True Crime Book Reviews (page 55)

Released: Feb. 1, 1998

"Not much more than a collection of truly horrifying stories, which is a shame for both the reader, who justifiably expects more, and for Douglas, who has more to offer. (Author tour)"
A look at rape-and-murder and its perpetrators by one of the men who invented the forensic art of psychological profiling. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 1, 1998

"The police work until the entrance of Dietrich was truly shoddy and ruined what should have been an open-and-shut case, but Stowers's account simply doesn't crackle with the energy the three women poured into getting justice."
A tragedy is rendered toothless as Stowers examines a child's murder in a tiny town in Texas. Read full book review >

Released: Nov. 13, 1997

"A chilling look at an old crime that seems sadly modern; true-crime buffs won't want to miss it. (For another look at this case, as well as other kidnappings in America, see below, Paula S. Fass, Kidnapped.)"
A heart-stopping study of the infamous Stephanie Bryan murder trial, four decades after the crime. Read full book review >
O.J.: THE LAST WORD by Gerry Spence
Released: Nov. 1, 1997

"If his brief were less self-righteous, his legitimate arguments would be easier to swallow. (Literary Guild selection)"
Buried under windbag sermonizing and lofty moralizing lies a cogent analysis of how the prosecution lost the O.J. Simpson case. Read full book review >
DRAWING LIFE by David Gelernter
Released: Sept. 17, 1997

"Full of solipsism, smugness, and petty arrogance—an exercise in self-regard. (First serial to Time)"
Yale computer scientist Gelernter (1939: The Lost World of the Fair, 1995, etc.) offers a peculiar rant only tangentially about his ordeal as a Unabomber target and the resulting irreparable damage to his right hand and eye. Read full book review >

Released: Sept. 15, 1997

"Rich, riveting, and rewarding."
A can't-put-it-down account of a case of multiple infanticides by an upstate New York mother, intertwined with sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), bad science, and good detective work, leading to high drama in the courtroom. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 1997

"Jenkins's recounting of the crimes, investigation, and trial is as suspenseful as his wide-net harvest of historical context is enlightening. (20 b&w photos, not seen)"
A disciplined, incisive reconstruction of one of the century's most notorious crimes: the 1989 mail-bomb assassination of a federal judge and an NAACP attorney. Read full book review >
AS IF by Blake Morrison
Released: Sept. 1, 1997

"We must condemn a little more, and understand a little less,'' but with mixed results in the end."
Literary journalist Morrison's reportage of the infamous 1993 child-murder of James Bulger turns into a semi-confessional meditation on illusory childhood innocence and collective guilt. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 1997

"Thernstrom has written a powerful indictment of Harvard and a cautionary tale of alienation's destructive power—even among the most talented. (Author tour)"
Part mystery, part exposÇ, Thernstrom's gripping account of a murder/suicide at Harvard (which she reported on for the New Yorker) combines fascinating case material with great seriousness of purpose. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 1997

"A timely account of a questionable but irreversible verdict in a time when the number of executions is rising. (photos, not seen)"
Set in the mining country of Buchanan County, Va., a fast-paced synopsis of a case that received national attention: the conviction and execution of Roger Coleman for the 1981 murder of his sister-in-law, Wanda McCoy. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 1997

"Having gained the trust of their subjects, and with almost novelistic skill in bringing them (especially DeAndre) to life, Simon and Burns offer us a first step to achieving that understanding. (8 pages b&w photos, not seen) ($50,000 ad/promo; author tour)"
In an accomplished and vivid piece of reporting, Edgar Award winner Simon (Homicide, 1991) and retired detective Burns team up to document the struggles of a cross-section of the Baltimore drug subculture. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 15, 1997

"For those who can't get enough of the Ripper, this book will stuff the belly until the next one, with the next theory, comes along."
By turns ponderous and lurid, this book details the careers of Jack the Ripper and asylum fugitive James Kelly without ever making a strong case that the two men are one and the same. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Kathleen Kent
author of THE DIME
February 20, 2017

Dallas, Texas is not for the faint of heart. Good thing for Betty Rhyzyk she's from a family of take-no-prisoners Brooklyn police detectives. But in Kathleen Kent’s new novel The Dime, her Big Apple wisdom will only get her so far when she relocates to The Big D, where Mexican drug cartels and cult leaders, deadbeat skells and society wives all battle for sunbaked turf. Betty is as tough as the best of them, but she's deeply shaken when her first investigation goes sideways. Battling a group of unruly subordinates, a persistent stalker, a formidable criminal organization, and an unsupportive girlfriend, the unbreakable Detective Betty Rhyzyk may be reaching her limit. “Violent, sexy, and completely absorbing,” our critic writes in a starred review. “Kent's detective is Sam Spade reincarnated—as a brilliant, modern woman.” View video >