I went into this book thinking it might be lighter reading, somewhat like a fascinating cosy, but immediately found out how wrong I was. Fascinating, yes, but this plot is much more sinister, a significant, fast-paced thriller. This story has a deadline which must be beat! An arrogant, self-centered sensational reporter, Suzanne, with her own show, Judgment Day, is about to find out she has taken on more than she can handle. Somebody wants her to meet her own judgment day.
Teens are disappearing, most of them runaways who presumably won't be discovered as missing. Is there any connection? Her boyfriend has just been killed while driving her car. They traded cars for the day because he was worried she would have an accident, and he wanted to take it in to be checked out. Somebody is trying to kill her.
Who wants her dead? The father of her boyfriend? The senator she has been investigating? The Reverend she has accused of building his mansion with church funds? The District Attorney who is in such a hurry to prosecute her? Or maybe it's the widow of the school principle her allegations caused to commit suicide. Suzanne has been arrested for a murder she didn't commit. Her rich father has posted bond and she is back on the prowl for information.
Only one thing is sure, she is onto something, but since she hasn't been doing her homework, sensationalizing her accusations to boost her ratings without proper authentication of her facts, she doesn't realize what she has. Her lawyer knows he needs good investigation if he is going to win her case. Enter her ex-fiance, now a private investigator, and his suspicious female partner who knows their romantic history from the college they all attended. Marcos and Alexandria (Alex) suddenly find themselves baby-sitters, while trying to learn what is happening to the missing teens and if they are truly missing or just hiding. Their assistant Razz, a technical whiz who can achieve amazing results, starts digging to find out why the D.A. is in such a rush to get the murder to trial.
Everyone involved is fighting demons of their own, but somehow they must keep Suzanne safe and find out who is framing her. She certainly does not understand what she has done, how much damage she does with her lack of attention to the details of truth. She constantly takes chances as though she is immortal.
Lots of action in this book, and with so many possibilities for suspects, there are lots of red herrings, but are they really? Or is every one of them involved? This is a good storyline, up-to-date, and a fast read. I found the book intriguing and the more I read, the more I needed to. My attention was held all the way through. It is not just a case of who and why, but how many are involved. The character of Suzanne is pretty straightforward. We do get to learn what drives her, though, which gives the reader a different perspective from that which runs all through the book. Razz is a likeable character even while dealing with the death of his wife. Marcos and Alex are great characters I'd like to meet again. They work very well together.
Wanda L. Dyson has produced a great plot, involving a totally unexpected crime that is current, and delivers it with aplomb. There is in this atrocity more than the usual known facts about the dangers to teen-age runaways, and a lot more money can be made. This is a plausible, newer hazard, and profitable to people with the right connections and lack of principles.
A rash of student suicides has hit the campus of Ellsford University! What can be the cause? Sammy Greene is determined to get to the bottom of things...moreA rash of student suicides has hit the campus of Ellsford University! What can be the cause? Sammy Greene is determined to get to the bottom of things as a reporter and talk-show host for W.E.L.L., the campus radio station. She is tough, dedicated, and prone to exclamations in Yiddish, a result of being raised by her traditional grandmother. She plans a Memorial show for the most recent, a young man with a great future ahead, a talented musician and composer, and homosexual.
Interviews with professors, students, and friends trigger some questions as to whether these suicides are what they seem. A fanatical religious group, with an overly zealous leader preaching, anti-gay, anti-abortion, and anti-corporate funding of research, she begins to investigate the group as possibly responsible for the "suicides".
Having left her purse at the home of her biology professor during an interview, she returns the next morning to retrieve it, and the tape from her interview. When she arrives, Sammy discovers Professor Conrad is dead from a self-inflicted bullet. Another seemingly unrelated suicide? But why then did his mentor commit suicide in the same manner with the same gun 3 years before? Retrieving her purse, she realizes that it was running until it ran out, and possibly there will be some evidence on it.
Thus begins Sammy's thrill-ride as she battles against all comers including the police chief, her boyfriend, the Dean, other professors, and the Reverend Taft. No one will listen to her, and all warn her to leave it alone, they are satisfied with the suicide theory. Even Professor Conrad had tried to warn her off. If he was going to commit suicide, why the warning?
This story is fast-paced, factual in many ways, researched thoroughly by the authors who are well-versed in their subject. The suspense is high and the action continuous with little snippets of humor to ease the tension. Suspicions take sidetracks throwing Sammy and Campus Police Chief Pappajohn off course several times. Danger lurks everywhere. She is not even sure she trusts Pappajohn. Now, two students are missing. What is the connection?
