Posts Tagged ‘Non-fiction’
Not once during two frantic calls to 911 didmention the blood…and there was a lot of blood. During the early morning hours of December 9th, as Kathleen lay dying on the stairs, police and rescue personnel rush to the home on Cedar Street. Connecting the complex sequence of dots that convinced a jury of his peers that was indeed guilty of would have been the easy part, because the evidence had been painstakingly detailed during the five month .
But,takes the reader behind the carefully orchestrated performance in the court room and delivers the journey through the raw, unfiltered eyes of those who lived it. Detailing the crime scene, police procedure, the autopsy and the I fully expected, however, this book is chock-full of extras. Intimate conversations between Kathleen and her beloved sister, details concerning the exhumation and autopsy of Elizabeth Ratliff, the suspicious death of George Ratliff and much more. There’s also eight pages of photographs that give the reader a glimpse of the Peterson’s before, during and the aftermath is punctuated with a single photo of Kathleen’s headstone.
During the trial, the defense displayed an air of arrogance both in and outside the courtroom. And much to the chagrin of Peterson’s few remaining supporters, the author pulls no punches describing the showboating behavior of David Rudolf and Thomas Maher, the mysterious discovery of the missing blowpoke and the effect these antics had on the grieving families.
Superb, unflinching, emotionally gritty at times, Written in Blood is a stinging, in your face novel that paints a haunting picture of the madness that often lurks behind the gates of the nicest communities or in the home right next door. And reminds us all that the monster hiding in the shadows is easily recognized in hindsight…but, that’s too late!Although the last chapter of this story will be written by the North Carolina Supreme Court, Written In Blood is as complete a history of the Peterson saga as could possibly be written. If you enjoy reading anovel that goes behind the scenes and beyond the glare of the cameras, Written In Blood does not disappoint!
Book Review, In the Neighborhood by Peter Lovenheim, Searching For Community One Sleepover at a Time
lives in an affluent Rochester, New York suburb. In February 2000, a murder-suicide involving a physician couple occurred in a house on his street. Two children ran from the house after 10 pm shouting that their father had killed their mother. No one in the neighborhood knew the family well, which had lived there for seven years. Lovenheim was bewildered how a street of 36 homes lacked a sense of . He desired to know the people whose houses he passed each day, beyond their professions or number of children. He wanted to know the depth of their experience and their essence. Lovenheim knew from childhood sleepovers and summer house exchanges that waking in their beds, fixing meals in their kitchen and walking their neighborhoods provided insight conversation alone could not do. His mission would require a sleepover. Some residents declined; and yet, many said yes. In The Neighborhood: The Search For Community on An American Street One Sleepover At A Time, is Lovenheim’s near-decade experience to embrace his neighborhood.
Eighty-one-year-old Lou was the first resident to honor Lovenheim’s request to sleep overnight. Lou, a retired surgeon, lost Edie, his wife of 52 years, five years ago and misses her dearly. They raised six children who now live throughout the U.S. Lou welcomes Lovenheim’s company, as his schnauzer, Heidi is his only companion. Lovenheim accompanies Lou to the local Y where he exercises. There, his regular workout buddies laud Lou’s arrival. He appreciates their acclaim, reminding him of his popularity during his surgeon days. Yet, when he returns home to an empty house, as Lou says, “My life is zero.”
Forty-something Patti, lives just doors down from Lou and they’re unconnected. Patti, a radiologist, diagnosed her own aggressive form of breast cancer. She abandoned medicine to undergo chemotherapy. Lovenheim befriends Patti, a divorced mother of two pre-teen daughters. She too accepts his sleepover request. Lovenheim witnesses her health decline over time and helps whenever he can.
Grace, nearly 90, had walked Lovenheim’s neighborhood almost everyday for forty years without acknowledgment. She lived in a nearby town but chose to exercise among the Rochester suburb’s beautiful surroundings. Residents named her “The Walker” from afar. Lovenheim approached Grace during one of her strolls and explained his book project. She invited him to her apartment where he learned her fascinating background. She once lived in New York City and was an accomplished pianist and harpist. Once while walking, she fell. She crawled across the street back to her car and drove herself to the emergency room. Lovenheim questions if a place where an elderly woman falls and is unattended to can fairly be called a “neighborhood.”
