True Crime Book Reviews (page 55)

Released: Nov. 1, 1992

"Skip it. (Fifteen pages of b&w photographs—not seen.)"
The case of the Texas woman who tried to hire a hit man to kill the mother of her daughter's rival for a spot on the cheerleading team. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 1, 1992

"Interesting for true-crime collectors who can tolerate the minutiae. (Sixteen pages of b&w photographs—not seen.)"
A thorough but pedantic study of Mark David Chapman, assassin of John Lennon, by a journalist who's been conducting interviews with the killer since 1986. Read full book review >

Released: Oct. 15, 1992

"A nose-breaking blow to the lone assassin theory."
Huge, gripping novelistic work that assembles the most legally relevant information known about Lee Harvey Oswald to see how he would fare if tried for the murder of JFK. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 8, 1992

"True crime that's truly dull. (Eight pages of b&w photographs- -not seen.)"
Flatly told story of a dentist who strangled his wife but wasn't prosecuted for years. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 7, 1992

"Numbing. (Illustrations—not seen.)"
The slender story of a messy Dallas divorce—husband hires hit man—that Dallas Morning News reporter Schutze pumps up to the size of an ascent balloon. Read full book review >

ONCE THROUGH THE HEART by Ralph Blumenthal
Released: Oct. 1, 1992

"Blumenthal wants to have it two ways—a cop story and a family drama—and succeeds admirably. (Eight pages of b&w photographs—not seen.)"
Simpatico story of a narcotics detective who finds his teenage daughter selling drugs. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 1992

"And it'll make a great movie. (Eight pages of b&w photographs—not seen.)"
An enthralling true-life Cinderella story—that drips blood all over the glass slipper. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 1992

"Readable but only half-satisfying pop-history—more for assassination buffs (Smith brings together many sources) than for fanciers of theater history. (B&w photos—not seen.)"
The Booth family's important place in theater history has often been overshadowed or obscured by the notoriety of John Wilkes. Read full book review >
MR. CAPONE by Robert J. Schoenberg
Released: Aug. 17, 1992

"Avoids the mythologizing of much Capone material, and likely to endure as a standard reference. (Eight pages of b&w photographs, maps—not seen.)"
Scholarly yet lively account of the legendary Prohibition- era gangster. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 17, 1992

"Hypnotic, though Braudy keeps a cool mask on her prose. (One hundred photographs.)"
Braudy (What the Movies Made Me Do, 1985, etc.) sets out to do a background book on a high-society ``murder'' already addressed fictionally by Dominick Dunne in The Two Mrs. Grenvilles and Truman Capote in Answered Prayers—and finds herself defending the so- called murderess. Read full book review >
CROSSED OVER by Beverly Lowry
Released: Aug. 10, 1992

"But most remarkable is the author's insight into the human capacity for extremes of violence and tenderness, brutality and nobility."
Novelist Lowry (Breaking Gentle, 1988, etc.) delivers a stunning work of nonfiction, charting the growth of a strange but healing intimacy between herself and a young woman prisoner sentenced to die for a gruesome murder. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 1, 1992

"Vivid, hair-raising, day-to-day-in-the-life-of narrative: the best mob book in recent memory. (Sixteen pages of b&w photographs—not seen.)"
First-rate story of a Mafia murder crew so deadly that even John Gotti turned aside a contract on its leader. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Frank Bruni
March 31, 2015

Over the last few decades, Americans have turned college admissions into a terrifying and occasionally devastating process, preceded by test prep, tutors, all sorts of stratagems, all kinds of rankings, and a conviction among too many young people that their futures will be determined and their worth established by which schools say yes and which say no. In Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be, New York Times columnist Frank Bruni explains why, giving students and their parents a new perspective on this brutal, deeply flawed competition and a path out of the anxiety that it provokes. “Written in a lively style but carrying a wallop, this is a book that family and educators cannot afford to overlook as they try to navigate the treacherous waters of college admissions,” our reviewer writes. View video >