Friday, August 31, 2012

Five notable books on gang crime

Gavin Knight is a journalist who has written for The Times, The Guardian, The Telegraph, Prospect, Newsweek, New Statesman, Esquire, Monocle and many other publications. He has also appeared on CNN, ITN, BBC, Channel Four news and Sky News.

Over the two years prior to the publication of Hood Rat he was regularly embedded with frontline police units in London, Manchester and Glasgow as well as spending time with dozens of violent criminals involved in gun and gang crime.

With Toby Ash at The Browser, Knight named five top books on gang crime, including:
Gomorrah
by Roberto Saviano

Let’s move to Italy now and a passionate exposé of the Camorra mafia in Naples and Campania in Gomorrah. To what extent does this book put into perspective gang culture in Britain, given that the violence in Italy is on a far larger scale?

It’s true that the numbers killed by the Camorra are so much greater than anything in Britain. Also the way people are killed and disposed of is different and much more brutal. There is also the pervasive influence of the mafia in southern Italy, especially when it comes to the dumping of toxic waste.

Can you give us an overview of this book?

It is a great piece of investigative journalism. Roberto Saviano spent many years researching it and risked his life by writing it – he now has to live under armed guard. He looks at the many ways the Camorra has corrupted public life in this part of southern Italy. He looks at the port, for example, where a lot of goods are smuggled in. He also examines toxic waste dumping and the Camorra’s control over domestic waste disposal, which is a huge part of their empire. He also writes about the garment industry and the illegal sweatshops the Camorra run in Naples, where they copy designer clothing. It’s a business empire on an enormous scale and affects the lives of so many people. The violence they use is extraordinary, especially considering they are in a European country. You really can’t see Italy in the same way again after reading this book.

He writes about it in a very passionate and emotional way.

I love his style. It’s very readable. His reporting is excellent – he’s a very thorough journalist. What links him to two other writers I have chosen – David Simon and Nick Davies – is that not only do they write extremely high quality pieces of investigative journalism, but all three are fuelled by an anger about injustice.
Read about another book Knight tagged at The Browser.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Matthew Dicks's "Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend"

The current feature at the Page 69 Test: Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by Matthew Dicks.

About the book, from the publisher:
Imaginary friend Budo narrates this heartwarming story of love, loyalty, and the power of the imagination—the perfect read for anyone who has ever had a friend ... real or otherwise

Budo is lucky as imaginary friends go. He's been alive for more than five years, which is positively ancient in the world of imaginary friends. But Budo feels his age, and thinks constantly of the day when eight-year-old Max Delaney will stop believing in him. When that happens, Budo will disappear.

Max is different from other children. Some people say that he has Asperger’s Syndrome, but most just say he’s “on the spectrum.” None of this matters to Budo, who loves Max and is charged with protecting him from the class bully, from awkward situations in the cafeteria, and even in the bathroom stalls. But he can’t protect Max from Mrs. Patterson, the woman who works with Max in the Learning Center and who believes that she alone is qualified to care for this young boy.

When Mrs. Patterson does the unthinkable and kidnaps Max, it is up to Budo and a team of imaginary friends to save him—and Budo must ultimately decide which is more important: Max’s happiness or Budo's very existence.

Narrated by Budo, a character with a unique ability to have a foot in many worlds—imaginary, real, child, and adult— Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend touches on the truths of life, love, and friendship as it races to a heartwarming ... and heartbreaking conclusion.
Visit Matthew Dicks' website and Facebook page.

Writers Read: Matthew Dicks (September 2010).

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Matthew Dicks & Kaleigh.

The Page 69 Test: Unexpectedly, Milo.

My Book, The Movie: Unexpectedly, Milo.

The Page 69 Test: Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend.

--Marshal Zeringue

What is Moira Crone reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Moira Crone, author of The Not Yet.

Her entry begins:
Born with the Dead by Robert Silverberg, 1974.

I found the collection in a used bookstore in Carrboro, N.C. I was visiting my very aged parents who have been in assisted living for many years now. I was thinking about the unintended costs and consequences of the current commonplace longevity. My parents complain of the “limbo” they have entered in their nineties. They continue on life extending drugs, and have many procedures. Science is keeping them alive—they find this depressing, even agonizing, far beyond boring. Yet there is no way out.

Two of the three novellas in Born with the Dead are explorations of the consequences of cheating death. They are subtle, intense, psychological and mysterious.

I especially loved the portrayal of Jorge Klein in the title story. His wife Sybille has died, but she has been “rekindled” ---brought back to a kind of “life.” A very elegant zombie, Sybille likes to be with her own kind and refuses to have anything to do with her former husband. She lacks desire, or ordinary emotions. She’s called a “cold.” It’s a very ironic version of “retirement,” a very dark in-between she’s entered.

The story is also a great parable about...[read on]
About The Not Yet, from the publisher:
It’s 2121. The Heirs control society’s resources from their lavish walled city-states. Through life extension, they live hundreds of years. Outside, the poor barely survive. Malcolm de Lazarus, twenty, is a “Not Yet”—one counting on joining the elite. But when his fortune mysteriously disappears, he must sail to the chaotic New Orleans Islands for answers. On the way, he encounters the darkest side of Heirs’ privilege, which threatens everything he knows and loves.
Learn more about the book and author at Moira Crone's website and the Facebook page for The Not Yet.

Writers Read: Moira Crone.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Top 10 books about the darker side of adolescence

Sam Mill's books include A Nicer Way to Die, The Boys Who Saved the World, and Blackout.

In 2006 he named a top ten list of books about the darker side of adolescence, including:
The Tooth Fairy by Graham Joyce

Though Joyce's novels are shelved in the fantasy sections in bookshops, his books are about as far away from Tolkien as you can get. The Tooth Fairy begins firmly in reality, exploring - with wonderfully deft observation - the adventures of a boy called Sam Southall growing up in England in the 1960s. At the age of seven, Sam loses a tooth and is visited by a Tooth Fairy. But this is no fluffy sprite: Joyce's Tooth Fairy smells rank, peppers his language with swearwords and makes sinister threats. Joyce blends together fantasy and reality as the Tooth Fairy becomes a superb metaphor for his hero's adolescence, metamorphosing as Sam shifts from boyhood to manhood.
Read about another book Mills tagged at the Guardian.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Bill Crider's "Murder of a Beauty Shop Queen"

Today's feature at the Page 69 Test: Murder of a Beauty Shop Queen: A Dan Rhodes Mystery by Bill Crider.

