In perhaps the most profound character portrait she has ever drawn, America's bestselling true-crime writer, Ann Rule, asks, Can the female really be deadlier than the male? In Heart Full of Lies, she answers that question in one of her most intriguing tales ever -- a riveting story of seduction, betrayal, and murder.
Liysa and Chris Northon seemed the epitome of idyllic lovers when they married on a moonlit beach in Hawaii. Their friends admired the romantic couple: Chris -- tall, athletic, handsome with a thatch of blond hair, a pilot for Hawaiian Airlines -- and Liysa -- attractive, charismatic, seductive, an acclaimed surf photographer, with a tanned, perfect body. Their son, Bjorn, looked just like his dad, and they were raising Liysa's son by a previous marriage. They had beautiful homes on the mainland and in Hawaii.
But it wasn't long before Chris saw a side of Liysa that he hadn't glimpsed before. Nothing was quite enough for her -- she wanted more money, more property, and a future that included fame as a Hollywood screenwriter. She complained to her closest friends that her husband was a heavy drinker who beat her. The marriage seemed to be unraveling, but Chris struggled to hold it together, afraid he'd be separated from Bjorn and from Liysa's son, Papako. And then the worst happened.
On a sunny morning in October 2000, Chris Northon lay dead in a sleeping bag at a campsite beside a pristine river, while his wife drove four hours to a friend's house, sobbing inconsolably. She appeared to have been beaten, and had a black eye and bruises on her knee. Was Chris's death a tragic accident or a deliberate homicide? Was Liysa involved? Questions arose that made Oregon State detectives suspicious, yet her family and friends stood staunchly by her, incredulous that anybody would ask such questions.
Ann Rule became involved with the mystery of Chris's death when one of his fellow pilots at Hawaiian Airlines contacted her, and only later did she learn that the ranking Oregon State Police investigator had thought of her to tell this bizarre story. A book that leads the reader from Hawaii to the Northwest to Hollywood, Heart Full of Lies is an extraordinary character study as well as a brilliant investigative report that will keep you enthralled to the very last page.
Former Seattle police officer and crime author Rule (Small Sacrifices; Dead by Sunset, etc.) knows a good drama when she finds one: it involves love, betrayal, greed and violence. In the story of Liysa Northon, a woman who murdered her third husband, Chris Northon, in order to collect his insurance money, Rule has found a real-life soap opera. In the fall of 2000, Liysa convinced Chris to go on a camping trip with her and their small son in the remote forests of Oregon. But the idyllic vacation didn't last long; Liysa would later admit to ending her husband's life by shooting him in the head in an act of"self-defense." From where she sits today (in an Oregon state prison), she still professes to have shot Chris only in innocence and fear--emotions she said were caused by her years as a victim of domestic violence. But according to her husband's parents and other sources, Liysa is a manipulative sociopath who spent years crafting a public facade of abuse persuasive enough to justify the cold-blooded murder of her husband. Rule has done an impressive amount of research to reconstruct the history of Liysa's crime and the stories of the main people involved, interviewing dozens of police officers, investigators and private citizens across the country. And if the author's prose is somewhat flat, the fascinating and perplexing drama should be more than enough to keep most readers turning pages.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Too bad this book didn't have a happier ending! The convicted should have got life. And, to think the convict also should not have been allowed so much 'freedom' in jail. I can not fathom why Mr. Oust (?) the prosecutor allowed for a reduction in sentence!