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Debra Hamel is the mother of two preternaturally attractive girls and the author of a number of books about ancient Greece. She writes and blogs from her subterranean lair in North Haven, CT. Read more.


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


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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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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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PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
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Iles, Greg: The Quiet Game

  Amazon  

3.5 stars

Some seven months after his wife's death, best-selling author and former prosecuting attorney Penn Cage returns with his four-year-old daughter to his home town of Natchez, Mississippi. He manages almost at once to stir up long-moldering racial tensions in the small town with a chance remark he makes to an ambitious and unusually persuasive journalist, the braless and insubstantially shirted Caitlin Masters. Penn soon finds himself investigating the thirty-year-old murder he had mouthed off about, but many people--among them the director of the FBI and Natchez's most fearsome resident, the corrupt Judge Leo Marston--would prefer that the 1968 car bombing of black factory worker Del Payton remain unsolved.

The plot of Greg Iles's The Quiet Game is complex, and its principal characters are three dimensional, but the book did not pack the emotional wallop I expected of it after  reading Iles's 24 Hours (review). It may be that the story is slowed down by unnecessary detail. For example, describing Penn's arrival at the site of the murder, the parking lot of a battery plant, Iles launches into a history of the factory:

"The dark skeleton of the Triton Battery plant materializes to our right as Ike turns onto Gate Street, then right again into a parking lot lighted by the pink glow of mercury vapor. The Triton Battery Company came to Natchez in 1936 to build batteries for Pullman rail cars. In 1940 they retooled the line to manufacture batteries for diesel submarines. After the war it was truck batteries, marine batteries, whatever fit the changing market. The last I heard, Triton was using its ancient equipment to produce motorcycle batteries for European manufacturers."

But while slower than it might be and longer than it perhaps should be, The Quiet Game remains a decent read. Fans of courtroom dramas in particular will enjoy the book's denouement.

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