About the book, from the publisher:
Dan Rhodes, sheriff of Blacklin County, Texas, is called to the Beauty Shack, where the young and pretty Lynn Ashton has been found dead, bashed over the head with a hairdryer. The owner said Lynn had gone to the salon late to meet an unknown client. There was a lot of gossip going on about Lynn before her death, but no one seems to really know much about her, or they’re not telling Rhodes.

Lynn was known to flirt, and it’s possible an angry wife or jilted lover had something to do with her death. The salon owner suspects two outsiders who have been staying in an abandoned building across the street. While he investigates the murder, Rhodes must also deal with the theft of copper and car batteries, not to mention a pregnant nanny goat that is terrorizing the town.

Murder of a Beauty Shop Queen is a wonderful entry in this always delightful series by award-winning author Bill Crider.
Learn more about the book and author at Bill Crider's website and blog.

In his review of Murder of a Beauty Shop Queen, Ed Gorman praised Crider's "skills with characterization and milieu" and called the author "a master plotter."

Read the Page 69 Test entries for Crider's A Mammoth Murder, Murder Among the OWLS, Of All Sad Words, Murder in Four Parts, Murder in the Air, and The Wild Hog Murders.

Writers Read: Bill Crider.

The Page 69 Test: Murder of a Beauty Shop Queen.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Laurent Dubois's "Haiti: The Aftershocks of History"

The current feature at the Page 99 Test: Haiti: The Aftershocks of History by Laurent Dubois.

About the book, from the publisher:
A passionate and insightful account by a leading historian of Haiti that traces the sources of the country's devastating present back to its turbulent and traumatic history

Even before the 2010 earthquake destroyed much of the country, Haiti was known as a benighted place of poverty and corruption. Maligned and misunderstood, the nation has long been blamed by many for its own wretchedness. But as acclaimed historian Laurent Dubois makes clear, Haiti's troubled present can only be understood by examining its complex past. The country's difficulties are inextricably rooted in its founding revolution—the only successful slave revolt in the history of the world; the hostility that this rebellion generated among the colonial powers surrounding the island nation; and the intense struggle within Haiti itself to define its newfound freedom and realize its promise.

Dubois vividly depicts the isolation and impoverishment that followed the 1804 uprising. He details how the crushing indemnity imposed by the former French rulers initiated a devastating cycle of debt, while frequent interventions by the United States—including a twenty-year military occupation—further undermined Haiti's independence. At the same time, Dubois shows, the internal debates about what Haiti should do with its hard-won liberty alienated the nation's leaders from the broader population, setting the stage for enduring political conflict. Yet as Dubois demonstrates, the Haitian people have never given up on their struggle for true democracy, creating a powerful culture insistent on autonomy and equality for all.

Revealing what lies behind the familiar moniker of "the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere," this indispensable book illuminates the foundations on which a new Haiti might yet emerge.
Learn more about the book and author at Laurent Dubois's website.

Dubois is a Marcello Lotti Professor of Romance Studies and History at Duke University and Co-Director of the Haiti Laboratory at the Franklin Humanities Institute.  His books include Soccer Empire: The World Cup and the Future of France.

The Page 99 Test: Soccer Empire.

The Page 99 Test: Haiti: The Aftershocks of History.

--Marshal Zeringue

Vincent Lam's "The Headmaster's Wager," the movie

Now showing at My Book, The Movie: The Headmaster's Wager by Vincent Lam.

The entry begins:
The Headmaster’s Wager is set in the Chinese community of Cholon, which was once a sister city to Saigon. Percival Chen is an English school headmaster and a compulsive gambler. We follow his adventures, loves, and losses over a period that spans from the Second World War, through the end of the French colonial era in Vietnam, into the closing chapters of the Vietnam War.

With various armies coming and going, political leaders shuffled like cards in a deck, and disaster or immense wealth often potentially just around the corner, people who lived through that era in Vietnam experienced the kinds of plot twists that most of us only witness in feature film. Vietnamese and Chinese, French and Americans were all torn between the forces of colonialism and independence, tradition and modernity, east and west, and finally capitalism and communism. This was the volatile mix of that era. The actors in the film adaptation of The Headmaster’s Wager should be able to portray these tensions. Many of the best actors now working in Asia will come to this intuitively – because the Asian cultural scene is actively grappling with these issues both in what it represents, and how it represents it.

Tony Leung will play my protagonist, Percival Chen. Tony will portray the kind of cool self-regard that allows a man to accept both his own temptations – and their fulfillment – with...[read on]
Learn more about the book and author at Vincent Lam's website.

My Book, The Movie: The Headmaster's Wager.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Top ten psychedelic non-fiction books

John Higgs is the author of I Have America Surrounded: The Life of Timothy Leary, published in America by Barricade Books; it is the first full biography of the pioneer of psychedelic drugs.

Winona Ryder, Leary's goddaughter, wrote the introduction.

In 2006 Higgs came up with a top ten list of psychedelic non-fiction books for the Guardian. (Of course, the list has 11 titles.)

One title on the list:
What the Dormouse Said: How the Sixties Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer Industry by John Markoff

This is significant because it is one of the first books to look at the legacy that the psychedelic movement of the 60s left behind. Many people will be surprised by the debt the idea of a 'personal computer' owes to psychedelics, the significance of the geographical location of Silicon Valley on the San Franciscan peninsula, or why Steve Jobs would say that taking LSD was one of the "two or three most important things" he has ever done. An impressive account of recent history.
Read about another title on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Stephen Leather's "False Friends"

The current feature at the Page 69 Test: False Friends by Stephen Leather.

About the novel:
The most wanted man in the world is dead. Now those loyal to him seek revenge. When Navy Seals track down and kill Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan, it's obvious there was a traitor on the inside. After the false friends are revealed to be two British students - former Islamic fundamentalists recruited by MI5 - they become targets themselves. Dan 'Spider' Shepherd must teach the pair how to survive undercover with al-Qaeda closing in. But Spider is not used to playing the handler. And with the line between mentor and friend beginning to blur, and a terrorist plot putting thousands of lives at stake, can he protect everyone before it's too late?
Learn more about the book and author at Stephen Leather's website and blog.

