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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


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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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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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PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


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Nichols, Judy: Tree Huggers

  Amazon  

4 stars

After her divorce, Kate Dennison puts her old journalism degree to use on her new job as a reporter on Wilmington's Winslow Beach Beacon. She expects to cover the usual fodder for this kind of local publication (a "rinky-dink newspaper in some Southern backwater"), school pageants and science fairs and town council meetings. But on her first day at the office there's a big news story: a McMansion on the coast burns to the ground with two people trapped inside. The arson cum murder is thought to be the work of an extremist environmental group whose modus operandi is to discourage building in environmentally fragile areas by destroying property. Kate's coverage of the case lands her in trouble with some of the paper's readers, some of whom aren't above violent demonstrations of their displeasure. And Kate's problems at work bleed into her home life as well, ultimately threatening her relationship with her seven-year-old daughter Molly.

The ending of Tree Huggers doesn't pack a very big surprise. We're not shocked by the identity or tactics of the bad guy when he's finally revealed. But the book is by no means lacking in tension: Nichols does a great job of making us worry about the welfare of Kate's daughter. Her depiction of the relationship between mother and daughter struck me as very true-to-life. Tree Huggers is a good light read that introduces a likable protagonist and a strong cast of supporting characters--Kate's ex-husband and daughter and her colleagues at the paper, an old flame turned new love interest.  I don't know if the author has plans for a sequel, but I hope she does: I'd be more than happy to revisit Kate and the goings-on at the Winslow Beach Beacon in subsequent installments.

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