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  • Bitter Harvest

  • Written by: Ann Rule
  • Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell
  • Length: 16 hrs and 13 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (46 ratings)

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Bitter Harvest cover art

Bitter Harvest

Written by: Ann Rule
Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell
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Publisher's Summary

This New York Times best seller and shocking “tour de force from America’s best true crime writer” (Kirkus Reviews) - which formed the basis for the Lifetime movie event A House on Fire - follows a woman whose seemingly perfect life hides a destructive madness.

In this harrowing New York Times best seller, Ann Rule is at her masterful best as she winnows horrific truths from the ashes of what seemed like paradise in Prairie Village, Kansas. Rule probes the case of Debora Green, a doctor and a loving mother who seemed to epitomize the dreams of the American heartland. A small-town girl with a genius IQ, she achieved an enviable life: her own medical practice, a handsome physician husband, three perfect children, and an opulent home in an exclusive Kansas City suburb. But when a raging fire destroyed that home and took two lives, the trail of clues led investigators to a stunning conclusion. Piece by piece, Ann Rule digs beneath this placid Midwestern facade to unveil a disturbing portrait of strangely troubled marriages, infidelity, desperation, suicide, and escalating acts of revenge that forever changed dozens of lives.

©2000 Ann Rule. All rights reserved. (P)2020 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

What listeners say about Bitter Harvest

Average Customer Ratings
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crazy story

this was a hard listen. not because it was bad, but because as the listener we know where it's headed and can't stop the crimes. I'm surprised it hasn't been turned into a tv series yet. just crazy.

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2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Gut wrenching

This story was intriguing. Ann Rule tells the story in a way that keeps you wondering what really happened.

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1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • sd
  • 2020-10-10

Unbelievable story

Nice long interesting book to fill the empty Covid 19 days. Great narration. Highly recommend

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Engrossing Exposé.. but Why This Crime?

Ann Rule is indisputably one of the best True Crime authors Ever.. and is at the top of her game in this one. She masterfully weaves a tragic story informed by intensive research, interviews, court transcripts, and an intuitive understanding of the psychology of criminals. This book is well-written, paced beautifully, and immersive (the reader feels like they know the people and places described). I have to wonder, however, what attracted Rule to this particular story. The crime isn't all that shocking and the relationships among the involved personalities - while jawdropping - aren't terribly unfamiliar.. events like this one happen weekly somewhere or another.

Cassandra Campbell is a quality narrator. Her diction, emotiveness, and cadence are notable, for example. Unfortunately, her timbre is slightly off, her tone is a little too grave at times, and her pacing is somewhat plodding (I found increasing the playback rate to 1.15X made up for some of these problems). Despite the deficiencies and the fact that another reader might have narrated better, Campbell was a good choice.

Several readers have suggested that Rule is repetitive in this book - retelling the same events over and over. I disagree. Some of the repetition is of police interviews at the time they were conducted and then discussed in court. (I also suspect Rule merely wasn't happy with her storytelling at times and felt she needed to clarify). Regardless, it's a real phenomenon.. and it gives the impression that Rule is stretching out the novel for some reason. While a great editor could likely shave four hours from this 16-hour book, however, 'Bitter Harvest' doesn't feel too long. It rather feels incomplete somehow.. as though it was rushed to publication. It's not Rule's best work. Nevertheless, it's a fascinating - if a little Run-of-the-Mill - chronicle of a tragic crime.. one undoubtedly fuelled by mental illness. I rate this book 8/10 stars.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Great book great narration

Very much enjoyed this book I will listen again and again. Great to listen to while driving

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Great!

I was bit into this listen before I realized I heard the story on a podcast, regardless it was a very interesting and enthralling tale. Ann Rule’s crime writing is fabulous. Worked well with one female narrator! Would absolutely recommend!

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Too long.....

A great story spoiled by repetition. At times I felt the author was showing off the depth of her research at the expense of her reader’s enjoyment. I’ve enjoyed Ann Rule in the past. This one came up short.

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