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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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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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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:

  

« Junger, Sebastian: A Death in Belmont | Main | Laurie, Hugh: The Gun Seller »

Downs, Tim: Plague Maker

  

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WestBow © 2006, 391 pages [amazon]
5 stars

FBI agent Nathan Donovan, divorced, angry and self-professedly fearless, is one of four main characters in Tim Downs's Plague Maker who are coping, each quite differently, with the effects of grief. The relationship between Donovan and his ex-wife Macy Monroe, an expert in terrorist psychology and hostage negotiation, was sundered by the death of their four-year-old son, a recent loss. But the two old men we encounter in Downs' story have been living with their grief for some sixty years. The enigmatic Li is an English-educated Chinese man who offers Donovan information pertinent to a recent murder in a TriBeCa loft: the murder scene was noteworthy for the vast numbers of exterminated fleas found on and around the victim. Li believes the crime is related to World War II-era germ warfare experimentation--the Mengele-esque work of Japan's infamous Unit 731--conducted in part by Li's personal nemesis, Sato Matsushita.

Li believes the crime is related to World War II-era germ warfare experimentation--the Mengele-esque work of Japan's infamous Unit 731--conducted in part by Li's personal nemesis, Sato Matsushita.Downs's story of a post-9/11 terror attack on New York is gripping and all too believable--at least to this average reader who is unfamiliar with the logistical difficulties inherent in breeding fleas and weaponizing the bubonic plague. The book is also studded with engaging dialogue and some superb descriptive passages: "His face was long and drawn, and it widened at the bottom, where great  sagging jowls bagged around his neck. It gave him the overall appearance of a melting candle, drooping under its own weight, as if at any moment his face might ooze over his collar and onto the desk." The writing is good, the characters well-developed--though one can argue that Li is too much the quintessential wise man to be quite credible--but mostly Plague Maker a ripping good story that you'll stay up too late to finish.

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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.