In Testimony (Grand
Central Publishing, 2017) Scott Turow leaves behind the familiar territory of
Kindle County, the location of nine of his previous books, for the byzantine
world of international diplomacy and the investigation of war crimes in Bosnia.
In his early 50s, the protagonist William ten Boom is determined to make his
life over. His marriage has ended, his children have launched, he’s resigned
from his partnership in a solid law firm, and when he’s approached to join the
International Criminal Court in The Hague, it seems to be the logical next
A member of the Romani, the European itinerant
people we call Gypsies, has come forward and testified to the ICC that he
witnessed the mass murder of an entire Roma community, 400 of his family and
friends, at the height of the atrocities in Bosnia in late April 2004. A group
of men dressed in Chetnik uniforms forced them all into transport vans and they
were never seen again.
Ten Boom is hired to lead the investigation and to
prepare to prosecute the perpetrators if they can be identified. In addition to
the Serbian paramilitary, some of the rumors suggest that it was carried out at
the behest of the mad President of Bosnia who plundered and terrorized the
nation until he was driven into hiding. Some blame rogue members of the U.S.
Army, who they say killed the Gypsies in revenge for their theft of military
equipment. The Russian Mafia is mentioned. Yet other rumors said the entire
community simply relocated. This suggestion is given little credence as no
member of the community had been heard from in the more than 10 years since the
Ten Boom is immediately plunged into a medley of
cultures and the nuanced pace of global diplomacy in The Hague. His lead
investigator is a heavy drinking Australian who turns out to have a doctorate
in forensic anthropology. He is intrigued by the lawyer representing the lone
survivor of the massacre and his relationship with her is a major thread of the
story in addition to the investigation. Another thread is ten Boom’s discovery
of relatives in the Netherlands.
When I need a reliably engaging read, Scott Turow
is on the short list of authors I look for. I was surprised to see the subject
of this book but found it interesting. It is unusually long however, nearly 500
pages, much of it due to ten Boom’s interior monologues, which are perceptive
but not what I expect in a legal thriller. The ending, which has a nice twist,
suggests we might see more of ten Boom in the future.
·Hardcover: 496 pages
·Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; 1st edition (May
My brother and his adult step daughter have been here all week. They do not want pictures taken and shared publicly so I can't show you any of that. Today was their last day here. Karl and Amy brought the grandkids so that everybody could see everybody. Scott took a couple of pictures. I'm exhausted.
And for those who enjoy a little fantasy with their mystery, we have a review of a Harry Dresden short story anthology called "Brief Cases" by Jim Butcher, and a giveaway of the first book Dresden Files book "Storm Front." If the idea of a wizard PI appeals to you don't miss this! https://www.krlnews.com/2018/08/brief-cases-by-jim-butcher.html
reading this while I was in the Atlanta area, by happy coincidence. Will and
Iris have been married for just over seven years, but Iris itches only for
Will. She considers their relationship still thrilling. Instead of “I love
you,” they tell each other, “You are my favorite person on the planet.”
A year ago they
bought their dream house in Inman Park, an expensive and historic district in
Atlanta, even though the price means it will remain mostly unfurnished for a
few years. All goes well and their lives hum along, hers as a counselor at a
private school, his as a software engineer—until Will, who is supposed to be on
a business trip to Orlando, is reported dead from a plane that crashed on its
way to Seattle. Iris goes through the mourning process, starting with denial. That
starts to end when she finds that the conference Will was headed for doesn’t
exist. Then she learns that he actually bought tickets to both Orlando and
Seattle. Anger, the next stage of grief, bubbles to the surface. She redirects
it at Liberty Air, the airline whose plane crashed.
brother Dave moves in to help her through this. Iris, Dave, and their tough dad
meet with a representative from the airline, Ann Margaret Myers. When Myers
offers Iris a settlement, her anger explodes and she rips up the check.
When she begins
to uncover secret after secret that her husband had kept from her, she begins
to have trouble mourning him, realizing she didn’t know who he was. As she
discovers more about him, her shock increases and the dark past reaches out to
With the help of my brother who is in town for a visit and his truck (which once was my Dad's), and with another assist by Scott Tipple, the last of what was in storage was cleared out today and brought here to the house. I signed the paperwork vacating the place as my brother and my son loaded up. So ends a twenty year plus storage run at what is now called Life Storage out in Plano at Plano Parkway and Coit. End of an era. Upsetting to a certain extent as the last of Sandi's stuff in storage came here. We always were going to clean it out and end the deal, but it has been so much harder to deal with in the wake of everything that happened. At least, it is now done. The staff was always great with us and the same was true today as I said goodbye as they knew Sandi well and miss her almost as much as I do.
I grant you the obvious concession that a novel published in
May of 2015 does not really fit the concept of a “Forgotten Book.” At least, a
publication that recent should mean the book is not forgotten. Yet, I don’t think
author Larry D. Sweazy gets anywhere near the level of recognition he should. I
find that especially true in the latest one, See Also Proof, where Marjorie is dealing with a lot. Much of the
read has hit very close to home for me. While the book in itself is excellent,
I am having a very hard time reading it as a major theme is smacking me very
So, as my small part of FFB today hosted by Todd Mason over on
his Sweet Freedom blog, I
thought I would remind you all of my review from June 2015 of See Also Murder. The first book in what
has become an incredible series. Like all good series this one needs to be read
in order as the characters age and evolve. Jumping in at book three and working
your way back simply won’t do.
