Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Review: A Tangled Web by Leslie Rule

Author: Leslie Rule
Publisher: Citadel Press
Publication Date: April 2020

It was a bleak November in 2012 when Cari Lea Farver vanished from Omaha, Nebraska. Cari, thirty-seven, was a devoted mother, reliable employee, and loyal friend--not the type to shirk responsibilities, abandon her son, and run off on an adventure while her dying father took his last breaths. Yet, the many texts from her phone indicated she had done just that.

It appeared that Cari had dumped her new boyfriend, quit her job, and relinquished custody of her son to her mother--all by text. While Cari's boyfriend, Dave Kroupa, and her supervisor were bewildered by her abrupt disappearance, they accepted the texts at face value. Her mother, Nancy Raney, however, was alarmed and reported Cari missing. Police were skeptical of her claims that a cyber impostor had commandeered her daughter's phone and online identity.

While Nancy was afraid for Cari, Dave Kroupa was growing afraid of her, for he believed Cari was stalking him. Never seen or heard, the stalker was aware of his every move and seemed obsessed by his casual girlfriend, Shanna "Liz" Golyar, often calling her "a fat whore" in the twelve thousand emails and texts he received in a disturbing three-year deluge.

With mesmerizing detail and compelling narrative skill, Leslie Rule tracks every step of the heart-pounding path to long-awaited justice--from a sociopath's twisted past to the deadly deception and the high-tech forensics that condemned the killer to prison, where the tangled web of manipulations still draws trusting souls into danger.

A Tangled Web involves a very convoluted true crime mystery.  I hadn't heard anything about this case before picking up this book.  It involves the disappearance of Cari Farver and her supposed stalking of her short time boyfriend Dave as well as Dave's side piece, Liz.  For a few years, Cari seemed to stalk and harass the two of them, but was never caught by the police.  Her mother was convinced she was not behind any of it and was in fact missing presumed dead.

Leslie Rule is the daughter of Ann Rule. I always enjoyed reading her books and am glad that her daughter has taken on the challenge of following in her mother's footsteps.  Leslie certainly inherited the art of telling a true crime story by making it entertaining and keeping the intrigue throughout.  I was hooked from the beginning and was actually never compelled to look up the case on line.  I just let the story unfold until the conclusion.  This is one of the most messed up, convoluted cases I have ever read about.  But Ms. Rule laid out the story in a way that made it easy to digest and to keep straight.  The detectives who ended up figuring it all out should be commended.  They are the true heroes of this case.  I highly recommend this one.

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