books I've read

Anne Hawn's books

Who Moved My Cheese?
If Democrats Had Any Brains, They'd Be Republicans
Scientific Secrets for Self-Control
Just One Damned Thing After Another
The Vanishing
Exercises in Knitting
The Good Dream
The Very Best of Edgar Allan Poe
The Chosen
BT-Kids' Knits
Talking God
The Professor
The Christmas Files
The Finisher
Home Decor for 18-Inch Dolls: Create 10 Room Settings with Furniture and 15 Outfits with Accessories
Dracula and Other Stories
A New Song
All Quiet on the Western Front
File Under: 13 Suspicious Incidents

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Sunday, August 18, 2013

A Fever in the Heart and Other True Cases (Crime Files, #3)

A Fever in the Heart and Other True Cases (Crime Files, #3)A Fever in the Heart and Other True Cases by Ann Rule
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ann Rule's books are always good and this was no exception. This is a series of stories loosely grouped around themes. The first story about Morris Blankenbaker is the saddest. A fine young man was killed and so many lives torn apart because of the basest kind of betrayal. All the people involved seem to have led charmed lives and yet that wasn't enough for two of them. When I read about something like this, I remember some of my earlier training in a small Catholic school. The nuns tried to instill in us the knowledge that big evil deeds and evil people hardly ever start out that way. In the beginning, people are usually just bending the rules. They know what they do is wrong, but they do it anyway. Little by little, they lose the ability to see how far they have gone. We were told to not give into temptation over the little things and our characters would be strong enough to withstand the large things that we really wanted to do. This story is such a sad example of this. None of this needed to happen if two people had been satisfied with what they had and not thrown it away for something fleeting and inferior.

The last story, "Mirror Images", especially interested me because I worked in Juvenile Corrections. I was on a team which decided where to place the boys who were "sent away." I read the files of so many boys like the ones mentioned. One of the files I read was on Charles Manson and it was eerily like the file of James Ruzika. In so many cases, the boys were raised in single parent homes with mothers who have a series of relationships and children with multiple fathers. The start with a predictable pattern of theft, school problems, truancy and violence. In many cases, the boys are abused by their mother's partners and they are set up for deviant sexual behavior. Over time, we saw that many of the boys who came to us were becoming more and more emotionally disturbed. This was in the 70's and 80's. I can only guess at what it is like now. I'm afraid that cases like Ruzika and Harp are the tip of the iceberg.

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