating behavior of David Rudolf and Thomas Maher, the mysterious discovery of the missing blowpoke and the effect these antics had on the grieving families. Superb, unflinching, emotionally gritty at times, Written in Blood is a stinging, in your face novel that paints a haunting picture of the madness that often lurks behind the gates of the nicest communities or in the home right next door. And reminds us all that the monster hiding in the shadows is easily recognized in hindsight...but, that's too late! Although the last chapter of this story will be written by the North Carolina Supreme Court, Written In Blood is as complete a history of the Peterson saga as could possibly be written. If you enjoy reading a true crime novel that goes behind the scenes and beyond the glare of the cameras, Written In Blood does not disappoint! Happy Reading!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very well written book, my prayers to the victims family.....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm a fan of Diane Fanning and I enjoyed this book. I love how she goes into the detail and background of the victims and makes you feel like you know them. She is very Ann Rule-esque in that way. This book was fascinating but tragic. My prayers go out to the victims' families in this case and I hope resolution is brought to the family of Liz Ratliff.
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