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* Review coverage
Ann Rule, the undisputed queen of true crime, is a former policewoman whose 2-million-copy selling THE STRANGER BESIDE ME ranks as one of the classics.
This searching analysis of the shooting of three children in Oregon by their mother devolves into a study of personality. In May of 1983, Diane Downs drove to a Williamette Valley hospital emergency room with her children, all gravely wounded; one did not survive the first hour, and the other two were disabled for life. Downs initially told of a ``bushy-haired stranger'' who had committed the crime, but frequently changed her story. Under police questioning she recalled her childhood with a cold, domineering father who abused her sexually, her weak mother, a rape by one of her bosses, her failed marriage and many men with whom she had sex. One of these men, whom she claimed to love, did not want children, and that may have prompted the crime, speculates the author. The greatest strength of this book is the exploration by ex-policewoman Rule (The Stranger Beside Me of the aberrant personality of Downs, who is now imprisoned and not eligible for parole until 2009. (May 27)
* 'Superb... the most riveting true-crime account since IN COLD BLOOD' - Kirkus Reviews * 'Vivid... extraordinary... a page turner' - New York Times Book Review