Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Small Sacrifices by Ann Rule:a True Crime Book Review

'Somebody just shot my kids!' Diane Downs brought her car to a halt in front of a Springfield, Oregon, hospital, her three gravely wounded children beside her. Thus begins the shocking tale of a truly unthinkable crime that shattered the tranquility of a tight-knit community. As police searched for the 'shaggy-haired stranger' Diane accused of shooting 8-year-old Christie, 7-year-old Cheryl, and 3-year-old Danny in cold blood, a suspicion grew that was even more horrifying than the crime itself: Did Diane shoot her own children? A dedicated district attorney, haunted by this question, searched for the destructive forces that seemed to possess this beautiful young mother and uncovered a chronology of incest, psychological wounding, desperate affairs and surrogate motherhood.

You may have been wondering that there are no reviews yet on Ann Rule's book but Ann Rule is my best writer?Well at the moment I just grab a book from my "crime library" and I do a review on whichever book I have in hand.I have a backlog of books which I need to do a review to bring this blog up to date and then I will post monthly on whichever books I have read for the current month.

Well this is my first Ann Rule book review.Where do I start?The woman is brilliant and her books are brilliant.I do not even bother to read what a book is about when I see it is a new release by Ann Rule.I just buy it and I know I will love it.And yes so far I have not been proven wrong.

This book,Small Sacrifices,will break your heart.I could not stop crying.This is one book which I will not have in the swop corner because it is too close to my heart.I need to keep the book close by.I feel this is the only way I can do my part to keep the kids safe seeing as their own mother was a miserable attention seeker totally oblivious of her children's love,instead seeking the love of any man,especially men who did not want her.To get to her age and still not realise the fulfilment of a child's love is pathetic at best.

The first chapter begins with the mother driving to the hospital and reporting her children have been shot.It evolves effortlessly from this to the background of the mother,her early life and her life experiences until the day she appears in hospital with her children shot.Then there is the court case which has drama of its own as this mother continues to live a drama filled life even through this period to the point of being pregnant again when she gets sent to jail.(and then a lesbian affair)You will find it very difficult to put this book down and will try and complete it in one session which is virtually impossible as it is a very thick book.Every page is filled with information and there is very little filler "description of the day" passages.Spell binding,gripping and edge of your seat kind of book.

I had and still have no sympathy for this woman despite her being abused as a child and so forth.This act is unforgiveable and nothing will change my opinion.I do not believe in putting any man before my children.There is a part in the book where she says to whatever man?(in surprise) that she thinks she might love her children more than him.That should have raised some red signals.I also watched an interview once where a woman could not decide if she loved her husband or children more.For goodness sake,your children are yours forever,your man is only yours until he meets the next woman.You cannot compare the two relationships,one is real the other is on a deadline.One is unconditional and the other is full of conditions.One is instinctive and an absolute pleasure the other is a lot of work and ok, I will stop...

Basically if you are a mother or parent this book will leave you flabbergasted and emotionally spent.Do not read this book unless you are in the correct state of mind to deal with the many emotions which will run through as you read this book.

The book as it looks in the picture above is the one that I have and is published by Time Warner Publications but I see now that they have a cheaper version published by Signet Books.I assume the books are exactly the same so I have included both links below.

This book has 611 pages and pictures all throughout the book as opposed to a few pages in the middle of the book.You will not believe how sweet and innocent this woman looks in those pictures.Definitely this proves you should not judge a book by its cover(pardon the pun)
I read this book in September 2007.

I just discovered this update on Diane Downs where she is up for parole and is really interesting.To find out more


  1. I red this book and it makes me jump forward and back. Pretty interesting story...

    Best regards

  2. The above book has already been awarded to Suzanne at Chick With Books for being a Top Commenter For March 2009.To see her blogsite please go here

  3. The made for TV movie was partly filmed at our old house.. They used it to portray Diane's home. This is how I became familar with the story at the age of 12. It was then that I became a voracious reader of true crime, and a fan of Ann Rule.

  4. Small Sacrifices was the FIRST true crime book I ever read. It started my love affair with Anne Rule too, she's by far my most favourite writer and I feel exactly the same as you do "when I see it is a new release by Ann Rule.I just buy it and I know I will love it". My absolute fave book by her is The Stranger Beside Me, but this one is the one I've read the most. I just found your blog by chance when I was looking for reviews of books for my Kindle...because I find Amazon don't adequately do that. Thank you. I shall be bookmarking you.

  5. This is one of the best true crime books ever. If you have seen the movie, you must read this book. It goes into much more detail than the movie ever could and gives more insight behind the bizarre behavior of the mother that wanted to get rid of her children in the name of love.


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