Category Archives: Authors and Books

“A Crime in the Family” by Sacha Batthyany, translated by Anthea Bell

 Da Capo Press. 224 pages. Hardcover $28.00.  

Originally published in German in 2016, this disturbing memoir tells of journalist Sacha Batthyány’s confrontation with the truth and meaning of the heinous crime his family committed during the twilight of WWII.

Batthyany

During a party held by the author’s great aunt, Countess Margit Batthyány, her friends and relatives murdered 180 enslaved Jewish laborers.

Though Sacha Batthyány was not the first to write about this horrendous deed, his compulsive research and meditations enormously broaden the scope of information and understanding. He draws from his personal experience as well as diaries, public records, private papers, and interviews conducted with a mixture of determination and anxiety. His journey into the past becomes a journey into his deepest self – his life as a grandchild and child, as a husband and father.

To read the full review, click here:  https://www.jewishbookcouncil.org/book/a-crime-in-the-family

Leave a comment

Filed under Authors and Books, Jewish Themes

Terror thriller balances momentum, restraint

Assassin’s Code, by Ward Larsen. Forge Books. 368 pages. Hardcover $25.99.

The fourth David Slaton novel keeps Mr. Larsen on top of the spy thriller mountain. While it works well as a stand-alone novel, readers who know the series will gain even more from their longer exposure to Slayton’s character, skills, and past. As ever, the precision with which the author details Slaton’s planning and execution of his assignment is totally engaging. However, the handling of brilliant tradecraft is only part of the book’s appeal. Mr. Larsen’s plot develops from a powerful premise that echoes present-day realities – and perhaps anticipates the future. 

Europe, and particularly France, is fighting what seems to be an end-of-days war against ISIS. Retired (except when on call to top level Mossad missions) operative and assassin David Slaton discovers a strange message that that seems to have been left for him alone. A computer memory stick holds a photo of a man named Zavier Baland, the fasted rising Frenchman slated to take over DGSI, his nation’s premier counterterrorist agency.

The photo shocks Slayton, who recognizes the person as Ali Samir, an Islamic terrorist who Slayton murdered fifteen years back. Or did he? Who is responsible for leaving this clue for Slayton? What should he do about it?

If Samir survived to reinvent himself as Baland, is France about to install an ISIS secret agent as its bulwark against terrorism? Could anything be more dangerous for the French Republic? Can Baland be exposed and/or stopped?

The plot is revealed through the alternating perspectives of several key players. Principal among these is Slayton, whose domestic live is portrayed as the antithesis of his murderous, if patriotic, occupation. His concern for his wife and child are consistently as war with his concern for Israel, Israel’s allies, and humanistic values.

Larsen

Mr. Larsen enters Baland’s mind and probes deeper and deeper into Baland’s sense of self: his core identity and values. Like Slayton, he is a compromised family man. Readers are privy to the decisions Baland is formulating as the time of great crisis for France and for the West approach. The increasing frequency and violence of terrorist acts may or may not be his agenda.

Mr. Larsen provides are facts and perspectives through the presentation of two additional characters. One is a rather mysterious young woman, Malika, a terrorist operative of great skill and determination. She is a master of disguises and subterfuge. She is an expert marksman. Like Slaton, she is totally professional in choosing the best vantage points from which to gather information while keeping hidden, the best vantage points for firing her weapons. She is great at mind games. . . .

To read the entire review, as it appears in the October 11, 2017 Fort Myers Florida Weekly and the October 12 Naples, Bonita Springs, Charlotte County, and Palm Beach editions, click here: https://fortmyers.floridaweekly.com/pageview/viewer/2017-10-11#page=52

1 Comment

Filed under Authors and Books, Florida Authors

When farmed tilapia are dying from bleach, it could be big

 


Coastal Corpse, by Marty Ambrose. Five Star. 229 pages. Hardcover $25.95. Ebook $3.99.

Mallie Monroe is at it again in the fifth “Mango Bay Mystery.” She’s juggling two beaux. One is Cole, whose engagement ring she has managed to misplace (Freudian slip). The other is Nick, the chief police detective on Coral Island. Mallie seems to have a commitment problem. 

She has other problems as well. Her job as a reporter for the “Coral Island Observer” has been immensely complicated by the secretary-receptionist’s honeymoon and the editor’s disappearance. Suddenly, she finds herself in charge of just about everything, including getting out the next issue of the paper. There are just too many stories waiting to be researched and written. Which is the feature and which are the fillers? Mallie is not happy about having to enlist the help of people with little or no experience. Things are chaotic.

