PositiveIllinois TimesCompelling and forceful courtroom scenes. They are always the finest portion of his novels ... This is a different Turow novel ... In any respect, Suspect is an interesting and thoughtful novel by a keen observer of the legal system.
PositiveBook ReporterReading the book is almost like having the author sitting next to you in a bar and after some opening conversation telling you about his work. It is quite a story ... Sprinkled throughout are mentions of recognized works of literature, film and a few cameo appearances of well-known New Yorkers. Sometimes the references meld into the plot, and other times they just appear to add to the New York noir of the novel. Regardless of the reasons for their inclusion, they are clever and smoothly written.
RaveBookreporterThis is a captivating history on several levels. Impressively detailed and wonderfully written, it chronicles the Edgar Smith case from all aspects. In its own style, it exposes celebrity and the criminal justice system from a different perspective. Sadistic criminals often have another character trait --- they are extraordinary con men. Great books have been written about them. Scoundrel is such a book, and Edgar Smith is such a man.
RaveBookreporter... extraordinary ... In terms of language, plot and characters, this book reads like the great detective stories of that bygone era when detectives were tough males, wearing suits and ties, and almost always smoking unfiltered cigarettes and drinking hard liquor. Even though the time frame covers several years, the transitions are smooth, and the challenging aspects of its various locations are easily handled by Kestrel ... progresses through the years of World War II and the postwar era, there are quite a few interesting plot twists and turns. 2021 was a memorable reading year, and I can’t think of a better way to close it out than with this unique mystery, which will engage you from start to finish.
RaveBookreporter... [a] thoroughly enjoyable new adventure ... As a science fiction author, Scalzi carries on the tradition often presented in novels that question who the true evildoers are. It’s a thoughtful debate. He bills The Kaiju Preservation Society as the literary equivalent of a pop song written as a way of staying sane during COVID. It is a wonderfully entertaining and outstanding read for the times in which we live.
RaveBookreporterThose of us who experienced Phileas Fogg through either the novel or the movie recall a hectic adventure, undertaken after a boast in a gentlemen’s club. Damrosch follows a far more leisurely pace in keeping with his goal of expanding our knowledge of the books and authors he has chosen for this project ... an insightful journey into books that we know and ones that we might wish to know.
RaveBookreporter\"... a deep study ... Readers should not be dissuaded from the book because they think it is only for soccer fans. Kuper is an accomplished writer who places the sport in a world context, and the insights presented here have application far beyond soccer. Whether you enjoy sports or are interested in how winning organizations achieve their success, you will find a treasure trove of fascinating material ... a wonderful book about sports and team building. Even if you think that soccer is a boring game, you will enjoy this exhaustive and detailed sports classic.
RaveBookreporter... a highly entertaining and heart-pounding mystery/thriller ... Smoothy pairing the homespun language with vibrant and energetic action, the pages almost turn themselves. Cosby is unafraid to tackle subjects that other authors tend to avoid ... The road to revenge is littered with numerous dead bodies, violent shootouts and a few unbelievable outcomes, which help make the new novel so enjoyable ... S. A. Cosby seems well on his way to becoming the kind of mystery author whose next books are eagerly anticipated.
RaveBookreporter... a substantial stylistic change ... Harlem Shuffle is far more discreet [than Whitehead\'s last novel] as the New York racism of the post-Korean War era is illustrated more through subtle comments, gestures and attitudes that seemingly recognize that the United States and the rest of the world are changing, but not without some pushback from those in authority ... Ray Carney is a wonderfully sympathetic character. We want him to succeed, and we worry that his life, business and family could be destroyed by white New York society ... [a] delightful and amazing book[.]
RaveBookreporter... a page-turner ... The setting and characters are part of the legal profession, but the real story is simply a good old-fashioned thriller ... Common sense does leave the room in the final chapters, and some readers may find the conclusion to be a bit over the top, especially those with legal experience or who have knowledge of Supreme Court history. Still, this should not deter you from enjoying a truly remarkable novel by a talented writer.
PositiveBookreporter[A] detailed, fast-paced narrative of the college admissions scandal that for months became fodder for late-night comedians and commentators of all persuasions ... LaPorte makes clear in Guilty Admissions that a culture ruled by the rich led to an environment that fed Singer’s criminal behavior ... LaPorte has presented a sobering tale of the double standard that exists in America’s prestigious learning institutions. Perhaps one of the most important points she makes is that Singer and many other participants truly operated in the open.
PositiveBookreporterThe winners here are the readers, who will find themselves in a pleasant and humorous comic caper ... Cosimano has created a delightful supporting cast ... an easy, enjoyable and witty novel. It appears that sequels may be on the way, and I will be happy to see where Finlay and her friends turn up next.