My Book, The Movie: False Friends.

The Page 69 Test: False Friends.

--Marshal Zeringue

Coffee with a canine: Peter Abrahams & Pearl

Today's featured duo at Coffee with a Canine: Peter Abrahams and Pearl.

The author, on Pearl's proudest moment:
We have another dog here - Audrey, much more senior in residence. Pearl's proudest moment is always when she gets hold of something of Audrey's - an antler treat, for example - and prances around with it....[read on]
A Fistful of Collars, the fifth Chet and Bernie Mystery, hits bookstores in early September.

About the book, from the publisher:
Everyone’s favorite detective team returns in a new adventure as canine narrator Chet and his human partner P.I. Bernie Little find that Hollywood has gone to the dogs.

Hoping to bring some Tinseltown money to the Valley, the mayor lures a movie studio to town to shoot their next production, a big-budget Western in the classic tradition. The star is none other than ruggedly handsome—and notoriously badly behaved—Thad Perry. When the mayor decides that someone needs to keep an eye on Thad so that he doesn’t get into too much trouble, Bernie and Chet are handpicked for the job. The money is good but something smells fishy, and what should have been a simple matter of babysitting soon gets more complicated—especially when they discover that Thad has a mysterious connection to the Valley that nobody wants to talk about. What kind of secret could Thad have left behind when he went to Hollywood to seek fame and fortune? The only people who might know the answer have a bad habit of turning up dead before they can talk.

As Bernie’s relationship with his longtime girlfriend Suzie goes long-distance, and Chet’s late-night assignations appear to have resulted in an unexpected dividend, it’s all our two sleuths can do to keep Thad and his motley entourage of yes-men, handlers, and hangers-on in their sights. Worst of all, Thad is a self-proclaimed cat person, and his feline friend Brando has taken an instant dislike to Chet.

Like the winning books before it, this fifth book in the series combines a top-notch mystery with genuine humor and a perceptive take on the relationship between human and dog that will stay with you long after the case is solved.
Visit Chet the Dog's blog and Facebook page, and Peter Abrahams's website.

The Page 69 Test: Spencer Quinn's The Dog Who Knew Too Much.

See--Coffee with a Canine: Peter Abrahams and Audrey (September 2011).

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Peter Abrahams and Pearl.

--Marshal Zeringue

What is Linda Grimes reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Linda Grimes, author of In a Fix.

Her entry begins:
Right now, in the lead-up to the release of In a Fix, I haven't been able to read for pleasure nearly as much as I'd like. I think I'm in withdrawal. (Hmm. That would explain the twitching.)

There are a few books I managed to sneak in, mainly because I took a little peek and then couldn't stop reading:

Whispers in Autumn by Trisha Leigh. It's a YA dystopian set on an earth that's been taken over by mind-controlling aliens, and it's totally gripping. It's an indie book—one of the best I've ever read—and the first of a trilogy. All I can say is, I...[read on]
About the book, from Library Journal:
Ciel Halligan is an aura adaptor, a human imitator, and there are many like her out there. The trait lends itself well to careers in covert operations, but becoming a spook doesn't sit well with the macho males in her family. So Ciel runs a business impersonating clients, giving them a way out of sticky situations they'd rather not deal with personally. When her current client's fiancé is kidnapped by neo-Vikings, Ciel finds herself caught between two men who play havoc with her emotions. When the case heats up, so does the attraction she feels for both of them. Can Ciel convince them she's adult enough to play in their game, and will she survive to see where the fates will lead her heart? VERDICT Urban fantasy and paranormal novels crowd the shelves these days, so this reviewer is impressed by debut author Grimes's fresh take on the genre. Fans of both hard and soft fantasy and crime drama will love her protagonist's spunky, irreverent attitude as well as Grimes's character-building skills and unusual storyline.
Learn more about the book and author at Linda Grimes's website.

Writers Read: Linda Grimes.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Pg. 99: Ryan M. Irwin's "Gordian Knot"

The current feature at the Page 99 Test: Gordian Knot: Apartheid and the Unmaking of the Liberal World Order by Ryan M. Irwin.

About the book, from the publisher:
Writing more than one hundred years ago, African American scholar W.E.B. Du Bois speculated that the great dilemma of the twentieth century would be the problem of "the color line." Nowhere was the dilemma of racial discrimination more entrenched-and more complex-than South Africa.

Gordian Knot examines South Africa's freedom struggle in the years surrounding African decolonization, using the global apartheid debate to explore the way new nation-states changed the international community during the mid-twentieth century. At the highpoint of decolonization, South Africa's problems shaped a transnational conversation about nationhood. Arguments about racial justice, which crested as Europe relinquished imperial control of Africa and the Caribbean, elided a deeper contest over the meaning of sovereignty, territoriality, and development.

Based on research in African, American, and European archives, Gordian Knot advances a bold new interpretation about African decolonization's relationship to American power. In so doing, it promises to shed light on U.S. foreign relations with the Third World and recast understandings of the fate of liberal internationalism after World War II.
Learn more about Gordian Knot at the Oxford University Press website.

The Page 99 Test: Gordian Knot.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Sean Doolittle's "Lake Country"

The current feature at the Page 69 Test: Lake Country by Sean Doolittle.

About the book, from the publisher:
Five years ago, successful architect Wade Benson killed a young woman when he fell asleep at the wheel. His punishment: two days in jail for every year of his probation. But for one friend of the victim’s family—an ex-marine named Darryl Potter—this punishment isn’t enough. Potter sets out to even the score by kidnapping Benson’s twenty-year-old daughter. It’s a bad, bad plan, and only Mike Barlowe, Potter’s former combat buddy, knows how to stop it. With a beautiful news reporter, the cops, and a bounty hunter on Potter’s tail, Barlowe races to head off his troubled friend before innocent people get hurt. The hunters and the hunted plunge north into Minnesota’s Lake Country, each with their own ambitions and demons, each headed for a violent collision—and for one horrifying moment of life or death.
Learn more about the author and his work at Sean Doolittle's website.