I have always felt a
deep kinship with Marjorie. I don’t know why. Beyond the decades that would
separate us, there is the fact that she is living a farm life in the Dakotas and
I have always been a city boy, though I did have my time outdoors in the
mountains as a youngster. We have little in common, no matter how you look at
it, and yet my bond with a fictional character has reached an even deeper level
in the new book. I can’t explain it. What is…is.
Just go get the book and get started. And, as many others have said over the years
in far better ways than I ever will, if you care about somebody, let them know.
They can be out of your life in a blink of an eye and leave you broken and
Living on a farm in Stark County, North
Dakota in July of 1964 is hard, but it isn’t winter and that helps a little
bit. Things are harder for Marjorie Trumaine than most because she is trying to
manage it all pretty much by herself. It has been that way since her
husband, Hank, had his hunting accident that left him blind and paralyzed. He
spends his days, except for a rare trip away from home, lying in their bed
unable to care for himself or the farm they both love.
The Knudsens on the next farm over
were there for Hank and Marjorie long after everyone else in the small
community got on with their lives and forgot about them. Erik, the father,
supervised his sons, Peter and Jaeger, while they did chores on the place after
they had finished work on their own farm. Lida, their mom and Erik’s wife,
brought food for months while Marjorie and Hank slowly adjusted to the
catastrophic change in their lives. Over time that help as well as Marjorie’s
ongoing job as a freelance indexer has allowed them to survive in their new
normal post-accident reality.
The news that Sheriff Hilo Jenkins
brings Marjorie this July morning is hard to deal with on any level, but
especially now after everything that has happened in recent months. Erik and
Lida have been brutally murdered while they slept in their bed. Their sons,
Erik and Jaeger, are physically fine as they slept through the murders in their
home. Sheriff Jenkins does not believe the boys had anything to do with it
though he does intend to question them about the murders. He does believe an
amulet found in Erik’s dead hand plays some role in the case.
Marjorie has a reputation, one that
she has tried hard to control and stifle, as being the smartest person around. She
can’t help using words that many in the area don’t know or understand. Her love
of books and knowledge has only increased the last several years as she has
built a career of freelance work of writing indexes and meeting deadlines. What
began as a source of extra income is now her sole escape from reality as well
as the primary source of incomefor the
family. Sheriff Jenkins wants Marjorie to figure out what the amulet means so
that he might figure out who killed Erik and Lida. It is his only real clue and
he wants her role in the case kept secret. She reluctantly agrees to help it is
the least she can do for the Knudsens – the living and the dead.
What follows is a very complex and
highly atmospheric mystery by award winning author Larry D. Sweazy. The North
Dakota landscape is a constant character presence in this novel that blends
history and lore, a mystery full of twists and turns, and the role of family
(by birth and other means) into a read that quickly pulls the reader into a
different time and place far from home. Recently published by Seventh Street
Books, See Also Murder: A Marjorie Trumaine Mystery is a highly
addictive read that will keep you reading far past your bedtime. It is very
much well worth your time.
DCI John Marvel wants to investigate murders not burglaries, so when a cold case gets on his radar, he’s prepared to break a few rules in pursuit of the truth.
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THE ICE SWIMMER by Kjell Ola Dahl, reviewed by Ewa Sherman
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WHERE THE WORLD ENDS by Geraldine McCaughrean, reviewed by Linda Wilson
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Soloman’s sister is in a coma, and he knows this was no accident. But the police don’t believe him. Or don’t want to.
AN ECHO OF MURDER by Anne Perry, reviewed by Sylvia Maughan
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THE RECKONING by James McGee, reviewed by John Cleal
Bow Street Runner Matthew Hawkwood’s investigation of a prostitute’s death leads him into a world of espionage – and dangeR.
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Stratos Gazis’ friend Angelino has taken charge of Emma, a talented blind girl, who is bitter at the murder of the man who protected her. Stratos gets the job of finding the killer.
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A BRUSH WITH DEATH, by Ali Carter, reviewed by John Cleal
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A TV film crew are on the hunt for a mysterious cavern in the Grand Canyon that has remained tantalisingly elusive for over a century.
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Private eye Samson O’Brien and dating agency boss Delilah Metcalfe are reunited in what seems a simple case which uncovers secrets some would far rather stayed buried.
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Young magician Natalie Webb is down on her luck and persuaded to use her skills in a bent poker game. However, things don’t go according to plan.
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Crime-fighting duo Ingrid Langley and Patrick Gillard are hoping for a quieter life when he takes a desk job. But the discovery of a badly-beaten Met Police cop in a Somerset field puts paid to that.
Thank you for your prayers, thoughts, and support for the past six years plus as Sandi did everything she could to be here with all of us. She is now free and not hurting anymore. I am still trying to pay off her past treatments at Medical City Dallas Hospital as well as at Texas Oncology. While the hospital can't handle direct donations, if you can help and would prefer to donate directly, please contact Debra, the financial counselor at TEXAS ONCOLOGY in SUITE 220 of Building D at Medical City Dallas Hospital in Dallas, Texas. We thank you for your prayers, thoughts, and support for the past six years plus as Sandi did everything she could to be here with all of us.