True Crime Book Reviews (page 55)

Released: June 30, 1994

"Best for addicts of the genre."
The rise and fall of a top Chicago mobster, by ex-FBI agent Roemer (War of the Godfathers, 1990). Read full book review >
Released: June 21, 1994

"Fun and wonderfully suspenseful, both as a historical mystery and as a travelogue. (16 pages of photos and 16 maps, not seen)"
A delightful dip into popular historical research as the author, a Washington, DC, lawyer and journalist, sets out to determine the real fate of legendary outlaws Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Read full book review >

Released: June 21, 1994

"Norton's often humorless style of reporting less visceral events is likely to have readers looking elsewhere in boredom, rather than looking away in horror."
Readers will sentence investigative journalist Norton's (Perfect Victim, not reviewed) dull true-crime tale to life on the shelf, without parole. Read full book review >
Released: June 14, 1994

"Often awkwardly written and frustratingly incomplete. (8 pages of photos, not seen)"
An unsatisfying examination of the internal destruction of the family of Roy Miller, personal counsel to Ronald and Nancy Reagan. Read full book review >
SHOT IN THE HEART by Mikal Gilmore
Released: June 1, 1994

"Articulate, brave, and heartbreaking. (15 b&w photos, not seen) (First serial to Rolling Stone; film rights to Alan Pakula; Book-of-the-Month Club featured selection; Quality Paperback Book Club selection; author tour)"
In a narrative that holds all the morbid fascination of a bad car wreck, the kid brother of Gary Gilmore—immortalized in Norman Mailer's The Executioner's Song, he campaigned for his own death and became the first person to be executed in America after the death penalty was reinstated in the 1970s—details a sickening family history of violence, rage, and lies that spans several generations. Read full book review >

Released: June 1, 1994

"Stowers succeeds at describing the breadth of an incredibly tangled murder mystery but seldom manages to find the depth. (16 pages of photos, not seen)"
An intricate account of a brutal 1983 murder and the ten-year pursuit of the killer, and the jealous woman who put the price on the victim's head. Read full book review >
DILLINGER by G. Russell Girardin
Released: May 31, 1994

"Eminently revealing and enjoyable."
Initially written (but never published) in the 1930s, this biography of notorious gangster John Dillinger has the authentic flavor of the era, bolstered by its coauthor's firsthand contact with some of the leading players. Read full book review >
Released: May 1, 1994

"They are not likely to be forgotten soon by readers."
The conviction earlier this year of Byron de la Beckwith for the 1963 murder of Medgar Evers provides a timeliness to this well- researched, fluidly written, and thoughtful book. Read full book review >
Released: April 1, 1994

An angry and vengeful account of an act of possibly-not- gratuitous violence that turned a 14-year-old into a quadriplegic. Read full book review >
Released: March 9, 1994

"An urgent and, after the Long Island Railroad massacre, sadly timely wake-up call to stop America's 'new tyranny' of gun violence."
A frightening tour through America's gun culture by way of a single weapon — a semiautomatic hailed by its manufacturer as "the gun that made the '80s roar," and a single criminal — a troubled Virginia teenager who used the gun in a terrifying rampage. Read full book review >
CHASED by Billy Chase
Released: March 1, 1994

"Serious, intriguing stuff rendered trite with hyperbole and tough-guy talk."
The melodramatic saga of Connecticut narcotics agent Chase, who infiltrated drug gangs from street dealers to the Gambino crime family. Read full book review >
A FATHER'S STORY by Lionel Dahmer
Released: March 1, 1994

"Clear, modest, intelligent—and extremely disturbing."
Lionel Dahmer, father of mass murderer Jeffrey Dahmer, here writes one of the most courageous, unsensational books ever written about serial murder. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Michael Eric Dyson
February 2, 2016

In Michael Eric Dyson’s rich and nuanced book new book, The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America, Dyson writes with passion and understanding about Barack Obama’s “sad and disappointing” performance regarding race and black concerns in his two terms in office. While race has defined his tenure, Obama has been “reluctant to take charge” and speak out candidly about the nation’s racial woes, determined to remain “not a black leader but a leader who is black.” Dyson cogently examines Obama’s speeches and statements on race, from his first presidential campaign through recent events—e.g., the Ferguson riots and the eulogy for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney in Charleston—noting that the president is careful not to raise the ire of whites and often chastises blacks for their moral failings. At his best, he spoke with “special urgency for black Americans” during the Ferguson crisis and was “at his blackest,” breaking free of constraints, in his “Amazing Grace” Charleston eulogy. Dyson writes here as a realistic, sometimes-angry supporter of the president. View video >