Sean Doolittle's novels include The Cleanup, Rain Dogs, Burn (winner of the gold medal in the mystery category of ForeWord Magazine's 2003 Book of the Year Award), Dirt (an Amazon.com Top 100 Editor's Pick for 2001), and Safer. His short stories have been collected in Plots With Guns and The Year's Best Mystery Stories 2002.

The Page 69 Test: Safer.

The Page 69 Test: Lake Country.

--Marshal Zeringue

Five top books on pulp fiction

One title on the Barnes & Noble Review's list of five top books on the glorious age of pulp fiction storytelling, collected, revisited, and re-imagined:
Fifty-to-One
by Charles Ardai

Few publishers have done more to revitalize America's fascination with pulp fiction than Charles Ardai and his line of Hard Case Crime novels. These slim volumes, denoted by the yellow ribbon with a pistol and a crown, fit perfectly in your back pocket, feature jaw-dropping covers that hearken back to the golden age of the genre, and contain electric stories both old and new. The imprint's fiftieth publication is written by Edgar Award-winner Ardai, who pens a gripping tale of a pulp publisher who gets caught up in a heist at a Mob-run nightclub. Each of the fifty chapter titles is the title of a previous Hard Case book. But this isn't just an exercise in meta-fiction; the story packs the wallop of straight whiskey.
Read about another title on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Stephen Leather's "False Friends," the movie

Now showing at My Book, The Movie: False Friends by Stephen Leather.

The entry begins:
The actor I’d most like to play my hero Dan “Spider” Shepherd is Clive Owen, star of Sin City, Children of Men and Killer Elite. He’s brilliant and looks fit enough to have been a special forces soldier and an undercover cop. He’s got that brooding menacing presence that makes for a great hero, or a great villain.

I didn’t have an actor in mind when I started writing the first Spider Shepherd book – Hard Landing – almost ten years ago. I don’t know how most writers work but when I’m writing a scene I tend to picture myself as the hero. That’s not to say that I see myself as a thirty-something action hero who can jump out of a plane with guns blazing. It’s just that the dialogue comes from me and as I write I imagine I am in the scene relating to the characters. Also I tend to keep the description of my heroes as brief as possible. That’s an...[read on]
False Friends is the ninth book in the bestselling Dan "Spider" Shepherd series.

Learn more about the book and author at Stephen Leather's website and blog.

My Book, The Movie: False Friends.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, August 27, 2012

Five best books about the end of England

John Sutherland is Emeritus Lord Northcliffe Professor of Modern English Literature at University College London and a former long-time faculty member at the California Institute of Technology. He is author of over 20 books, editor of 30 more, and a regular columnist and critic on radio and television.

His books include Lives of the Novelists: A History of Fiction in 294 Lives.

One of Sutherland's five favorite novels about the decline of England, as told to the Wall Street Journal:
Children of Men
by P.D. James (1992)

P. D. James's 1992 novel, "Children of Men," was adapted in 2006 into a film, of which the author approved but which alters her subtle analysis of what has gone wrong with England. The plot line recalls Margaret Atwood's "The Handmaid's Tale" (1985), and James's theme recalls Gunter Grass's "Headbirths: Or the Germans Are Dying Out" (1982). The novel depicts an England that has lost its genetic energy—it no longer procreates. Since 1995 (it is 2006 in the novel), no children have been born. What vitality the aging country has is sucked in, vampirically, from other lands through immigration. A dictator rules the country, controlling everyday lives. Then, startlingly, a woman becomes pregnant, and an underground group tries to keep her from the clutches of the government. "Children of Men" was published in 1992, a gloomy year: On Black Wednesday, in September, Britain crashed out of the European Monetary System. But as James implies, bleakly, the country's problems might not be entirely confined to its currency or financial accounts.
Read about another novel on Sutherland's list.

The Children of Men is on John Mullan's list of ten of the most notable New Years in literature.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Carla Neggers's "Heron's Cove"

Today's feature at the Page 69 Test: Heron's Cove by Carla Neggers.

About the book, from the publisher:
New York Times bestselling author Carla Neggers returns with a gripping story of romantic suspense, where FBI agents Sharpe and Donovan must decide whether working alone or standing together is the only way to outwit an enemy set to tear them apart.

When your safety depends on living a lie…

After escaping certain death, deep-cover agent Colin Donovan is back home on the Maine coast with his new love, FBI art crimes expert Emma Sharpe. Then Tatiana Pavlova, a London-based jewelry designer, arrives in Heron's Cove, asking for Emma's help—a prized collection from a lost era of Russian opulence, decadence and rare beauty has resurfaced, and Tatiana warns Emma it's about to be stolen again. And Colin realizes his nightmare isn't over. It's just begun.

And everyone you love is a target…

Emma guards her past closely, and Colin is determined to unlock her secrets. As they investigate the mysterious collection and the equally mysterious Tatiana, they confront their greatest challenge. Now they must count on their expertise—and each other—to outwit an enemy who wants to destroy them and everyone they love most.

Who can you afford to trust?
Learn more about the book and author at Carla Neggers's website and Facebook page.

The Page 69 Test: Heron's Cove.

--Marshal Zeringue

What is Bill Crider reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Bill Crider, author of Murder of a Beauty Shop Queen.

His entry begins:
I just finished an ARC of Max Allan Collins’ new Nate Heller novel, Target Lancer, in which Heller helps prevent the assassination of John F. Kennedy in Chicago in November 1963. Not much has been written about that particular plot, and Collins does a great job of shining some light on it. The book is fiction, of course, but it’s based on real events. I’m not much of a conspiracy buff, but I really enjoyed the book.

Older books are always a part of my reading, and I write about one on my blog each week for Friday’s Forgotten Books, a meme started by Patti Abbott. Recently I’ve read and commented on...[read on]
About the book, from the publisher:
Dan Rhodes, sheriff of Blacklin County, Texas, is called to the Beauty Shack, where the young and pretty Lynn Ashton has been found dead, bashed over the head with a hairdryer. The owner said Lynn had gone to the salon late to meet an unknown client. There was a lot of gossip going on about Lynn before her death, but no one seems to really know much about her, or they’re not telling Rhodes.

Lynn was known to flirt, and it’s possible an angry wife or jilted lover had something to do with her death. The salon owner suspects two outsiders who have been staying in an abandoned building across the street. While he investigates the murder, Rhodes must also deal with the theft of copper and car batteries, not to mention a pregnant nanny goat that is terrorizing the town.

