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Books by the Blogger:

THE BATTLE OF ARGINUSAE :
VICTORY AT SEA AND ITS TRAGIC AFTERMATH IN THE FINAL YEARS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

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


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

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


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paperback | hardcover (UK)

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


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

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


paperback | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

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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Kindle | paperback (UK)

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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.



  
From a random review:

  

« Golub, Marcia: I'd Rather Be Writing | Main | Crouch, Blake: Desert Places »

McDermid, Val: The Distant Echo

  

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St. Martin's Minotaur © 2003, 384 pages [amazon]
5 stars

At four o'clock in the morning in December of 1978, four students from St. Andrews School in Scotland stumble across the bloodied body of barmaid Rosie Duff. She is still alive, if barely, and the fastest of the students, Alex Gilbey, runs off through the blinding snow to find help. He eventually staggers up to a police car, covered himself in Rosie's blood and soaked in sweat, looking, he is uncomfortably aware, more like a man guilty of murder than a respectable citizen reporting a crime. Sure enough, in the absence of other suspects, Gilbey and his friends, the self-styled "Laddies fi' Kirkcaldy," are suspected of the murder--Rosie dies shortly after the boys find her--though definitive proof of their guilt is never uncovered.

He eventually staggers up to a police car, covered himself in Rosie's blood and soaked in sweat, looking, he is uncomfortably aware, more like a man guilty of murder than a respectable citizen reporting a crime.The murder investigation of 1978 and its repercussions for the four students are the subject of the first part of The Distant Echo. The second part opens twenty-five years later, when Rosie's murder is reinvestigated as part of a cold case review. Modern forensic techniques such as DNA analysis will, it is to be hoped, finally exonerate Gilbey and his friends and bring the real killer to light. But, of course, things don't go as smoothly as one would like for the Laddies fi' Kirkcaldy....

It is a measure of McDermid's success that one cannot be at all confident about the identity of Rosie's killer until it is revealed at the book's end. Until then even the unlikeliest of suspects seem as if they just might have committed the crime. The Distant Echo is tense--I read  the last 120 pages or so in one sitting, it being impossible not to do so--and its complex characters well drawn. I am not convinced that in the end the motivation of the killer makes perfect sense, but my niggling doubts are far outweighed by my appreciation of the good read McDermid has given us.

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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/).

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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.