Sometimes I just don’t feel like reading Cozy Mysteries. This doesn’t happen often – I love Cozies, and usually when I read, I’m entertained by the adventures of one amateur sleuth or another. Still, no matter how much you might love something, sometimes you just might want a change for the sake of variety.
When I do want something non-Cozy, I often turn to true crime novels, and when possible, Ann Rule. Of course, by now I think I’ve read almost all Ann Rule‘s works except for her most recent – which I do intend to get to >>> any day now!
Listening to Ann Rule’s background, it’s easy to see why she’s such an expert when she recounts these tales of tragedy >>> she’s worked so many jobs that her personal world experience must make it easy to “connect” to just about anyone. She’s got extensive ties to law enforcement circles – not only does she have multiple relatives who have worked in jobs such as sheriff, prosecutor, and medical examiner, she served as a Seattle police officer.
Rule has also worked on crisis help lines, one time manning the lines with serial killer Ted Bundy. Yes, I know, it is truly gross to think Ted Bundy worked at a crisis help line! (Rule wrote The Stranger Beside Me about Ted Bundy.) She has an understanding of the tragedies that can unfold in unfortunate circumstances. Much later in her career, she was even part of the task force that set up the FBI’s VI-CAP system, a computer tracking program that helps identify and document crimes for comparison between local law enforcement agencies!
With all that experience, it’s no surprise that Ann Rule is a master at helping average people like me understand not only how a crime was committed, but also why it occurred and the often-devastating aftermath caused by the events. Ann Rule often goes back through the histories of the victims and the killer alike, looking back over generations to show how the environment developed which lead a person to commit such terrifying acts of brutality, as well as help give a somewhat-human face to people who could just as easily be discounted as aberrations and monsters. Often it seems surprising just how “normal” these people can act on a day-by-day basis once you know all the details of how they grew up and the people who raised them! In most of these cases, I’m left wondering if it’s nature or nurture that caused the killers to become that way. And, of course, you can’t separate those two factors!
I’ve told you what I sometimes read when I take a break (tiny break) from my beloved Cozies. What do you read when you’re ready for a change from Cozy Mysteries? Do you have a favorite author within the field? Please leave a comment below! Thank you!
P.S. Rather than making a list at the bottom of this entry of authors in other genres who you all like, I’m just going to add the highlighted links to your comments. It will save me time to do it that way, so I hope you ALL read all of the comments! (Actually I hope you always read the comments, since they are really, really good AND a great way to see what other Cozy Mystery readers think!)
If you’re interested in reading more of these brief revisits of some of the more popular Cozy Mystery Series that I’ve written in the past, you can find them at the Most Recommended Cozy Mystery Series page on my site.