Book reviews for true crime junkies; probe the minds of murderers with our collection of novels, memoirs, biographies, criminal psychology and forensic science books.
"Set in a Small Town" - Mystery Thrillers with a Common Backdrop
The world of mystery and suspense fiction is vast and filled with all varieties of stories. Nonetheless, in all these stories, there is a central puzzle that must be solved. A question is posed at the beginning of the story and readers are promised answers at the end. A good mystery should grab its readers' attention with an intriguing question and then urge them to stay invested till the resolution. Part of the intrigue is associated with the central puzzle itself. The rest of the intrigue is associated with its backdrop. Just as an old, creaking house feels more spooky when one enters it on a quiet night, the place where an incident occurs gives the much-needed context to our question and compels us to think about why the question is important. Another important aspect of the story is the set of main characters who undergo all sorts of twists and turns to resolve this great puzzle. The journey that these characters undergo is central to the overarching theme of the story. Readers might not feel invested in the revelations of the story if they do not believe in the characters or their journey. Therefore, an apt combination of an incident, its backdrop, and a believable main character is required to capture the readers' attention and keep them engaged throughout the story. In this blog, I would like to talk about one such combination and the books in which I have encountered them.
"Telling a Lie" - Does it Work as the Main Plot Device of a Story?
I love reading and I want to love everything that I read. But, alas, I do not end up enjoying every story. There are some that I admire immensely and there are others that fail to impress me. In this blog, I would like to talk about two stories, viz., "Anything You Do Say" and "The Lying Game", that just could not hold my attention because of their main plot device - "characters lying to one another".
Why I Love Agatha Christie and Her World of Crime
I remember I was looking up the bookshelves in my school’s library, trying to find some fiction to read. Exams had just been over and so, I wanted to spend my time immersed in stories rather than studies. I came across a few books by this author named “Agatha Christie”. Incidentally, just a few days ago, I had asked my father who Agatha Christie was and he replied in a very simple manner that she was an author who wrote crime fiction. One of the books available in my school was “And Then There Were None”, and I picked it just because I liked the title. When I brought the book home, my father told me that it was a good choice. And boy was that true. Till then, I had not read anything like that. From the way the characters were introduced to the manner in which the surroundings were described, everything pointed out that something dark is lurking behind the shadows. Needless to say, I was engrossed in the story from the very beginning and by the time I finished the book, I knew that I was an absolute fan. With all my excitement of just finishing a fantastic book, I told my father about my newfound love for Agatha Christie’s writing only to realize that he already was a huge admirer of her work. It felt really special and surreal when I realized that the love and affection that I feel for Christie’s work is something that I shared with my father.
Books for those interested in Criminology/Criminal Justice to Read
1. The Defense is Ready by Leslie Abramson with Richard Flaste This book is about criminal defense lawyer Leslie Abramson and her journey to becoming a lawyer from the time periods of the 70's-90's. She talks about her experience as a public defender to going into private practice. At the end she discusses her work on the State v. Menendez (1993, 1996) trials, where she was a defense lawyer for Erik Menendez. This book was absolutely gripping, one I couldn't put down. I recommend this book for those wanting a closer look into what it's like to become a criminal defense lawyer.
China plane crash: One damaged 'black box’ found, details about pilots released
China Eastern Airline: The plane - a Boeing 737-800 - crashed in China's Guangxi region on Monday, killing every one of the 132 ready.
Brooklyn Native has Lived and Written a Remarkable Life as a Deep Undercover Boston Police Officer
Anyone who has lived the life of a police officer is going to have some pretty good stories to tell. Even so, the recountings may only be as good as the storyteller. But Ernie Lijoi got a pretty good sense he could retell a tale from the police reports he wrote over the 27 years he served in the Massachusetts State Police. “One lawyer said to me that your reports read like a book. They are enjoyable to read,” conveyed Lijoi, and the Port Charlotte retiree, who spent almost two decades as a deep cover operative, didn’t let those literary skills go to waste when his career ended in 1993.
The Sniper by Liam O´Flaherty and Just Lather, That´s All by Hernando Tellez
whether or not he follows through with his actions. In the short stories The Sniper by Liam O'Flaherty and Just Lather, That's All by Hernando Téllez, the killer must decide the fate of their victims under circumstantial constraints. The two story explore the difference between killing at a close proximity compared to killing at a distance, and how they affect the killer's final decision. The perspective of the two stories allow the reader to perceive the sense of proximity the protagonist has with their victim. The Sniper is told in an objective point of view, the reader is presented only with short and factual information, keeping a distance between the reader and the story. Just Lather, That's All on the other hand, is told from a first person point of view, the reader intimately experiences the thoughts and feelings of the barber. The different points of view are used to give the reader an understanding of the distance the protagonists have with their victims. The third person point of view in The Sniper presents factual information, similar to how the sniper only knows what he sees of his targets. There is no compassion for the sniper when he is shot because it is stated in a neutral stand, just as he feels no compassion for his victims because he has not personally known them nor does he know their thoughts and feelings. The first person point of view in Just Lather, That's All gives a sense on empathy for the barber, as his thoughts and reasoning is presented, there is an understanding to why he d...... under any immediate danger (Téllez). Even though Captain Torres is very close to the barber, he is in a position of disadvantage because he is disarmed and he is retrained by the sheet that the barber put on him (Téllez). The proximity of the killer to their victim creates circumstances in which forces one to kill or allows one to not kill.
Book Review: "Warlock" by Oakley Hill
When I read something about crime and history, I like there to be a good amount of story and backstory to flesh out. Books such as The Devil in the White City and The Killers of the Flower Moon are great for doing this, but if we go even further back in history, there is a lot of concentration on the actual crimes in almost a visual way. This is primarily because the crimes cannot be as easily accessed since they are so far in the past. I would like to hail this book entitled Warlock by Oakley Hill for its ability to not only provide the reader with a great visual crime story, but also backstory and atmosphere in which we can vividly image what is happening. The story is long, and often at times it can get a bit confusing - but making it through this book has been a great experience because normally, this is not a book I would pick up at all.
The 10 Best Books by John Grisham
John Ray Grisham Jr. is the sixth most read writer in the United States of America, according to Publishers Weekly. Around the world, the author has sold more than 300 million copies, with titles translated into more than 40 languages, always appearing on bestseller lists, nine of which have been made into movies.
The 7 Best Books by James Patterson
It's a delight to spend a few hours reading detective novels by James Patterson, who has established himself as one of the best-selling and highest-paid writers in the world.
Overrepresentation of Indigenous youth in Canada’s Criminal Justice System
In western countries all over the world, Indigenous youth take over most of the prison population than adults or people of other races. Many courts, administrations, and justice systems find this a severely concerning issue as Indigenous youth participate more in serving prisons rather than earning a high school diploma.
The Problem With True Crime
True crime is a fascinating subject that draws in people from all over the world. There’s a dark curiosity about what murders or robberies happened in an area close by. What famous criminals walked the streets you shop on? Is old Mrs Patterson really the sweet lady she seems, or is she an uncaught mastermind of a thief? What makes a person kill?