A strong story and very current, the dangers in the world of today as we lose control of who owns what in business, what conglomerate is supporting life-saving research, this is a medical thriller that satisfies. When Sammy's missing tape is located after a suspicious fire destroys the radio station, answers start flowing thick and fast and in several directions. Everyone seems to suspect the wrong person(s). The race heats up all through the book, to a heart-stopping climax.
Both authors have written thrillers before. Both are in the field of health care and research. This is the first collaborative story by Deborah Shlian and Linda Reid, and the first introduction of Sammy Greene, which appears to me to be the beginning of a series. If so, I will be watching for the next episode!(less)
James W. Nichol has given us a well-written, complicated murder mystery/thriller. Beginning with the protagonist Canadian pilot Wilf McLaughlin during...moreJames W. Nichol has given us a well-written, complicated murder mystery/thriller. Beginning with the protagonist Canadian pilot Wilf McLaughlin during WWII, under heavy fire and toward the end of the war, begins his death spiral as his Spitfire speeds to meet the earth the hard way. "I'm dead" is one of his last thoughts.
But death did not claim him. His plane is found days later with him still in it. His injuries are very serious but he is still alive. After several months in hospital, he returns home to a hero's welcome, but his head full of questions. With one useless arm, and a damaged leg as his main physical problems, there is much more going on in regard to his crash, not the least of which is several days of unaccounted for time, and unexplained blindness for 3 months.
Starting out working in his father's law office, reconnecting with his old friend Andy who is in the police force, and gradually connecting with Carol, his father's secretary, life begins again, but he suddenly finds himself in another type of death spiral. Several deaths in a small town raise eyebrows and awareness and when Wilf seems to be involved in one way or another, whispers around town begin. The deaths all appear to have happened since he came home.
The author has concocted a number of unusual deaths that appear to be unrelated and in some cases appear to be natural causes or accidents. But Wilf will not accept these quick decisions and is sure that they are all related and are in fact, murders. He convinces Andy to help him investigate "unofficially", help that causes Andy a demotion, devastating for a family man.
At the same time, he is trying to acquire his records to find out about his missing time and the mystery of his blindness, falls in love, and does not realize his loved one is already in danger. His father is studying files on the gas chambers and human experiments, which brings Wilf some confusing bits of memories pushing him even harder for answers. Answers he will come to realize he doesn't really want to know.
This book delves into many psychological and philosophical areas, dark places, and bizarre events, interspersed with the humor of friendships. Still, it is an easy book to read, holds the reader's attention, and reminds those of us who can remember, of the terrible crimes of war.(less)
It's a very long time since I read this book, but I have never forgotten the impression it had on me at the time. Although I would have to reread this...moreIt's a very long time since I read this book, but I have never forgotten the impression it had on me at the time. Although I would have to reread this one to refresh the details, I found it a fascinating non-fiction read. Yes, this is not your 21st century zombie horror, this is a study of the real thing. In fact, I think I'll look for another copy to read it again. There was also a movie made of this one.(less)
The Prodigal Tongue: Dispatches from the Future of English by Mark Abley
Well-written and surprisingly up to date, this Canadian author has introduced...moreThe Prodigal Tongue: Dispatches from the Future of English by Mark Abley
Well-written and surprisingly up to date, this Canadian author has introduced how the dictionary is an ongoing work, never to be finished, as the English language appears to take handsprings of changes at any given mini-decade to produce new words and change those of the past. He smoothly takes us through the many adaptations of English as determined by countries around the world.
I found the historic asides of the many languages around the globe to be exceptionally interesting, especially the history of the Japanese language. I particularly enjoyed one of the comments about a current phrase in Japanese/English: "a new Japanese phrase meaning 'to visit Tokyo Disneyland,' nezumi shibaku, literally means 'to flog the mouse.'" Now, isn't that a logical translation? What else is Disneyland and the Disney empire doing but "flogging the mouse". Wonderful.
This is not only a book about the "takeover" of the English language but also delves into how we perceive other cultures in the world of today. Very differently from the past, I learned. The new English as spoken in other countries is often based on the music lyrics, computer technology, texting, slang, and many other cultural symbology. Yet, each country adds some part of its own language either as a tag-on or mixed in one sentence. Books and movies presenting the imagined future of the earth also come into play. Some from science-fiction, some from today's outlook on a probable future. The reader would not find it difficult to think of many words that were not in use as recently as 10 years ago, and this changes almost daily in our rapid communication of internet, blogs, texting, email, et al.
On the other hand, within the past 50 years many words have gone out of style or taken on entirely different meanings. Just try watching an old 1940s/50s movie! Even in this new century the same could be said. Some words stick, others just disappear or remain localized.
