Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner


The ratings:
5 stars  excellent
4 stars  very good
3 stars  good
2 stars  fair
1 stars  poor

Blog stats:

Navigate the site:

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


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)

PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (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)

Advertise: Rates & stats

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:

  

« February 2019: Book notices | Main | April 2019: Book notices »

March 2019: Book notices

  

Printer-friendly page! Use print preview to see how this page will appear.

Christine Carbo, The Wild Inside

  Amazon  

The Wild Inside is the first in a series of police procedurals by Christine Carbo. The book is written in the first person and follows Ted Systead, a special agent with the Department of the Interior's National Parks Service, as he investigates a murder-cum-bear-mauling in Montana's Glacier National Park. Ted works out of Denver, but this crime has him back where he grew up. The case hits close to home in a more figurative way as well: When Ted was fourteen, his father was dragged by a bear from the tent they were sharing and mauled to death. This case has Ted facing the memories he's mostly suppressed in the twenty-odd years since his father's screams stopped.

The murder Ted's investigating is somewhat interesting; the book's setting is more so: I haven't read a crime novel that plays out in this kind of wilderness before. I liked Ted and his ad hoc partner Monty as characters. The writing was fine. It was a pleasant read. Still, I'm not sure I'm eager to jump into another in the series. The book felt long. There are no great dramatic moments in the story. We just follow the day-to-day investigation and Ted's struggles with his past until both find some resolution in the end. So maybe some day I'll reach for the second book in the series, but not for a while.

Michael Kardos, The Three-Day Affair

  Amazon  

Wow. I can't remember the last time I read a book that I really didn't want to put down, that I put off doing other things to finish. And when I was done with this one, I hightailed it to Amazon to see what else the author has written. This book had me thinking of Scott Smith's marvelous A Simple Plan. It's similar in that both books put their protagonists in a situation that progressively worsens, seemingly inexorably, each reasonable-under-the-circumstances decision leading to another that's just a little more awful. So, three old college friends are getting together for a golf weekend in New Jersey when one of them does something impulsive and criminal and immediately involves his buddies in the mess he's made. And things go downhill from there. The story of this modern crime in progress is woven together with the characters' back story, their time together at Princeton, their girlfriends and careers. All of it eventually comes together to make us understand their relationship and their shared crime better, because there's more to it than we originally suppose.... 

John Braddock, The 24th Name

  Amazon  

This is the second Kindle Single that I've read by John Braddock, a former CIA guy. The first was his nonfiction piece A Spy's Guide to Thinking (my review), which I liked because he explains a system of thinking--DADA: data to analysis to decision to action--by unpacking the thought processes and decision making that would be involved in a real-life scenario, a subway mugging. The 24th Name is similar in that Braddock's discussing thought processes and decision making, but now he's doing so through fiction. This Single tells the story of a former spy who's unofficially gone back in the game. Two of his "cases" are described in stories that wrap around one another. Here's the sort of writing from it that I like a lot:


When someone asks you a direct question about your purpose, you have three options:

  1. Tell the truth
  2. Lie
  3. Deflect

When you're a spy, you usually choose Option 3. And if you need to, Option 2. You keep your purpose secret. You keep it secret because when the enemy knows your purpose, they can reason backward to your tactics. They can figure out what you're going to do next.

But when you meet an ally, you tell them your purpose. You tell them, so they can help you get there faster.

Option 1, if they're an ally.

Option 2, if they're an enemy.

Option 3,  if you're not sure.

I looked at the woman and chose option 1.

I love this for some reason. I'm a sucker for lists, I guess. Oh! There's also a clever meta bit in the last chapters that will have you wondering what the author is up to when he's not writing. :-)

Tim Tigner, Falling Stars

  Amazon  

Kyle Achilles' latest adventure pits him against Ivan the Ghost, the criminal mastermind we first met in Tigner's novella Chasing Ivan. This time, Ivan's got an ingenious plan to use cutting-edge technology and the basic human instinct for risk aversion to make a killing. Achilles teams up with former con artist turned former CIA operative Jo Montfort to thwart him. Like Tigner's other Achilles novels, Falling Stars is a fast and fun read. I'll definitely be reading more in the series (next up: Twist and Turn). (Also, Tigner has a stand-alone novel coming out soon! Check out The Price of Time.)

John Braddock, The Spy's Guide to Strategy

  Amazon  

In A Spy's Guide to Strategy, former CIA operative John Braddock writes about the strategy of looking forward and reasoning backward. In other words, to make plans yourself or figure out someone else's likely moves, you look forward to the endgame, and then reason backward through the steps you or they have to take to get there. Braddock discusses real-life applications of the principle, including sussing out what Bin Laden was up to and a couple of issues Braddock himself had to deal with. One of these was a surprisingly suspenseful story about his shoes going through an explosives testing machine in an airport not long after 9/11. Braddock's writing is, in his own words, herky-jerky, and it's quite repetitive, more so this piece than the other two books I've read by him. But reading this was still a net positive for me.

< Tweet it! | Reblog
https://www.book-blog.com/2019/03/march-2019-book-notices.html
Book-blog.com reviews by Debra Hamel are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivative Works 3.0 License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/).

Comments




Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear on this weblog until the author has approved them.

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In


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.

  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  






The Sunday Salon.com



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