Review: The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule


Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Title: The Stranger Beside Me: Ted Bundy: The Shocking Inside Story
Author: Ann Rule
Genre: True Crime
Audience: Adult
Format: Audiobook
Narrator: Lorelei King
Length: 18 hours (548 pages)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Release Date: August 1, 1980
Source: Library
Content Warnings: graphic descriptions of crimes against women


From #1 New York Times bestselling author Ann Rule, “America’s best true-crime writer” (Kirkus Reviews), her unforgettable classic account of the horrifying murders in the Pacific Northwest and her shock when she discovered her friend—Ted Bundy—was not only a suspect but also one of the most prolific serial killers in American history.

Meeting in 1971 at a Seattle crisis clinic, Ann Rule and Ted Bundy developed a friendship and correspondence that would span the rest of his life. Rule had no idea that when they went their separate ways, their paths would cross again under shocking circumstances.

The Stranger Beside Me is Rule’s compelling firsthand account of not just her relationship with Bundy, but also his life—from his complicated childhood to the media circus of his trials. Astonishing in its intimacy and with Rule’s clear-eyed prose, you can’t help but share in her growing horror at discovering that her friend was one of the most notorious American serial killers.

An unforgettable and haunting work of research, journalism, and personal memories, The Stranger Beside Me is “as dramatic and chilling as a bedroom window shattering at midnight” (TheNew York Times).


Ted Bundy is the serial killer who sparked my interest in true crime. The case is horrific, tragic, and fascinating. It is hard to understand the charismatic effect he had on people.

This book is interesting because it is written by a crime writer who also happened to be a close personal friend of Ted Bundy. The coincidences that made this book possible are wild.

I learned a lot of new details about the case that I didn’t get from documentaries and podcasts I’ve previously explored, but all those details made the book a bit long, especially with the never-ending updates about the case after the first edition of the book was published. The audio definitely helped me get through this bulky story. I haven’t read a lot of true crime books, but this made me want to pick up more, and maybe even check out some of Ann Rule’s other books.

Author: Caroline | Carolibrary

Hello! I’m Caroline! I am a teacher, a book lover, and a nerd. My passions include reading, writing, bookstagram, barre & yoga, baking, binging TV shows, and Star Wars. I love stories in all formats because they can transport you to a different world while helping you understand the world around you. I have always found books to be a particularly magical source of imagination.

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