Spectrum by Alan Jacobson




Series: Karen Vail #6

Kindle Edition, 438 pages

Published: October 7, 2014 by Open Road Media

Setting: New York City


In modern-day New York City, FBI profiler Karen Vail is reunited with her long-time mentor NYPD Captain Carmine Russo. For almost two decades, they have pursued a serial killer who targets women of Greek descent. In the home of the latest victim, Karen finally has a breakthrough.

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The Last Queen by C.W. Gortner




The Last Queen by C.W. Gortner

Paperback, 400 pages

Published: May 5, 2009 by Ballantine Books (1st Published July 1, 2006)

Setting: Spain (15th Century)



The Last Queen opens in 1492, a “Year of Miracles.” A Portuguese explorer claims to have found a “New World” after landing on a mosquito-infested island, and Catholic monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella have achieved the “reconquest” of Spain from the Moors. Juana of Castile, the second daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella, grows up in the midst of holy wars between Catholics and Muslims. We see makeshift tents and smoldering embers on the battlefield, glimpse catapults and flaming rocks hurled at castle walls, and feel cinder dust in our faces as this novel pulls us in.

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A Hundred Feet Over Hell: Flying with the Men of the 220th Recon Airplane Company Over I Corps and the DMZ, Vietnam 1968-1969 by Jim Hooper


A Hundred Feet Over Hell by Jim Hooper

Hardcover, 272 pages

Published: May 10, 2009 by Zenith Press (1st published January 1, 2009)


When Bill Hooper returned to Florida after being injured on active duty in Vietnam, he was angry. It was not a reaction to having suffered a brutal ordeal in an unpopular war. He was angry about being home. He was separated from his military family, the men he was committed to serving and protecting. At first, this was difficult for his brother Jim to understand. Decades later, after surviving his own combat experiences as a war correspondent in Africa and the Balkans, Jim began to explore Bill’s Vietnam experiences. After extensive research and interviews with men who served with Bill, this book took shape.

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The Guilty One by Lisa Ballantyne



Kindle Edition, 478 pages

Published: March 19, 2013 by William Morrow (1st published 2012)

Setting: England

Recommended By: Several book bloggers including Jennifer at The Relentless Reader


London solicitor Daniel Hunter is representing Sebastian, an eleven-year-old boy accused of killing a younger child. Sebastian, who may be on the autism spectrum, often has an unsettlingly inappropriate affect. He also seems to have a morbid fascination with death. Sebastian is also a damaged child from a violent home.

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The Sessions (2012)

sessions_ver6Written and Directed by: Ben Lewin, based on an article by Mark O’Brien

Thirty-eight-year-old writer and poet Mark O’Brien (John Hawkes) survived polio as a child, but he is paralyzed and spends most of his life in an iron lung. His intelligence, good humor, and wry wit win people over but, for the most part, he lives a lonely life, surrounded only by personal aides.

Longing for love and intimacy, he seeks the help of Cheryl (Helen Hunt), a sex surrogate, to lose his virginity. He does this with the blessing of his compassionate, good-humored priest, Father Brendan (William H. Macy).

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We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011)

We-Need-to-Talk-About-Kevin-Movie-Review-2Directed by: Lynne Ramsay

Written by: Lynne Ramsay and Rory Kinnear, based on the novel by Lionel Shriver

When I was in high school, way back in the dark ages when Ronald Reagan was serving his first term in office, I read Rage by Stephen King. It’s a dark, wonderful novella about a young teen acting out his violent urges in the classroom. I thought it was a clever, unique idea. Eerily believable, but safely outside the bounds of reality. Imagine … a student actually bringing a gun to school.

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