RaveAir Mailooking for a plucky underdog overcoming the odds and neatly saving the day, providing optimism and comfort? James Ellroy isn’t your man. Nothing so easy here. We’re all born sinners ... Ellroy is a modern master of making his characters interesting instead of nice ... [The] distinct Ellroy style—staccato, slangy—can make even a slow plod through exposition seem like a harried sprint ... Where some writers might light a match to illuminate their way through a chapter, Ellroy takes a flamethrower. Full on, all the time—a style that is intensely, unequivocally, unapologetically his. The commitment to it never wavers, so you either enjoy the ride or get the hell out. No allowances will be made.
PositiveAirMail\"That very human need to understand growls in the background of every page, drives O’Connell, fuels, alongside crass voyeurism, the true-crime boom. There’s an instinct to search for reasons. Not excuses, necessarily, but something we can all point to by way of explanation, reassuring ourselves that we’ve identified the cause of the horror ... This is also a book about privilege, the people it forms, and as such it becomes about the writer as much as the subject. In assessing his own life, O’Connell finds the similarities with the killer that make the differences all the harder to explain. Shared experiences do not create equal minds ... A Thread of Violence is a tantalizing book, forever reaching out toward ungraspable truths, fingers brushing against them before they slip away again. O’Connell is wandering through the unmapped wilds of the human psyche, in search of the unfindable. Interesting, intelligent, very readable, but inevitably as frustrating as its central figure. There can be no neat wrapping up, no complete understanding, only the awkward sense of a conclusion without finality.\
RaveAir MailBowden...is well placed to tell the story ... The issue of racism burns through every part of this book—in policing, media coverage, political disinterest. Familiar and depressing. Bowden excels in relentlessness, illustrating the constructed divides ... Bowden seeks to offer explanations, not excuses ... Life Sentence goes deep, putting the microscope on the investigation, the evidence-gathering, and the informants involved. Wiretaps provide real-time, firsthand commentary of killers hunting victims, a sense of being there accurate enough to be unsettling ... A deftly written examination of how Montana Barronette came to be, and then came to be caught, a stark reminder that lasting change is dependent on long-term political commitment. Hardly a reason for optimism.