Practice to Deceive

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This New York Times bestseller—from “America’s best true-crime writer” (Kirkus Reviews) and the author of The Stranger Beside Me—is a shocking tale of greed, sex, scandal, and murder on an isolated and eerie island in the Pacific Northwest.

With more than 50 million copies of her books in print—from her chilling personal account of knowing Ted Bundy to sixteen collections in her #1 bestselling Crime Files series—Ann Rule is a legendary true crime writer. Here, in Practice to Deceive, Rule unravels a shattering case of Christmastime murder off the coast of Washington State—presented with the clarity, authority, and emotional depth that Rule’s readers expect.

Nestled in Puget Sound, Whidbey Island is a gem of the Pacific Northwest. Accessible only by ferry, it is known for its artistic communities and stunning natural beauty. Life there is low-key, and the island’s year-round residents tend to know one another’s business. But when the blood-drenched body of Russel Douglas was discovered the day after Christmas in his SUV in a hidden driveway near Whidbey’s most exclusive mansion—a single bullet between his eyes—the whole island was shocked. At first, police suspected suicide, tragically common at the height of the holiday season. But when they found no gun in or near the SUV, Russel’s manner of death became homicide.

Brenna Douglas, Russel’s estranged and soon-to-be-ex wife, allowed him to come home for a Christmas visit with their children. The couple owned the popular Just B’s salon. Brenna’s good friend Peggy Sue Thomas worked there, and Brenna complained often to her that Russel was physically and emotionally abusive. Peggy Sue’s own life has been one of extremes. Married three times, hers is a rags-to-riches-and-back-again tale in which she’s played many roles, from aircraft mechanic to “drop-dead gorgeous” beauty queen as a former Ms. Washington. But in 2003, her love affair with married guitarist Jim Huden led the two Whidbey Island natives to pursue their ultimate dreams of wealth and privilege—even at the expense of human life.

Unravel the tangled web woven by Russel Douglas’s murder in Practice to Deceive, a heart pounding true-crime tour de force.
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From bestselling author Ann Rule comes the engrossing true story of two beautiful, loving women, and their murder by the man in their life—handsome, charming, rich, a man marked for unlimited success—but one who would never allow any woman to leave him, no matter what the provocation.

Jenn Corbin, a lovely, slim, brown-eyed blonde, appeared to have it all: two dear little boys, a posh home in one of the upscale suburbs of Atlanta, expensive cars, a plush houseboat, and a husband—Dr. Bart Corbin, a successful dentist—who was tall, handsome, and brilliant.

But gradually their seemingly idyllic life together began to crumble. There was talk of seeing a marriage counselor. Bart was distraught; Jenn seemed disenchanted. She needed to reach out to someone she could confide in—beyond her mother and her sisters. Then, just a few weeks before Christmas 2004, Jenn was found dead with a bullet in her head, a revolver beside her. From the position of the body her death appeared to be a suicide. But Gwinnett County detective Marcus Head was not totally convinced, nor was Jenn's family, who could not believe she would take her own life.

And how was this death related to another apparent suicide fourteen years earlier—that of Dorothy "Dolly" Hearn, a spectacularly beautiful dental student? A star athlete and homecoming queen in high school, Dolly later dated Bart Corbin in dental school. Was there a connection, or was the answer to be found in a secret—even dangerous—relationship Jenn Corbin was having outside her marriage? For Too Late to Say Goodbye, Ann Rule has interviewed virtually everyone in any way related to the story—the victims' families, police investigators, prosecutors, and sources from Georgia to Australia—to uncover the truth behind the headlines of these two sensational deaths. What emerges is an incredible tale of jealous rage; of stunning circumstantial and physical evidence that runs from the steamy to the macabre to almost-unheard-of forensic techniques; and of a tragic irony—a fateful discovery that motivated the killing. The definitive unraveling of one of the strangest murder investigations of our time, Too Late to Say Goodbye is perhaps the finest achievement of a truly great writer's career.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Oct 8, 2013
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Pages
352
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ISBN
9781451687378
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Language
English
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Genres
True Crime / Con Artists, Hoaxes & Deceptions
True Crime / General
True Crime / Murder / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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The “riveting” #1 New York Times bestseller: A true story of three wealthy families and the unbreakable ties of blood (Kirkus Reviews).
 
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“Recreates . . . one of the most shocking crimes of recent years.” —Publishers Weekly
 
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