Archive for April, 2012
For many of us growing up as children in the middle of the twentieth century, we expected to have our dreams fulfilled, love, marriage, education, a successful career, …
Hindsight always gives a person an advantage. However, in A Bitter Veil, an American girl, Anna, meets an Iranian boy, Nouri, who is studying engineering in Chicago. They meet in a bookstore and begin to discuss Persian poetry. This is the beginning of their loving relationship. It seemed like the perfect match even though she was blond and he had dark hair. Both had that Aryan look about their eyes. At that time not many people in this country had married someone from this area of the world. Being That in Iran at this time had about 46,000 Americans living there and appeared progressive with technology, styles, and habits, no one could have predicted how things could and would change in a very short time.
Anna had never been close to her family so her love for Nouri fulfilled her and she eagerly anticipated having an extended family, even if it is in Iran. Fortunately, Nouri’s family was wealthy and greatly benefited from the Shah’s reign basically living a Western life in Tehran. As the couple begins their new life in the modern Iran of 1978, the southern section of Tehran is having demonstrations and riots due to the inequality of opportunities inside this country. The southern part of this city is poor, the northern section where this couple lives, appears not to even be aware of the problems.
When the Shah leaves and the Ayatollah returns to the country, many people are eager for the change, this should fulfill their hopes and dreams. However, when the U.S. Embassy is attacked and those inside are held hostage, the attitude towards Americans and modernization quickly changes. This reversion to the old beliefs is difficult for those who were in favor with the previous governmental powers.
In A Bitter Veil, the voice of Anna is realistic and believable. Libby Fischer Hellman extensively researched this time period, the changes in Iran, and those people who actually underwent this experience. This in-depth fictional story is well-organized, engaging, as well as informative of actual historical episodes and the effects on those Americans in Iran.
A Bitter Veil is a true historical experience. Even though it is a romance at first, it is also a mystery, and definitely reflective to the changes within Iran.
Hindsight always makes us reflect into a right or wrong situation. A Bitter Veil allows us to view the changes through the eyes of a naïve Westerner while also having the reader develop a deeper understanding of the people.
Edward Jenner, Medical Examiner, is filling in for his friend, Doctor Roburn, also a Medical Examiner, in Port Fontaine, Southwest FL. Jenner’s medical license has been suspended in NY and the offer of filling in came at a great time. His license had been suspended because he shot the person that had killed one of his friends and carved up another.
Out on a run he comes across the police who are trying to raise a car that went into the Everglades. The horror begins when the car reveals the body of Doctor Roburn, who has been tortured along with the body of his wife in the trunk. Read the rest of this entry »
A trip to Key West and a stay at the Brandenton Beach Resort is the latest on Delilah Dickinson Literary Tours. Fans of Ernest Hemingway were all looking forward to an adventurous vacation but no one, not even Delilah Dickinson, had any idea just how adventurous this trip would turn out to be.
The participants on the tour were a diversified group and some had something more than Hemingway on their mind. Luke, Delilah’s son-in-law and assistant, comes along on the tour and does his best to help Delilah keep everyone under control.
Walter Harvick who is on the tour alone feels that he knows more about Hemingway than the author knew about himself and does not hesitate to let everyone know that he is an expert. He even goes so far as to start a fight in “Sloppy Joe’s”, a bar with the same name as the bar that Hemingway was known to frequent. Read the rest of this entry »
“Death, not time, is probably the only lasting remedy for hurt and even that’s just an educated guess.”
Moe Prager is the realistic protagonist in the latest book in this series by Reed Farrel Coleman, Hurt Machine. Moe is a private investigator who also happens to be Jewish, who spent years working as NYPD, but made the choice to do the right thing, rather than be promoted. His thoughts are on his recent diagnosis of stomach cancer with the upcoming surgery and having his daughter, Sarah, getting married. He doesn’t plan to tell Sarah about the cancer until after the wedding. The surgery is scheduled during her honeymoon.
A former investigative partner, Carmella Melendez, asks for Moe’s help with discovering the murderer of her sister, Alta. Alta was stabbed to death after a highly publicized incident where Alta and her
partner refused to give medical help to a dying man even though they were trained as EMTs. The press crucified the two which cost them their careers complete with public hatred. The partner was forced into complete isolation due to the public hatred. Why would two EMTs refuse to help a dying man? What logical reason could there be? What really happened? Why were there no witnesses who came forward regarding Alta’s death? Read the rest of this entry »
Guilt by Association starts out with a bang and keeps you on your toes until the very last page. I love the characters in this book; they are so defined as to who they are and how they act. They have quick tempers, wit and intelligence and somehow solve the case that they aren’t supposed to be anywhere near without getting into too much trouble.