Married couple, Deb 32, and Doug, 42 represent the younger faces of Lovenheim’s street. Lovenheim spends the night and senses a more self-sufficient couple. Both are on the fast track in corporate America, childless, and trying to conceive. They’re active members of the local country club. Deb tells Lovenheim she once needed vanilla for cookies and made Dave drive in a snowstorm to buy some. Ideally, he thought, she should have been able to borrow some from him as her neighbor.
Lovenheim rides with Brian, the newspaper deliveryman at 4:00 am to experience his street from a different perspective. He also walks along Postman Ralph’s delivery truck (Postal regulations prevent vehicle passengers) as he does his daily route. Ralph chronicles helping residents, including recognizing the signs of stroke in a customer and calling for help. Lovenheim believes Ralph knows more about his neighbors than they do: “I began to realize that in some ways he was a better neighbor to us than we were to each other.”
Lovenheim validates his neighboring efforts by introducing Patti to Lou. Lou welcomes the opportunity to drive Patti to her doctor’s appointments; making him feel needed. Lovenheim borrows sidewalk salt from Deb; and she agrees to take Patti’s daughter to the skating rink as her health deteriorates. When Lovenheim’s romantic interest ends, he turns to Lou for comfort. They share breakfast almost daily for two weeks as Lovenheim readjusts. “That it would end up being me who would find shelter at a neighbor’s house is something that never occurred to me when I started my journey, yet there it was,” says Lovenheim.
Lovenheim deserves credit for taking on such an assertive project. He displayed immense patience as he befriended his neighbors for some time before requesting to sleepover. He faced rejections too by those weary of his intentions.
In an age of social media where we’re quick to boast 50,000+ Twitter “followers,” reading Lovenheim’s narrative poses the question: Do we in fact know our next door neighbor?
For thought-provoking questions about neighborhoods, view In The Neighborhood’s Reading Guide: /static/rguides/us/in_the_neighborhood.html.
Aunt Dimity’s Death
by Nancy Atherton
Category: Fiction / Mystery
241 pages; ISBN: 0140178406
As a child, Lori Shepherd absorbed her mother’s bedtime stories of the incomparable, forthright Aunt Dimity the way many children today devour the Harry Potter tales. The ordinary spinster with the knack for becoming embroiled in extraordinary adventures leaves fond memories for Lori, her only comfort following her mother’s death and a bitter divorce as she ekes out a poverty-stricken living in Boston. The last thing she expects is any help from the outside, especially from Aunt Dimity, a character she had believed to be. An official letter from her estate reveals otherwise.
Like a fairy tale, the anachronistic law firm of Willis and Willis rescues Lori from a lifetime of Beanie-Weenie winners with the news that not only was Dimity Westwood an actual person, but an actual rich person who left Lori in her will. The only stipulation Lori must fulfill to receive her share is to write an introduction to a proposedof the Aunt Dimity stories…in Dimity’s England cottage…which neighbors believe is haunted. Lori cannot decide which is more uncomfortable: sharing quarters with the ghost of Aunt Dimity or with the younger Willis lawyer, a starry-eyed dreamer who insists on gifting Lori with expensive clothes.
Then there is the other ghost that haunts Lori during this trip — a posthumous letter from her mother imploring her delve into Dimity’s life, in particular her life before World War II and the events that led to Dimity’s bouts of depression and spinsterhood. In finding the answers, Lori believes Dimity may finally be able to rest in peace.
Aunt Dimity’s Death does not begin as ain the traditional sense; yes, there are mysterious elements in the story such as the rigamarole Lori must endure to appease the law firm of her identity and the peculiar behavior of the younger Willis, but these actions make for a good third of the and one wonders if any cutting could have been done to help progress the story.