A local crazy is trying to pin all her problems, including a bad landscaping job, on Mallie and actually attacks her. Aging lothario Pop Pop keeps imagining that he’s Mallie’s boyfriend. Madame Geri, a local psychic, does more harm than good as a fill-in reporter. There is also a character whose violin bears scratches that resemble a portrait of Abraham Lincoln. Should Mallie choose this item as the lead story? Probably not.

Ambrose

And there is trouble at the Town Hall meeting where former friends and business associates are at each other’s throats. When one of the ends up dead in a fish tank, the other is an obvious suspect – but there are plenty of other suspects to choose from, including jealous women. Now there’s a story.

Even Mallie’s friend and landlord, Wanda Sue, campaigning for a town council seat, finds trouble.

Many of the characters – and there are perhaps too many of them for a relatively compact novel – are quite colorful. Their excesses are part of the novel’s fun. Several don’t act their age – their relatively advanced age. Others are simply wacky. It’s a community in which a frenzied motormouth like Mallie is the pillar of stability.

More complications. Bad fertilizer made from farm-raised tilapia killed by bleach is ruining gardens and crops. Who’s behind this? Why? Mallie has to help track down the culprit. . . .

To read the full review, as it appears in the October 4, 2017 Fort Myers Florida Weekly and the Naples and other local editons for October 5 , click here: https://naples.floridaweekly.com/pageview/viewer/2017-10-05#page=53

Leave a comment

Filed under Authors and Books, Florida Authors

Florida’s soul music heritage comes alive, as do its makers

Florida Soul: From Ray Charles to KC and the Sunshine Band, by John Capouya. University Press of Florida. 374 pages. Hardcover $24.95.

For a scholarly enterprise, this book is notable for its high energy and conversational tone. One can feel the author’s obvious excitement over the opportunity to celebrate the dazzling contributions of those in the art and business of soul music. It’s a sizeable group of talented and inventive characters who make longer or shorter appearances in this lively slice of Florida’s cultural history. Interestingly, though soul is thought of as a sturdy branch in the tree of Afro-American music, Mr. Capouya makes it clear that white performers and other white music industry professionals played major roles in the regional and national success of this musical genre. 

Mr. Capouya’s chaptering system links the recording artists and other music professionals with key ciites, large and small, in the history of the genres development and significant presence. His titles add up to a map of the world we are exploring, but without an actual map. Clearly, the state has been saturated with native born or adopted Floridians who build a musical tradition. Of course, Soul did not grow out of nothing. The author explores its roots in gospel music, its intimate connections with R & B (rhythm and blues), and its sometimes unwelcome offspring, disco.

Capouya

Not only does John Capouya provide vivid career biographies of the major players who achieved significant record sales, in many chapters he allows them to speak for themselves by providing the results of extended interviews. Some achieved stellar (bankable) accomplishments in many fields: as lead instrumentalists and singers, as back-up musicians, as songwriters, as nightclub owners, as record producers, as managers and as tour arrangers.

Soon or later during soul’s heydays in the Sixties and Seventies, everybody seems to have worked with or at least appreciated (by imitation) everyone else. It was a vibrant community of music-makers in which a person was a headliner one day and part of a back-up group the next. Although competitive, these men and women fostered a sense of mutual support. Only a few were committed loners. . . .

To read the entire review, as it appears in the September 27, 2017 Fort Myers Florida Weekly and several September 28 local editions, click here:  https://naples.floridaweekly.com/pageview/viewer/2017-09-28#page=49

Leave a comment

Filed under Authors and Books, Florida Authors

A young mother’s letters and poems testify to the Nazi madness that she did not survive

Dancing on a Powder Keg, by Ilse Weber. Translated with Foreword by Michal Schwartz. Bunim & Bannigan Ltd. in association with Yad Vashem. 340 pages. Hardcover $34.95.

First published in Germany in 2008, this startling book is one of the most revealing eye-witness accounts of the Nazi diminishment of Jewish life and, finally, the destruction of Jewish lives. It is comprised primarily of letters written by the Czech children’s author and radio scriptwriter to her Swedish friend Lilian von Löwenadler. In these letters, written with great regularity and growing alarm, Ilse conveys the growing horror of the Nazi occupation on Czech Jews in general and on her own family in particular.