Personally, I found this book enjoyable and informative. It was entirely readable, not dry or academic. This book was written for anyone with an interest in how even language can change at home and abroad, and how much impact the English language now has globally. when I have.(less)
Annie’s Ghosts by Steve Luxenberg An amazing chronicle of a quest to discover how a family secret evolved. Part memoir, part history, part mystery and...moreAnnie’s Ghosts by Steve Luxenberg An amazing chronicle of a quest to discover how a family secret evolved. Part memoir, part history, part mystery and part investigative reporting, this book is a must-read.
It is spring in 1995, and author Steve Luxenberg has just discovered that his mother, who had always said she was an only child, had a sister. This startling discovery intrigues the investigative reporter in him as he begins a trip through memories that takes him into a Jewish history that begins in the Ukraine prior to the Holocaust, moves on to America, into a world of physical and mental disabilities, and into the memories of descendants of his mother’s friends. He manages occasionally to discover some living witnesses to the fact that this newly discovered aunt really existed. This is not only a journey of personal discovery, but a discovery of time and place.
The reader is right with the author as he digs into what histories are available for the time periods, 1920s and 30s for nuances of how disabled persons are perceived with shame as if the parents are responsible somehow for what has gone wrong. Add to that the perceptions of children who are “slow” learners and they are immediately classified as “feeble-minded”. These perceptions allowed them to invariably be classed by the courts as “Insane”, placed into an asylum where records were scanty, and in fact many destroyed. The sheer number of patients deposited into these facilities is completely overwhelming. They were virtual cities! Most patients would not have needed to leave home had the knowledge and treatments of today been available then..
Steve Luxenberg’s journey is emotional and thorough and the reader is a constant companion. This is very much his story of the search for “Annie”, and is very well told. Going back generations to get at the truth is heart-wrenching and yet curious to today’s way of thinking. To anyone who has researched their genealogy, much of the way will be familiar to them, or may even be helpful to them. The book is sure to be an eye-opener to anyone who was born after the 1960s. The writing is exceptional, as are the notes in the version I read. Written with honesty and integrity, with an understanding generated from his findings, I commend Steve for baring this family secret with compassion and dedication. Full of history and a mystery to be solved, I highly recommend this book, in fact I would even go so far as to say it should be in every high school library. Though not classified for young adults, they can benefit and enjoy it as much as I, a grandmother did.(less)
I was very taken with this book I loved the many textures and the fullness of characters, the setting of the late 1930s interspersed with a background...moreI was very taken with this book I loved the many textures and the fullness of characters, the setting of the late 1930s interspersed with a background story from WWI. I had never read a Maisie Dobbs story before but am fast becoming a new fan! Quite aside from the many mysterious happenings, I enjoyed learning of hop-picking, and the rich fullness of gypsies and gypsy lore.
Jacqueline Winspear has a very fluid voice in telling the story, understands the nuances in people, fear, hope, revenge, forgiveness, and the need to live a full life. The formation of who Maisie is unfolds throughout the book. She is a strong woman, conscientious, tolerant and compassionate. Her title of psychologist and investigator might well read psychic investigator, given her abilities and attunement to nature. There were many strands to be woven in this tapestry, with a lot of knots and tangles. The mysteries maintained a strong level and I was happy to see so much of the tapestry tied off in the Epilogue.
The many characters in the book are victims of the very crimes they were involved in and you cannot help but feel the fear and incitement for what was done without even realizing why. The despicable but lazy “Lord of the Manor” of the village is one of the feeblest strong-arms I’ve ever met in a book, I think. Does he deserve the outcome? Most probably, but maybe it was once again the easy way of doing things. Overall, a very honest and satisfying read, you can be sure I will be reading more of Maisie’s cases. Thanks to Jacqueline Winspear for one of my new favourite series! I recommend this book for the light mystery it is, a great antidote for between heavier tomes, enjoyable and fulfilling; I do like a book that I can learn something new from, too.(less)
A little different from some of the other Gideon Oliver aka Skeleton Detective series, it was still fun and educational as well. Julie, Gideon's wife...moreA little different from some of the other Gideon Oliver aka Skeleton Detective series, it was still fun and educational as well. Julie, Gideon's wife & her friend Marti Lau, wife of Gideon's good friend John Lau, have decided to vacation at a spa in Cabo San Lucas, and she tells Gideon he and John should take a vacation together somewhere too. A phone call to another friend who arranges vacations "On The Cheap" soon sets them up for a trip to the Amazon.
The book opens with a scene from the past involving headhunters and three unlucky botanists who inadvertently take a shortcut through the tribe's coca fields. The story then brings the reader into the present with the only survivor of this fiasco. Now a professor, department head and author, he is about to return to the Amazon with other ethnobotanists, an entomologist, and his co-author.
