To this day, Rule is haunted by questions about Bundy and still receives stories from women who are convinced that they may have run into him and barely escaped to live and to tell about their close encounter. The author illustrates this in the book through an experience she had in a hospital:
Not long ago, I was undergoing preparations for surgery and I recall lying on an operating table. The anesthesiologist leaned over before putting me to sleep. I thought she was about to give me more directions when she asked instead "Ann," the anesthesiologist said softly, "tell me, what was Ted Bundy really like?"
This is a grizzly book as mentioned on the cover:
As dramatic and chilling as a bedroom window shattering at midnight. -- The New York Times
It has well-researched facts and descriptions that hit close to home for Rule and written in first person she does let her feelings and opinions come out about Bundy at the different stages as she was uncovering this serial killer's story. I think it was well-written and did not feel like "old news" but it felt surprisingly current and horrifyingly realistic.
So, unless I know that someone is interested in true crime, it is not a book that I would recommend due to the subject matter. It was not a likable book. I think I was curious about Rule's psycho-drama and personal insights about Bundy and not only about her portrayal of him but of other intelligent women in the book who were fooled by this killer. Some of the women were not victims but thought they loved Bundy so he must be innocent and they sadly did whatever it took to be around him and thought they could save him.
The harsh and gruesome reality is that too many women were taken by Bundy against their will, the question of exactly how many still remains a mystery, and they were victims and lost their lives or disappeared into thin air forever because he actually carried out his murderous fantasies. For them, I wonder if justice was ever truly served because how could it be?
560 pages, June 2001, My rating: 3 stars