True Crime Book Reviews (page 57)

COMRADE VALENTINE by Richard E. Rubenstein
Released: July 1, 1994

"Though there is a little too much speculation and less than authoritative reconstruction of Azef's thoughts, this is a persuasive and gripping account of a shadowy but pivotal figure."
A life—intriguing in every sense of the word—of legendary czarist police spy and social revolutionary Yevno Azef by Rubenstein (Conflict Resolution/George Mason Univ., Alchemists of Revolution, 1987). Read full book review >
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 >
Kirkus Interview
Frances Stroh
author of BEER MONEY
May 5, 2016

Frances Stroh’s earliest memories are ones of great privilege: shopping trips to London and New York, lunches served by black-tied waiters at the Regency Hotel, and a house filled with precious antiques, which she was forbidden to touch. Established in Detroit in 1850, by 1984 the Stroh Brewing Company had become the largest private beer fortune in America and a brand emblematic of the American dream itself; while Stroh was coming of age, the Stroh family fortune was estimated to be worth $700 million. But behind the beautiful façade lay a crumbling foundation. As their fortune dissolved in little over a decade, the family was torn apart internally by divorce and one family member's drug bust; disagreements over the management of the business; and disputes over the remaining money they possessed. “The author’s family might have successfully burned through a massive fortune, but they squandered a lot more than that,” our reviewer writes about Stroh’s debut memoir, Beer Money. “A sorrowful, eye-opening examination of familial dysfunction.” View video >