True Crime Book Reviews (page 55)

Released: Aug. 25, 1993

"Narrated with little grace, but the bone-chilling horror comes through in this story begging for film or TV adaptation."
At least some L.A. cops were abusing their trust long before the Rodney King case—as demonstrated in this riveting narrative of police-sponsored insurance fraud, armed robbery, automatic-weapons dealing, and murder for hire. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 2, 1993

"Tough-talking and full of intrigue—a far more involving ride than, say, top-narc Robert M. Stutman's comparable Dead on Delivery (1992). (Eight pages of b&w photos—not seen)"
A former top cop's rough-and-tumble memoir of mob-busting in the NYPD. Read full book review >

ONCE UPON A TIME by Harry N. MacLean
Released: July 1, 1993

"A riveting, thought-provoking look at a disturbing case. (Photographs—not seen)"
MacLean won an Edgar for In Broad Daylight (1988), which covered the case of a small-town bully shot dead in front of a crowd of locals who ``saw nothing.'' Here, he takes on the equally controversial case of George Franklin, a Californian found guilty of murder 20 years after the fact, the conviction resting almost entirely on his daughter's belated memory (which surfaced in 1989) of having witnessed the killing of her then- best friend, eight-year-old Susan Nason. Read full book review >
Released: July 1, 1993

"Intimate and conscientious reporting, well done."
Compelling first book by a California journalist (and two-time Emmy winner) who writes about the murder of a friend in their San Fernando Valley community. Read full book review >
Released: July 1, 1993

"Bang bang."
Richly researched, gripping story of a castoff San Diego wife who shot and killed her ex-husband and his new wife one morning in 1989 while they lay asleep. Read full book review >

Released: June 15, 1993

"Stephenson intelligently pieces together autopsy and police reports, newspaper accounts, and court testimony to tell his grisly and creepy, but irresistible, story. (Thirty b&w photographs—not seen)"
Using what he calls ``novelistic strategies,'' Milwaukee Sentinel reporter Stephenson vividly recounts events surrounding the July 4, 1987, murder of five members of the bizarre Kunz family of northern Wisconsin. Read full book review >
Released: June 2, 1993

"Eight pages of photos, 23 line drawings)."
The 1978 Scottsdale, Arizona, murder of the star of the long- running TV sitcom Hogan's Heroes is reviewed in infinite detail here by Graysmith, who did the same job for a series of 70's and 80's rape-murders in San Francisco (The Sleeping Lady, 1990). Read full book review >
JOE DOGS by Joseph Iannuzzi
Released: June 2, 1993

"Not as electrifying as William Hoffman and Lake Headley's Contract Killer (1992), but Iannuzzi's colorfully crass story offers one of the most grittily detailed inside-views of daily mob life since Nicholas Pileggi's Wiseguy (1985). (Sixteen pages of b&w photos—not seen)"
Another ex-mobster tells all, with panache. Read full book review >
Released: June 1, 1993

"Of interest, then, mostly for its revelations about police fumbling of the case. (Eight pages of b&w photographs—not seen)"
A convoluted, behind-the-scenes look at the Westchester County murder case that titillated tabloid readers with its purported parallels to the Hollywood shocker Fatal Attraction. Read full book review >
Released: May 14, 1993

"Despite some strong writing: a muddle that obscures the tragic life that should be, yet never quite is, at its center."
True crime, childhood memories, social criticism, and a personal quest for self-revelation jostle awkwardly in this occasionally impressive, but more often confusing, debut from Imbrie (English/Vassar). Read full book review >
Released: April 28, 1993

"The smell of wet, coal-laden earth, white lightening, and cocaine-driven sweat rises from these marvelously atmospheric—and compelling—pages. (Eight pages of b&w photographs) (TV rights to ABC)"
Hillbilly sociopaths rip off a miserly old doctor and kill his daughter: another first-rate—and lurid—true-crime chronicle from journalist/novelist O'Brien (Margaret in Hollywood, 1991; Murder in Little Egypt, 1990, etc.). Read full book review >
LOVE'S BLOOD by Clark Howard
Released: April 7, 1993

"A rich mix of sex and blood with eroticism too strong for any Amy Fisher-type TV miniseries—though it's a Drew Barrymore natural. (Sixteen pages of b&w photos—not seen)"
Deeply engaging tale of a teenager who may—or may not—have helped kill her parents. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Sara Paretsky
author of BRUSH BACK
July 28, 2015

No one would accuse V. I. Warshawski of backing down from a fight, but there are a few she’d be happy to avoid. High on that list is tangling with Chicago political bosses. Yet that’s precisely what she ends up doing when she responds to Frank Guzzo’s plea for help in Brush Back, the latest thriller from bestselling author Sara Paretsky. For six stormy weeks back in high school, V.I. thought she was in love with Frank. He broke up with her, she went off to college, he started driving trucks for Bagby Haulage. She forgot about him until the day his mother was convicted of bludgeoning his kid sister, Annie, to death. Stella Guzzo was an angry, uncooperative prisoner and did a full 25 years for her daughter’s murder. Newly released from prison, Stella is looking for exoneration, so Frank asks V.I. for help. “Paretsky, who plots more conscientiously than anyone else in the field, digs deep, then deeper, into past and present until all is revealed,” our reviewer writes. View video >