LONG DRIVE HOME by Will Allison

It’s rare that I start a book that is such a page-turner that I almost have a panic attack if I have to put it down. LONG DRIVE HOME by Will Allison is just such a book. It starts with a bang and the explosives just continue. It’s not that the book is a thriller, per se, though there is that element to the novel. It is just that Will Allison is a born story-teller and he gets the reader in his grips from the first paragraph. And he does not let go.

May 18, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: Contemporary, Psychological Suspense, Reading Guide, US Mid-Atlantic

THE UNCOUPLING by Meg Wolitzer

Once upon a time…no. On a dark and stormy night…wait–there was no storm. Long ago and far away…but, it was only a few years ago, and not far if you live in suburban New Jersey. So, one dark and December night in the safe and tidy suburb of Stellar Plains, New Jersey, an arctic chill seeped under doors, a frigid blast blew through windows, and a glacial nipping swirled between the sheets of spouses and lovers. And, just as suddenly, the woman turned from their men, and stopped having sex.

April 5, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: Contemporary, Family Matters, Humorous, Reading Guide


A.D. Miller’s noir thriller is nearly impossible to put down once started. Moscow, “that city of neon lust and frenetic sin” is skillfully painted in all its contradictions and juxtapositions. It is “a strange country, Russia, with its talented sinners and occasional saint, bona fide saints that only a place of such accomplished cruelty could produce, a crazy mix of filth and glory.” Nothing is as it seems in this book and ethics are continually stretched to the limit.

February 23, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags:  · Posted in: Character Driven, Debut Novel, Noir, Reading Guide, Russia, Thriller/Spy/Caper


Rebecca Skloot’s THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS is an enthralling look at the origin of HeLa cells that grew “with [such] mythological intensity,” that they “seemed unstoppable.” They were a “continuously dividing line of cells all descended from one original sample” acquired from Henrietta Lacks, a black woman who suffered from a particularly virulent form of cervical cancer complicated by syphilis…Neither she nor her family had any idea that the cells obtained from her cervix in 1951 would eventually number in the trillions and become a vital part of medical research all over the world.

December 21, 2010 · Judi Clark · 2 Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: 2010 Favorites, Class - Race - Gender, Non-fiction, US South, y Award Winning Author

THE PRIVILEGES by Jonathan Dee

Jonathan Dee’s latest, THE PRIVILEGES, is a psychologically astute exploration of the toll privilege exacts on two generations – the self-made and the born-elite– of the Morey family. Cynthia and Adam Morey are easy to hate: they’re beautiful, socially adept, and madly in love – and unapologetic about it. As Adam’s brother says in his speech at their wedding (which opens the book), “They are a charmed couple. No one who knows them can doubt that they are destined to spend a long, happy, extraordinary life together.” At the worldly age of 22, the bride and groom don’t doubt it either and they traipse through their wedding day with the breeziness and ease of people certain of their impending prosperity. From here, life only gets better.

December 1, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: Contemporary, Literary, Reading Guide

THE PAST IS A FOREIGN COUNTRY by Gianrico Carofiglio

THE PAST IS A FOREIGN COUNTRY from former anti-Mafia prosecutor, Gianrico Carofiglio is primarily a psychological tale. While the novel contains a crime story, the main focus, and perhaps even arguably the main crime, is the complete and utter corruption of one human being by another.

August 14, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: italy, Psychological Suspense