Naturally all this ties in as all the players arrive in Isquito to begin their cruise along the Amazon. Their "cruise" boat turns out to be over 100 years old and rickety, with few amenities. There are interesting characters, strange happenings, and of course the requisite bone fragments. There are also surprises in store for the reader. I am a great fan of Aaron Elkins' series and enjoyed this light read, as always.(less)
A timely and perilous trip into the darkness of suburbia, this book grabbed me from the first page and kept me going straight through to the end. I on...moreA timely and perilous trip into the darkness of suburbia, this book grabbed me from the first page and kept me going straight through to the end. I only stopped reading long enough for a few hours of sleep! Libby Hellman has created a plot touching on two very real aspects of living in today’s world, teen prostitution and unscrupulous land development, and turned it into an absorbing read. Full of twist and turns, relationships good, bad and ugly, the main character Georgia Davis, ex-cop and now P.I., is up to the challenge.
Upon the murder of a young teen, a mentally disabled young man is found at the scene of the crime holding the weapon and covered in her blood. The lawyer for his defense is sure that he did not do it and hires Georgia to try to find evidence to prove it. Through her search she finds herself trying to put together clues that seem to be buried in the very upscale and political North Shore. This book has secrets galore and as each unravels more secrets appear. Full of powerful interconnections, blocking her at every turn, Georgia has a difficult time breaking through the codes of the elite. Leads keep turning around, who can she trust? Who can she safely question? Who will the killer strike next? This book will definitely hold your attention. I thoroughly enjoyed it, the characters were well-formed, and grew as the story went along. I highly recommend this murder mystery and will definitely read other books by this author, I loved this book.(less)
This book is non-fiction, the result of many Maritime interviews featuring folklore. Though legend, the book cont...moreBluenose Magic by Dr. Helen Creighton
This book is non-fiction, the result of many Maritime interviews featuring folklore. Though legend, the book contains hundreds of stories as remembered by the people involved. The kind of book that can be picked up any time; many stories are less than a paragraph. However, I found the many short references to be of such similar events, that I began to find it repetitive. Of interest to me, I had grown up hearing many of these sayings myself! There is also a section of old traditional cures, many of which are still used today.(less)
The story about an entire village poisoned with ergot-tainted rye flour, causing hallucinations, deaths, and other related symptoms as one might see i...moreThe story about an entire village poisoned with ergot-tainted rye flour, causing hallucinations, deaths, and other related symptoms as one might see in high doses of LSD, ergot being similar or relative to the making of LSD. I've read this book a few times but not recently.(less)
A fertilizer plant in another country puts out dioxin as a biproduct causing great suffering among the people and eventually the plant and thousands o...moreA fertilizer plant in another country puts out dioxin as a biproduct causing great suffering among the people and eventually the plant and thousands of acres of surrounding property has to be fenced off forever. It is something that was happening in many countries at the time (in the 1970s particularly. John has a very powerful way of writing and a good eye to detail. I really enjoyed his books.(less)
John G. Fuller was an investigative reporter. He turned to authoring a number of books, some based on poisonings, some nuclear near-disasters, some al...moreJohn G. Fuller was an investigative reporter. He turned to authoring a number of books, some based on poisonings, some nuclear near-disasters, some alien stories, and all interesting. A very strange thing happened when I tried to get this book several (at least 25) years ago. All the libraries listed it but not a one of them had it when they went to look. I finally got a copy sent by interlibrary loan, and when I got halfway into the supreme court hearings, the pages had all been removed! Very strange indeed!(less)
An investigative report in book form about the now famous sighting of Betty and Bob Hill, who purportedly were taken aboard a "flying saucer". As most...moreAn investigative report in book form about the now famous sighting of Betty and Bob Hill, who purportedly were taken aboard a "flying saucer". As most people today know, Betty was able to reproduce a star map that was exceptionally close to fitting the galaxy from a specific point of view. This was the first abduction on record if I remember right, and the book emphasizes the ordeal they went through afterward.(less)
This is my favorite Kate Shugak story. Not quite the usual story but hilarious. Imagine beginning your day with a jetplane dropping its engine right b...moreThis is my favorite Kate Shugak story. Not quite the usual story but hilarious. Imagine beginning your day with a jetplane dropping its engine right behind your house! After a long Alaskan winter it is Break Up time, hungry bears awakening, rivers starting to run, and insanity in bloom after so many long days in the dark and cold. This one is hard to find, must be popular with more than me! I first read it as a library book, as I did with most of the series and have been gradually buying them ever since. I love the Kate Shugak series by Dana Stabenow, as well as her Liam Campbell series. I've yet to read her Star Svensdotter Series (SciFi) and considering they are out of print I may never get the chance.(less)