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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.


Books by Debra Hamel:

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


paperback | Kindle | hardcover (US)
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)

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


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)

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)

PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


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



Rose, M.J.: The Halo Effect

  Amazon  

4.5 stars

Dr. Morgan Snow, the protagonist of this first installment in M.J. Rose's new series of Butterfield Institute novels, is a perceptive therapist and a newly divorced mother, an expert in sexuality with, at least in recent years, more theoretical knowledge of the subject than hands-on experience. She is troubled still by an unusually sad childhood--details of which drip into the narrative of The Halo Effect--from which she emerged scarred with abandonment issues. Morgan is a fully realized, multi-dimensional, wholly likeable character. And she is an unlikely amateur sleuth, which is part of the charm of Rose's new series: criminal suspense has not found a home before in the halls of a sex therapy clinic.

Morgan, who has worked with the police in past cases, becomes involved again when a serial killer begins murdering prostitutes and posing them, in death, in a series of religiously significant, grotesque tableaux. Dr. Snow numbers many prostitutes--both incarcerated and not--among her patients, so the crimes are of especial concern for her. But what is most alarming is the recent disappearance of one of her favorites: call girl Cleo Thane has enjoyed an almost Mayflower-Madamish level of success but may have put her career and person in jeopardy by writing a tell-nearly-all book about her high-powered clients.

The Halo Effect is not your usual suspense novel. Not only is the occupation of its principal sleuth unconventional, but Rose's writing is somehow similarly unexpected. She eschews hackneyed expression while bathing her subjects in rich description. See, for example, her oblique description of the (sub-)eponymous Butterfield Institute:

"There is a small brass plaque on the outside of the building, identifying it but giving little else away: The Butterfield Institute. The black cursive letters are etched deeply into the metal plate. Run your fingers over them and you feel the edges pushing into your flesh. Could you cut your skin on those edges and draw blood? Probably not, but even if you did, none of us inside could offer more than a Band-Aid."

As must be obvious by now, I liked Rose's book very much. And I am eager to read the second installment in the series, which will reportedly be released in April of 2005--farther off than I should like.

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