In the Still of the Night by Ann Rule

In the Still of the Night

By Ann Rule

  • Release Date: 2010-10-12
  • Genre: True Crime
Score: 4
From 122 Ratings
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FROM TRUE-CRIME LEGEND ANN RULE comes this riveting story of a young woman whose life ended too soon—and a determined mother’s eleven-year crusade to clear her daughter’s name.

It was nine days before Christmas 1998, and thirty-two-year-old Ronda Reynolds was getting ready to travel from Seattle to Spokane to visit her mother and brother and grandmother before the holidays. Ronda’s second marriage was dissolving after less than a year, her career as a pioneering female Washington State Trooper had ended, but she was optimistic about starting over again. "I’m actually looking forward to getting on with my life," she told her mother earlier the night before. "I just need a few days with you guys." Barb Thompson, Ronda’s mother, who had met her daughter’s second husband only once before, was just happy that Ronda was coming home.

At 6:20 that morning, Ron Reynolds called 911 and told the dispatcher his wife was dead. She had committed suicide, he said, although he hadn’t heard the gunshot and he didn’t know if she had a pulse. EMTs arrived, detectives arrived, the coroner’s deputy arrived, and a postmortem was conducted. Lewis County Coroner Terry Wilson, who neither visited the death scene nor attended the autopsy, declared the manner of Ronda’s death as "undetermined." Over the next eleven years, Coroner Wilson would change that manner of death from "undetermined" to "suicide," back to "undetermined"—and then back to "suicide" again.

But Barb Thompson never for one moment believed her daughter committed suicide. Neither did Detective Jerry Berry or ballistics expert Marty Hayes or attorney Royce Ferguson or dozens of Ronda’s friends. For eleven grueling years, through the ups and downs of the legal system and its endless delays, these people and others helped Barb Thompson fight to strike that painful word from her daughter’s death certificate.

On November 9, 2009, a precedent-setting hearing was held to determine whether Coroner Wilson’s office had been derelict in its duty in investigating the death of Ronda Reynolds. Veteran true-crime writer Ann Rule was present at that hearing, hoping to unbraid the tangled strands of conflicting statements and mishandled evidence and present all sides of this haunting case and to determine, perhaps, what happened to Ronda Reynolds, in the chill still of that tragic December night.


  • Perfectly written

    By Big ash monkey
    Absolutely amazing. Ann Rule nails it AGAIN.
  • Eye Opening Story of Derailed Justice

    By Mcynthia72
    This incredible story is told with gripping suspense. Having been around law enforcement my entire life, I was stunned at how this case was treated. I applaud the mother and the individuals who put justice above themselves!
  • Too repetitive

    By Gem stringer
    I recall this story and enjoyed reading what actually happened or was suspected of happening. It was well written except that the exact facts were repeated over and over again ad nauseam. I got so utterly bored I nearly gave up on it. I stuck with it for Ronda.
  • Still a cold case :(

    By Broilah
    This book was horrible. Let me start by saying :: they never solve the crime:: But let me go back though, first off I am a huge fan of Ann. In fact I am an addict of her books, if you haven't read The Stranger Beside Me, you must. That said this was a huge waste of time. Long winded and an excessive amount of unnecessary back story. I pushed through though and was VERY disappointed that it was for nothing because you never find out who did it. Thumbs down.
  • Not that great

    By Mmrios03
    It's an interesting and captivating story but there were a lot of errors in the book. I also felt as though all of the information presented in the novel was done in a very poor manner. It gave too much background of some of the people that didn't make the story line any better. Most of the bios of the people were poorly put together and scattered around in awkward places. I was more interested in the case and the story of what really happened. I didn't even finish it. I just googled the case and got the rest of the story from news articles I found. I see these reviews of people being excited about novels from this author but after reading this book, I'm not even sure I would want to pay to read another of her novels.
  • Not her best

    By Mommaoldie
    I have read several books by Ann Rule, and this one is just average. First of all, the proof reading was sloppy, leaving several glaring errors such as missing words. Second, there is information introduced which is never followed up. Was any investigation ever done to determine if Ron Reynolds's allegations about charge accounts Ronda had opened by forging his signature were true? When Ron openly stated that he had paid the insurance after Ronda died, why did the company pay the claim? Finally, I expect the author to take sides, but one of the standard techniques of debate is to present and demolish the opposing side's arguments point-by-point. Almost nothing of the opposing view is given. A quick read, certainly not among the memorable.
  • Makes you wonder.......

    By 2old2Bhere
    ........just how inept policemen can be. Frustrating at times and sometimes slow paced but a good book. Thank goodness we all have mothers!!! Where would justice be without them?
  • Fascinating story

    By Sunkistlover123
    Lots of background info. It's very disappointing to think that police departments in this day in age can be left unaccountable and incompetent. The Lewis county sheriff's office seems to be the polar opposite of what police departments' objective existence is. Ann rule truly captures the pure incompetence of the leading officials over there in Washington.
  • Queen of the genre

    By Horseman2150
    Again Ms. Rule shows why she is on top of the true crime genre. In this book, she allows the reader to see that she can become personally involved in the lives of the grieving victims and how painful murder of a loved one truly is.
  • Great Read!

    By Terri0308
    Ann Rule is my all time favorite true crime writer, and this book, her latest, doesn't disappoint. Sad story with no real ending but unlike one hour crime TV shows, real life doesn't always see the bad guys get their due. Thanks Ann for another great read!