The Ends of the Earth by Robert Goddard (Historical Espionage Novel, 2015/2017). Not to be confused with nautical historical adventure series by William Golding, this is the concluding volume of a spy/revenge/mystery trilogy set in the confused aftermath of World War I. James Maxted (Max to his friends) was an ace fighter pilot during the Great War. He […]Read more "REVIEWED: The Ends of the Earth"
The Violated by Bill Pronzini (Mystery/Crime Novel, 2017). To describe Bill Pronzini as both an acclaimed and prolific author would be damning with faint praise. He has published over eighty novels, won three Shamus awards, is a six-time nominee for the Edgar Allen Poe Award, and was hailed a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America […]Read more "REVIEWED: The Violated"
Some Rise By Sin by Philip Caputo (Crime/Suspense Novel, 2017). This engrossing, if grim contemporary novel is set in and around an isolated desert village in the foothills of Mexico’s Sierra Nevada mountain range. Like so much of the country, San Patricio is being torn apart by a brutal drug war of a savagery on a scale that dwarfs even the […]Read more "REVIEWED: Some Rise By Sin"
The American Spirit by David McCullough (Nonfiction/Collected Speeches, 2017). The respected winner of a fistful of major history awards, David McCullough is also something of a familiar voice from his many appearances on Public television. He’s in demand as a commemorative speaker, as well, and this relatively brief (173-page) collection of speeches he has delivered over the years […]Read more "REVIEWED: The American Spirit"
Over the Hills and Far Away: The Life of Beatrix Potter by Matthew Dennison (Biography, 2017). In this book, Matthew Dennison, a prize-winning author (his Vita Sackville-West bio was named a “Book of the Year” by the London Times), has produced a winning and moving portrait of another revered literary figure. Assisted by telling photographs, quoting […]Read more "REVIEWED: Over the Hills and Far Away: The Life of Beatrix Potter"
Chaos by Patricia Cornwell. (Crime/Suspense Novel, 2016). Patricia Cornwell has been writing her books about crime-solving medical examiner Kay Scarpetta and those connected to her for quite a while. This recent entry features the expected levels of suspense blended as with effective human drama. It introduces an inventive new method of murderous mayhem that at first […]Read more "REVIEWED: Chaos"
The Woman on the Stairs by Bernard Schlink. (Contemporary Novel, 2014/2016/2017). This occasionally somewhat rambling, yet ultimately engrossing study of four people dealing with decades-spanning obsessions, rampant possessiveness and unresolved personal regrets was first published in the original German in 2014. Translated by Joyce Hackett and Bradley Schmid, it appeared in England in 2016. But the […]Read more "REVIEWED: The Woman on the Stairs"