Murder of a Beauty Shop Queen is a wonderful entry in this always delightful series by award-winning author Bill Crider.
Learn more about the book and author at Bill Crider's website and blog.

Read the Page 69 Test entries for Crider's A Mammoth Murder, Murder Among the OWLS, Of All Sad Words, Murder in Four Parts, Murder in the Air, and The Wild Hog Murders.

Writers Read: Bill Crider.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Robin R. Wang's "Yinyang"

The current feature at the Page 99 Test: Yinyang: The Way of Heaven and Earth in Chinese Thought and Culture by Robin R. Wang.

About the book, from the publisher:
The concept of yinyang lies at the heart of Chinese thought and culture. The relationship between these two opposing, yet mutually dependent, forces is symbolized in the familiar black and white symbol that has become an icon in popular culture across the world. The real significance of yinyang is, however, more complex and subtle. This brilliant and comprehensive analysis by one of the leading authorities in the field captures the richness and multiplicity of the meanings and applications of yinyang, including its visual presentations. Through a vast range of historical and textual sources, the book examines the scope and role of yinyang, the philosophical significance of its various layers of meanings, and its relation to numerous schools and traditions within Chinese (and Western) philosophy. By putting yinyang on a secure and clear philosophical footing, the book roots the concept in the original Chinese idiom, distancing it from Western assumptions, frameworks, and terms, yet also seeking to connect its analysis to shared cross-cultural philosophical concerns. In this way, the book illuminates not only a particular way of thinking, but also shows how yinyang thought has manifested itself concretely in a wide range of cultural practices, ranging from divination to medicine, and from the art of war to the art of sex.
Learn more about Yinyang at the Cambridge University Press website.

Robin R. Wang is Professor of Philosophy and Director of Asian and Pacific Studies at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

The Page 99 Test: Yinyang.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The 25 greatest rock memoirs of all time

One title on Rolling Stone's list of the 25 greatest rock memoirs of all time:
Anthony Kiedis: Scar Tissue (2004)

The Red Hot Chili Pepper tells a quintessential made-in-L.A. rise-and-fall-and-rise story, complete with all the californicatory details. Kiedis muses about his childhood, his band and his many, many, many ex-girlfriends, most of whom inspire him to share a kind word, a nude photo or both. Scar Tissue might have the best final sentence of any book on this list, starring Kiedis' lovable pooch Buster: "And when I do think, 'Man, a fucking motel room with a couple of thousand dollars' worth of narcotics would do me right,' I just look over at my dog and remember that Buster's never seen me high." Let's hope Buster gets his own book someday.
Read about another book on the list.

Also see: Greil Marcus's list of five of the best books on rock music, Samuel Muston's ten best music memoirs, Kitty Empire's best rock autobiographies.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Charity Shumway's "Ten Girls to Watch"

The current feature at the Page 69 Test: Ten Girls to Watch by Charity Shumway.

About the book, from the publisher:
A radiant debut novel about stumbling through the early years of adulthood— and a love letter to the role models who light the way.

Like so many other recent graduates, Dawn West is trying to make her way in New York City. She’s got an ex-boyfriend she can’t quite stop seeing, a roommate who views rent checks and basic hygiene as optional, and a writing career that’s gotten as far as penning an online lawn care advice column.

So when Dawn lands a job tracking down the past winners of Charm magazine’s “Ten Girls to Watch” contest, she’s thrilled. After all, she’s being paid to interview hundreds of fascinating women: once outstanding college students, they have gone on to become mayors, opera singers, and air force pilots. As Dawn gets to know their life stories, she’ll discover that success, love, and friendship can be found in the most unexpected of places. Most importantly, she’ll learn that while those who came before us can be role models, ultimately, we each have to create our own happy ending.
Learn more about the book and author at Charity Shumway's website.

My Book, The Movie: Ten Girls to Watch.

The Page 69 Test: Ten Girls to Watch.

--Marshal Zeringue

Cyn Balog's "Touched," the movie

Now showing at My Book, The Movie: Touched by Cyn Balog.

The entry begins:
I know of authors who cut out pictures of famous actors and actresses so they can better understand what their characters look like. I'm not one of those people, as I've slowly come to learn that readers care less about the color of one's hair and eyes than what makes a character tick. In selecting characters for my movie, I'd love to find characters who are actually young, since the two main characters are 16 and 17. The viewpoint character, Nick, has led a very sheltered life, so there is a lot of innocence there. I see him looking like the young actor David Lambert. The main female character, Taryn, who has a little more worldly experience, would be Chloë...[read on]
Learn more about the book and author at Cyn Balog's website.

My Book, The Movie: Touched.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, August 25, 2012

What is Kathryn Miller Haines reading?

This weekend's featured contributor at Writers Read: Kathryn Miller Haines, author of The Girl is Trouble.

Her entry begins:
I’ve been on a non-fiction kick lately. Both of these books are, in their own ways, true historical crime, which is my weakness as a reader. Neither is the standard recounting of a historical murder, rather more what the horrible price of hubris can be.

I just finished Erik Larson’s In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin, his non-fiction examination of life in Berlin during Hitler’s rise from the point of view of our ill-equipped Ambassador to Germany, William E. Dodd, and his daughter Martha. Given my obsession with World War II (I’ve written two mystery series during that time period) and my love of Larson (I think Devil in the White City is such an extraordinary book) this was a natural match for me. While Hitler is the evil at the center of the book, what’s almost more discomforting than reading about what life in Berlin was like for the citizenry under his hold, is the naiveté with which the American public and its government was viewing his rise to power and how we turned a blind eye to the early signs of his madness, violence, and desire for greater domination. There’s no greater symbol for this deliberate ignorance than in Martha Dodd, a young woman (with a voracious sexual appetite) who defends the Nazis over and over again in...[read on]
About The Girl is Trouble, from the publisher:
Iris Anderson and her father have finally come to an understanding. Iris is allowed to help out at her Pop's detective agency as long as she follows his rules and learns from his technique. But when Iris uncovers details about her mother's supposed suicide, suddenly Iris is thrown headfirst into her most intense and personal case yet.
Learn more about the book and author at Kathryn Miller Haines's website and blog.

Writers Read: Kathryn Miller Haines (August 2011).