Beginning in 1939, Ilse wrote many letters to her older son, Hanus, who was taken on the Kindertransport to London where Lilian, who lived there, met him and took him to safety in Sweden. The surface concern of most letters is to offer and report family news to a good friend already acquainted with Ilse’s family, and to encourage letters in return. The more urgent concern, rapidly accelerating, is the one expressed as early as 1936: “Antisemitism is shutting all doors on me.” The context here is the contraction of Ilse’s professional status and opportunities.  

In Ilse’s community, traditional Jewish life goes on without much interruption for many years after Hitler’s rise to power and Czeschoslovakia’s subjugation. Jewish holidays are observed (in the case of Chanukah interwoven with Christmas), and Jewish education continues. But Ilse worries about turbulence in Palestine and the reliability of the Balfour Declaration.

Ilse exhibits no desire to hide her Jewish identity or pretend to be ashamed of it. However, she is very much attached as well to her German cultural identity. Though a Czech, German is her natural language. She is an ardent admirer of German literature, music, and art. Now, as a Jew and a Czech, circumstances distance her from a central part of her identity. She loves her homeland and her adopted culture, but it is all being taken from her. “That I am Jewish is beginning to appear like a curse to me.”

Conditions worsen in her part of Czechoslovakia. For everyone. Milk becomes scarce and electric power is lost. The local broadcasting station is in German hands. “Our homeland is destroyed.” And part of the destruction is the arrival of Jewish refugees from other countries. By late 1938, Ilse is ashamed of her former German friends and acquaintances, who have almost all disappointed her as human beings. She looks away when she sees them.

The dream of settling in Palestine flutters in and out of various letters. It would seem to be the only answer to “a world that so calmly overlooks this violation and robbery of the Jews.” In 1939, Ilse refers with dred to the expulsion (from Czechoslovakia and elsewhere) of the Polish Jews who were forced to leave their homes and businesses but not allowed to enter Poland.

By this time, Ilse is worrying about her failing health and the collapse of medical care. Her second son, Tommy, has lost his physician. She doesn’t know how to prepare for her family’s survival. Life in her town is “like dancing on a powder keg.” She sees a synagogue in flames. Jews cannot leave their homes after eight o’clock. Frequent relocations are necessary. Employment for her husband is now a matter of hard labor, which has ruined his health. The Jewish cemetery is the only garden that Tommy is allowed to enter. The surprisingly free-flowing mail communication is threatened.

And then it happens. Ilse’s desperation and desire to be of use brings her to volunteer as a nurse and teacher in Theresienstadt. There is a break in communications for a while, and when it returns only short passages come off Ilse’s pen. (At this point, I think she no longer has a typewriter.)

These letters are supplemented by an essay by Ruth Bondy, “The World of Theresienstadt,” which illuminates the nature of this combination ghetto and concentration camp. Though brief, it does a fine job of creating a useful context for Ilse’s life there and for the poems that Ilse wrote in Theresienstadt, that make up a major section of the book.

These poems are remarkable for the ways in which they balance intensity with calmness, outrage with understanding. Many of them describe the lives of the children whom Ilse nurses and teaches. She worries about the substandard and uncertain nourishment, she wonders at their innocence. She writes a poem about the concealed lute with which she entertains (although music is prohibited), the horribly crowded quarters, the destruction of family life, the misery in the children’s ward. She invents an inmate child’s moving prayer to God. She ironically celebrates the ration card that allows her to pick from the war’s refuse.

Ilse Weber

These poems are most often rhymed, with a variety of stanza forms being well-exploited. Whether the translations carry these patterns over from the German originals I cannot say. I assume they do.

In one poem, Ilse confesses that her “Judaism was not a gift” but rather “a gray cloud of anxiety.”

It is a very generous selection, perhaps all that Ilse’s husband Willi, who survived the nightmare, was able to hide – and then rescue after the liberation. They deserve a separate publication.

Ilse’s life did not end in Theresienstadt. When the youngsters that she nursed and taught were being relocated to Auschwitz, she volunteered to accompany them. Ilse and her younger son perished there. That is, they were murdered, like so many, many others.

This book, the preservation of her writings, is a miracle. It is her afterlife. We can hear her words, feel her pain, honor her compassion and courage.

Dancing on a Powder Keg is concluded with an “Afterword: Against Forgetting” by Ulrika Migdal, a scholar who sought out at the Yad Vashem memorial in Jerusalem “literary voices from the Theresienstadt ghetto.” Her essay illustrates how these letters and poems can be used in the service of remembering and commemorating what must never be forgotten.

