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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


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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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paperback | hardcover (UK)

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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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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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.



  
From a random review:

  

« Kandel, Susan: I Dreamed I Married Perry Mason | Main | Hauser, Melanie Lynne: Author interview »

Burke, Alafair: Close Case

  

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Henry Holt © 2005, 351 pages [amazon]
4 stars

Samantha Kincaid, a Deputy District Attorney in Portland, Oregon, catches a high profile case on the morning of her 32nd birthday, the murder of hot-shot reporter Percy Crenshaw, who was bludgeoned to death during the night  in his carport. The apparent solution of the case comes quickly: circumstantial evidence puts two drugged-up teenagers at the scene of the crime. When one of them confesses to the murder, the case seems open and shut. But unfortunately for the D.A.'s office, the methods that were used to extract the suspect's confession may not stand up to scrutiny. And unfortunately for Kincaid, the hot-headed officer whom she must confront over his interrogation techniques is her live-in boyfriend's partner on the force. With Samantha's relationships with the police department and her own personal liaison with it souring over the Crenshaw case, she is put in the even less enviable position of shepherding the racially-charged case of an officer-involved shooting through a grand jury hearing. Sam's relationship with her policeman boyfriend may not survive these twin, work-related assaults.

We are given an insider's view of a prosecutor's response to a case--the evidence, its handling by the police, the testimony of witnesses, the effect on the case of the personalities involved.This third installment in author Alafair Burke's Samantha Kincaid series is a sort of "D.A. procedural"--imagine a Law and Order episode with a bit more Law than Order. I did not come away from the book caring deeply about any of the characters, and the writing is unremarkable (by which I do not mean "bad," just transparent), but the story is intriguing. What is particularly good about the book is the author's careful explanation of the case and its complications (perhaps not surprising since the author is herself a former deputy D.A.). We are given an insider's view of a prosecutor's response to a case--the evidence, its handling by the police, the testimony of witnesses, the effect on the case of the personalities involved. The reader comes to appreciate the complications that Samantha faces in seeing the Crenshaw case through, not least of which are the personal problems that arise because her  interests as a prosecuting attorney differ from those of the man she lives with. Close Case starts slowly, and what tension there is does not keep one glued to one's seat. But it builds into an intellectually interesting read. I, for one, was left wanting to read more. 

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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.