This New York Times bestseller—from “America’s best true-crime writer” (Kirkus Reviews) and the author of The Stranger Beside Me—is a shocking tale of greed, sex, scandal, and murder on an isolated and eerie island in the Pacific Northwest.
Nestled in Puget Sound and accessible only by ferry, Whidbey Island is a gem off the coast of Washington State where life is insular everyone knows everyone else’s business. But when the blood-drenched body of Russel Douglas is discovered in his SUV the day after Christmas, the whole island is shocked. No one can imagine who among them could commit such a cold-blooded crime and soon, accusations start flying. As investigators dig into Russel’s life, they discover surprising secrets about some of the residents on this picturesque island.
Before his violent death, Russel came home for Christmas with his children and estranged wife, who often complained to her good friend Peggy Sue that her soon-to-be ex-husband was physically and emotionally abusive. Peggy Sue’s own life was filled with ups and downs. Married three times, Peggy Sue had gone from poverty to affluence and back again. But her love affair with the married guitarist Jim Huden led the two Whidbey Island natives to pursue their ultimate dreams of wealth and privilege—even at the expense of human life.
Another “top-notch true crime” (Booklist) tour de force from Ann Rule, Practice to Deceive is a tangled web of deceit that you won’t be able to put down.
Ann Rule wrote thirty-five New York Times bestsellers, all of them still in print. Her first bestseller was The Stranger Beside Me, about her personal relationship with infamous serial killer Ted Bundy. A former Seattle police officer, she used her firsthand expertise in all her books. For more than three decades, she was a powerful advocate for victims of violent crime. She lived near Seattle and died in 2015.