October 22, 2012

How Serial Rapists...

How Serial Rapists Target Their Victims
by Linda Fairstein
publisher Open Road Media
source:  NetGalley

Linda Fairstein's article  How Serial Rapists Target their Victims was originally written for Cosmopolitian in October 2010.   She describes a few cases of violent serial sex offenders.  Some were caught and convicted using DNA.  Others are still loose.   Fairstein, a prosecutor, gives some hints on how to prevent being a victim. 

Fairstein has also written a series of crime novels.  Her biography from the Open Road Media site says: 

Linda Fairstein is one of America's foremost legal experts on violent crimes against women and children, and a former chief of the Manhattan District Attorney's pioneering Special Victims Bureau. She developed many of the techniques that have revolutionized the prosecution of sexual predators, including her early introduction of DNA as a forensic tool.
Her articles are now available where ebooks are sold.  The link at the header will take you to Open Road Media.    I would have preferred reading a book rather than this article.  I felt some details were missing.

October 12, 2012

Luther: The Calling

Luther: The Calling
author:  Neil Cross
publisher:  Touchstone - Simon & Schuster
source:  publisher

People who watch BBC and BBC America are familiar with Luther, a detective with a hot temper.  Unfortunately our cable television doesn't offer BBC, so I didn't know who Luther was until I picked up the book.

What a character!  Neil  Cross is the creator of the BBC television series.   After two seasons, he wrote Luther: The Calling as a prequel to the first season's first show.   Cross uses the present tense which makes the story flow faster, almost like you are watching a fast-paced show.

The case in the book is about a baby being cut out of her mother.  Shudder. Such a dark tale with several things to make you shudder again and again.   Even though the novel is stand-alone, we are introduced to Luther, his wife Zoe, and his colleagues who are also in the television show.  We also meet the killer who stole the baby and other unsavory despicable characters.

Because I'm hooked on Facebook, my favorite part of the book is when Facebook is mentioned in a discussion between Luther and Benny.   Here's part of the conversation:
"What's the golden rule of social networking?"
"Don't do it?"
"No.  The golden rule is -- only put up information or images you're happy for everyone to see and are happy to put your name to ...."

Unfortunately, the victims (parents of the stolen baby) posted too much and anyone can see the posts.

My husband and I are now hooked on Luther.  We rent DVDs from Netflix, and watch it with popcorn.  I'm eager to read future books about Luther.

Incidentally, Idris Elba  won the 2012 Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Mini-Series for his portrayal of Luther.  Cross himself, the screenwriter and author, has been nominated and received many awards, including the Edgar Award.

October 11, 2012

Once Upon a Time Machine

Once Upon a Time Machine
editors:  Andrew Carl and Chris Stevens
publisher:  Dark Horse Comics
source:  NetGalley

We tend to think of fairy tales as set in the distant past, long before automobiles and computers were invented.  Some of us grew up reading Andrew Lang's Red Fairy Book,   Lilac Fairy Book, the (name almost any color) Fairy Book.    Of course Grimm delighted and scared us.  Disney movies created before we were born or during our childhood introduced us to Cinderella, Snow White, and others.

Suppose fairy tales and fictional classics are set in the future.  Would they be any different?  If so, how?    Several writers and artists collaborate on stories featuring familiar and unfamiliar characters.  The publisher's page has a link to some preview pages.

Like most anthologies, some of the stories are good and some are horrid.   Maybe it was because I was trying to read it on my iPad, but some of the fonts or typefaces were very difficult to see-read.

Some characters have one full page, such as Santa Claus who is not in a sleigh, but in a bubble rocket pulled by a robotic red-nosed reindeer.  I liked Rapunzel's technical golden hair.  

I appreciated the opportunity to read this graphic anthology, but it wasn't the best I've ever read. 
Perhaps because my eyes are too old to focus upon an e-reader version of a galley.

October 10, 2012

Until We All Come Home

to be published November 6, 2012
publisher:  FaithWords, Hachette
source: publisher

Kim and Jahn de Blecourt with their daughter Jacey go to Ukraine to adopt a boy.  They visit two different boys in Ukranian orphanages.  They realize the boys would not fit in their family.  The third boy, Sasha, three years old, is the perfect one.  While Jahn and Kim go through the application and paperwork process,  Kim is attacked by an elderly woman before going into McDonald's.  The assault was for no reason at all.

This is only the beginning of Kim's problems.  Weeks go by. Jahn has to go back home to Michigan for work.  Kim's worst problem is that a prosecutor takes an intense dislike to her and sets up several barriers for her to jump through.   Even after the family legally adopts Sasha, now renamed Jake,  Kim and Jake cannot leave Ukraine.

Months pass.  Months!  Kim holds tightly to God, but suffers depression through a long cold winter.  The true story becomes similar to a spy story, complete with hiding in secret and attempts to cross a country's border even with warrants out for Kim's name.

I visited Ukraine in the summer of 2011.  The Ukraine airport is the only place where I've been "patted down."    I remember some places Kim mentions such as Independence Square.  In fact that square is where Kim was assaulted.

Several friends have adopted or are in the process of adopting. I pray they do not go through what Kim did.

Interesting book, suspenseful.  Towards the end, Kim tells us how God helped her through. Others might call it coincidences, but actually these events are God-led.

October 1, 2012


Mercury:  An Intimate Biography of Freddie Mercury
author:  Lesley-Ann Jones
publisher:  Touchstone Books, Simon & Schuster
source:  publisher

Confession,  I had never heard of Queen or Freddie Mercury until I received this biography for review.   So I opened the cover without any pre-conceived notions about Mercury.   I was surprised to find out he died more than twenty years ago.

The author, Jones,  toured with Queen, and interviewed hundreds of people.  Therefore, she has insight into Mercury in the band.  She does a great job telling about Farrokh Bulsara's childhood.  Freddie was born in Zanzibar, and was sent to India for boarding school around the age of nine.  It broke my heart to see how rarely he saw his family -- only once a year.

For such a shy person,  Mercury had many loves and lovers.   He knew how to throw wild parties as shown in photographs.   He was one of the first rock stars to die of Aids.      I enjoyed reading the biography and learning about such a flamboyant, yet shy, character.

At the closing ceremony of the Olympics, Mercury made a digital appearance!  This goes to show how well known he is. even decades after his death.   A movie based on Mercury starring Sacha Baron Cohen is in the works.  Because of the biography written by Jones, I am eager to see the movie when it comes out.