This review appears in the October 2017 issues of Federation Star (Jewish Federation of Collier County), L’Chayim (Jewish Federation of Lee and Charlotte Counties), and The Jewish News (Jewish Federation of Sarasota/Manatee).

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Authors and Books, Jewish Themes

Can ISIS outdo the 9/11 day of horror?

Isis in the City, by EE Hunt. Xlibris. 365 pages. Hardcover $29.99, Trade paperback $19.99.

Let me say this up front: I am reviewing this book because of its interesting and timely premise, its well-imagined action, and its fairly well-drawn characters. However, I am fully aware of its shortcomings: awkward sentence constructions, missing words, typos, and a general lack of professional editing. I still think it’s worth the reader’s time. 

Mr. Hunt (I don’t know which of his clerical and academic titles to use) takes readers into the very possible scenario of a small cadre of Islamic extremists planning something like a repeat performance of 9/11. One, named Nadir, seems to be a truly able leader, while another – Assad –  is a compulsive complainer and uncharacteristically tall. The remaining two, Amin and Khalid, are not sharply individualized until one of them is tapped to take on a particularly important role. We eavesdrop on their planning sessions and their attempts to keep a low profile in established Muslim neighborhoods. Mr. Hunt does a fine job of tracing their day to business, their hopes, and their fears.

That is, he gets into their heads so that we sense the degree of their radicalization.

We follow them as they carry out two missions of destruction. One is set at a Times Square area theater. They attack the theater audience and anyone else in the vicinity, including law enforcement officers. They chose the right time for maximum chaos. They are largely successful, even though their attack was anticipated.

Mr. Hunt provides alternating chapters and sections of chapters. Those not focused on the terrorists focus on another team of four. This is the counterterrorist team that includes Lieutenant Sherry Williams, the courageous and shapely team leader; Ted, her husband-to-be and FBI agent; and Charles, CIA representative and love interest to the formidable Fatima – the Muslim voice of peaceful coexistence who hates the hijacking of her religion.

The interactions of the couples and this tightly bonded foursome are carefully and credibly portrayed, especially as the time drawers near for the major terrorist event.

What could be more powerfully symbolic for the terrorists than destroying the National September 11 Memorial & Museum? What could be more disheartening for American patriots – and especially security workers – than such a catastrophe?

To read the entire review, as it appears in the September 20, 2017 Fort Myers Florida Weekly and the September 21 issues of the Naples and other editions, click on link or copy and paste this URL: https://fortmyers.floridaweekly.com/pageview/viewer/2017-09-20#page=52

Leave a comment

Filed under Authors and Books, Florida Authors

Hairstylist sleuth works to discover who smashed into her friends’ car with murderous intent

Hair Brained, by Nancy J. Cohen. Orange Grove Press. 276 pages. Trade paperback $14.99. Ebook $4.99.

This is Ms. Cohen’s 14th Bad Hair Day mystery, and given its vigor, humor, and inventiveness, the series has a lot of life left in it. Her protagonist, Marla Vail runs her own hair salon. However, this occupation has never kept her from getting involved in dangerous mysteries. Even before her marriage to Dalton, a local homicide detective, his cases had sort of become hers, and vice versa. Once again, they will work together and apart to solve a complex series of murders. 

When Dalton comes home with the news that their friends Tally and Ken are missing, the Vails’ life is rocked by the possible changes in their lives. Until they find out what happened, someone will have to take care of Luke, the couple’s infant son. And Talley had made Marla guardian.  Soon enough, the remains of a suspicious wreck find Ken dead and Talley seriously injured and deep in a coma.

Upon investigation, what first looked like a possible accident starts to look more like murder. Ken, head of a local insurance company, has somehow become involved in a case pursued by a state agency that investigates insurance fraud. Was Ken being investigated, or was he assisting in an investigation? If the latter, was he killed because of what he knew? Or was the auto collision set up with Tally as the intended victim?

Marla’s musings lead her to realize that her relationship with Tally, long an intimate friend, had waned. What was going on in Tally’s life that she hadn’t shared with Marla? Marla discovers that Tally had joined a somewhat peculiar women’s club, some of whose members had been lured into a Russian criminal enterprise. This is the most exotic, but not the most important discovery that Marla makes. How do these discoveries connect with someone wanting Tally dead? Did Tally have a disgruntled employee working in her dress shop?

