Review “Possession” by Ann Rule. I must ask my favorite True Crime writer what on earth made her write this thing?

New Picture (5)I love Ann Rule. I love her detail, her insight. Ann Rule is female and I argue that BECAUSE of this she is a better true crime writer than most men could ever hope to be.

There are a few good male true crime writers but only a woman could connect the crime details to normal life as most of us live it.

But this book?


It is allegedly based on a true story but it’s like nothing Rule ever wrote before and if God is in His heaven, she’ll never write anything like it again.

I got one fleeting anecdote about Rule. At one point in my life, I believe on a true crime newsgroup, if they even still have such things, I chanced to “talk” to Ms. Rule, God bless me.

I gushed like the fan I am and mentioned another writer I also liked, forget his name….book something like “And the Sea Shall Tell”. Or something.

Rule sniffs, figuratively, “I think he uses a ghost writer.”

Well goodness, there I was all atwitter about chancing to speak with my favorite true crime author and I never even thought that maybe writers have GHOST writers….why would they do that? I mean, so okay, Paris Hilton might have to hire someone to write her story but a writer is what? A writer, right?

Anyway, Ann, you know I love you, but did you get a ghost writer to write this book?

It’s not, please understand, that the words in the book were written poorly. The writing was fine, good enough that I believe Rule wrote it.

But the style was so very different from that I expected from Ann Rule.

This book is the story of a criminal nut job named Duane Elvis Demich. This guy stalked a couple, Danny and Joanne Lindstrom, until he got an opportunity to murder Danny and “abduct” his wife Joanne. The Lindstroms were hiking and enjoying the outdoors when Demich got his wish: Danny Lindstrom was killed and Joanne Lindstrom then became Demich’s Posession.

Sam Clinton is a crusty old geezer who happened to be Danny’s partner on the police force. Sam did not believe that Danny was killed by a bear nor did he leave his beloved wife Joanne to be victim of the rogue bear.

Clinton never believed there was a bear as the investigating authorities and he believed that Joanne was up there in the mountains, still alive, held against her will….by whom Sam did not know.

Instead of narrating the story as Rule generally does in her true crime books, she tells the story as if it were a work of fiction.

I hated it. If I want a work of fiction I will buy a work of fiction.

Rule told the story of the Lindstroms, the crazy Demich, his background, Sam Clinton….his trials and tribulations. But she told it in what writers call the passive observer style, as if the author was overhead watching the action and writing it down. To include the thoughts of the characters and x-rated scenes.

Obviously a true crime writer does NOT know the thoughts of the characters in a true crime and the x-rated parts seemed so gratuitous. Makes me wonder if Rule is trying to cram as many books in her years left on earth as she can.

And hey, I’d purchase and read them all. But Ann….this is NOT what I expect from Ann Rule.

I’m fearful of buying another book as this book just freaking annoyed me.


4 thoughts on “Review “Possession” by Ann Rule. I must ask my favorite True Crime writer what on earth made her write this thing?

  1. Anonymous August 18, 2016 / 2:42 pm

    Thank you so much for saying exactly how I feel. I’m so glad to know someone else feels the way I did after reading the book Possession. I was really uncomfortable with the way the book was written. I have already read at least 10 of her books. I’m hesitant to read another Ann Rule book now.


  2. Adrián Lamo (@6) September 4, 2016 / 4:15 am

    In some aspects it can be assumed that Rule interviewed the key parties and was either told or extrapolated as many of their thoughts as she could. But when it comes to the dead ones, it’s difficult to understand how she could have had any insight into their state of mind, much less their thoughts. Particularly the mother’s, who could hardly have told her 4 y/o child about *her* mother, Vito, the TV, etc.

    Wait a sec, belay a lot of that …

    She admits it’s fictional, but based on fact. The kidnapper didn’t die, so she probably had the chance to interview him. Whether she did, I don’t know. It’s also her only fictional work, so you don’t need to worry about coming across more. And now that Rule is deceased, she won’t be cramming any more books into her years, remaining or otherwise, unless her daughter Leslie picks up the “Rule” torch.

    The meat of the case is the same – except it involved a recently married 16 y/o (which makes it easier to understand how her memories were manipulated), who needed help to recover her buried memories, rather than recovering them on her own. At the time of Rule’s last update, the kidnapper, named Thomas Brown IRL, was 60 & still in prison. His captive was then a middle-aged woman (who would have been 16 sometime in the early 80’s or late 70’s).

    Hope this helps.


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