Sandra Weinhardt, Book Reviews Spring 2002

Sandra Weinhardt, Book Reviews Spring 2002

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Updated March 2, 2003.
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Books I Read, Spring 2002

These books have kept me awake too late at night:


Nayes, Alan………………….Gargoyles

An extremely well-written medical thriller, Gargoyles considers the implications of cloning.  Excellent characterization, dialogue, scenic descriptions and plot further the tension.  Your trek throught the Guatamalan rain forest will leave you sweating and breathless.  I thought he did his female characters extraordinarily well. He was inside their heads and hearts.

Let me quote other authors who read Gargoyles: "heart-stoppign page turner" (April Christofferson, author of The Protocol and Edgewater)

"A splendid debut. A timely tale, steadily accelerating suspense…" (Charles Wilson, USA Today bestselling author of Deep Sleep and Extinct.)  You can buy this 2002 hardback published by Tor/Forge (division of St. Martin’s)  at Borders or from Amazon.  Alan has a second book coming out this year. You won’t be disappointed!

Kosko, Bart……………..Nanotime

Israel, Egypt, the Palestinians, Syria, Lebanon, the United States, Russia, China, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Kazachstan…..
Nanotimeis set in 2030, when computer chips and intrigue are much more complicated  than now.   I’m unfamiliar with science fiction, but I found myself laughing out loud at the creative mind who envisioned Nanotime.  Later it got too bloody so I skipped a few pages, but then the politics regained the upper hand and all turned out just as I had feared.  This is unarguably the most well-researched techno-thriller of the 1990s.Kosko, a professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Southern California,  is the author of Fuzzy Thinking.   He holds degrees in philosophy, electrical engineering, economics and mathematics.  By all means, treasure your copy of Nanotime as soon as you can get one. (I got mine in pb at the local Dollar Store.)Published by Avon in 1997.

Darden, Christopher and Lochte, Dick…………..L.A. Justice

I wondered what to expect with this mystery. It’s a legal thriller, the second in the Nikki Hill series. Totally absorbing and enjoyable. You know Dick Lochte from Sleeping Dog, etc. and you know what a delectable writer he is. Give this series a try when you can stay up very late, reading. You have, of course, read Darden’s take on his O.J. trial, right? Penguin Putnam Signet book, 2002, pb. Hardcover published by Warner books.

Buchanan, Edna………………Suitable for Framing

     My favorite reporter and her alter ego, Britt Montero, are involved in a classic All About Eve situation, with the new, young, eager employee out to take over Britt’s desk. Miami gang life and enormous pressure make Britt’s true grit save the day. Bravo! Hyperion, 1995.

See, Lisa………………..Flower Net

     A wonderful read, the gripping mystery of two dead young men in China, one the son of the American ambassador, the other the son of one of the richest industrialists in China. Chinese gangs, an American agent sent over to work on the case, emotional baggage, exotic settings, intrigue and people around every corner…. If this doesn’t get made into a movie, nothing ever will! I can’t wait for the next Lisa See book. Harper Collins, 1997.

Holden, Craig……………Four Corners of Night

      A police procedural with a twist, alternate chapters cover a present kidnapping and a previous kidnapping. The setting is Toledo, Ohio. This plot has more turns than any book I’ve read. Even when it’s over, it isn’t over, and that’s fine. Island Books, 1999 pb. Craig Holden has also written The River Sorrow as well as The Last Sanctuary. I look forward to reading them.

MacDonald, Patricia…………Lost Innocents

     This one got rave reviews and held my attention, but I didn’t learn anything. I feel ripped off when that happens. Good escape reading. Warner Books, 1998, pb.

Land, Jon………………….The Walls of Jericho

     I’m reading all I can about the Middle-East these days. This book parallels Lisa See’s Flower Net in that it too has detectives from two different countries, in this case Israel and Palestine. They have to stop a serial killer whose murders will prevent peace talks from happening. Palestine and Israel have had a full year of peace until these political killings start. I gained much insight into the refugee camp horrors and the political machinations of both countries.


Cox, Elizabeth………………..Thanksgiving

     Subtitled "An AIDS Journal," this remarkable diary of Elizabeth’s life while her husband lives with AIDS will stay in your memory. Her husband was Keith Avedon, a cousin of the famous photographer Richard Avedon.  . The edge to this book is Betsy’s anger and how she, in her 20s, copes with her son, her husband’s career and deterioration, relatives, neighbors, friends, extreme money problems and all the overwhelming emotions that could drive anyone mad.

Harper and Row, 1990.

Lemon, Meadowlark and Jenkins, Jerry B. …………..Meadowlark

     A must read sports bio long on the struggle of a child to learn a sport, short on the complicated lovelife. If you mentor boys in sports, read this book. Well, girls too. Thomas Nelson publishers, 1987.

Yoder, Samuel A…………..Middle-East Sojourn

     Yoder went to Egypt and Ethiopia as a Mennonite relief worker right after WW II. This book, published in 1951, gives another view of the refugee plight after the second World War. Though now politically incorrect, Yoder’s descriptions of the places he visited, mentioned in the Bible, are amazing. Published by Herald Press, Scottsdale, Pennsylvania. I’ve met people who had been in refugee camps, but I didn’t know what they were like. Yoder knows.

Watkins, Ronald J…………………Against Her Will

     True crime, the murder of 12 year-old Kelly Ann Tines in Valley Stream, New York. The effect on the neighborhood is the strangest part of this book. The convicted killer, a neighborhood young man four doors away from Kelly’s house, has never said a word about it all. Creepy to read. Makes you look at your neighbors oddly for a while. Pinnacle Books, 1995 pb.

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