Book Reviews

A Gathering of Crows

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"A Gathering of Crows" by Brian Keene
Reviewed by Tracy Satterlee

Brinkley Springs is a rural town on its last legs. The teens move away as soon as they graduate high school, nobody moves in, and the elderly gradually die off. Bad as it is, things are going to get much worse: five dark figures have appeared, servants of an old god, and their job is to kill and to feed.

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Isabel at Midnight

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Isabel at Midnight by Ken Knight
Reviewed by Karl Wolff

Isabel at Midnight offers a fascinating mixture of organized crime, white supremacists, and “psycho-kink.”  The novel centers on Isabel Marcano, a scion of a Virginia-based Mafia family.  She suffers from helios-porphyria, meaning she would get serious burns if she exposed her skin to sunlight.

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"Fury" by Robert K. Tanenbaum
Reviewed by Steve Chaput

I don't recall reading any of Robert Tanenbaum's previous 16 novels in this series, so I was unfamiliar with the characters and their history. Fortunately, Tanenbaum fills in the new reader once the story begins to unfold. On the other hand, as Joe Bob has said in some of his movie reviews, "there's a whole lot of plot getting in the way of the story."

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"Shame" by Alan Russell
Reviewed by Tracy Satterlee

Gray Parker murdered 15 women and was executed, but his crimes influenced two people in unexpected ways. Maryelizabeth Line is the only woman to have survived Parker's attentions. She writes a book about Parker, conducting extensive interviews with him before his execution.

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Bush vs the Environment

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"Bush Versus the Environment" by Robert S. Devine
Reviewed by Mark Bellis

I've got one of those wrist watches that set themselves to a radio signal from Colorado so that they're always accurate to the second. I have it because Dr. Phil is on just before the news, and any time you're not watching a quack who tells the world that a pathetic nine-year-old has more characteristics of a serial killer than Jeffrey Dahmer is time well spent.

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Honey is Sweeter than Blood

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"Honey Is Sweeter Than Blood" by Jeffrey Thomas
Reviewed by Andrea Speed

Erotic horror is one of those hybrids that always seems off kilter, as it’s tough to get it just right. Either there’s too much horror for the erotic fans, or too much erotica for the horror fans. I don’t envy any author who tries to write in this genre. How successful Thomas is depends on your criteria for both.

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Fear of Gravity

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"Fear of Gravity" by Brian Keene
Reviewed by Andrea Speed

This collection of horror stories does have something going  for it in that it plays with many untraditional ideas in a genre where nearly everything has been done before. A horror story set in the aftermath of the World Trade Center towers collapse? It's here. A horror story taking place during the Gulf war? This has that, too.

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Object of Virtue

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"Object of Virtue" by Nicholas B.A. Nicholson
Reviewed by Tracy Satterlee

In the art world an "object of virtue" is something made up of perfect pieces that demonstrates the skills of its maker. (In other words, a flawless Fabregé egg would be termed an object of virtue.) Sasha Ozerovsky is an expert in Russian objects of virtue and works for a Manhattan auction house. Sasha's great grandparents were exiled Russian nobles, and Sasha is actually a prince.

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Odd Thomas

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"Odd Thomas" by Dean Koontz
Reviewed by Nikki Tranter

It's funny. Back when I was an avid Dean Koontz reader, the man was modest-looking with a slight paunch, bald, and hiding his top lip beneath a thick, black moustache. These days, however, he's trim,
barefaced, with a full head of hair. Seemingly overnight, the distinguished gentleman on the back cover of "Strangers" in 1986 morphed into the hip dude featured on the back flap of 2002's "The Face."

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