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Kathryn Miller Haines & Mr. Rizzo and Sadie.

Writers Read: Kathryn Miller Haines.

--Marshal Zeringue

Five notable books on seafood

One title on the Barnes & Noble Review's list of five top books on seafood:
The Oysters of Locmariaquer
by Eleanor Clark

A marvelous excursion into realms zoological, cultural, historical, and literary, in which the author of Rome and a Villa explores the traditions, labors, and livelihood of the French community of Locmariaquer, whose generations of delectable oysters have put the tiny Breton village on the gustatory map.
Read about another book on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Padgett Powell's "You & Me"

Today's feature at the Page 69 Test: You & Me by Padgett Powell.

About You & Me, from the publisher:
The cult hit The Interrogative Mood—a Best Book of the Year selection by Amazon.com, GQ, The Believer, Time Out New York, and elsewhere—reminded readers that Padgett Powell is one of the enduring stars of American fiction, an electric novelist with a pitch-perfect ear for the way Americans talk and the strange things we say and believe. Now he returns with a hilarious Southern send-up of Samuel Beckett's classic Waiting for Godot, and we enter the world of the sublime and trivial as only Powell can envision it.

Two loquacious men sit talking on a porch. Funny and profound, daft and cogent, they argue about love and sex, how best to live and die, the merits of Miles Davis and Cadillacs and Hollywood starlets of yore, underused clichés, false truisms, and the meaning of nihilism. Together, they shoot the shit—and then they go on shooting it long after it's dead.

Ribald and roaring, You & Me is an exuberant and very funny novel from a master of American fiction at the top of his game.
Learn more about Padgett Powell's You & Me at the HarperCollins website.

My Book, The Movie: You & Me.

Writers Read: Padgett Powell.

The Page 69 Test: You & Me.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Daniel Gorman's "The Emergence of International Society in the 1920s"

The current feature at the Page 99 Test: The Emergence of International Society in the 1920s by Daniel Gorman.

About the book, from the publisher:
Chronicling the emergence of an international society in the 1920s, Daniel Gorman describes how the shock of the First World War gave rise to a broad array of overlapping initiatives in international cooperation. Though national rivalries continued to plague world politics, ordinary citizens and state officials found common causes in politics, religion, culture, and sport with peers beyond their borders. The League of Nations, the turn to a less centralized British Empire, the beginning of an international ecumenical movement, international sporting events, and audacious plans for the abolition of war all signaled internationalism's growth. State actors played an important role in these developments and were aided by international voluntary organizations, church groups, and international networks of academics, athletes, women, pacifists, and humanitarian activists. These international networks became the forerunners of international NGOs and global governance.
Daniel Gorman is Associate Professor of History and Political Science at the University of Waterloo and the Balsillie School of International Affairs.

Read an excerpt from The Emergence of International Society in the 1920s.

Learn more about The Emergence of International Society in the 1920s at the Cambridge University Press website.

The Page 99 Test: The Emergence of International Society in the 1920s.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, August 24, 2012

What is Padgett Powell reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Padgett Powell, author of You & Me.

His entry begins:
I have completed in the last several weeks Peter Guralnick’s Careless Love: The Unmaking of Elvis Presley, which I picked up in Kevin Canty’s house. Kevin said it’s sad and he is not incorrect. Poor Elvis is about the best I can hazard. It is a frightening long march of mismanagement and silliness and it will scare you if you see in it-–the Presley life, the person-- even small facets of your own dispositions and inclinations. I am on to a book by Thompson and Cole that Guralnick refers to as authoritative called The Death of Elvis. Might have to look at superbitch Goldman’s second Elvis book too (the first, because he can write, is a hoot). It’s all...[read on]
About You & Me, from the publisher:
The cult hit The Interrogative Mood—a Best Book of the Year selection by Amazon.com, GQ, The Believer, Time Out New York, and elsewhere—reminded readers that Padgett Powell is one of the enduring stars of American fiction, an electric novelist with a pitch-perfect ear for the way Americans talk and the strange things we say and believe. Now he returns with a hilarious Southern send-up of Samuel Beckett's classic Waiting for Godot, and we enter the world of the sublime and trivial as only Powell can envision it.

Two loquacious men sit talking on a porch. Funny and profound, daft and cogent, they argue about love and sex, how best to live and die, the merits of Miles Davis and Cadillacs and Hollywood starlets of yore, underused clichés, false truisms, and the meaning of nihilism. Together, they shoot the shit—and then they go on shooting it long after it's dead.

Ribald and roaring, You & Me is an exuberant and very funny novel from a master of American fiction at the top of his game.
Learn more about Padgett Powell's You & Me at the HarperCollins website.

My Book, The Movie: You & Me.

Writers Read: Padgett Powell.

--Marshal Zeringue

Top 10 books on heroes

Don Mullan is the author of Eyewitness Bloody Sunday, a book critical in reopening the British government's inquiry (over 25 years later) into what became known as Bloody Sunday. Bloody Sunday was January 30, 1972, a day when thirteen civilians were killed by British soldiers during a civil rights march in North Ireland.

Paul Greengrass, perhaps better known to Americans as the director of The Bourne Supremacy (2004) and United 93 (2006), made a film (co-produced by Mullan) titled Bloody Sunday (2002) about those events.

In 2006 Mullan named his top ten books on heroes for The Guardian, including:
Amelia Earhart: The Sky's No Limit by Lori Van Pelt

On my first visit to the National Air and Space Museum, Washington DC, I rushed past the 1903 'Wright Flyer' and Lindburgh's 'The Spirit of St. Louis' to a small, red, single-engine Lockheed Vega which my father, as a boy in 1932, had watched land in our hometown of Derry to make history. Amelia Earhart, the first woman to fly the Atlantic solo, piloted it. My father glimpsed her through the crowds who thronged to see her. It was emotional standing beside the actual aircraft he had seen as a boy. His stories ignited within me a love affair with America's Lady Lindy who disappeared without trace in the south Pacific on July 2 1937. Van Pelt's biography reignited my admiration for a fearless pioneer who not only broke barriers and pushed back frontiers but also helped spearhead commercial aviation and the advancement of woman.
Read about another book on Mullan's list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Suzanne Desrochers's "Bride of New France"

The current feature at the Page 69 Test: Bride of New France by Suzanne Desrochers.

