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Hardcover Heart Full of Lies : A True Story of Desire and Death Book

ISBN: 0743202988

ISBN13: 9780743202985

Heart Full of Lies : A True Story of Desire and Death

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Like New*

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Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Excellent Account of a Troubled Woman's Decline Into Murder

It's tough to choose the right amount of stars in a genre that includes "In Cold Blood," "The Executioner's Song" & other classics that really raise the bar. But Ann Rule's "Heart Full of Lies" is one of her best since "The Stranger Beside Me," which is saying a lot, considering "Stranger" is itself a (flawed) classic. "Heart" starts slow and just builds & builds & builds until we realize Rule just has a great grip on who the main characters are & has developed them very well. We get a very good sense of both Chris Northon & his wife Liysa. There is also a surprising & satisfying lack of ambiguity at the end about what happened. The portrait of Liysa is ultimately devastating & compelling. I'm still thinking about her a couple of days after finishing the book. When do dysfunctional people cross the line from being merely a strain on their friends to being dangerous? How many people fit the category of dysfuctional time bombs? And why is it that some are able to fix themselves before calamity happens & become decent human beings where others never do? The portrait of Liysa is all the more compelling because I got the sense that it ran against what Rule expected to find & against her natural sympathies. She seems inclined to empathize with abused women--but an empathetic abused woman is not where Rule's research leads her. I don't recall the word "sociopath" anywhere in the book. But it does appear in reviews here. I suppose that is what Liysa is--a female sociopath (which seems to be rarer than male). If that's the case, then she's best locked up for the rest of her life. "Heart" has well-developed characters, a decent sense of place & good reasons for being written. This is not (unlike much true crime) mere rubbernecking. This is a thought-provoking contribution to the genre. Ann Rule has been doing this for a long time, & she is a true crime standard-bearer.

Excellent Read

I picked up this book at a hospital gift shop, and had no idea I would be as taken in with the story as I was. I found myself speaking out as I read, completely frustrated with the extent this woman went to to destroy lives and get everything she thought she deserved. My blood was chilled. I understand that Liysa is currently suing Ann Rule for painting a untrue picture of her in the novel. Well darling, if only a quarter of what she wrote is true (and I'm most positive it's much more than that), then you deserve to rot in jail for the rest of your natural life. I really recommend this title for anyone who likes to read true crime books, and especially for those who relish watching the selfish and manipulative get what they deserve.

Heart Full of Lies succeeds and raises an interesting issue

For the reviewers above: I wonder who the heck reads Ann Rule for her "skillfull prose?" The story is what compells readers! I have an English degree and the lack of fluent prose does not even faze a reader who is caught up in the skillful depiction of real-life people. Those complaints are pointless. If you want good prose, try other literary genres. True crime is supposed to be relatively journalistic. I disagree with people upholding the Ted Bundy book as an example of wonderful prose by Ann Rule; I found it blowsy and distracting. This book was fascinating and absorbing, and the people involved make a deep impression on any reader. The story comes to life very quickly. A good author makes that happen, even if the style is not fluent. This book is also very relatable, we all have charismatic friends who (even though they may not be murderers) find a way to be the center of attention through dishonesty and manipulation.Also, I am still reeling from shock at the reader above who claims that Ann Rule ignored all of these problems from Chris Northon and wrote a story based on the skewed versions of the Northon family and Liysa's old relationships. I hope it's a relative posing as an unbiased reader. I agree Ann Rule paints her victims as more saintly, (women as well as men!) but this person actually seems to believe that there was a plausible side to Liysa's allegations of abuse! Ann Rule did an excellent and merciless job showing the inconsistencies in Liysa's story, over and over. Also, she made the point very clear that Chris Northon was willing to seek therapy for his family, and included the therapist's notes about how his anger is nonviolent! She also wrote repeatedly that Chris did not appreciate Liysa's intellect and mental gifts, and ignored her ambitions. This, I agree, can be damaging to any person and is not the earmark of an attentive spouse, but it is FAR from abusive behavior. Used to feeling desired, Liysa of course was hurt when she realized Chris was used to his autonomous lifestyle. However, in her this hurt became a drive to rid herself of him in the way most beneficial to her, instead of working it out. And who were the "credible sources" who were ignored that knew about Chris's problems with alcohol? The reviewer above mentioned this, and where he or she got this knowledge is very unclear. Liysa not only murdered her husband but may have helped destroy the credibility of real abused women with her carefully concoted lies. The faking amnesia with her first husband was a practice session in her skillful deceit.The most interesting issue this book raises is that of abuse of a male. It sounds like Chris was a victim of spousal abuse; emotionally. The damages to his character are pervasive. Anyone who still tries to find a solid thread of truth to Liysa's story of fear and abuse is doing a GREAT DISSERVICE to abused victims all over the world and is ignoring the real signs of abuse. Hopefully this woman's li

Lisa the wanna be.... Wayland the defender......

Another great read from Ann Rule. Is it a coincidence that the reviews from the people that knew Lisa state that this story is on the money and the only two that claim this to be full of lies both have the last name of DEWITT - one her father and the other her brother....... The only stable member of that family was her mother, Sharon, who is "accused" of beating Lisa throughout her life. Any half-intelligent person will come to the same conclusion - Lisa was/is a manipulative wanna be and sits where she belongs - in prison! Wayland, you were an accessory to murder and full of hot air - some things never change!

Is justice served?

Thank you Ann for telling this tragic story, and bringing some kind of justice to our families.This was the hardest book I will ever read in my life time. I am Chris Northon's cousin and had known and loved him for 45 years.I lived in Bend,Oregon and taught swimmming to Liysa's oldest sweet boy along with his two other cousins. Chris also asked if I would be interested in cleaning his home when they went back and forth to Hawaii since it was such a filthy mess, I think he was really embarrassed. I personally read the emails that the FBI culled from Liysia's long lost (stolen-another lie) computer, which by the way is public knowledge to anyone from the court house. She writes Drowning is the best, but I need a backup and Daddy gave her a .38 revolver! Isn't that aiding and abetting? She should have been convicted 25 years to Life. The true facts are the facts and we don't get our beloved Chris back in 10 years when she gets out. Chris' little boy doesn't get his dad back. Our lives will never be the same, but our love for him forever.
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