The Bitter Season by Tami Hoag – Book Review

the bitter season

 

I occasionally will read a murder mystery and Hoag is one writer I feel is worth reading. In her latest book, The Bitter Season, Sam Kovac has been separated from his long-term partner Nikki Liska. By the way, I love the continuation of the stories of these two detectives. In this novel, Liska has moved to the cold-case unit since she is under the impression that this unit will provide her with more time at home with her two teenage sons.

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The cold case that Liska is working on, the murder of a cop named Ted Duffy, is full of people not wanting it solved, which of course makes Liska (and us), highly suspicious. Eventually the case leads to a current case that Kovac is working on.

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Since I don’t want to give away any of the plot twists and turns, I will refrain from telling you anymore details. However, some of these twists came out the blue and clobbered me over the head in how they were intertwined. I must say that I really enjoyed this novel, and look forward to reading Hoags’ next one. I highly recommend The Bitter Season.

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Dark Money by Jane Mayer – Book Review

Dark Money

I must start this off by saying that I usually don’t review (or even read) non-fiction. I don’t know why, but I much prefer residing in that land of fiction. So, to have read, and now review this book was a huge change for me, and also an uncomfortable one. There are few books that make me think, and make me as angry as this one did. I must say that even though I had to get up and leave the room on numerous occasions while reading, I’m so glad that I stuck with it to the end.

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First of all, to have Mayer prove to be as truth the paranoid thoughts and feelings that I’ve been having for years, was surreal as well as a vindication. For her to have written this book made for an eye-opening experience. Her background, facts, proofs and all the rest has made me take a really hard look at where our country is going, and why it’s going there. I loved her tenacity in getting the truth written down for the rest of us.

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The level of corruption that she detailed is breathtaking as is Mayer’s painstaking detailed reporting of it. How our political process has been overtaken by a small number of people intent on protecting their own bottom line is appalling.  This is an important book for all voters to read before November. I highly recommend it.

The Relic Master by Christopher Buckley – Book Review

The Relic Master

I must say right off the bat, that I really enjoyed this book. The novel takes place in 1517, and the main character, Dismis, is a relic hunter (for those of you who don’t know, a relic hunter procured “authentic” holy relics which were used to shorten ones time in Purgatory after death). Dismis, like most of his colleagues, is quite flexible with his authentications. He has two main clients, Fredrick the Wise, and Albrecht of Mainz.

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This novel is extremely funny as it follows the disasters that seem to dog Dismis. When he is given a choice between death and stealing the Shroud of Turin, Dismis attempts the theft with his good friend and highly regarded painter, Albrecht Durer. Once they discover how difficult stealing the Shroud will be, they come up with the idea to simply paint a fake one and pass it off as real. High drama ensues, with an untimely appearance of a Lord, the kidnapping and saving of a damsel in distress, and Durer’s unfortunate inability to keep from painting himself onto the Shroud. I won’t ruin the book for you, and leave it up to you to find out if Dismis gets the money, the girl and life itself.

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Christopher Buckley

I highly recommend this book. Also, for your edification, I suggest that you read the notes at the end of the book, and take a look for yourself at the image on the Shroud, and the painter Albrecht Durer. Enjoy!

Beatrice and Benedick by Marina Fiorato – Book Review

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I should say that I love Shakespeare. I love everything about Shakespeare, so when the opportunity came to read about the characters of Beatrice and Benedick before the events that occur in Much Ado About Nothing, I grabbed this book, stuck my nose in it and became intrigued.

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I really enjoyed everything about this novel. I love the way that Fiorato envelopes us in the story, the fierceness of Beatrice, the young naivety of Benedick regarding the way the world works. The background story is told so well that the reader can almost smell the sea air and feel the hot sun of Messina, Sicily.

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I found the character Beatrice compelling. As a young woman she is so constrained by her station in life along with her gender. She pushes at the walls of convention, with her conviction that she be able to live the life she wants. Benedick is young and naïve, believing “his” lord Don Pedro until circumstances show the mettle of the man.

I highly recommend this novel. It gives us insight into the history of Beatrice and Benedick, rounding out Much Ado About Nothing wonderfully. I strongly suggest that after reading this book you make sure to read the Author’s Notes. There you will find a rather interesting reference to the origins of Shakespeare.