Michael Farris Smith
MixedBookreporterThe descriptions of combat are vivid and complete ... No reader of The Great Gatsby will be surprised by this opening portion; the transition to Fitzgerald\'s work is fairly seamless ... Having known Nick for decades, I am forced to admit that I am uncomfortable with him appearing in these pages. Nick is an interesting and well-written speculation about this legendary character before he traveled to Long Island to seek a new life. But there are other stories to tell, and this is not the one that I had hoped to hear.
RaveBookreporterIn her second mystery, Harriet Tyce has established what runners might call a comfortable pace. She has written a thriller somewhat similar to her first novel, Blood Orange, but different enough to establish for readers that she is not a one-trick pony following formalistic formats to produce cookie-cutter similarity in her writing ... weaves three storylines into one seamless tale. The hectic pace of Sadie’s new life in London is aptly portrayed as she struggles to balance her work and her child’s life. The courtroom scenes are skillfully written and realistic. Early on in the novel, readers are warned that one final danger will face Sadie and Robin. But how, why and where the menace will strike lacks just enough detail to keep you guessing. Be prepared, as the final pages finish off a well-structured and thrilling story ... The greatest compliment a reader can pay to a mystery writer is one that I gladly offer Harriet Tyce: Please keep writing. I cannot wait for your next thriller.
PositiveBookreporter... informative ... Because Holland is British, his perspective on WWII is more focused on his nation. But every member of the Great Alliance had leaders whose lives are now part of history. We all recognize Roosevelt, Churchill, Eisenhower, Patton and Montgomery from news footage, biographies and dramatizations. Holland covers these individuals, but he also offers readers insights into some of the little-known figures in the Sicily invasion ... The breadth and scope of Sicily \'433m> offers readers an important and superbly written study of Operation HUSKY, one of the major campaigns of World War II.
RaveBookreporterWhile this might seem to be quite a bit for a novelist to undertake, Boyd is just getting started as he weaves into the story a large group of subplots populated with related characters... Readers move from episode to episode as Boyd tells his story in a traditional British manner. None of his characters, not even the Americans, get too excited. They go about their business in the manner that the English do, quietly and calmly ... a thoroughly enjoyable, amusing and entertaining journey through England (with a side trip to Paris); a cast of eccentric characters; and an inordinate number of cups of tea and large gin and tonics. It is great fun to read and follow the various agents, artists and investigators on their adventures. Trio is a superb escape novel for the dark days of winter.
PositiveBookreporter\"Despite featuring a traditional murder mystery plot, there is one unique twist to the proceedings: the accused is acting as her own attorney. The novel works quite well, with superbly written courtroom scenes that not only advance the story but also accurately point out the reason why self-representation is a dangerous and difficult undertaking ... One of the book’s striking elements is French’s portrayal of the prison environment where Tabitha spends most of her time ... It is interesting to see Tabitha manipulate the system through her own representation, acquiring the tools necessary to prepare for court ... House of Correction is an enjoyable mystery that offers unique views of the legal system and is a refreshing change of pace for readers of this genre.
RaveBookreporter... a marvelously told story of the New England Patriots ... sports fans who revel in the \'what if\' game have countless opportunities to observe how one deviation along the historical path might have changed the course of professional football history ... Benedict does not shy away from their dark side ... You don’t need be a sports fan to enjoy this masterpiece study of a successful sports franchise ... With substantial research, great attention to detail and superb writing, The Dynasty is a book worthy of the team it chronicles.
PositiveBookreportert is so totally unlike any other novel of his that I have difficulty categorizing and describing the story. This is not a criticism; it is simply an observation from a reader who embarked on a far different adventure from the one he expected when he opened the book ... John Boyne is a great writer. A Traveler at the Gates of Wisdom is not his finest book, but it is still thought-provoking, well-written and worthy of your consideration.
MixedBoookreporterIt is a taut and suspenseful thriller with a fast-moving plot and well-portrayed characters, but it has a major shortcoming—it is \'football stupid...a term sometimes used to describe books, movies or plays that employ the sport as a foundation but do so in a fashion that departs from realistically portraying the game ... If you are interested in reading a football-themed work of fiction, I would look elsewhere ... Fram paints a portrait that has countless characters. Using brief chapters with flashbacks and orderly dialogue, he keeps that large cast well organized. The conclusion of The Bright Lands is violent and somewhat disturbing. As the book speeds toward its horrific climax, readers will have much to consider in this Gothic-themed story set deep in the heart of Texas.
