True Crime Book Reviews (page 57)

THE BLUE SUIT by Richard Rayner
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
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 >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
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 >

DEAD BY SUNSET by Ann Rule
CURRENT AFFAIRS
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 >
TRUE CRIME
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 >
SOCIAL SCIENCES
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
SOCIAL SCIENCES
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 >
OSWALD AND THE CIA by John Newman
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
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 >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
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 >
HISTORY
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 >
TRUE CRIME
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 >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
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 >
CHANGE OF CIRCUMSTANCE by Candida Lawrence
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: May 31, 1995

"These revelations challenge credulity, but they remain relevant due to the persistent newspaper headlines over vicious custody battles."
An autobiographical saga by a pseudonymous woman who kidnaps her children from their father and escapes with them into hiding. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Jennifer Keishin Armstrong
author of SEINFELDIA
August 22, 2016

Jennifer Keishin Armstrong’s new bestseller Seinfeldia is the hilarious behind-the-scenes story of two guys who went out for coffee and dreamed up Seinfeld —the cultural sensation that changed television and bled into the real world. Comedians Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld never thought anyone would watch their silly little sitcom about a New York comedian sitting around talking to his friends. NBC executives didn’t think anyone would watch either, but they bought it anyway, hiding it away in the TV dead zone of summer. But against all odds, viewers began to watch, first a few and then many, until nine years later nearly 40 million Americans were tuning in weekly. In Seinfeldia, TV historian and entertainment writer Armstrong celebrates the creators and fans of this American television phenomenon, bringing readers behind-the-scenes of the show while it was on the air and into the world of devotees for whom it never stopped being relevant, a world where the Soup Nazi still spends his days saying “No soup for you!” “Armstrong’s intimate, breezy history is full of gossipy details, show trivia, and insights into how famous episodes came to be,” our reviewer writes. “Perfect for Seinfeldians and newcomers alike.” View video >