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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


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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


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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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Kindle | paperback (UK)

PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


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Kilborn, Jack; Crouch, Blake: Serial

  Amazon  

3 stars

Serial (which is currently only available for the Kindle) is a novella co-written by horror writers Jack Kilborn (a.k.a. J.A. Konrath) and Blake Crouch. The story grabs your attention immediately with a great first line: "The hardest thing about killing a hitchhiker is finding one to pick up." As that sentence and the book's title should suggest, the subject matter of the book is disturbing. It's definitely not for the faint of heart.

The story is told in three parts. The first section, written by Kilborn, is about Donaldson, a serial killer who likes to pick up hitch hikers and do bad things to them. His latest conquest and Donaldson's subsequent disposal of his passenger's remains are described in lurid detail. In the second part of the book Blake Crouch tells the story of another serial killer, Lucy, who is arguably even sicker than Donaldson. I won't ruin the surprise by describing her modus operandi. The third part of the book was co-written by the two authors, who took turns contributing 100-odd-word snippets until the story was finished. But they did so blindly, without the benefit of having read one another's initial sections. (The authors describe the writing process in an interview section following the story.) The last segment reads like a macabre chess match as the two killers meet and, unaware of the other's nature and intentions, try to outmaneuver each other. The story hangs together very well, particularly given its mode of composition. And it ends fittingly, if not surprisingly. The story doesn't offer anything by way of character development, but it's a quick read and it certainly holds one's attention for the short time it takes to read it.

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