RaveThe Washington Independent Review of BooksPompeo covers the media industry for Vanity Fair, and his descriptions of New York’s tabloid wars, the streetwise crime reporters chasing the story, and the murky journalism ethics of the day are highlights of the book ... Pompeo vividly recreates the fumbled investigations, breathes life into characters caught in the glare of publicity, and captures the media circus that fed the story to an audience obsessed with crime and celebrity ... His research is exhaustive, his command of details complete, the narrative fast paced and captivating. The chance discovery of a trove of case records in the basement of a New Brunswick home in 2019 — thousands of pages of witness statements and grand jury transcripts — injects new material and fresh insights into his account. The result is first-rate historical true crime.
RaveThe Irish Times (IRE)... an astonishing real-life whodunit ... Fischer sorts fact from conjecture as he offers a solution to this 130-year-old cold case. This is an absorbing tale, elegantly written and brilliantly told, with the plot twists and surprise ending worthy of a Hollywood blockbuster.
PositiveChicago Review of Books... a Horatio Alger-style success story with a walk-on-the-wild-side twist ... Adler’s ghostwritten autobiography, published in the 1950s, allows Applegate to anchor the story in the madam’s own words. But the author carefully connects the dots whenever her subject proves evasive. While Adler glossed over her swift ascent to the ranks of Manhattan’s in-crowd, for instance, Applegate is certain she made her living as a prostitute before becoming the boss ... Applegate immerses readers in the rich vernacular of the times ... This is historical narrative at its best—equal parts illuminating and engrossing. Applegate’s research method leaves no stone unturned, and she displays an impressive command of the rich trove of material she has meticulously unearthed. The storytelling is stellar. She has an eye for detail, an ear for anecdote and dialogue, and an unfailing sense of the perfect place to insert the perfect quotation from Adler or one of her famous acquaintances and contemporaries.
RaveThe Washington Independent Review of BooksStout embeds his story in the \'anything goes\' ethos of the Jazz Age, showing how movies influenced their audiences, how newspapers feasted on every detail of the latest crimes, and how the lust for money seemed to corrupt everyone and pervade everything. And his insights and streetwise asides keep the narrative humming ... Thanks to Stout’s meticulous research and storytelling skills, readers can hop into the getaway car, hit the gas, and take their own wild ride into the heart of the Roaring Twenties.
RaveThe Washington Independent Review of BooksCannell takes readers along for the ride as he documents — in remarkable, often chilling detail drawn from newspapers and archival documents — Reles’ inexorable rise ... reads like a Brooklyn version of The Irishman, and Cannell’s riveting narrative unfolds with the simmering tension and explosive violence of a Scorsese movie ... another engrossing descent into the dark corners of the criminal mind, this time with a mystery that’s unlikely to ever be solved.
RaveThe Chicago Review of Books... a book as courageous, in its own way, as its larger-than-life subject ... [Larson\'s] cinematic flair brings every scene and every character to life. This is history up-close and personal — vivid, immersive and presented with real-time pacing and urgency ... The narrative is peppered with the telling details that Larson’s readers have come to expect ... Larson never allows the experiences of the privileged few to obscure the horrors faced by the many.
PositiveThe Washington Independent Review of BooksThis is big-picture history told on a human scale. Generals, politicians, and other key players get their say, but Zabin is more interested in the lives of ordinary people, especially women. With the help of research assistants, she mined archival records to trace in remarkable detail the experiences of military wives ... presents stories of kindness and cruelty, celebration and loss, suffering and joy, and enriches our understanding of those whose lives would be shattered when the Revolution severed friendships and divided families.
RaveThe Chicago Review of Books\"[An] immersive tale ... Lurking in the background of this riveting, lavishly researched account is the defining, divisive issue of the times: slavery ... Inskeep tells the Frémonts’ story with razor-sharp insight and a narrative drive that draws in readers and keeps the pages turning ... Imperfect Union stakes their claim as leaders in the battle against slavery and as key players in the rapid growth and tumultuous politics of nineteenth-century America.\
PositiveThe Chicago Review of Books... impressive ... The structure dictates that, at times, effects precede their cause, but Morris’s unorthodox narrative works, enticing readers to forge ahead and discover the backstory of this brilliant, driven man ... Morris skillfully weaves this lesser-known personal history, replete with friction and domestic dramas, into his epic account of experiments, setbacks, triumphs, and corporate empire-building. The result is a fully formed, engrossing portrait of one of the world’s most important and influential figures.
RaveThe Chicago Review of BooksRich Cohen’s odyssey as a life-long Cubs fan is defined by two ballpark memories from his childhood ...insightful, poignant and immensely readable book... The Chicago Cubs: Story of a Curse celebrates the tenacity and spirit of those who endured good times and bad — mostly bad — before being rewarded with the 2016 Series title ... Cohen is too level-headed to put much stock in curses, but there is plenty of evidence to suggest less-than-divine intervention ...a journalist’s detachment and a fan’s devotion to the book, a winning combination that explains how the Cubs overcame a century in the wilderness to reach the top of the game.