This is not to say the first Aunt Dimityis not good. It is a well-written , and Atherton’s style is reminiscent of the English cozy — more talk than action. It is quite clear this book is meant to set up a series, though the “ ” tag in this might be misleading. “Romantic suspense” is a better description of Aunt Dimity’s Death, considering how the attraction between Lori and Willis, Jr. slowly overcomes their discomfort, leaving readers with a story even Aunt Dimity would not mind hearing more than once.
Award winning landscape photographer, John Parkinson released his first picture book this year (October 2006). Unusually large, at 10.2 by 11.8 inches, this book comes in hardcover format with a protective slipcover.
John’s appreciation of nature began when traveling though the Colorado Plateau and Rocky Mountains with his family while young. Though he tried many other careers, he eventually found his bliss and became a professional photographer as a full-time career in 1976. John Parkinson’s work has appeared on product labels, screen savers, calendars, Visa Credit cards, and some of his images also grace the walls of the US Congress building. John has also had several juried art shows held for his work.
John contributed six originalof his own along with nineteen s and from well-known writers throughout history. One hundred , twenty-five of which are accompanied by , are placed on glossy black pages, which makes the colors in the photos prominent. The author enhances this effect by creating the image border color and title in the same color.
The author uses some time-lapsand concentrates solely on nature and landscape, which is virtually free of humans or man-made materials. Rock formations, shocking bright fall colors, amazing waterfalls and a colorful rainbow – notoriously difficult to capture on film – are all here for viewing.
The picture book’s 94 pages are filled with shots from areas across the globe including the Yukon, Canada, Hawaii, New Zealand and the Mid-Western States. The pictures are so incredible that readers will want to sit and look at for a long time, getting lost in their awesome beauty.
I noticed that Mr. Parkinson used Photoshop techniques on the cover image, by comparing to the original inside the book. One can see where the road and building were taken out of the original, which was interesting to compare.
I thought it was particularly interesting to discover small write-ups about the photos later on in the book. These mini-articles describe what John was thinking of when he took the photo, why it was chosen for the book and the techniques involved (technical, mood enhancement or Photoshop manipulations)
This book deserves a rating of 4 1/2 out of 5 stars.
Authors: John Parkinson
Publisher: Synergy Books
Chloe Green is the pseudonym for one Suzanne Frank, authoress of a series of time-travel romance/suspenses, none of which I have read. Her debut , Going Out in Style, is about as far away as one can get from time travel and ancient civilizations.
Anyway, Going Out concerns Dallas O’Connor, a local set designer who arranges and designs sets for catalog fashion shoots and similar projects; that is, Dallas would normally be doing these things if she were not in hiding. See, when she reports early to work one morning she happens upon the lifeless body of an up-and-coming model, not to mention the very life-filled body of a hunky Cuban artist named Raul who is holding the murder weapon. Sometimes the early bird gets more than the worm, sometimes she gets accused of wielding the knife herself for the final cut. Raul, naturally, asserts his own innocence as well, and Dallas is reluctantly made his partner in crime investigation. So, she blends into the city for which she was named, sneaking around to colleagues and friends conducting her own investigation in order to clear her name. It’s not as easy as it sounds, however, as it seems somebody is usually one step ahead of her, planting traps and staging other crimes that have the police thinking Dallas is on some sort of spree, and Dallas must work quickly before she finds herself fashionably late to her own funeral.
Going Out is a nice, enjoyable read with moments of mirth and lunacy (particularly when Dallas and Raul are hashing out their plans and options); Dallas especially is likeable as a harried heroine who knows her priorities and still feels justified in bending the rules (it’s not everyday somebody accepts a date with a stranger in a fancy restaurant when she’s supposed to be running for her life). I suppose I also like this story because of its originality, since I do not recall having read a Texas-setin years, much less anything with the fashion industry as a backdrop. If Suzanne/Chloe can tear herself away from her romances, I think she can continue to keep the Dallas O’Connor series in fashion.