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MostlyFiction was started in 1998 as an exercise to learn HTML.  In those days, it was easier to get noticed on the ‘net and the site quickly evolved into a full fledge book review site with a team of volunteer reviewers and plenty of support from the publishing community and authors.  Although I was unemployed […]

January 20, 2014 · Judi Clark · 3 Comments
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TATIANA by Martin Cruz Smith

Each chapter heading in Martin Cruz Smith’s brilliant novel, Tatiana, is printed on a slant, providing fair warning that not everything in this story is “on the level.” The author manipulates us by withholding facts and feeding us misinformation. Why does Smith lead us astray? He may be informing the uninitiated that his hero, Arkady Kyrilovich Renko, Senior Investigator for Very Important Cases, lives in a society that is off-kilter, warped, and perverse. To survive in today’s Russia, Renko, and others like him, must always be on their guard. Arkady’s cynical colleague, Detective Sergeant Victor Orlov, is tired of wasting his time trying to get the goods on influential miscreants. He insists, “The point is, you can’t win. We’re just playing it out.” He would rather spend his days passed out in his apartment after drinking himself into a stupor.

January 17, 2014 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: Russia, Sleuths Series

LOST MEMORY OF SKIN by Russell Banks

The main character of Banks’ new novel, a twenty-two-year-old registered sex offender in South Florida known only as “the Kid,” may initially repel readers. The Kid is recently out of jail and on ten-year probation in fictional Calusa County, and is required to wear a GPS for soliciting sex from an underage girl. Ironically, he is still a virgin.

The Kid cannot leave the county, but he also cannot reside within 2,500 feet from any place children would congregate. That leaves three options—the swamplands, the airport area, or the Causeway. He chooses the Causeway and meets other sex offenders, a seriously motley crew, who consciously isolate from each other as a group. He befriends one old man, the Rabbit, but sticks to his tent, his bicycle, and his alligator-size pet iguana, Iggy. Later, he procures a Bible.

September 27, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Contemporary, Drift-of-Life, Florida

THE TWELFTH ENCHANTMENT by David Liss

THE TWELFTH ENCHANTMENT, by David Liss, starts off promisingly. It is the early nineteenth century and our heroine, Lucy Derrick, is a twenty-year-old orphan who is living unhappily in Nottingham, England, with her cruel uncle and an abusive woman named Mrs. Quince. Although she was well-educated by her late father, Lucy was left almost penniless when he died. She is at the mercy of her vicious uncle, Richard Lowell, who cannot wait to be rid of her. In fact, her uncle plans to give her hand in marriage to a thirty-five year old, dried up prune of a man named Olson, the owner of a local hosiery mill.

August 26, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , ,  · Posted in: Facing History, Scifi, United Kingdom, y Award Winning Author

ZERO HISTORY by William Gibson

ZERO HISTORY by William Gibson continues his critique of contemporary civilization through a window of technology that renders the everyday into science fiction.

We follow a complex and sophisticated plot revolving about shadowy, powerful and unscrupulous figures that use the more sympathetic protagonists to further their financial and political ends. Think something like a James Bond story told by a cyberpunk sophisticate. There is adventure aplenty and lots of action. Cutting edge technologies and their implications further the action that is intense and unrelenting.

August 21, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: Reading Guide, Scifi

SPIRAL by Paul McEuen

Paul McEuen, a professor of physics at Cornell, makes good use of his scientific knowledge in Spiral, a provocative and frightening techno-thriller. The story opens in 1946, with biologist Liam Connor witnessing a horrifying scene of destruction from the deck of the USS North Dakota. Liam is a prodigy whose expertise includes “saprobic fungi, the feeders on the dead.” At twenty-two, he already has an impressive résumé, having spent four years at Porton Down, “the center of British chemical and germ weapons research.”

May 30, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Debut Novel, NE & New York, Speculative (Beyond Reality), Thriller/Spy/Caper