True Crime Book Reviews (page 57)

BREAKING BLUE by Timothy Egan
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 6, 1992

"Egan rises into the Most Wanted group of true-crime writers with this smoothly told, exciting account."
Powerhouse story of an iconoclastic sheriff who cracked through 54 years of police coverups and solved the oldest open murder case in the country. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 1, 1992

"Gibbering horrors brought to heel, secrets of the serial- killer unveiled: a true-crime bonanza, though a bit more self- introspection would have iced the cake. (Sixteen-page b&w photo insert—not seen.)"
The FBI agent who coined the term ``serial killer'' boasts about his exploits—and for good reason. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 1, 1992

"Once underway, plenty of tension, with Floyd a warmhearted badman. (Illustrations—125—not seen.)"
Strangely written, often exciting life of Depression-era bank- robber/murderer ``Pretty Boy'' Floyd, by the author of Oil Man (1988). Read full book review >
TRUE CRIME
Released: April 1, 1992

"This story is hardening into legend, with Diane here a worthy and moving foil to the outsized ego of her husband and his mishmash fantasy life."
Third book on the 1987 murder of Diane Pikul by her millionaire stock-analyst husband, this one the most intimate; by the author of the so-so novel Hansel and Gretel in Beverly Hills (1978). Read full book review >
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: April 1, 1992

"A thoughtful and important social document full of deep human insight; essential reading to understand the present-day lives of Native Americans."
Masterful account of the torture/murder of three Navajos by white teenagers. Read full book review >

BEYOND OBSESSION by Richard Hammer
TRUE CRIME
Released: March 23, 1992

"Not for sensitive souls. (Eight pages of b&w photos—not seen.)"
From Hammer (The Helmsleys, 1990; The CBS Murders, 1987, etc.), a scrupulously detailed account of a teenaged girl, her boyfriend, and the murder of her mother. Read full book review >
TO HONOR AND OBEY by Lawrence Taylor
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: March 19, 1992

"Overall, though, involving and provocative. (Eight pages of b&w photos—not seen.)"
An engrossing but frustrating legal procedural by Taylor (A Trial of Generals, 1981; Trail of the Fox, 1980) that traces attorney Michael Dowd's defense of LuAnn Fratt when the New York socialite was tried for the murder of her estranged husband. Read full book review >
TRUE CRIME
Released: March 16, 1992

"An immensely involving work that shifts from the repellent to the heartwarming and back and asks important questions about the clash between criminals' and victims' rights. (Eight page photo insert—not seen.)"
Alternately horrifying and deeply moving, this fast-paced true-crime report by Cook (Early Graves, The City When It Rains- -both 1990, etc.) focuses on the murder of six members of the Alday family of rural Seminole County, Georgia, on May 14, 1973. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 1, 1992

"Distinctly middle-drawer files—but still a generous bonanza for crime buffs, presented by one of the sharpest writers in the field."
Slightly blurred carbon copy of The Corpse Had a Familiar Face, Buchanan's riveting 1987 report on crimes she'd covered during her nearly 20 years as a Pulitzer-winning reporter for The Miami Herald. Read full book review >
TRUE CRIME
Released: March 1, 1992

"One of the most riveting, revealing, and intensely readable true crimers to appear in a long time. (Eight pages of b&w photographs—not seen.)"
A historical true-crime chronicle of remarkable immediacy and force. Read full book review >
FOREVER AND FIVE DAYS by Lowell Cauffiel
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: March 1, 1992

"A potentially controversial narrative marred by excessive detailing that occasionally stalls the story and by superficial analysis of the psychology of the principals. (Sixteen pages of photographs—not seen.)"
A torpid retelling by Cauffiel (Masquerade, 1988) of a Grand Rapids serial-murder case that received extensive media attention and stimulated debate about nursing-home care for the aged. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 1, 1992

"Still, the author excels at factual accounts, and this could be grist for a TV movie. (Sixteen pages of photographs—not seen.)"
A meticulous but flat case is made here for a wrongful first- degree murder conviction. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Luis Alberto Urrea
April 21, 2015

Examining the borders between one nation and another, between one person and another, Luis Alberto Urrea’s latest story collection, The Water Museum, reveals his mastery of the short form. This collection includes the Edgar-award winning "Amapola" and his now-classic "Bid Farewell to Her Many Horses," which had the honor of being chosen for NPR's "Selected Shorts" not once but twice. Urrea has also recently published a poetry collection, Tijuana Book of the Dead, mixing lyricism and colloquial voices, mysticism and the daily grind. We talk to Urrea about both of his new books this week on Kirkus TV. View video >