About the book, from the publisher:
A Canadian bestseller, this richly imagined novel is about a young French woman sent to settle in the New World.

Transporting readers from cosmopolitan seventeenth-century Paris to the Canadian frontier, this vibrant debut tells of the struggle to survive in a brutal time and place. Laure Beausejour has been taken from her destitute family and raised in an infamous orphanage to be trained as a lace maker. Striking and willful, she dreams of becoming a seamstress and catching the eye of a nobleman. But after complaining about her living conditions, she is sent to Canada as a fille du roi, expected to marry a French farmer there. Laure is shocked by the primitive state of the colony and the mingling of the settlers with the native tribes. When her ill-matched husband leaves her alone in their derelict hut for the winter, she must rely on her wits and her clandestine relationship with an Iroquois man for survival.
Learn more about the book and author at Suzanne Desrochers' webpage, and learn more about Bride of New France at the publisher's website.

My Book, The Movie: Bride of New France.

The Page 69 Test: Bride of New France.

--Marshal Zeringue

Coffee with a canine: Susan Dennard & Asimov and Leia

The current featured trio at Coffee with a Canine: Susan Dennard & Asimov and Leia.

The author, on how she was united with her dogs:
I wanted a puppy after my first dog didn't make it to Germany (the airline lost her!). But adopting a dog in Germany is very hard since--unlike the US--there aren't very many stray dogs. Plus, adopting was about the same cost as getting a purebred. So, we finally settled on getting a dog like I'd grown up with: an Irish setter.

Leia came from a shelter in Georgia. My mom volunteers at it, and I went one day to help her with all the poop-cleaning and dog-walking. I took one look at little Leia and...[read on]
About Dennard's YA gothic mystery, Something Strange and Deadly:
There's something strange and deadly loose in Philadelphia....

Eleanor Fitt has a lot to worry about.

Her brother has gone missing, her family has fallen on hard times, and her mother is determined to marry her off to any rich young man who walks by. But this is nothing compared to what she's just read in the newspaper:

The Dead are rising in Philadelphia.

And then, in a frightening attack, a zombie delivers a letter to Eleanor ... from her brother.

Whoever is controlling the Dead army has taken her brother as well. If Eleanor is going to find him, she'll have to venture into the lab of the notorious Spirit-Hunters, who protect the city from supernatural forces. But as Eleanor spends more time with the Spirit-Hunters, including the maddeningly stubborn yet handsome Daniel, the situation becomes dire. And now, not only is her reputation on the line, but her very life may hang in the balance.
Learn more about the book and author at Susan Dennard's website, blog, and Facebook page.

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Susan Dennard & Asimov and Leia.

--Marshal Zeringue

Charity Shumway's "Ten Girls to Watch," the movie

Now showing at My Book, The Movie: Ten Girls to Watch by Charity Shumway.

The entry begins:
Long before Ten Girls to Watch was a book, back when it was just a few chapters on my computer, I indulged in regular daydreams about the movie premier—publishing a book already felt like an outlandish fantasy. Why stop there?—so I’ve been thinking about who I’d cast in the fantasy film version for years. Funnily enough, the leads weren’t the first people I thought of.

In the novel, Dawn interviews hundreds of women who’ve won Charm Magazine’s “Ten Girls to Watch” contest over the past 50 years (That sounds exhausting, but don’t worry -- the book isn’t an endless stream of interviews). Those women are my favorites to dream-cast.

Here are a few ideas:

Helen Thomas is a 1975 winner who also happens to have been Dawn’s college thesis advisor. She’s a scholar, an artist, and wildly stylish. Helen Mirren will do quite nicely. I’ll take Diane...[read on]
Learn more about the book and author at Charity Shumway's website.

My Book, The Movie: Ten Girls to Watch.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, August 23, 2012

What is Douglas Corleone reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Douglas Corleone, author of Last Lawyer Standing.

His entry begins:
Like most of the American reading public, I’m currently enjoying Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. And I’m so glad I am. After weeks of watching 50 Shades crowding the bestseller lists, it’s wonderful and heartening that we have a literary phenomenon that’s worthy of being a literary phenomenon. What’s even greater is that this is a book that can’t be placed in a box – it’s...[read on]
About the book, from the publisher:
Defense attorney Kevin Corvelli fled from New York to Hawaii after the sensational death of one of his clients three years ago. Now, in the wake of another client’s death—a client Kevin had fallen in love with—Kevin would run again if only he could pull himself free from a couple of high-profile, high-risk cases. The FBI is investigating the poisoning of a young woman who happened to be Governor Wade Omphrey’s mistress. The governor was off the island at the time, but that doesn’t mean that he didn’t order the hit or that he doesn’t need a hotshot lawyer like Corvelli defending him.

Then the DEA raids a local meth lab and Turi Ahina is picked up in the sweep. A career criminal, Ahina has set Corvelli up with plenty of client referrals, but Corvelli owes him for much more than that ever since Ahina saved his life. Now Ahina’s only way out is to turn in the big man, and he can’t just tell the FBI who it is—they already know that. He needs to find him and set a trap, a trap that won’t succeed without Corvelli’s help. The plan is simple, as foolproof and dangerous as a suicide attempt.

As the stakes rise, Corvelli gets drawn in deeper and deeper until the only way he can escape is to stick it out to the end in Last Lawyer Standing, Douglas Corleone’s most compelling legal mystery yet.
Learn more about the book and author at Douglas Corleone's website.

The Page 69 Test: One Man's Paradise.

The Page 69 Test: Night on Fire.

Writers Read: Douglas Corleone (May 2011).

My Book, The Movie: Night on Fire.

The Page 69 Test: Last Lawyer Standing.

Writers Read: Douglas Corleone.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Matthew Fuhrmann's "Atomic Assistance"

The current feature at the Page 99 Test: Atomic Assistance: How "Atoms for Peace" Programs Cause Nuclear Insecurity by Matthew Fuhrmann.

