‘The Zealot and the Emancipator’ by H. W. Brands is an enlightening history of abolitionist zeal vs Republican caution

The Zealot and the Emancipator H.W. Brands, the author of this superb study, "The Zealot and the Emancipator," has presented us with a fascinating, authoritative, carefully researched account of the activities and beliefs of two figures who might accurately be described as men who changed America; who forced Americans to examine their minds and hearts … Continue reading ‘The Zealot and the Emancipator’ by H. W. Brands is an enlightening history of abolitionist zeal vs Republican caution

‘The Historians’ by Cecilia Ekbäck: A history of racial prejudice in a WWII thriller

"The Historians" by Cecilia Ekbäck presents readers with a historical thriller that also encompasses the history of racial prejudice and eugenics that permeated Scandinavia even before Hitler's rise to power. The story begins in April, 1943, when Laura Dahlgren receives a phone call that her best friend from college has disappeared. Before the actual beginning … Continue reading ‘The Historians’ by Cecilia Ekbäck: A history of racial prejudice in a WWII thriller

‘Wild Rituals: 10 Lessons Animals Can Teach us about Connection, Community, and Ourselves’ by Caitlin O’Connell

Caitlin O'Connell knows a lot about animals. She spent decades studying animals in their native habitats from the Pacific Ocean to the African savannah. She specializes in elephants, and this is just the latest of her many nonfiction books about these majestic animals. But while "Wild Rituals: 10 Lessons Animals Can Teach Us about Connection, … Continue reading ‘Wild Rituals: 10 Lessons Animals Can Teach us about Connection, Community, and Ourselves’ by Caitlin O’Connell

‘Eli’s Promise’ by Ronald J. Balson: A double dose of corruption

Author Ronald J. Balson's new novel, "Eli's Promise," is a superb piece of historical fiction that features three interlocking and interweaving plot threads, each of which offers fascinating views of epochal eras in world and American history. Plot number one takes place in the mid-1940s, as Jews are being rescued from the concentration camp called … Continue reading ‘Eli’s Promise’ by Ronald J. Balson: A double dose of corruption

‘The Awakening’ is Book One in Nora Roberts’ new series ‘The Dragon Heart Legacy’

An intricately detailed alternate world set just alongside Ireland, a world which has all the charm and natural beauty of Ireland but the addition of witches, fairies, elves, and dragons, makes Nora Roberts' newest book, "The Awakening," in her new series "The Dragon Heart Legacy" stand out. When Breen Kelly stumbles across the portal to … Continue reading ‘The Awakening’ is Book One in Nora Roberts’ new series ‘The Dragon Heart Legacy’

‘Pretty Little Wife’ by Darby Kane is a murder mystery with a special twist

"Pretty Little Wife" starts with a special twist. We know who killed Aaron Payne before we even open the book. The back of the book's heading reads, "Shouldn't a dead husband stay dead?" We know that Lila Ridgefield killed her handsome husband, a beloved high school teacher — but there's a problem. His body, whose … Continue reading ‘Pretty Little Wife’ by Darby Kane is a murder mystery with a special twist

‘Every Last Secret’ by A. R. Torre is a twisted tale of neighbors and infidelity

The title of A. R. Torre's new release, "Every Last Secret," gives a hint of what is to come. Secrets, more secrets, and even a few left for the very last chapter. It's about a golden couple, Cat and William, who are living a life that only the very top one percent live. Their gated … Continue reading ‘Every Last Secret’ by A. R. Torre is a twisted tale of neighbors and infidelity

‘The Shadow Mission’ by Shamim Sarif is international intrigue with a strong female secret agent

"The Shadow Mission" is the sequel to "The Athena Protocol" by Shamim Sarif, and both novels feature Jessie Archer, a secret agent/vigilante who works for Athena, a secret, nongovernmental organization dedicated to helping children and women around the world who are being targeted by fanatical groups or governments. In the first book, we learn that … Continue reading ‘The Shadow Mission’ by Shamim Sarif is international intrigue with a strong female secret agent

‘The Preserve’ by Ariel S. Winter is a mystery set in a robot-filled future

In "The Preserve" by Ariel S. Winter, a police chief is racing to solve a murder that occurs in his town in a "preserve" created for humans which specifically excludes robots from its premises. Jesse Laughton lives on the newly-formed preserve with his wife Betty and his daughter Erica. The setting is fascinating on many … Continue reading ‘The Preserve’ by Ariel S. Winter is a mystery set in a robot-filled future

‘Goodnight Beautiful’ by Aimee Molloy is a stunning thriller that doesn’t fail to surprise

Many psychological thrillers have unreliable narrators and twists galore, but "Goodnight Beautiful" by Aimee Molloy only seems to have an unreliable narrator. In truth, it's the reader's assumptions that are unreliable. And in the first twist, we realize how completely we've been snookered. The newlywed couple, Sam Statler and Annie Potter, move to upstate New … Continue reading ‘Goodnight Beautiful’ by Aimee Molloy is a stunning thriller that doesn’t fail to surprise