Jeanne Robinson - writer, dancer and wife of Spider Robinson - has passed over after a battle with cancer. She was the inspiration and co-writer of STARDANCE, on of the classic novels to come out in the 1970s. Our best wishes go out to the family.
Here are some reviews from Harriet.
Oceanview, Apr 1 2010, $25.95
The economic summit of the expanded G20 is being held at Cheyenne Resort in Colorado Springs. As expected security is extremely tight as the American agencies along with their counterparts from the other participating nations are everywhere insuring no terrorist incident occurs.
However, in spite of the safeguards seemingly within seconds of the opening gavel, a group breaches security and takes hostage all twenty leaders and others. Led by Richard Coffee, the first demand is the freeing of twenty detainees from Guantomino Bay prison; for every hourly delay one of the leaders will be executed. There is little choice except to give into Coffee's demands. However, posing as a maintenance worker, undercover black ops agent Derek Stillwater is the last hope. His plan is to eliminate the enemy efficiently one at a time and effectively neutralize the adversaries until he meets his former compatriot Richard "The Fallen Angel" Coffee.
The Fallen is an exhilarating thriller that grips the audience with the initial grab and though somewhat changes pace never let’s go of the reader’s attention. The story line is a fast-paced adrenalin rush, but ironically it is the debates between various leaders as to how to react to the terrorist abductions that makes the tale super. Thriller fans will want to read the Fallen who have legitimate complaints against their respective governments betraying them and ponder whether kick butt Cheney would say no negotiations with terrorists if he or one his family were the expendable hostages. Harriet Klausner
The Bone Thief
Morrow, Mar 2010, $24.99
University of Tennessee’s anthropology department chairman and the head of the school’s human decomposition research facility the Body Farm, Dr. Bill Brockton and his grad assistant Miranda Lovelady open a coffin to obtain a sample for a DNA paternity test. However, the remains inside have been desecrated.
The FBI asks Brockton to assist them on ending a lucrative body parts black market operation. He agrees to play the role of a supplier though he remains preoccupied by his last case Bones of Betrayal. At the same time he struggles with an undercover role to end a chop shop, his medical examiner friend Eddie Garcia has been exposed to a dose of radioactivity that has cost him both hands amputated and likely his job unless he takes an illegal underhanded spin with his hope being Brockton.
This is an entertaining Body Farm mystery as the hero is caught in a personal value’s dilemma between helping his friend and ending the black market sales of body parts. This issue comes on top of his inability to move past the betrayal that “murdered” his heart. Although two late shaky spins detract from an otherwise solid undercover tale, forensic fans will enjoy Dr. Brockton’s moral crisis.
Harper, Mar 2010, $24.99
NYPD is at the penthouse at 212 Lafayette owned by real-estate tycoon the Sam Sparks. Inside is the corpse Robert Mancini, an employee of the Sam Sparks. Leading the investigation is Detective Ellie Hatcher, who upsets the owner with her shoes on his carpet; the tycoon seems oblivious that his employee has been shot with a zillion or so bullets. Although evidence points towards an escort being with the victim just before he was killed, Hatcher finds that too convenient and looks closer at the Sam without ruling out the missing companion. That upsets her politically devoted bosses.
At the same time Hatcher is warned to stop looking at the Sam, NYU student Megan Gunther receives threatening messages on Campus Juice anonymous website. Her parents ask the police for help, but are told nothing can be done about untraceable creeps who have not broken the law. They are irate that unless something happens to their daughter, the cops will do nothing. They prove prophetic when someone kills Meghan less than twenty-four hours after their police visit although her escort roommate might have been the target. As more corpses are found, Hatcher and her partner J.J. Rogan struggle to end a serial killing spree.
The latest Hatcher police procedural see (Dead Connection and Angel’s Tip) is a tense modern day timely thriller that grips the audience from the opening murder scene and never slows down although there is an abundance of bodies. The convoluted story line is loaded with action as the two cops struggle with clues that end or take them in a different direction. Fans will enjoy this deep cautionary tale as Internet stalking is a phenomenon that is difficult to deal with beyond unplugging. Harriet Klausner