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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


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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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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:

  

« Smith, Scott: The Ruins | Main | Alexander, Tasha: And Only to Deceive »

Buckley, Julia: The Dark Backward

  

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Midnight Ink © 2006, 240 pages [amazon]
3.5 stars

Thirty-year-old Lily Caldwell is short and pretty and tough, unforgiving and angry, the last of these with good reason. About a year before author Julia Buckley's narrative begins, Lily's partner had been killed on a routine traffic stop, and Lily herself had been shot and almost killed. This would have been bad enough, but worse was the fact that no one believed Lily when she came to, after seven and a half minutes of being technically dead, announcing that she'd seen the shooter's face in a vision: as if handsome Governor Nob Stevens had nothing better to do than gun down police officers on a rain-slick street in the middle of the night. Lily's persistent belief that Stevens was the shooter cost her her job and, ultimately, her husband, whom she left because of his failure to believe her. But despite this lack of support Lily has continued trying to find a connection between Stevens and the cold case she and her partner had been investigating before the shooting, the murder some seventeen years earlier of a young schoolteacher, Emily Martin. Buckley follows Lily and her growing circle of supporters as evidence of a connection between Emily and Stevens starts to pile up. But trapping the powerful Governor will not be an easy task: he's a formidable man who's not accustomed to losing.

Lily's persistent belief that Stevens was the shooter cost her her job and, ultimately, her husband, whom she left because of his failure to believe her.The dramatic title and creepy cover of Julia Buckley's debut novel don't quite convey its character: The Dark Backward is a cozy, the blood and gore left undescribed, with a strong, likeable female lead. Lily's supporting characters, once they wander back into her life--her old boss, for example, her sister-in-law, her husband--are likewise likeable enough, though not as well fleshed out as Lily herself. Nob Stevens' character, too, is not examined as fully as one would like: he is a one-dimensional bad guy, which is okay, but he could have been a more powerful figure and the book more gripping if readers were invited to understand events from his perspective.

The Dark Backward is billed as a standalone thriller, and the author is apparently busy on an unrelated series of mysteries that will debut in 2007. But I can see Lily Caldwell and her husband Grayson anchoring a series of their own. The book isn't perfect, but it's a promising first novel. I'd be up for seconds.

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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.