True Crime Book Reviews (page 57)

Released: Oct. 1, 1994

"Perceptive, methodical, and dull. (28 photos & 2 maps, not seen)"
Plodding narrative and slack writing plague this account of the fierce 1870s events that set the stage for the legends surrounding Billy the Kid. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 1994

"Not surprisingly, this engrossing case of Deep South corruption and murder is being adapted for a four-part NBC-TV miniseries, with Valerie Bertinelli as the spunky avenging angel. (16 pages of b&w photographs, not seen) (Author tour)"
A hothouse atmosphere of crime and political corruption flavors this true-crime tale from Pulitzer Prizewinning journalist Humes (Murder With a Badge, 1992). Read full book review >

Released: Sept. 1, 1994

"But for all its drama, this is, in the end, forgettable. (Literary Guild selection)"
Detroit's story of an undercover sting operation into the Hell's Angels is quick and breezy but insults the reader with its sketchy rendering of a fascinating scenario. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 15, 1994

"An acerbic period sketch and a readable tale of pure Gothic horror straight from the heartland of America."
The ghoulish saga of Dr. H.H. Holmes, the dapper devil who established himself as America's first serial killer 100 years ago. Read full book review >
CAPONE by Laurence Bergreen
Released: Aug. 1, 1994

``I have never before written about someone who differed so sharply from his reputation as Al Capone,'' concludes Bergreen (As Thousands Cheer: The Life of Irving Berlin, 1990, etc.) in this shallow life of Public Enemy No. 1. Read full book review >

Released: Aug. 1, 1994

"His attribution of his alcoholism to his Indianness, for instance, comes perilously close to racism. (Author tour)"
McAuliffe, an editor for the Washington Post, offers an informative, often poignant story of a suppressed chapter of American history—a kind of Native American Roots. Read full book review >
Released: July 13, 1994

"Suspenseful and awful in its grisly details, but done with good taste and compassion."
Sanders (Fort Worth, 1984, etc.) puts the novelist's eye for detail and a sharp sense of pace to good use in this outstanding true-crime narrative about the rape and murder of a retired Oklahoma schoolteacher. Read full book review >
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 >
Kirkus Interview
Fernanda Santos
author of THE FIRE LINE
May 17, 2016

When a bolt of lightning ignited a hilltop in the sleepy town of Yarnell, Arizona, in June 2013, setting off a blaze that would grow into one of the deadliest fires in American history, the 20 men who made up the Granite Mountain Hotshots sprang into action. New York Times writer Fernanda Santos’ debut book The Fire Line is the story of the fire and the Hotshots’ attempts to extinguish it. An elite crew trained to combat the most challenging wildfires, the Hotshots were a ragtag family, crisscrossing the American West and wherever else the fires took them. There's Eric Marsh, their devoted and demanding superintendent who turned his own personal demons into lessons he used to mold, train and guide his crew; Jesse Steed, their captain, a former Marine, a beast on the fire line and a family man who wasn’t afraid to say “I love you” to the firemen he led; Andrew Ashcraft, a team leader still in his 20s who struggled to balance his love for his beautiful wife and four children and his passion for fighting wildfires. We see this band of brothers at work, at play and at home, until a fire that burned in their own backyards leads to a national tragedy. View video >