True Crime Book Reviews (page 57)

Released: April 1, 1996

"Academics may be captivated by the interdisciplinary approach, but lawyers and general readers will bail out early on."
What's law got to do with it? Read full book review >
Released: April 1, 1996

"Thoroughly researched and compulsively readable, an essential entry in the true-crime canon. (First printing of 50,000; $50,000 ad/promo; author tour)"
This exceptionally captivating narrative, tracing the glittering rise and bloody fall of the Billionaire Boys Club, lives up to its subtitle's lofty, lurid promise. Read full book review >

Released: March 20, 1996

"Reduces a tragedy to what seems a parody of well-intentioned reform."
This earnest polemic suffers from a fatal lack of proportion. Read full book review >
Released: March 2, 1996

"An intriguing story, but don't count on being able to render a verdict on Barbella's case at the end of it. (12 pages photos, not seen)"
A dramatic account of a young immigrant, who in 1895 slit her lover's throat and became the first woman sentenced to the recently invented electric chair. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 22, 1996

"Despite Arax's uneven, often melodramatic writing, this is a startling dissection of a corrupt city and an intensely personal history of the Armenian-American people."
In January 1972, two men walked into Ara Arax's Fresno (California) nightclub and shot him to death. Read full book review >

Released: Feb. 1, 1996

"Try Alaska, and let Nickerson be your guide. (6 maps) (Author tour)"
All manner of things get lost in Alaska, and they are the subject of this grave contemplation, vulnerable and delicate as a baby's breath, from Nickerson, the state's onetime poet laureate (197781). ``I live in a place where people disappear. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 1, 1996

"Kipps fails to objectively question Maher's motivation and actual role in these adventures: Is he a dutiful bounty hunter or a lowlife snitch? (First serial to Penthouse)"
This overheated, romanticized account may be stretching things a bit too far in attempting to portray police informer Kevin Maher as a modern-day bounty hunter. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 1, 1996

"Watch official America play CYA."
Levelheaded and informative: a former FBI agent on the whodunit of the century. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 15, 1995

"Lazy, lackluster reporting of a run-of-the-mill crime. (8 pages b&w photos, not seen)"
A sodden, clumsy look at a murder that is best summed up by its tabloid subtitle. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 8, 1995

"A powerful document that names names, ranges wide, and probes deep."
A pull-no-punches exposÇ of the forces behind a nationwide wave of false charges of ritual child abuse. Read full book review >
HUNG JURY by Hazel Thornton
Released: Nov. 1, 1995

"A highly valuable resource for litigators, and a good read for the expanding army of trial buffs."
A juror refutes some common misperceptions about the hopelessly deadlocked juries in the Menendez case. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 19, 1995

"The story that inspired the TV series and movie The Fugitiveminus the Hollywood ending. (illustrations, not seen)"
A call to reopen the 40-year-old Sheppard murder case, as heavy and relentless as a killer's weapon. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
H.W. Brands
October 11, 2016

As noted historian H.W. Brands reveals in his new book The General vs. the President: MacArthur and Truman at the Brink of Nuclear War, at the height of the Korean War, President Harry S. Truman committed a gaffe that sent shock waves around the world. When asked by a reporter about the possible use of atomic weapons in response to China's entry into the war, Truman replied testily, "The military commander in the field will have charge of the use of the weapons, as he always has." This suggested that General Douglas MacArthur, the willful, fearless, and highly decorated commander of the American and U.N. forces, had his finger on the nuclear trigger. A correction quickly followed, but the damage was done; two visions for America's path forward were clearly in opposition, and one man would have to make way. Truman was one of the most unpopular presidents in American history. General MacArthur, by contrast, was incredibly popular, as untouchable as any officer has ever been in America. The contest of wills between these two titanic characters unfolds against the turbulent backdrop of a faraway war and terrors conjured at home by Joseph McCarthy. “An exciting, well-written comparison study of two American leaders at loggerheads during the Korean War crisis,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. View video >