True Crime Book Reviews (page 55)

Released: Oct. 19, 1995

"The story that inspired the TV series and movie The Fugitiveminus the Hollywood ending. (illustrations, not seen)"
A call to reopen the 40-year-old Sheppard murder case, as heavy and relentless as a killer's weapon. Read full book review >
THE BLUE SUIT by Richard Rayner
Released: Oct. 1, 1995

"Fictional characters can be indulged, but real penance should be private."
True confessions by a Cambridge alum whose success in literature and love belies a youth of forged checks and stolen first editions. Read full book review >

Released: Oct. 1, 1995

"A reminder that the past is unknowable and that history is whatever historians say it is."
A 19th-century unsolved murder is probed in an analysis that makes a good run at being both solidly academic and convincingly mysterious but comes up wanting on both counts. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 1995

"Not enough forensic detail for the blood-and-fiber crowd, but this is a terrific read and a moving tale that ends with a strange redemption. (32 pages b&w photos, 1 map, not seen) (Author tour)"
Sufficiently creepy stuff from the master of true crime: This book is better-plotted than the murder itself. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 22, 1995

"Despite all the details of his lifestyle and the FBI-generated psychological profile, there's so much left unexplained that the book feels incomplete. (8 pages b&w photos, not seen) (Film rights to HBO)"
Irritatingly melodramatic and superficial treatment of the 1988 murder of a Florida woman who drank a poisoned Coca-Cola. Read full book review >

Released: Sept. 8, 1995

"Provocative and informative, Color Lines confronts the issue of suburban race and class in all their complexities."
A lively, well-balanced, and thoroughly researched account of racial tensions in a New Jersey suburb that had prided itself on its diversity and liberalism. Read full book review >
DRIVE-BY by Gary Rivlin
Released: Sept. 5, 1995

"Underedited but powerful: a rich exploration of a surprisingly multifaceted crime."
A haunting, intimate, though diffuse account of a black-youth- on-black-youth drive-by shooting. Read full book review >
Released: July 14, 1995

"Exhaustive, tedious, and diffuse, this study eschews sensationalism but threatens death by minutiae."
Intelligence veteran Newman (History/Univ. of Maryland; JFK and Vietnam, 1992) tackles Lee Harvey Oswald ``the file'' rather than ``the man.'' In this case ``the file'' refers to roughly 250,000 pages of documents from the CIA, FBI, DOD, Army, Navy, and the American Embassy in Moscow, recently released by the JFK Assassination Records Review Board. Read full book review >
Released: July 1, 1995

"Novelistic suspense, strong characterization, plus state-of- the-art crime-solving add up to a natural for summer reading lists. (Author tour)"
A propulsive true-crime thriller about the first use of DNA fingerprinting to nab—and ultimately execute—an American murderer. Read full book review >
Released: July 1, 1995

"Effectively executed, but a repulsive story nonetheless."
Gut-wrenching account of a brutal 1988 rape/murder in Louisville, Ky., and the miscarriage of justice that resulted when killer's prosecution was botched. Read full book review >
Released: June 19, 1995

"A riveting though slightly simplistic story of crime and punishment, mental illness, and mother love. (8 pages b&w photos, not seen)"
The Pulitzer Prizewinning team of Naifeh and Smith (Jackson Pollock, 1990, etc.) collaborate on this haunting, compulsively readable account of how a ``typical'' middle-class family produced a serial rapist and murderer. Read full book review >
Released: June 1, 1995

"Common-sense talk in a debate characterized by demagoguery."
A tonic exploration of the notorious Willie Horton case and the ``politics of fear'' that has hindered American justice. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Emma Straub
May 30, 2016

In Emma Straub’s new novel Modern Lovers, friends and former college bandmates Elizabeth and Andrew and Zoe have watched one another marry, buy real estate, and start businesses and families, all while trying to hold on to the identities of their youth. But nothing ages them like having to suddenly pass the torch (of sexuality, independence, and the ineffable alchemy of cool) to their own offspring. Back in the band’s heyday, Elizabeth put on a snarl over her Midwestern smile, Andrew let his unwashed hair grow past his chin, and Zoe was the lesbian all the straight women wanted to sleep with. Now nearing fifty, they all live within shouting distance in the same neighborhood deep in gentrified Brooklyn, and the trappings of the adult world seem to have arrived with ease. But the summer that their children reach maturity (and start sleeping together), the fabric of the adult lives suddenly begins to unravel, and the secrets and revelations that are finally let loose—about themselves, and about the famous fourth band member who soared and fell without them—can never be reclaimed. “Straub’s characters are a quirky and interesting bunch, well aware of their own good fortune, and it’s a pleasure spending time with them in leafy Ditmas Park,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. View video >