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KILLING ERATOSTHENES:
A TRUE CRIME STORY
FROM ANCIENT ATHENS
By Debra Hamel


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READING HERODOTUS:
A GUIDED TOUR THROUGH THE WILD BOARS, DANCING SUITORS, AND CRAZY TYRANTS OF THE HISTORY
By Debra Hamel


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THE MUTILATION OF THE HERMS:
UNPACKING AN ANCIENT MYSTERY
By Debra Hamel


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TRYING NEAIRA:
THE TRUE STORY OF A COURTESAN'S SCANDALOUS LIFE IN ANCIENT GREECE
By Debra Hamel


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PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


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SOCRATES AT WAR:
THE MILITARY HEROICS OF AN ICONIC INTELLECTUAL
By Debra Hamel


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ANCIENT GREEKS IN DRAG:
THE LIBERATION OF THEBES AND OTHER ACTS OF HEROIC TRANSVESTISM
By Debra Hamel


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IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY TWEET:
FIVE HUNDRED 1ST LINES IN 140 CHARACTERS OR LESS
By Debra Hamel


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Authors & publishers:
I've decided to stop accepting review copies. The downside of getting buried in free books is that reading increasingly becomes an obligatory act. After some seven years of blogging books, it's time for me to return to the simple pleasure of reading only the books I want to read, when I want to read them. The blog, however, will continue, and if you've got a good first line to share for TwitterLit please do so here.



  
From a random review:

  

« White, Kate: Hush | Main | Sharratt, Mary: Daughters of the Witching Hill »

Nicholson, Scott: The Skull Ring

  

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Haunted Computer Books, 328 pages
1st published: 2010
4 stars

Note: Amazon affiliate: Links pointing to Amazon contain my affiliate ID. Sales resulting from clicks on those links will earn me a percentage of the purchase price.

Julia Stone moved from Memphis to a small town in North Carolina four months before Scott Nicholson's The Skull Ring opens: a quieter atmosphere, a less stressful job, a new therapist. Dr. Forrest has been helping Julia deal with her panic attacks, the black fear that greets her when she comes home to an empty house, the paranoid delusions. Everyone she passes on the street, everyone who comes to her door, could be one of them, the hooded bad men--the "creeps"--who tried to kill her as a child, who have been haunting her since, rearranging knick knacks in her absence, making her electronics malfunction. Or not. Granted the nightmare was real when she was four years old, but after that it's all been in her head...or so she has to keep reminding herself. No one really came in through the window while she was out: she must have forgotten to close it....

Much of The Skull Rings plays out in Julia's mind as she assesses her fears, trying to hold on to reality when the bad things going on around her seem too real to dismiss as delusions. She's torn in one direction by her therapist, but a smothering fiancé back home in Memphis is dismissive of her attempts to deal with the past by confronting it. And then there is Walter the handyman, who may be a human manifestation of infernal evil, or may just have shown up to check her windows. One never knows in Julia's world.

I had a few small quibbles with Nicholson's book. Some background information on Satanism at about the halfway point slows down the narrative, and there's a fair amount of Julia's contemplation to wade through--not only her wondering if she's crazy, but also her reflections on God and Satan. Julia also has a conversation with her neighbor early on that seems disjointed, almost as if a few lines have been mistakenly omitted from the narrative. But on the whole The Skull Ring is a good, tense read. It certainly starts out with a bang. And it's riddled with nice phrasing you'll want to pause to appreciate.
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Book-blog.com reviews by Debra Hamel are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivative Works 3.0 License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/).

Comments

1.

This does look like an interesting read - I admit to not liking books that get bogged down with details sometimes - so I'm on the fence on whether to get this - but thanks for the review...




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About the blogger: Debra is the mother of two preternaturally attractive girls and the author of a number of books about ancient Greece, including Trying Neaira: The True Story of a Courtesan's Scandalous Life in Ancient Greece. She writes and blogs from her subterranean lair in North Haven, CT. Read more.

  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  






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Book-blog.com by Debra Hamel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivative Works 3.0 License.