Friday, November 27, 2009

Run at Destruction: A True Fatal Love Triangle - Lynda Drews

"Truth is stranger than fiction." Those famous words from Mark Twain have been a driving force in my reading life for at least the last decade. Somewhere along the line, I discovered Ann Rule, a widely-known true crime author, and never looked back. I became addicted to these types of stories...the personality disorders, the trail of evidence, the deceptions, the trials, the victims. I literally have read hundreds of these stories. I think somewhere deep down in my psyche, I thought that if I learned the signs of sociopathic personality, I might have a better chance of avoiding them! Where am I going with all of this? Well, recently I was offered the chance to review this book and I jumped at it. While I have diversified my reading selections since I started blogging, this is one of my favorite genres.

The author, Lynda Drews, has an interesting tale to tell. Her and her husband, Green Bay, WI natives, have been avid runners and marathoners most of their adult lives. The running community in Green Bay is a tight-knit bunch...they run together, they party together, they are each others' support systems and are all good friends. On April 7, 1984, however, this world imploded for Lynda. Her best friend, Pam Bulik, was found drowned in her bathtub, presumably of suicide. Soon, after the facts begin to emerge, Lynda, the rest of her group, and the police know this was no suicide. They all believe Pam was murdered by her husband Bob.

The Buliks' lives are unspooled before us. From Lynda's own knowledge, police interviews and crime scene details, we learn about the deterioration of the Bulik marriage. Of Bob's long-term affair with a fellow school-teacher, which becomes the primary motive. Of a mysterious attack on Pam nine months earlier, which was never solved. Of Pam's fear that Bob was drugging her, her depression, and fight to lift herself out of the quagmire. Of Bob's convoluted and lame explanation for what happened on April 7th. Lynda provides the history, the evidence, the trial, the verdict, the aftermath, and Lynda's involvement in process, from a point of view that is as street-level as it gets.

Throughout the book, you get such a sense of Lynda's raw devastation from the loss of her friend and the senselessness of the crime. This book is truly a labor of love, and a tribute to Pam's memory. But most impressive is her ability to also step away from her emotion and present the facts, and look at the case from different angles. I suppose time allows her a bit of this control, but from where I sat, I was ENRAGED. At one point, while my husband was playing with his iPhone and I was in my chair reading, I caused him to start when I exploded "ARGH, damn I hope they fry this guy!". I was highly disturbed that the legal system prevented the inclusion of certain, very important facts in the trial. I was disturbed by Bob's cocksure attitude and pathological lying. All of this adds up to a phenomenal true crime story, matching up nicely against anything else out there.

So how does it all end? Is Bob found guilty or innocent? Where is Bob now? Well, it is public record of course, but you aren't going to hear it from me. You need to read this book for the goods.

I also wanted to mention that this was the book (if you've been following me for the last few weeks and remember my distress) that I left at the park accidentally, and someone stole before I could return to retrieve it. Graciously, Lynda sent me another book, but at that point I had lost a week and had to reschedule the review. I was beginning to worry that I was more trouble than I was worth. So an extra big "thank you" goes out to Jaime at Pump Up Your Books Promotion and to Lynda Drews, who both were very patient and understanding with me!

4.5 out of 5 stars


Unknown said...

I do love the occasional true crime book and this one sounds intriguing.

It is so nice that they sent another copy to you after you lost the first – I once left a book on a train and was so frustrated with myself. I don’t think I ever bought another copy – every time I looked at it in a bookshop it bought back feelings of rage at myself!

bermudaonion said...

I went through a major true life crime phase about 25 years ago, and will admit to still enjoying them from time to time. I think I find them more disturbing now then I did back in my youth. Great review.

Beth F said...

I don't read a lot of true crime (so creepy), but this looks like a good one. I hate it when I leave a book behind, but I'm glad you got a replacement.

JoAnn said...

It's been a long time since I've read true crime. This may be the one that brings me back. Glad you got a replacement copy!

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I go through true crime phases too. This one sounds so good. And how weird to have experienced a crime with the true crime book! That was so nice of the author to send you a second book.

Craftymoose Crafts said...

Your review was well worth waiting for!

I'm a big fan of true crime stories, so I know I will enjoy this one!

Kathleen said...

Oh my gosh...I don't know how I didn't realize you read True Crime! I love it and for the same reasons you do. This book is definitely on my TBR. I can't tear myself away from these or from shows like 48 Hours Mystery, which I swear profiled this story because it sounds so, so familiar. I just finished a book about the Craigslist killer and will be posting my review later today! Happy Black Friday...hope you enjoy your house cleaning. I too am avoiding the malls like the plague!

Sandy Nawrot said...

Jackie - I can't even begin to tell you how insanely crazy I was when I lost that book. If she hand't sent me another book, I certainly would have ordered one from Amazon, but that probably would have taken longer. It was so worth the angst.

Kathy - Well, that's just it. There are so many crazies out there, and these books just solidify that fact. When I read all those Ann Rule books, I would wake up with cold sweats in the middle of the night!

Beth - I don't think this one would freak you out too much. This isn't Ted Bundy, but a real ass nevertheless, and a fascinating story.

JoAnn - it had been awhile for me too, but it just reminded me why I loved them in the first place!

Jill - Yeah, you don't see that too often, where the author was actually involved. Another good example of that was The Stranger Beside Me, written by Ann Rule. She actually worked with Ted Bundy, so she actually knew the guy.

Crafty - if you like true crime, you would love this one. Lots of pictures, which even make it better!

Kathleen - ahhh! A true crime lover! I didn't know! I watch those shows too...I am FASCINATED by them.

Alice said...

I have an Ann Rule book in my TBR. If I'm not mistaken, it's STRANGER BESIDE ME. This one you've read sounds good. I'm always amazed at people who could run long distance.

Jenners said...

That is great that you got another copy of the book. This sounds like a interesting read but true crime books tend to really depress me and I tend to avoid them.