Archive for January, 2011

O: A PRESIDENTIAL NOVEL by Anonymous

It was during the 2008 presidential race that author Christopher Buckley’s delightful novel, Supreme Courtship, was released. Presciently, in the book, he had pitted two characters against each other: a senator who had run for president, served as chairman of the Senate Judiciary committee, and who “just couldn’t shut up,” against a “glasses-wearing, gun-toting television hottie.” Months after the novel was conceived, Governor Sarah Palin turned out to be a nominee for Vice President running against then Senator Joe Biden. It truly was a case of life imitating fiction, Buckely later recalled in an interview. “I am announcing my retirement from satire,” he joked.

January 25, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: Humorous

GAME CHANGE by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin

If Hollywood Central Casting were asked to put together a group of actors with the most monstrous egos on the face of the planet, they could not have done a better job than the two national parties did in the last election.

January 25, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: Non-fiction

THE CYPRESS HOUSE by Michael Koryta

In Koryta’s latest thriller – noir with a twist of the supernatural – it’s late summer 1935 and a group of hard-bitten WWI veterans and one talented 19-year-old are headed for the Florida Keys to build a highway bridge.

January 24, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , ,  · Posted in: Facing History, Florida, Mystery/Suspense, Noir, Thriller/Spy/Caper

A LONELY DEATH by Charles Todd

A Lonely Death, by Charles Todd, is one of the most haunting mysteries in the Inspector Ian Rutledge series. The year is 1920 and the First World War has taken an enormous toll on the young Englishmen who naively went off to battle, expecting excitement and adventure. What they found, instead, was terror and violent death. Those who returned were often shell-shocked and/or physically maimed; their families suffered along with the damaged soldiers.

January 23, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , ,  · Posted in: Facing History, Psychological Suspense, Sleuths Series, United Kingdom

THE WAY HOME by George Pelecanos

THE WAY HOME begins with Chris Flynn doing time in the juvenile rehabilitation centre at Pine Ridge, Maryland “about twenty-five miles from Northwest D.C.” The first section of the novel concentrates on Chris’s life at Pine Ridge and the relationships he forges with the other juvenile offenders. As the only white inmate, he’s known somewhat predictably as “white boy.” It’s a term he’s grown used to and a term he doesn’t take personally. Most of the other inmates can’t understand what Chris is doing there; they see him as an idiot for jeopardizing the advantages he has: loving, caring parents, a home, and a dog.

January 22, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: Class - Race - Gender, Contemporary, Family Matters, Mystery/Suspense, Theme driven

DEATH INSTINCT by Jed Rubenfeld

In Jed Rubenfeld’s sexy, moody, Hitchcockian-cum-Freudian-cum-Jungian literary novel, THE INTERPRETION OF MURDER, Dr. Stratham Younger narrates a story within the framework of a fictional journal, focusing on his experiences with Drs. Jung and Freud on their revolutionary visit to the United States in 1909. Rubenfeld braided historical fact and fiction in this Manhattan corkscrew murder mystery, centering on Freud’s pioneering “talking therapy” and penning some biting dialogue between the three psychoanalysts. Younger’s skepticism and attraction to Freud’s theories enhanced the mesmerizing story of his attempt to cure a damaged, neurotic, and mute woman. The novel was peopled with a sprawling cast of doctors and louche politicians, drawing the reader into a lush, dissecting mixture of cerebral scrutiny and emotional desire.

Rubenfeld’s second and very ambitious novel also weaves fact and fiction, with extensive scope, while adopting some of the motifs and themes from his debut work. This time the author is tacitly paralleling events in the novel to the economic depression of contemporary times, as well as the 9/11 tragedies.

January 21, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: Facing History, Mystery/Suspense, New York City