True Crime Book Reviews (page 57)

NON-FICTION
Released: Feb. 1, 1998

"Kotlowitz has produced a skillfully rendered, thoughtful study of a divided country in microcosm. (Author tour)"
A powerful record of an untimely death—perhaps suicide, more probably murder—in middle America, from the writer whose 1991 bestseller There Are No Children Here awoke the country to the reality of life in urban ghettoes. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 1, 1998

"A thin book, short on analysis and detail, and, as the subtitle indicates, more about Wolfe's investigation itself than Caputo's crimes. (8 pages b&w photos, not seen)"
Wolfe, who has written about men's hostile and violent acts against women in Double Life (1994) and Wasted (1989), now investigates the death of an acquaintance of hers. Read full book review >

NON-FICTION
Released: Feb. 1, 1998

"Not much more than a collection of truly horrifying stories, which is a shame for both the reader, who justifiably expects more, and for Douglas, who has more to offer. (Author tour)"
A look at rape-and-murder and its perpetrators by one of the men who invented the forensic art of psychological profiling. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Feb. 1, 1998

"The police work until the entrance of Dietrich was truly shoddy and ruined what should have been an open-and-shut case, but Stowers's account simply doesn't crackle with the energy the three women poured into getting justice."
A tragedy is rendered toothless as Stowers examines a child's murder in a tiny town in Texas. Read full book review >
SHALLOW GRAVE IN TRINITY COUNTY by Harry Farrell
NON-FICTION
Released: Nov. 13, 1997

"A chilling look at an old crime that seems sadly modern; true-crime buffs won't want to miss it. (For another look at this case, as well as other kidnappings in America, see below, Paula S. Fass, Kidnapped.)"
A heart-stopping study of the infamous Stephanie Bryan murder trial, four decades after the crime. Read full book review >

O.J.: THE LAST WORD by Gerry Spence
NON-FICTION
Released: Nov. 1, 1997

"If his brief were less self-righteous, his legitimate arguments would be easier to swallow. (Literary Guild selection)"
Buried under windbag sermonizing and lofty moralizing lies a cogent analysis of how the prosecution lost the O.J. Simpson case. Read full book review >
DRAWING LIFE by David Gelernter
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 17, 1997

"Full of solipsism, smugness, and petty arrogance—an exercise in self-regard. (First serial to Time)"
Yale computer scientist Gelernter (1939: The Lost World of the Fair, 1995, etc.) offers a peculiar rant only tangentially about his ordeal as a Unabomber target and the resulting irreparable damage to his right hand and eye. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Sept. 15, 1997

"Rich, riveting, and rewarding."
A can't-put-it-down account of a case of multiple infanticides by an upstate New York mother, intertwined with sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), bad science, and good detective work, leading to high drama in the courtroom. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Sept. 1, 1997

"Jenkins's recounting of the crimes, investigation, and trial is as suspenseful as his wide-net harvest of historical context is enlightening. (20 b&w photos, not seen)"
A disciplined, incisive reconstruction of one of the century's most notorious crimes: the 1989 mail-bomb assassination of a federal judge and an NAACP attorney. Read full book review >
AS IF by Blake Morrison
NON-FICTION
Released: Sept. 1, 1997

"We must condemn a little more, and understand a little less,'' but with mixed results in the end."
Literary journalist Morrison's reportage of the infamous 1993 child-murder of James Bulger turns into a semi-confessional meditation on illusory childhood innocence and collective guilt. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Sept. 1, 1997

"Thernstrom has written a powerful indictment of Harvard and a cautionary tale of alienation's destructive power—even among the most talented. (Author tour)"
Part mystery, part exposÇ, Thernstrom's gripping account of a murder/suicide at Harvard (which she reported on for the New Yorker) combines fascinating case material with great seriousness of purpose. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Sept. 1, 1997

"A timely account of a questionable but irreversible verdict in a time when the number of executions is rising. (photos, not seen)"
Set in the mining country of Buchanan County, Va., a fast-paced synopsis of a case that received national attention: the conviction and execution of Roger Coleman for the 1981 murder of his sister-in-law, Wanda McCoy. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Katey Sagal
author of GRACE NOTES
April 10, 2017

In her memoir Grace Notes, actress and singer/songwriter Katey Sagal takes you through the highs and lows of her life, from the tragic deaths of her parents to her long years in the Los Angeles rock scene, from being diagnosed with cancer at the age of twenty-eight to getting her big break on the fledgling FOX network as the wise-cracking Peggy Bundy on the beloved sitcom Married…with Children. Sparse and poetic, Grace Notes is an emotionally riveting tale of struggle and success, both professional and personal: Sagal’s path to sobriety; the stillbirth of her first daughter, Ruby; motherhood; the experience of having her third daughter at age 52 with the help of a surrogate; and her lifelong passion for music. “While this book is sure to please the author’s many fans, its thoughtful, no-regrets honesty will no doubt also appeal to readers of Hollywood memoirs seeking substance that goes beyond gossip and name-dropping,” our critic writes. “A candid, reflective memoir.” View video >