America’s #1 true-crime writer fulfills a murder victim’s desperate plea with this shattering New York Times bestseller.
“If anything ever happens to me…find Ann Rule and ask her to write my story.”
In perhaps the first true-crime book written at the victim's request, Ann Rule untangles a web of lies and brutality that culminated in the murder of Sheila Blackthorne Bellush—a woman Rule never met, but whose shocking story she now chronicles with compassion, exacting detail, and unvarnished candor.
Although happily ensconced in a loving second marriage, and a new family of quadruplets, Sheila never truly escaped the vicious enslavement of her ex-husband, multi-millionaire Allen Blackthorne, a handsome charmer— and a violent, controlling sociopath who subjected Sheila to unthinkable abuse in their marriage, and terrorized her for a decade after their divorce. When Sheila was slain in her home, in the presence of her four toddlers, authorities raced to link the crime to Blackthorne, the man who vowed to monitor Sheila's every move in his obsessive quest for power and revenge.
The latest from respected true crime veteran Rule (And Never Let Her Go,etc.) walks readers through the tortured life and ugly murder of Sheila Bellush, a woman relentlessly pursued by her sexually obsessed ex-husband, Allen Van Houte. The crime scene is horrific: Bellush lies dead in the kitchen while her toddler quadruplets are left to walk naked through her blood. Bellush had long warned close friends that she feared her ex-husband's reprisals and went so far as to request "if I'm not here... find Ann Rule and have her write my story." Rule, in classic form, meticulously re-creates the prosaic lives of her characters, charting one woman's pleasantly humdrum existence undermined by a man bent on making a fortune though defaulting on bank loans and pedestrian cons, such as swindling family members. After he lured Bellush into his world of sexual play, she left him, and he hired a man to kill her. The subsequent fallout included a complex and lengthy inquiry by investigators. There are no surprises here for the reader, though some may enjoy Rule's examination of Van Houte's manipulative and predatory nature. Essentially, this account is too long for its limited subject matter.
Customer ReviewsSee All
I was so into this book. I can't begin to describe my disgust of Allen. He mad my skin crawl. He is the devel. I wondered why Maureen was't prosecuted for her involvement. I think there was no question she knew everything from the beginning. My heart and prayers go out to Sheila's family. No one should have to live through what they did.
Every Breath You Take
Entertaining well researched story. Terrible proofreader.