About the book, from the publisher:
Nuclear technology is dual use in nature, meaning that it can be used to produce nuclear energy or to build nuclear weapons. Despite security concerns about proliferation, the United States and other nuclear nations have regularly shared with other countries nuclear technology, materials, and knowledge for peaceful purposes. In Atomic Assistance, Matthew Fuhrmann argues that governments use peaceful nuclear assistance as a tool of economic statecraft. Nuclear suppliers hope that they can reap the benefits of foreign aid—improving relationships with their allies, limiting the influence of their adversaries, enhancing their energy security by gaining favorable access to oil supplies—without undermining their security. By providing peaceful nuclear assistance, however, countries inadvertently help spread nuclear weapons.

Fuhrmann draws on several cases of "Atoms for Peace," including U.S. civilian nuclear assistance to Iran from 1957 to 1979; Soviet aid to Libya from 1975 to 1986; French, Italian, and Brazilian nuclear exports to Iraq from 1975 to 1981; and U.S. nuclear cooperation with India from 2001 to 2008. He also explores decision making in countries such as Japan, North Korea, Pakistan, South Africa, and Syria to determine why states began (or did not begin) nuclear weapons programs and why some programs succeeded while others failed. Fuhrmann concludes that, on average, countries receiving higher levels of peaceful nuclear assistance are more likely to pursue and acquire the bomb—especially if they experience an international crisis after receiving aid.
Learn more about Atomic Assistance at the Cornell University Press website.

The Page 99 Test: Atomic Assistance.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Francine Mathews's "Jack 1939"

The current feature at the Page 69 Test: Jack 1939 by Francine Mathews.

About the book, from the publisher:
Charming. Reckless. Brilliant. Deadly.

A young Jack Kennedy travels to Europe on a secret mission for Franklin Roosevelt as the world braces for war
.

It’s the spring of 1939, and the prospect of war in Europe looms large. The United States has no intelligence service. In Washington, D.C., President Franklin Roosevelt may run for an unprecedented third term and needs someone he can trust to find out what the Nazis are up to. His choice: John F. Kennedy.

It’s a surprising selection. At twenty-two, Jack Kennedy is the attractive but unpromising second son of Joseph P. Kennedy, Roosevelt’s ambassador to Britain (and occasional political adversary). But when Jack decides to travel through Europe to gather research for his Harvard senior thesis, Roosevelt takes the opportunity to use him as his personal spy. The president’s goal: to stop the flow of German money that has been flooding the United States to buy the 1940 election—an election that Adolf Hitler intends Roosevelt lose.

In a deft mosaic of fact and fiction, Francine Mathews has written a gripping espionage tale that explores what might have happened when a young Jack Kennedy is let loose in Europe as the world careens toward war. A potent combination of history and storytelling, Jack 1939 is a sexy, entertaining read.
Visit the Jack 1939 Facebook page and Francine Mathews's website.

The Page 69 Test: Jack 1939.

--Marshal Zeringue

Top ten books that dare their readers to think for themselves

Sara Grant was born and raised in Washington, Indiana, a small town in the Midwestern United States. She graduated from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, with degrees in journalism and psychology, and later she earned a master’s degree in creative and life writing Goldsmiths College, University of London.

Grant is senior commissioning editor for Working Partners, a London-based company creating series fiction for children. She has worked on ten different series and edited more than 75 books.

About Dark Parties, her first young adult novel: Booklist noted that "it's really the heart-pounding rush of twists that will induce extreme page turning."

For the Guardian, Grant named her ten favorite books that dare their readers to think for themselves, including:
A Gathering Light by Jennifer Donnelly

This is a story within a story about two young women whose lives link in the summer of 1906 at Big Moose Lake. The end of one life is revealed in letters discovered by the other. There's murder and romance, but at its core is one young writer struggling to realise her dream. I've read this book twice – once for sheer pleasure and the second time with pencil in hand. I wanted to dissect it and figure out how it captivated me in a way few books have before or since. I realised that I may be able to diagram its many plots and list its cast of characters but what Donnelly has created takes a little bit of magic.
Read about another novel on the list.

Visit Sara Grant's website and Facebook page.

My Book, The Movie: Dark Parties.

Writers Read: Sara Grant.

--Marshal Zeringue

Padgett Powell's "You & Me," the movie

Today's featured entry at My Book, The Movie: You & Me by Padgett Powell.

The entry begins:
I feel fairly sure that I want my book to be done by unknown actors, of whom there are so many who are so good. We won’t make money if we go good before hot, but who cares. Probably Warren Oates and Fred...[read on]
Learn more about You & Me at the HarperCollins website.

My Book, The Movie: You & Me.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

What is Stephen Miller reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Stephen Miller, author of The Messenger.

His entry begins:
When I get into the research phase of a novel, I really put my head down and move into the library and all I read is stuff related to the novel I'm working on. I'm right at the cusp of that at the moment...it's like immersing oneself in a whole new world and I find it highly addictive. It's the learning I like and when I am doing that kind of reading, what I write is just a by-product.

A few weeks ago I was still wool gathering and I hadn't settled on the idea. I was free to read all sorts of things. I read Dan Simmons' Hyperion which I much admired for its extremely detailed and fully imagined universe.

Not only did I go into the future, I went into the past with...[read on]
About The Messenger, from the publisher:
In a world of heightened threat levels, sleeper cells, and unseen enemies, one novel explores the war on terrorism with harrowing suspense ... and deep humanity.

Daria emerges from a refugee camp a believer. She has lost everything, witnessed the unthinkable, and committed herself to a mission with a deadly conclusion. Indoctrinated, trained, and given a ticket to New York, she blends in, posing as an ambitious journalist—an “arrow” hoping to hit too many targets to count.

Dr. Sam Watterman is recruited too. Falsely accused and disgraced in the anthrax inquiries after 9/11, he is no longer a believer in causes. But the government that ruined his career now demands his expertise to locate a threat putting millions of Americans in peril.

In a country that fights wars on foreign soil but remains terrified of the cataclysm at home, Sam strives toward redemption and Daria desperately seeks both rebellion and enlightenment. Their lives will intersect at a place that will test their faith and make them each question what it means to have something worth dying for.

With a riveting plot that spans sixteen fraught, compelling days, Stephen Miller’s dazzling novel of literary suspense brings the war to a landscape both familiar and vulnerable: the America we call home.
Learn more about the book and author at Stephen Miller's website.

My Book, The Movie: The Messenger.

The Page 69 Test: The Messenger.

Writers Read: Stephen Miller.

--Marshal Zeringue