PositiveBookreporter... a brief but enjoyable journey through the life of a legendary author that seamlessly moves from discussing Roth’s works to relationships with such fellow writers as Saul Bellow and John Updike. This is not ponderous literary analysis, but a light and thoughtful examination of a great writer and how he performs his craft. More than anything, Taylor has produced a book about conversations and companionship ... Many wide-ranging conversations and observations between them populate this less-than-200-page portrait, a touching recreation of a lasting friendship. For me, it is also a reminder that there are still some Philip Roth novels I have yet to read --- and now is as good a time as any to start.
RaveBookreporter... not just another book about this famous gun battle ... Clavin uses multiple sources and his own background as a western historian to present an account that is almost an encyclopedia of Tombstone history, which he accomplishes in an enjoyable, light and effervescent style. Perhaps his most important contribution is his recognition that, more than anything, the shootings were a collision of a series of cataclysmic events that easily could have avoided violence if only the participants had taken a different path ... In a book exceeding 300 pages, the actual gun battle and aftermath cover approximately the final third of the chronicle. Before that, readers are treated to a history that travels almost as far back as Genesis ... A stirring combination of truth and legend, this is a story that lives on in American lore.
PositiveBookreporter... a wonderful biography ... It was a glorious time for the media, and the source material presented here is a delightful reminder of that period ... Yogi is a terrific reminder of baseball’s golden era...reminding Americans once again that it is truly the greatest game of all.
PositiveBookreporterThe baseball scenes in The Resisters are a joy for readers who are fans of the sport, as well as for those with only a passing interest in it. Not only does Jen offer a vivid description of baseball action, she also incorporates some humor and commentary on some of its foibles ... Reading this dystopian work is somewhat painful. In contemporary America, where rising oceans are recapturing land masses and children are living in cages, the world described by Gish Jen is difficult to recognize as fiction. But where there is baseball, there is hope. Spring training is now underway, and a new season kicks off in March. In that world, optimism and the promise of a fresh start abound. Play ball!
Ed. by Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman
RaveBookreporter... a unique collection of essays by a wide range of individuals whose body of work spreads far beyond traditional legal writing ... Each piece sheds light on the work of the ACLU as this remarkable organization shaped our Constitution and our country ... it speaks volumes about the ACLU and its philosophy that a book on major decisions allows one writer to vehemently criticize its position ... an inspiring and thoughtful book that attorneys and all citizens will find befitting of the ACLU’s substantial impact on American law and society.
RaveBookreporter... remarkable ... readable, insightful and entertaining. A great biography offers more than an understanding of its subject. It places that person in history by chronicling one life among many other lives, and one life experience among countless others that shape a generation...Spiegel’s portrayal of one of cinema’s most socially aware filmmakers is for anyone who enjoys movies or simply wants to learn more about them ... Spiegel’s attention to detail as she discusses each Lumet film creates new perspectives for readers and the opportunity to take another view of his classic work with fresh insights and understanding. This book is not to be missed.
PositiveBookreporterAnyone who has seen or heard Brown speak on issues important to him will appreciate the organization and writing of Desk 88. Just like its author, the book is well-organized and passionate ... Recounting the fascinating history of former U.S. senators serves as a reminder that although we are at a complex, perilous moment in our nation’s history, we have been here before ... The biographical portraits also shed light on the continuing evolution of life in American politics ... You may not agree with him, but embracing his politics is not a requirement for appreciating the deep and endearing history of the progressive era in America. There was a time in our country when political disagreement could still find politicians seeking common ground for the public good. Brown reminds us of those bygone days, which hopefully will return to America’s political stage.
PositiveBookreporterThe search for the killer, labeled by the authorities as \'The Monster,\' takes the traditional twists and turns of the series. The most interesting aspect of these mystery/thrillers comes from Begley’s portrayal of the life of wealth in New York City and Sag Harbor ... The series captures a great deal of that life in its descriptions of dinners, cocktails and weekend trips that are entertaining and make the plots different from your typical detective thriller. But Killer\'s Choice then takes a plot turn that can only be described as quite disturbing. No spoilers from me, but if you have read the first two books, you will want to read the third and then look forward to the next installment. I was not at all prepared for the twist, but I am anxious to discover what happens next to Captain Jack Dana.
PositiveBookreporter... lighthearted but detailed ... a charming account of America in the early 20th century ... Any reader who has ever traveled around or across America by car can appreciate what Guinn has captured ... Guinn provides readers with colorful and insightful portraits of these two giants of American industry ... a wonderful biography and historical narrative. It reminds us of bygone eras and a changing America when the landscape of our nation was forever impacted by the invention and production of the automobile. As you journey on your summer road trip, Guinn’s engaging work may be the perfect accompaniment to your trip, wherever your destination may be.
