Reviews

Green River Running Red, by Ann Rule

schohayes's review against another edition

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4.0

This was such a sad book. I didn’t know a ton about the Green River Killer, but man oh man was he the worst. A great telling of the story—I’m grateful for the attention Ann Rule gave to the many many victims and their stories. This was a loooong book & the first one I’ve finished in months!!!

octavia_cade's review against another edition

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dark sad slow-paced

4.0

This is a well-written and exhaustively researched book, but it's been a bit of an odd experience reading it. One that is not altogether palatable, for reasons other than the subject matter, which is vile. It's a question of notoriety, I think. I read true crime occasionally, and I came across this in the library and it'd been a while since I'd read a true crime book so why not, I picked it up. And while I've heard of some of the more famous serial killers, I can't say I'd ever heard of Gary Ridgway before, or his moniker of the Green River Killer. On the one hand that's almost comforting. Why should losers like this have their name known by all and sundry? He probably can't bear the thought of being forgotten, and so while I know his name now, that's not entirely a good thing.

Far more attention, here, is given to his many victims. There's about four dozen of them, and Rule is careful to humanise each of them, giving their names and photographs and backgrounds, the stories of their very short lives. Part of me supports this entirely. They are more important than their murderer. But, and I'm sorry to say this, they also began to blur together. I'm certain that this is not the case for their families, or the investigators, or for Rule. But for me, reading this book, the litany of misery of their lives became repetitive. And the horrible thing is that "repetitive" is the accurate word. Nearly all of these young women had a trouble adolescence that ended in prostitution, and the similarities of their lives, the shared and unhappy histories... I found myself wondering, at times, when Rule would get to the interesting bit. By which I meant, of course, the killer. And then I would feel disgusted with myself and put the book down and try to regain some shred of humanity that's (inevitably?) lost when reading these books, which is why I go a long time between true crime reads. 

I do not envy the people who make investigating these crimes their job. It must be so easy to become numb to the sheer fucking awfulness of it all. 

marceamh's review

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3.0

Very interesting, especially since I live in the NW. Rule gave alot of attention to the victims, she went into alot of detail about their lives and families. This was my first "True Crime" book, it was good but I like fiction better!

bdtellefsen's review against another edition

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3.0

Rating 3.5/5

I find I don't have nearly as much to say about Green River, Running Red as I did with The Stranger Beside Me. This is for two reasons:

I don't find Gary Ridgeway particularly compelling. He was a sad little man who had the same cliche story as others convincted of killing women or prostitutes: He hated women because of past injustices and could only satiate that rage by killing them. And, as is the case for many serial killers, Gary Ridgeway was extraordinarily ordinary. From his appearance, to his mannerisms, to his work, to his life, he was just an average man. So much so, that, even though he was a suspect of the killings back in the eighties, he was never officially arrested or charged.

It is unquestionable that Gary Ridgeway was an extremely proflific killer. Possibly even more so then Ted Bundy, although, we will never truly know how many Bundy killed. If I had to guess, I would still say his body count was higher. But to me, I found the stories of his victims far more compelling than Ridgeway's own.

Many complaints I have seen about this particular telling of Ridgeway's life and crimes, is that Rule spends a great deal of time and detail discussing the victims. She talks about their history, their lives, and what led them to be exactly where they were when they stumbled into Ridgeway's web. And while I agree that it was almost impossible to keep all of the names straightand it was easy to get sidetracked by all of the minutae presented, their stories mattered and I am glad they were told.

The second reason, is that this lacked the truly personal aspect that The Stranger Beside Me did. Ann Rule did not have a personal connection to Ridgeway like she did with Bundy. The telling of Ridgeway's story was far more clinical and removed. That is what you would like expect from a true crime narrative; however, I enjoyed the personal anecdotes thrown into The Stranger Beside Me. It made Ted Bundy accessible and understandable in some macabre way. It made you feel pity for him, almost as much as you wanted to see him dead.

Ann Rule was, undoubtedly, a truly talented narrator of true crime. I enjoy her voice and the way she weaves the tale. This one just didn't connect with me as much as her debut. Oddly enough, I think Green River Running Red might have been the last novel she was able to finish before she passed away, meaning I have now consumed her first and last novel. I definitely hope to read more of her work in the future.

rachelmcshane's review against another edition

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4.0

This book was kind of slow, but in a case that took almost 20 years to solve, that’s pretty understandable. I love Ann Rule’s writing, though, so it was STILL superb.

theboldbookworm's review against another edition

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4.0

The Green River Killer was an extremely evil man who killed at least forty-eight young women in the 80s and possibly more after that. He evaded capture for over 20 years.

I feel like Ann Rule did a great job with this book by putting a lot of focus on the victims. There are photos of almost all of them and summaries of their lives. It is so sad to read about all these women that were taken solely for the pleasure of their killer and their families that had to wait so long for answers. This is a case that I didn't know a ton about and I learned a lot by reading this book. Because I am fascinated by how serial killers brains work, I do wish there had been a bit more of the over one hundred hours of interviews with the killer. This is still an interesting and well-researched book if you are interested in the Green River Killer.

I would say this one is essential reading for true crime fans. 

stephislas89's review against another edition

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4.0

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
This is my 2nd Ann Rule book and I really enjoy her writing. All facts and no nonsense and everything is straightforward and easy to understand. This one was about The Green River Killer - Gary Ridgeway- the most prolific serial killer in US history. Reading about him was definitely chilling. Hope he continues to rot in jail!

carriekellenberger's review against another edition

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3.0

This was a very thorough read about the Green River Killer, the victims, and the Green River task force that was assigned to catch him. It is a culmination of two decades worth of research, and it's also the length of time it took to catch the killer. It amazes me that he got away with killing 49 women and that it took two decades to find him.

This is a huge story to cover and it is meticulously researched. I felt it was a tad too long, but I honestly don't know how she could've edited anything out. She did justice to the women who lost their lives to this sadistic man.

It's also so interesting to read about crimes that were committed before DNA technology advanced!



jordansbookshelf's review against another edition

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4.0

Was craving something true crime and Ann Rule just never disappoints!

The Green River Killer was a story I knew but never knew all the details. I loved how majority of the book was focused on the victims. They are often overlooked when it is such a notorious killer.

2020 POPSugar Reading Challenge Prompt: a book with more than 20 letters in its title

readbyashleyd's review against another edition

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4.0

This book is just beyond terrifying. Thankfully Ridgway has been convicted but to know that it took so long to catch this monster is just horrifying, he was just hiding in plain sight the WHOLE time. It gives me shivers just thinking about it! Ann Rule truly is the queen of true crime writing, she just has the perfect way of balancing the horrifying crime facts with the tidbits about the victims and Ridgway’s own life leading up to his killings. I enjoyed that she introduced us to the victims, but I did find she elaborated way too much on some of them, a single paragraph would have sufficed and given us the background we needed on them. My favourite part of the book by far was the ending where it was leading up to his capture and arrest, my eyes were GLUED to the page and I was on the edge of my seat! This is one hell of a true crime story, definitely a must read for any true crime fan!