Cohen

While Marla pursues the Tally side of their investigation, Dalton presses the Ken dimension, sometimes with Marla’s assistance. Would one of Ken’s employees want to get rid of him? Had he or his company given a client a motive for murder? Why has a member of his staff been murdered? Why was someone working for the state anti-fraud agency murdered?

Dear reader, you will find out and there will be surprises.

But that’s not all. . . .

To read the full review, as it appears in the September 13, 2017 issue of the Fort Myers Florida Weekly and the September 14 issue of the Naples, Bonita Springs, Charlotte County, and other editions, copy and paste this UR: https://fortmyers.floridaweekly.com/pageview/viewer/2017-09-13#page=55

Leave a comment

Filed under Authors and Books

“Forest Dark: A Novel,” by Nicole Krauss

Harper. 304 pages. Hardcover $27.99

This ambitious meditation on spiritual transcendence and self-reflection hits all the right notes.

Only a handful of books that come out each year immediately signal “masterpiece.” Nicole Krauss’ Forest Dark, a brilliant effort that defines the human condition in an original way, is one of them. It is transformational, and it is about transformation. If not deeply religious (though perhaps it is), it is religiously profound.

The narrative unfolds in alternating chapters with two protagonists. One is a successful, fortyish writer whose path seems blocked. The other, nearing 70, is a successful lawyer and investor who discovers that his life’s patterns have been shaken up in a liberating way.

The transformations the characters undergo, whether sought after or suddenly realized, are described with staggering acumen and accuracy. Each conversion defines and redefines one of the central characters. The chapters that focus on the novelist — let’s call her Nicole — are told in the first person. Those given over to Jules Epstein (most often referred to as “Epstein”) are told in the third person, though the narrator has lavish access to the man’s thoughts and feelings.

Epstein’s life changes are extreme. Soon after his parents die, he ends his marriage, leaves his partnership in a law firm, and frees himself from the intimidating personality and identity he had built. He seems released into an alternate self. He smiles more, reads books on mysticism, and enters a new zone of experience characterized by a sense of lightness. He no longer believes in assurances. He wishes to be open.

His children worry about him.

Nicole comes to realize that her life has been overly structured. She is the result of confining and defining forces, including meeting other people’s expectations. She speculates about how space and time affect people’s identities and destinies. She notices her lack of drive to plan things, and she takes this suspension of will — as Epstein has taken his changes — as a kind of freedom.

A good part of the novel is played out in Israel, particularly Tel Aviv, which holds promises and challenges for both characters. It has long been part of their individual lives. The Tel Aviv Hilton looms large in Nicole’s psyche. Her ostensible reason for staying there is to base a novel on the hotel. However, while she knows that readers expect fictional characters to have reasons for what they do, she wonders if the actions of humans are truly rooted in such reasons.

Nicole is penetratingly occupied with such philosophizing. The author has the astounding ability to make her characters’ streams of interrogation and postulation as vivid and engrossing as powerful descriptions of places and actions. Her contemplations have the solidity and luster of polished stone.

Each character’s journey involves a sidekick, a kind of spiritual tour guide who often seems half-real. Epstein’s guide is Rabbi Menachem Klausner, who is in charge of researching the Davidic line, an enterprise in which the Epstein name plays a significant role. Or is he a charlatan? It’s hard to be sure. Klausner will open new vistas for Epstein by taking him to the renowned sacred city of Safed, a center for Jewish spiritualism.

Eliezer Friedman, a former literature professor, plays a role in Nicole’s journey that has similar ambiguities. He’s part mentor, part confessor, part spiritual seducer. Friedman has a strange destiny in mind for Nicole: finishing an unknown work by Franz Kafka. This goal allows the Nicole sections of the book to open up into an exploration of Kafka’s peculiar life and career. In these segments, as well, the mystique of King David, particularly his age-old role as a transcendent literary figure, haunts the narrative.

Tour-guide Friedman, rather than returning Nicole to her quarters at the Hilton, becomes — a bit forcefully — her guide to an Israel with which she is not familiar. His speech is hypnotic, somewhat like that of Rabbi Klausner, who magically flew from New York to Tel Aviv on the same plane as Epstein.

Of course, like Nicole, Epstein is staying at the Tel Aviv Hilton. . . .

