BOOK REVIEWS BY DEBRA HAMEL SINCE 2003.
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About the blogger:
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


Kindle | paperback (US)
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


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)

ANCIENT GREEKS IN DRAG:
THE LIBERATION OF THEBES AND OTHER ACTS OF HEROIC TRANSVESTISM
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)

IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY TWEET:
FIVE HUNDRED 1ST LINES IN 140 CHARACTERS OR LESS
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)







Book-blog.com by Debra Hamel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


« Book Notices | Lies by T.M. Logan / Identity Thief by Rachel Rosenthal / True Crime Addict by James Renner / The World According to Tom Hanks by Gavin Edwards / Hellbent by Gregg Hurwitz / The Revenge of the Radioactive Lady by Elizabeth Stuckey-French | Main | Book Notices | The Wild Inside by Christine Carbo / The Three-Day Affair by Michael Kardos / The 24th Name by John Braddock / Falling Stars by Tim Tigner / The Spy's Guide to Strategy by John Braddock »

Book Notices | The Silent Corner by Dean Koontz / Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex by Mary Roach / Ninth & Nowhere by Jeffery Deaver / The Cleaner by Mark Dawson

Dean Koontz, The Silent Corner

  Amazon  

This is the first in Dean Koontz's five-book Jane Hawk series. Jane is an FBI agent who takes a leave of absence to investigate her husband's mysterious suicide. Turns out, he's not the only seemingly non-suicidal person to take his own life of late. Jane quickly finds herself up against nefarious evildoers who are bent on recasting the world for their own purposes. I like Jane as a heroine. She's smart and resourceful on the run, a recipe for a good thriller. This one's a bit unusual in that the writing veers to poetic at times. Koontz also uses a surprising number of "big words." At least, I had to look up more than usual while reading. A winning book. I'll probably read the next in the series soon.

Mary Roach, Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex

  Amazon  

In Bonk, Mary Roach asks the sort of questions and explains the kind of things that our inner 12-year-old boys are dying to know about--from penis cameras to Danish pig insemination. She approaches the subject of sex with a lively wit and much verbal play: There's a phrase or two to admire on pretty much every page. This didn't surprise me given how much I loved her book Stiff (my review). Her prose goes down easy, but it also leaves me feeling like I've just downed one of those movie-size boxes of of Good & Plenty. It's a good read, but I'm not sure I'm really learning anything.

Jeffery Deaver, Ninth & Nowhere

  Amazon  

Ninth & Nowhere is an Amazon Original story by Jeffrey Deaver, a quick read, told in two parts. In the first, Deaver introduces seven very different characters who seem to have nothing to do with one another, from a gangbanger to a woman who’s sneaking off to meet a man who’s not her husband to a policeman on patrol and nearing retirement. In the second part, the lives of the characters intersect in a violent incident, and our preconceptions about them are in some cases proved wrong. Reading the first part, it’s hard to keep the characters straight, with so many separate lives introduced one after another.  But by the end their roles have clarified, and we know more about them than we did from the introductory vignettes. This is a good read, the first time I’ve read anything by Deaver, and worth the small investment in time (and money).

Mark Dawson, The Cleaner

  Amazon  

The Cleaner is the first in a series of self-published thrillers by Mark Dawson. His protagonist, John Milton, is an assassin, the number one hit man in his assassin collective, the man Britain goes to when problems need solving. But Milton’s had enough. He announces that he wants out, and spends his first days of retirement trying to help a new acquaintance’s son, who’s on the brink of becoming fully immersed in a gang. The book is not what most of us are probably expecting going in. We're looking for Jack Reacher or Orphan X, but what we get is a lot about gang life in the projects outside London. Not really my cup of tea. Still, the book is entertaining, a good page turner, and I’ll probably read more in the series. But there are problems. Milton, for all his lauded prowess, is just not that impressive. He’s often not very smart about things, and he winds up getting people killed. Which leads to my second major problem—spoiler alert: The people Milton sets out to help in this story would arguably have been better off if they’d never met him. People wind up dead or injured, and in the end the boy is left without the positive role models that might have helped him stay out of the gang. So what’s the point? Is Milton going to wander around England ruining people’s lives in these books? Is that the story we want to read? One other mild irritant: Does everyone in England use “younger” as a noun to mean, I guess, young man? Does anyone? Every appearance of the word grated, and believe me, it appeared a lot.

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