Rachael Knight, a prosecutor, realizes how little she knows about the people she works with because she doesn’t see most of them outside of work. When a co-worker Jake is found dead and seems to have committed a horrible crime, Rachel won’t believe it. When Rachel and her best friend Bailey, who is one of the best detectives on the LAPD force, team up there is no stopping them. They talk sassy and tend to bend the rules just a bit too far. Read the rest of this entry »
Jade de Jong, a private investigator from Jo’burg, South Africa had booked a scuba get away in St.Lucia with hopes that her boyfriend, police superintendent David Patel would soon join her. The whole idea of it was a bit of a stretch for Jade given that she was terrified of deep water, but David loved to dive and so Jade had decided to come early, take the scuba course offered at the resort and be ready to dive with him when he arrived. Which should have happened already, but David had been delayed by a last minute case and since Jade was going into panic attacks when she dove and had not yet passed the course, was probably a good thing. But things got worse. When David did arrive, he came wanting to have “the talk” that never bodes well for a relationship, and before Jade can adjust to that, her scuba instructor, Amanda is found stabbed to death.
David offers to assist the local authorities in their investigation and although things are not good between the two of them, Jade joins forces to investigate as well since she feels a personal connection to Amanda. The thing is, initially there is very little to investigate. Amanda seems to be the best liked, intelligent but quiet person who ever existed, so who would want her dead? But quiet people often run deep and Amanda was no exception. There was the fact that she was but a few months removed from her job as an air traffic controller and the post card found in her room with the mysterious message. Was Amanda not who she seemed to be? Read the rest of this entry »
When Anna Schroder and Nouri Samedi met while students at the University of Chicago, it was really love at first sight. Even as they grew closer and moved in together, thoughts of what would happen when they graduated lingered in the back of their minds. Nouri was destined to return to his native Iran and work to continue his country’s modernization. When Nouri asked Anna to marry him and move to Iran with him, she had a few reservations, but she wasn’t really close to her family, Nouri assured her his family would welcome her and there was no doubt in her mind that Nouri was her one true love. And so she agreed.
When the young couple first arrived in Iran, Anna thought her life was perfect. Nouri’s parents were well off and provided a beautiful house for the couple. Nouri soon found a job he was excited about and Anna was hired to teach English and American customs at a school. Nouir’s family had been quite welcoming and his sister had become a close friend. Yes, life was perfect. Perfect that is, until the Shah’s government was overthrown and he was forced to leave the country and the Ayatollah Khomeini returned to power. From that point on, everything in Anna’s life went sour. Both Nouri and she lost their jobs, his family lost their wealth and power, and the government intruded into every part of their lives. Read the rest of this entry »
For those who live in Iowa, it is not unusual to observe trains with coal and grain cars marked with graffiti that seem to be endless. Whether the railroad cars are full or empty, their constant presence is part of the landscape. Who would expect there to be eleven dead bodies in a grain car of one train headed to be loaded with grain in a remote Iowa town?
In the small town of Denison, Iowa, during 2002, a worker was inspecting the grain cars before loading them at the local elevator. As he unlocked one car, he looked a little longer, believing that he was seeing a shadow. When the shadow resembled human skeletons, he immediately informed the local law enforcement agency.
After further investigation, eleven skeletons were discovered. These were people who apparently willingly entered this grain car with the idea that they would only be temporarily locked inside. However, the short time turned out to be months of being baked inside a metal car during the hot, humid summer months. Who were these people? Why would anyone willingly enter a locked train car during a hot Texas summer? Read the rest of this entry »
Jefferson Bass is the writing duo of Dr. Bill Blass and Jon Jefferson. This is their sixth bone farm novel.
Dr. Bill Brockton is a forensic anthropologist at the Bone Farm. Here they take bodies and teach students forensics. One such student, Angie, is called away home. Dr. Brockton then gets a call from Angie requiring his help. Her sister is dead apparently from a self-inflicted gun shot would that Angie believes her brother-in-law committed. This is not the story of The Bone Yard. Read the rest of this entry »
Life is seldom simple for Harry Hole. As a recovering alcoholic, Harry knows that he is an excellent police detective but realizes that he will not rise any higher in the law enforcement hierarchy. He believes in doing the right thing, solving the crime, even if he does step on toes of those who are in power positions. Harry just doesn’t play the political game well. His expertise is doing what is just, in his mind.
Harry Hole is investigating a bank robbery. A man walked into a bank in Oslo, Norway and immediately placed a gun to an employee’s head. He quietly tells this employee to count to twenty-five while the manager is opening the safe. If the safe is not opened within the time limit, the employee is murdered. She is shot in the head. What are her last words to her killer? On the tapes, Harry wonders if she recognized the murderer. She seemed to have a smile on her face and he seemed to definitely be in her personal comfort zone of space.
Being that Hole’s significant girlfriend has returned to Russia for a custody battle with her former husband, he quickly falls into a former relationship with Anna, an artist. Somehow, Harry awakens with no memory of this night and Anna is found murdered. Did Harry kill her while he was in an alcoholic blackout?
Harry has difficulty with many of his superiors in the police force, especially Tom Waaler, who is everything that Harry is not, his nemesis. Tom is handsome, political, accustomed to getting his own way by using people, and with his own sense of morality or ethics. Perhaps in the morality or ethics, the two in some way resemble each other. Read the rest of this entry »