To read the entire review, click here: Forest Dark: A Novel | Washington Independent Review of Books

Leave a comment

Filed under Authors and Books, Jewish Themes

Silents were golden in St. Augustine for two dazzling decades

Silent Films in St. Augustine, by Thomas Graham. University Press of Florida. 198 pages. Hardcover $24.95.

This totally engaging, compact treatment of early U. S. film history is packed with a lot of information and a lot of fun. Before Hollywood was crowned the movie capital, St. Augustine was right up there. Over 120 movies were filmed in whole or part in St. Augustine, revealing the talents of major producers, directors, and actors. The fledging silent film industry made St. Augustine sizzle in the winter, when film makers and performers escaped the unpleasant New York weather to enjoy themselves in a town that seemed to have been created to provide the kind of scenic beauty cameramen feasted on. 

Though the span of St. Augustine’s life as a home to the film industry ran from 1906-1926, its heyday was much briefer. Mr. Graham can survey the first 11 years in a single chapter. The core years were 1912-1919, last few years of this period undermined by World War I.  There was at least one good year with many productions in the early 1920’s, but the fade had begun. New York film industry investors were moving west, as was the talent pool for movie making.

While it lasted, the comings and goings of the film people brought a great deal of excitement to St. Augustine’s residents and visitors. Most of the films needed “extras” for crowd scenes and brief walk-on parts. Even more fun than having the camera look your way would be the follow-up thrill of seeing yourself and your fellow townspeople on the screen when the move was shown. St. Augustinians got a kick from their brush with fame.

Graham

And the brush with fame included being in the company of notable performers and other celebrity movie folks. You might get to open a door, in real life or screen life, for Ethel Barrymore, or Norma Talmadge. You might have to avoid staring too hard at that iconic vamp, Theda Bara. You may have laughed at Oliver Hardy, either on-screen or in person.

You could mix with, or at least hear gossip about, the heads of studios or their senior staffers. People who could write stories, design costumes, or turn St. Augustine into almost anyplace you could imagine. . . .

To read the entire review, as it appears in the September 6, 2017 Fort Myers Florida Weekly as well as the September 7  Naples, Bonita Springs, Charlotte County, and Palm Beach editions, click here: Florida Weekly – Silent Films in St. Augustine

Leave a comment

Filed under Authors and Books, Florida Authors

Harper McDaniel a welcome new protagonist from a much-admired writer

When They Come for You, by James W. Hall. Thomas & Mercer 288 pages. Trade Paperback $15.95.

Add James W. Hall to the list of premier mystery/thriller authors who have jumped tracks from a classic series featuring a male protagonist to a new series featuring a female character. Having raved over Michael Connelly’s Renée Ballard and Randy Wayne White’s Hannah Smith, I am now gushing over Mr. Hall’s Harper McDaniel.  

We meet Harper on a pleasant February day in her Coconut Grove home. Her husband Ross, an investigative reporter, is shaving while holding their infant son Leo. Harper must snap a picture of them. That’s part of her nature as a professional photographer who is also the daughter of Deena Roberts, a photographer superstar and a suicide. A few blocks away, Spider Combs performs his electronic surveillance of the home, taking pictures and filming the movements of the gorgeous Harper. He knows a lot about this family, a family he has been contracted to destroy. Only Harper survives the fire.

When local police don’t seem to take the case seriously, Harper takes matters into her own hands.

James W. Hall

Whomever hired Combs and his associates wanted to stop Ross from finishing his expose about the chocolate industry. Harper, a martial arts expert, seeks justice and revenge. She needs to finish Ross’s work. With the help of her adopted financier brother, Nick; her retired mafioso grandfather, Sal; and – much later in the novel – family friend and movie star Ben Westfield, Harper prepares herself for the only task that will give her life meaning and purpose.

Mr. Hall’s skill in capturing Harper’s emotional turmoil, her ultimate resilience, and her courage adds great verisimilitude to a character who comes close to being a candidate for feminine (if not feminist) legend. The author’s superb rendering of Harper’s tradecraft fuels the legend with astonishing combat scenes. Yet we are always aware of Harper’s mortality, the preparation and capabilities of her foes, and her occasional doubts and fleeting fears. . . .

To read the full review, as it appears in the August 30, 2017 Fort Myers Florida Weekly and the August 31 Naples, Bonita Springs, Charlotte County, and Palm Beach editions, click hereFlorida Weekly – When They Come for You

Leave a comment

Filed under Authors and Books, Florida Authors