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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
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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
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Taylor, Richard: Stones Skipping on Water

  Amazon  

4 stars

John Kinkaid is hit hard with a sense of déjà vu the first time he sees Vanessa. She's moving gracefully through the easels set up at a charity auction, a Porsche among Toyotas, he thinks. She has some paintings on display there herself: she goes around photographing the faces of strangers--her house is crawling with the pictures--and she paints the ones that speak to her. John's face, when she first catches sight of it, not only speaks to her, it practically shouts: her sense of déjà vu is just as strong as his. John is a billionaire venture capitalist and the CEO of GenePharm, which--speaking of déjà vu--has recently got the FDA's approval to begin human testing on a new memory drug, ClearThought. Animal testing has shown that ClearThought can significantly increase one's mental clarity, if only temporarily. Its potential, should human trials go well, is staggering. John and Vanessa's relationship takes off at a gallop, but problems at work interrupt: an employee's gone off the deep end after sampling the drug. He's convinced that ClearThought has made him remember past lives, and that he and John--and for that matter Vanessa--have shared a long and complicated history.

Richard Taylor's Stones Skipping on Water is a fun read. There aren't really any big surprises in the plot, but it's written well and it's suspenseful enough to hold one's interest. I really enjoyed the take-charge aspect of John's character: he's got money, he's got corporate power, and he's decisive in what seems to be a very realistic way. It's fascinating to watch his behavior in work situations in the same way that watching Donald Trump on The Apprentice is fascinating.

My only real complaint about the book is that the descriptions of the past lives some of the characters experienced go on too long. (On a lesser note, I found it surprising that John would so quickly place so much trust in a stranger he finds via a mall bulletin board.) In the end, I don't think the story will stick with me in the way that the similarly-themed movie Dead Again has (a great, great movie): the plot of Stones Skipping on Water doesn't pack enough surprises for that. But I thoroughly enjoyed the book while reading it.

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