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The Crying Girl by Glen Ebisch

Publisher:  Avalon  ISBN:  978-0-8034-9829-7

Reviewed by Anne K. Edwards, New Mystery Reader 

Amanda Vickers, editor of Roaming New England, gets a call from an old teacher who is very mysterious about an old inn she should visit. However, death intervenes and the teacher never gets to tell Amanda her story.

The call was like many she got, promising something of interest for a new column called  Weird Happenings which was the most popular item in the magazine. Upon learning her teacher is dead, Amanda decides to go see the old inn to find out why the old woman was so interested in it.  And to find out why she died.

Her editor makes her take the assistant editor along for safety.  On reaching their destination, they learn someone doesn't want them investigating the inn which is supposed to be haunted.  If its something as simple as an old ghost story, why not let them investigate.  Who doesn't want them there?

A well told tale by talented author Glen Ebisch that will please any mystery buff.  You'll wonder if the inn is haunted or if there is a cold blooded killer on the prowl.  Join Amanda and Marcie as they try to sort it out.

I'm pleased to recommend this fun read.  Enjoy.  I did.

 

 

 

 

Ladykiller by Lawrence Light and Meredith Anthony

Publisher:  Oceanview Publishing  ISBN:  978-1-933515-05-2

Reviewed by Susan Illis, New Mystery Reader

A housewife.  A prostitute.  A stockbroker.  And a teenaged girl.  Dave Dillon and other members of the Ladykiller task force are struggling to determine what these four had in common, other than being victims of the serial killer called the Ladykiller.  Dillon is desperate to solve the case to save his career in the NYPD. 

When the fifth victim, Reuben Silver, a counselor at the West Side Crisis Center, breaks what little pattern theyíve established, Dillon looks more closely at the crisis center.  He looks even more closely at the beautiful young social worker, Megan Morrison.  As Megan helps him interview families of the victims, they cannot ignore their growing mutual attractionóor the inexplicable resentment of Meganís colleague and mentor, Nita Bergstrom.

Two early suspects, Billy Ray Battle and Ace, involve the seedy area of Manhattan known as the Deuce.  The subculture of the Foxy Lady, exotic dancers, prostitutes, and the homeless add depth, but not much else to the story.

Full of suspense and surprises, Ladykiller is a glimpse into the underbelly of Manhattan in 1991.  The relationship between Dillon and Megan is unconvincing, and other than her beauty, itís a mystery what draws Dillon to the insipid and immature Megan.  It turns out that insipidity and vacuousness are the least of her problems.  Although writers are discouraged from giving too much backstory, readers of Ladykiller may often wonder if they missed a prequel; occasional allusions are made to Dillonís past, but an explanation is never given.  Unparalleled in its shock value, Ladykillerís other flaws fade into Manhattanís dark alleys.

 

 

American Outrage by Tim Green

Publishers: Warner Books,  ISBN: 044657743X

Reviewed by Narayan Radhakrishnan, New Mystery Reader

Tim Green is a growing author. Each book gets better than the last. From the early football novels (Outlaws and Redzone- both featuring attorney Madison McCall) to the off the block legal thrillers (The Letter of Law), with each book, Tim green grew better and better. And his latest work AMERICAN OUTRAGE is something thatís totally different in plot and genre as compared to the earlier works.

This time round Green focuses his attention to another passion of his life- journalism. And in fact the author has had a career as a footballer, a lawyer and as sports commentator. Loosely based on the stories he's heard, and experiences he had as a journalist- Green has delivered a somberly suspenseful read in AMERICAN OUTRAGE.

Jack Carlson, a correspondent with a TV show American Outrage, specializes in sensational tabloid journalism, giving the public what they want to hear, the juicy tidbits and the gossip.  And so it's easy for Carlson to justify his role and consider himself as the ultimate truth seeker, until one day his adopted son asks him to use his devious means of amassing information to find out details about Samís biological mother. Though initially flabbergasted by such a request- Carlson decides to unearth the secret behind Samís birth.

But what should be a routine investigation turns sour when Jack Carlson unearths some hidden worms, unexpectedly exposing a child trafficking racket behind the adoption process. Suddenly Jack is caught in a conundrum- should he break this news, possibly THE breaking news of his career, or should he value the privacy of his child?  And when slowly the hunter becomes the victim of tabloid's invasion of privacy, Jack has the unenviable task of being in both positions as the hunter and as a victim at the same time.

The thin lines between news, truth, sensationalism, and exploitation are succinctly delineated in the book.  Where should one draw the line, what is public interest, and how should oneís privacy be respected- etc. are subtly presented in the book, with the authorís experience as a journalist adding credibility to both questions and consequences.

A highly, highly enjoyable and thought provoking novel, AMERICAN OUTRAGE is heavily recommended.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lone Creek by Neil McMahon

Publisher: HarperCollins  ISBN-10: 0060792213

Reviewed by Stephanie Padilla, New Mystery Reader

It's been years since Hugh Davoren shed his ill-fitting life as a married man and small time journalist in California to make his living as a carpenter in the rough and tumble country of his home-town Montana, a life he still isn't quite sure fits any better.  But when he comes upon the mutilated bodies of two horses after a long day of working on the renovations of a wealthy rancher's new mansion, even this modicum of relative contentment is shattered. 

Suddenly finding himself warding of danger from both sides of the law, he goes on the run with the enigmatic wealthy rancher's wife who eerily reminds him of his first love who died tragically years before.  And as he races to find answers to these recent threatening events, never knowing for sure just who to trust, he'll also find himself looking into the unanswered question from his past, with each secret uncovered putting his life further into danger.

This interesting first outing in McMahon's apparent new series is quite the departure from his earlier suspense novels of markedly eclectic plotlines that seemed to run the gamut for the genre.  But now, settling into a world of outlaws, untamed countryside, and heroes with dirt under their nails, he brings us a contemporary western that promises to provide a story much closer his own world. 

This is definitely a "dude" book; one in which true justice is sorted out with fists and guns rather than courtrooms and lawyers, where cowboys roam the range in their beat up old pick ups, and where woman are superfluous sinners or saints with motives not to be trusted.  Some will love it, and some won't; either way, it's worth the read to find out.