In the Still of the Night

In the Still of the Night

The Strange Death of Ronda Reynolds and Her Mother's Unceasing Quest for the Truth

Book - 2010
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Baker & Taylor
Examines the mysterious death of Ronda Reynolds on a December night in 1998, the coroner's investigation that determined the death was a suicide, and the eleven-year battle by Ronda's mother to establish that the case had been mishandled by the coroner.

& Taylor

"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"--Cover, p. 2.
The best-selling queen of true crime examines the death of 33-year-old Ronda Reynolds, whose suicide may not be what it seems, in a riveting, detailed account of a fascinating case. Reprint.

Simon and Schuster
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.

Publisher: New York : Free Press, c2010
Edition: 1st Free Press hardcover ed
ISBN: 9781416544616
Branch Call Number: 364.1523 RUL
Characteristics: xix, 404 p., [32] p. of plates :,ill., ports. ;,24 cm.


From the critics

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Jul 20, 2013

Living in Washington as I do now, I appreciate the local stories very much. Ann gives you the local scoop so you can acclimate yourself to the vibe of the area before you get into the good parts. She knows how to keep me interested, and I love her writing. Think I've read everything she's printed in book form. I anxiously awake the next. This is truly a fascinating tale and an ongoing one. It will stick with you days after you read it.

Sep 05, 2012

Time for Ann o expand her crime scenes outside of her neck of the woods. This story was biased and based on few sources and "verified" facts. Even the photo section was disappointing. An update on the case and a more balanced summary is here:

and this

Aug 22, 2012

First one I've ever read that wasn't a solved crime...the mother is still trying to find her daughters killer.

shaniserobinson May 29, 2012

not a great book but it past some time but hey

Kittykatkins Jan 18, 2012

Fascinating story of how one woman’s dogged quest for justice was finally served. Not just one but two surprise twists towards the end; even more interesting, a conclusion (of sorts) to this case was in the news just last fall!

Jul 12, 2011

I usually enjoy Ann Rule but this one was just really a bunch of musings. A rare occasion when I didnt finish a book. too boring

Apr 03, 2011

A bit disapointing...I`m a huge Ann Rule fan, and have been following her work for many years. This book doesn`t follow her usual style... I was disapointed by it. Not a fan of the no-clear-cut-ending!

ehbooklover Feb 19, 2011

I chose this book when I was assigned to read a True Crime book for a genre study. To be honest, I would never have selected this book if I hadn't had to. Surprisingly, I didn't hate it but I still prefer my mysteries fictional. I read to escape and found this book very depressing and frustrating as I absolutely hate loose ends.

Jan 16, 2011

I have read all of Ann Rule's true crime books and this was rather disappointing. Not compelling in any way, like her other books - I don't know if Ann just didn't care about this story or if the story itself was just dull. If you skip it, you're not missing much.


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shaniserobinson May 29, 2012

"no, go.i think i can wait.i'll watch the door and get her baggage when you guys get backhere"

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