Adult Books

Our Man: Richard Holbrooke and the End of the American Century by George Packer - Book Review

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$30.00
ISBN: 9780307958020
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Knopf - May 7th, 2019

From the time he was shipped off to work in Vietnam with the Foreign Service in 1962, Richard Holbrooke dreamed of becoming Secretary of State. While Holbrooke never reached that lofty office, a case can be made that he was one of America's most brilliant diplomats. The summit of his achievements were the Dayton Peace Accords of 1995, which brought peace to the warring factions of the former Yugoslavia. But Holbrooke was also a shamelessly ambitious egomaniac who treated both friends and enemies in an appalling fashion. He's found the perfect biographer in New Yorker journalist George Packer, author of The Unwinding. Packer treats Holbrooke's meteoric rise and fall as a combination of a Joseph Conrad and Game of Thrones, with a tableau that stretches from the Mekong Desert to Kabul to the darkest corners of the Harry S. Truman building. His book is both a political masterclass—turns out the men's room is where the real power negotiations go down—and an unforgettable portrait of a man who would have been as comfortable chatting with the Borgias as he was advising presidents from Johnson to Obama. ~ Reviewed by Charles Bottomley


The Last Stone: A Masterpiece of Criminal Interrogation by Mark Bowden - Book Review

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$27.00
ISBN: 9780802147301
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Published: Atlantic Monthly Press - April 2nd, 2019

The disappearance of two young girls from a Maryland mall had been a cold case for decades. When the police tracked down one last lead, they were completely unprepared for the web of deceit that was about to ensnare them. Bowden was a cub reporter when Katherine and Sheila Lyon vanished in 1975. He went on to become the best-selling author of Black Hawk Down and Hue, among others. The Last Stone relies a lot on transcripts between the police and their suspect, a child molester named Lloyd Welch. As such, the dodge-and-weave of police interrogation becomes as enthralling as watching Bjorn Borg face up to John McEnroe. The level of mythology and deception can become vertiginous at times, but Bowden delivers a white-knuckle true crime story of appalling malfeasance. ~ Reviewed by Charles Bottomley


The Trial of Lizzie Borden by Cara Robertson - Book Review

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$28.00
ISBN: 9781501168376
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Published: Simon & Schuster - March 12th, 2019

As a newcomer to the Lizzie Borden story, I had no idea a) that this happened in the 19th century b) that the ensuing courtroom spectacle was the Gilded Age equivalent of the O.J. Trial or c) the unexpected verdict on the matter of whether Borden did away with her father and stepmother with an axe. Robertson is a student of the case and has pored through acres of reportage to provide what may be the definitive work on the murder and trial. As well as the unknowable Lizzie Borden herself, the cast of characters includes a former governor-turned-defense lawyer, a dashing prosecutor and a press pack of yellow journalists. In assembling her evidence, Robertson gives an insight into a society where immigrants were despised, femininity of a certain class had to be protected at all costs, fake news was a thing and many could not countenance the evidence that was directly in front of their face. ~ Reviewed by Charles Bottomley


Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland by Patrick Radden Keefe - Book Review

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$23.16
ISBN: 9780385521314
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Published: Doubleday - February 26th, 2019

The disappearance of a mother-of-ten in 1972 from her Belfast tower block is the unexpected starting point for Keefe's marvelous history of the Troubles, the sectarian violence that raged between the IRA and the Loyalists in the last third of the 20th century. During that time, disappearances, bombings and assassinations rocked Belfast as walls went up between communities that identified as Catholic and Protestant. Keefe grabs the reader by the throat as he sketches in the personalities of IRA leader Gerry Adams, foot soldiers like the glamorous Dolours Price, the British intelligence officer known as "the Butcher of Belfast," and hunger striker Bobby Sands. He also recreates a time when safety depended on how much one was willing to deny their own identity and to “say nothing.” It's the finale of the book which is truly jaw-dropping, though. Scores are settled, peace is brokered, and an ambitious oral history conducted by Boston College brings secrets (and bodies) to light. Keefe has one hell of a story to tell and he navigates each twist and turn with the smarts of a Belfast cab-driver. Easily a book of the year. ~ Reviewed by Charles Bottomley


Triumph of the Spider Monkey by Joyce Carol Oates - Book Review

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$9.95
ISBN: 9781785656774
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Hard Case Crime - July 16th, 2019

A crazed guitarist, lust for fame, a gleaming machete, threats, blood: the Spider Monkey spits out his life. His blade penetrates, twists, and turns, and survivors are left to wash away the stain. ~ Reviewed by Mike Hare


The Dream Peddler: A Novel by Martine Fournier Watson - Book Review

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$16.00
ISBN: 9780143133179
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Published: Penguin Books - April 9th, 2019

People in a small town are awakened, and disturbed, by dreams, and by the peddler who conjures them according to their wishes. If they don't come true, are the dreams worth wishing for, and is the peddler making life better, or worse? ~ Reviewed by Mike Hare


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