Fiction

“L” is for Lawless by Sue Grafton

Grafton, Sue. “L” is for Lawless  (1995)  Holt, 290 pages, $24.00 hardcoverISBN  0-8050-1937-5 Many critics called “K” is for Killer Grafton’s darkest, most disturbing novel.  Grafton herself may have felt the same way, because  “L” is for Lawless seems to be a concerted attempt at humor. The novel opens in comical circumstances:  Henry Pitts, Kinsey’s …

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“Choke” by Stuart Woods

Woods, Stuart. Choke (1995)   Harper Collins, 280 pages, $23.00 hardcover  ISBN  0-06-017667-9 Twenty some years ago Chuck Chandler choked.  Right on Centre Court at Wimbledon.  He squandered three match points, then went on to lose the most prestigious championship in tennis. It’s 1995 when we next see Chuck, who has just arrived in Key …

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“K” is for Killer by Sue Grafton

Grafton, Sue. “K” is for Killer  (1994)Holt, 285 pages, $22.95 hardcoverISBN  0-8050-1936-7 Janice Kepler is having trouble coping with her daughter’s death.  She’s joined a support group but finds it little comfort.  One night she leaves the group meeting early and sees a light on in the office of Millhone Investigations. Janice explains to Kinsey …

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“Palindrome” by Stuart Woods

Woods, Stuart. Palindrome (1991)   Harper, 447 pages, $5.99 paperback   ISBN  0 06 109936 8 A woman staggers into a hospital emergency room so badly beaten she’s unrecognizable.  The patient is Liz Barwick, professional photographer and wife of pro football player Baker Ramsey.  After receiving a hefty divorce settlement from Ramsey ,thought of obtaining …

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“Hornet’s Nest” by Patricia Cornwell

Cornwell, Patricia. Hornet’s Nest (1996)   G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 377 pages, $25.95 hardcover   ISBN 0 399 14228 2 I hoped that a break from Dr. Scarpetta might rejuvenate Patricia Cornwell’s writing. It didn’t. This is among the worst novels I’ve ever read. Most books this poorly written would end up in some editor’s wastebasket. …

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“Under the Lake” by Stuart Woods

Woods, Stuart. Under the Lake (1987)   Avon, $6.50  paperback  ISBN  0 30 70519 2 In this excellent supernatural thriller, John Howell, former newspaper reporter and recipient of the Nobel Prize, is approaching 40.  Having burned out on newspaper work, he is now supposedly working on The Great American Novel;  actually, he spends his days …

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“Cause of Death” by Patricia Cornwell

Cornwell, Patricia. Cause of Death (1996)   G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 340 pages, $25.95 hardcover   ISBN 0 399 14146 4 This book opens with a powerful image:  “On the last morning of Virginia’s bloodiest year since the Civil War, I built a fire and sat facing a window of darkness where at sunrise I knew …

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“From Potter’s Field” by Patricia Cornwell

Cornwell, Patricia. From Potter’s Field  (1995)   Scribner, 412 pages, $24.00 hardcover   ISBN 0-684-19598-4 In the few days surrounding Christmas, Dr. Kay Scarpetta, Pete Marino (now a police captain), and FBI agent Benton Wesley pursue Temple Gault, a serial killer who has appeared in earlier Scarpetta novels. Scarpetta’s niece, computer whiz Lucy, now age …

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