PositiveBookreporterBeaufort has a secret past, and it is his life from decades ago that makes We Were Killers Once such an enjoyable mystery ... Carlo’s involvement in the plot makes We Were Killers Once the best entry in the series, as it provides readers with far more information about his life, as well as the life he shares with his wife. All of this humanizes Brigid Quinn in ways more entertaining than in the previous novels. Seeing the human side of our protagonist makes her a far more compelling character, and it will be interesting to see where Masterman takes her in future installments.
PositiveBookreporterThere is something almost mysterious about Coffin’s memoir. His remembrances of his bouts in the ring are a mixture of mystery and mayhem as he describes his fights in a manner that exalts the battle, while at the same time recognizing that the contests are often nothing more than glorified bar fights ... A quick glance at the dust jacket of Roughhouse Friday informs readers that whatever demons Coffin may have battled have been conquered. He is now a published author and a professor of creative writing at the University of New Hampshire. His memoir is a hopeful and endearing account of part of that journey.
PositiveBookreporter... combines the best elements of biography and history to present a significant account of the Spanish-American War, as well as an entertaining profile of the war’s most celebrated hero, Teddy Roosevelt ... As a historical account, it is a reminder of how far our nation has come as a world power, but how we struggle today with the obligations that come with that power.
PositiveBookReporterThere is an important lesson from this poignant and inspiring biography ... Throughout his ordeal, Elliott never lost faith in America. His eventual vindication overcame the political fear and distortion prevalent in the 1950s. At this moment in our history, viewing his life through the words of his son can provide us with optimism for the future.
PositiveBookReporterAtkinson has written a brilliant military and diplomatic history of the war that created the greatest nation in the world ... he reminds us how far we have come in 244 years, but also how the issues surrounding the nation’s birth continue to perplex us to this day ... Atkinson covers the diplomacy with as much precision as the battles. There will be many \'how interesting, I never knew that\' observations as readers sink their teeth into this opening volume. Detailed history made readable and entertaining is an unbeatable combination. Atkinson’s book promises to portray the American Revolution in a new and vivid account for any student of America’s creation.
Robert A. Caro
PositiveBookreporter\"Working is a brief and refreshing interlude from the painstakingly detailed life portraits that have become Caro’s trademark. While featuring some previously published material, it offers readers a contextual view of what his writing seeks to accomplish and why he writes with the vivid and glorious detail that makes his books essential to an understanding of the life and times of his subjects ... Although only 200 pages, Working offers significant insights into how a biographer treats his subjects and his craft.\
PositiveBookreporter\"... a riveting thriller ... In her debut, Tyce has told her story in a fashion similar to John Grisham, who knows how to write courtroom fiction ... The courtroom scenes are certainly well-written and legally sound, but they are only a subpart of the plot. This is not meant to be a criticism; many legal-themed novels do not focus on the courtroom ... The final confrontation between Alison and Charles becomes a roller coaster ride of plot twists and emotional highs and lows that will have readers wondering how exactly the story will end.\
W. K. Stratton
RaveBookreporter\"Stratton’s chronicle of \'The Wild Bunch\' is a fascinating and detailed history of the making of an iconic movie that portrayed the West in a fashion far different from previous Westerns while still maintaining their natural artistic progression ... Stratton’s account is mesmerizing. Countless details of the movie industry and \'The Wild Bunch\' are included in the fascinating history he presents ... The Wild Bunch is essential reading for film buffs everywhere.\
RaveBook ReporterIt is enjoyable to kick off 2019 with a suspense novel that features a main character who resorts to guile and cunning rather than superhuman feats resulting in large body counts to accomplish his mission ... exhibits promising potential for future exploits ... McGrath has a plan that he follows with precision, and he is often one or two steps ahead of his opponents and his readers. Certainly there are the occasional suspensions of belief common to all suspense novels. But this fast-paced thriller will hold readers’ interest and attention. Andrew Grant indicates that McGrath will be back for more adventures. I will look forward to his next appearance.
RaveBookreporterHis writing is comprehensive but unobtrusive. It is light and entertaining coverage, more like a conversation between two friends discussing the game over a burger and a beer. But his thoroughness cannot be denied ... By the end of the book, readers have significant knowledge of what it means to be a quarterback in the NFL ... Feinstein tells an enthralling story of an effort that is best characterized as all-encompassing, moving from the NFL draft room, to the locker room, practice field and game. It is a totally absorbing account.
