‘Spy’ Too Compelling to Put Down

Every good spy story has coded messages, secret info drops, tense crossings of international lines, sordid love affairs, stakes of life or death and the threat of world war, and a few good turncoats. Ben McIntire’s The Spy and the Traitor has that and more—and perhaps most notably, is nonfiction. Oleg Gordievsky is a goodContinue reading “‘Spy’ Too Compelling to Put Down”

‘Last Stone’ an Uncritical Story of Iffy Policing

A lot of the books that end up on my TBR come from other reviews, which isn’t ideal for reviewing purposes but usually by the time I get around to reading them I’ve forgotten what the book is about, let alone what a reviewer said about it. That’s the case with The Last Stone byContinue reading “‘Last Stone’ an Uncritical Story of Iffy Policing”

‘Voyages’ a Journey of Women at Sea

I love unusual histories and I love puns, so right out of the gate, Siân Evans’ Maiden Voyages appealed to me—and that’s besides the lush romance of early twentieth-century ocean travel. (You’re telling me the Edwardian glamor of the ship is not why Titanic became a blockbuster?) Much like a voyage or vacation, the beginningContinue reading “‘Voyages’ a Journey of Women at Sea”

Restraint Helps ‘Killers’ Avoid Exploitation

There are a few key ingredients to many a good thriller: domestic intrigue, large sums of money, poison, explosions, conspiracies, a sympathetic victim at the center, and a dedicated investigator determined to get to the bottom of it all. And a good twist or two. Can’t forget the twists. David Grann’s Killers of the Flower MoonContinue reading “Restraint Helps ‘Killers’ Avoid Exploitation”

‘Halfway’ Hits Home with Prison Discourse

Crime and poverty are so frequently lumped together, as are race and crime, making a sort of trifecta of bad circumstances that can really hold a person back—or worse, as we’ve seen with so many cases of police violence. But it’s worse than that, argues Reuben Jonathan Miller in his new book Halfway Home: notContinue reading “‘Halfway’ Hits Home with Prison Discourse”

Get ‘Lost’ in These Four Cities

According to the U.S. Census, over 80% of the country’s population lives in urban areas—and it’s even higher for Puerto Rico and other territories, where urban living is well over 90%. It didn’t always used to be this way, but the world is marching toward a far more urban future than our ancestors could haveContinue reading “Get ‘Lost’ in These Four Cities”

‘Two Truths’ Questions Fact and Fiction

I take in a lot of crime-related media. Hours of podcasts, stacks of true-crime novels, loads of documentaries, and although maturity and a growing awareness of current events has curbed my appetite for police procedurals, I still watch a lot of crime TV. All of which is to say I feel that I’m somewhat ofContinue reading “‘Two Truths’ Questions Fact and Fiction”

‘Women’ is Enraging, but in a Good Way

I had a hard time writing this review. Not because I can’t think of much to say about Caroline Criado Perez’s Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Built for Men—just the opposite. As I’ve read it over the last couple of weeks, I’ve hardly been able to shut up about it. But it’s notContinue reading “‘Women’ is Enraging, but in a Good Way”

Macabre History is a Delight in ‘Monster’

When I told my husband the book I was reading was called Monster, She Wrote, he said, “You’re only reading that because it sounds like Murder, She Wrote,” and then proceeded to describe a whole horror-themed knockoff of the classic 1984-1996 series starring our absolute queen, Angela Lansbury. Which was completely insulting, because the Murder,Continue reading “Macabre History is a Delight in ‘Monster’”

‘Hours’ tries furiously to connect its two halves

Harper Lee is one of those rare writers who managed to cement herself in literary canon with a single novel and a smattering of short stories. A recluse even J.D. Salinger could be proud of, she kept to herself, privately enjoying her earnings from To Kill A Mockingbird, poking her head out just long enoughContinue reading “‘Hours’ tries furiously to connect its two halves”