RaveBookreporterIan O’Connor’s Belichick is a deep and substantive dive into the life of a man many recognize as one of professional football’s greatest coaches. It is a football junkie’s delight, providing generous detail about a man whose football destiny was declared almost at birth ... Belichick’s tremendous success in New England is already well-known to both fans and detractors. I will let them debate his qualities elsewhere, but they are well-detailed in O’Connor’s book.
RaveBookreporterIn a vivid narrative, Harvey captures the Boston of the mid-’70s, where racial protests and battles were prevalent as the city struggled to face court-ordered desegregation of its school system through the busing of students between white and black neighborhoods ... [a] supernatural subplot adds an element of fantasy to the novel that makes for an entertaining pairing. Ultimately, though, Pulse is simply a great police procedural ... Pulse is a wonderful crime novel painted on a ’70s canvas. As a Chicago guy, I do hope that Michael Harvey returns his stories to my hometown, but my occasional trip to Boston is still quite enjoyable.
Stephen L. Carter
PositiveBookreporter\"...beautifully written, absorbing ... It is the investigation and courtroom scenes where Carter brings his grandmother to life ... He avoids the legal jargon and terminology, telling a story that reads like a novel. It is a page-turner, even though the results are known to the reader well before the conclusion.\
Heather Won Tesoriero
PositiveBookreporterThe Class by Heather Won Tesoriero is an inspiring account of prize-winning students mentored by an outstanding high school science teacher ... More than anything,The Class is a people book. Andy Bramante is the leading character, a former scientist in private industry who left a successful career to become a high school science teacher. In 2005, he joined the faculty at Greenwich, a school of 2,500 students with high national and state rankings in academics. After teaching chemistry for a year, he began directing the science research class, which had no curriculum, tests, textbooks or lectures. It is the kind of program that few schools can afford to offer ... As inspirational as The Class may be, there is a disquieting element to it. Greenwich is a wealthy community with well-funded schools and involved parents. Reading the book, I often paused to contemplate other students in less fortunate communities with far fewer resources. Tesoriero\'s account should serve as a reminder of what our schools can be, everywhere in America.
Mixed20 Something Reads[Why To Kill a Mockingbird is] primarily a book of cinematic history, filigreed here and there with the borrowed significance of Mockingbird... But for readers who want to know about the film, it’s a success, absorbing and full of beguiling detail ... [ultimately, Santopietro unknots] the immense tangle of racial and personal and regional issues that Lee reflected and defined.
James Patterson & Alex Abramovich
PositiveBookreporter.comHad the authors pitched an outline of this story to publishers, it would have been rejected as too fanciful even as a work of fiction … All-American Murder is not a deep drill. Instead they skim lightly in their reporting of Hernandez’s life from high school and college football star to his brief NFL career and to his trials and suicide. But this is not meant to be a criticism of the book … Patterson and his team provide a detailed chronological account of Hernandez’s violent life.
RaveBookreporter.comThe Broken Shore by Australian writer Peter Temple is far more than a great mystery novel — it is a great novel, period … Underlying the question of who shot Charles Bourgoyne are important topics: police corruption, racial politics and issues surrounding the all-too common clash between those favoring land development and those championing environmental concerns. Through it all, Temple paints a vivid and entertaining picture of complex characters in the land down under ... The Broken Shore is an unforgettable read.
RaveBookreporter.comGrisham is never reluctant to base his novels on the flaws and failures of our legal system...At the same time, he manages to educate readers while not preaching and does so in entertaining and enjoyable books that often provoke stimulating debate among the legal community. is no exception … There are no good guys in this novel, just bad guys and really bad guys. Fortunately, the bad guys have enough good in their hearts to make their exploits endearing.
MixedBookreporter.comCalico Joe, another sports-themed novel, is a baseball story that should not shock his fans ... This is not your typical John Grisham novel. There are no overarching social issues, pitched physical battles, skullduggery or mysterious deaths. Instead, there is just baseball, a game to enjoy in the moment as well as in history and tradition ... Grisham often turns to family, using redemption and reconciliation as a theme of his writing, whether on death row or, as in this book, on the baseball diamond. It may lack the suspense and fast-paced tumult of his legal thrillers, but its more taciturn style is appropriate for a baseball book.
RaveBookreporter.comFrom Shakespeare to Tony Soprano, the theme of revenge has always been a favorite; The Racketeer is a novel of revenge ... Bannister’s imprisonment serves as a soapbox for Grisham’s trenchant legal observations, suggesting that the incarceration of far too many of our citizens in a prison-industrial complex is a substantial waste of federal and state funds ... The plot twists and feints during the second half of the novel will occasionally have you checking the title to make certain you are still reading the same book ... Unbound by the borders of the courtroom or a trial, The Racketeer is vigorously entertaining.