Thursday, September 19, 2013

Kathy recommends Charlie LeDuff's "Detroit : an American autopsy"

If you think you are aware of the troubles Detroit is facing, read reporter Charlie LeDuff’s Detroit : an American autopsy.  Be forewarned, what Charlie has to say is not for the faint of heart.  Detroit’s litany of woes borders on the unimaginable, and how the city has survived this long is a mystery. Through his own very personal experiences in the city and his interviews with Detroit’s movers and shakers, along with those who still work and live there, he paints a dismal picture of a once vibrant metropolis now in the final stages of decay. Although it would require a herculean effort to right all that is wrong with Detroit, he still maintains it is a tragedy that is impossible to ignore.  Riveting!

Recommended for Adults

Beth recommends: "This Case is Gonna Kill Me" by Phillipa Bornikova

How would I describe this book?  Legal thriller?  Urban fantasy?  Mystery? Race relations?  Actually it’s a wonderfully off-beat, slightly quirky mixture of all of those.  Linnet Ellery is a newly-minted lawyer, starting with a prestigious law firm.  On her first day, she is assigned to work, with another associate, on a disputed-will case that has languished for 17 long years.  She is dismayed at being stuck with a seemingly minor case, but delves in in a professional manner.  Okay, bright, enthusiastic new lawyer, first case = legal thriller.  But here is what hooked me in the reviews…please keep reading!  Back in the 1960’s, it was revealed that the major players in the world – the top businessmen, lawyers, financiers, etc, - were supernatural beings.  Vampires, werewolves and the Alfar – collectively known as the Powers -  had somehow managed to rule from the shadows for centuries.  By the time our story opens, humans have been aware of the Powers for half a century, creatively working out their co-existence - not the least of which was the arrangement by which Linnet was raised in a vampire household.   Linnet’s case turns out to be not so humdrum after all, and she ultimately has to use skills and resourcefulness not acquired in law school to stay alive.
Now – if you are tempted to brush this aside – “I don’t read vampire books” (actually a typical reaction for me) – STOP!  Consider trying a chapter or two – perhaps you will enjoy, as much as I did, the intriguing characters and their fast-moving adventures – which continue in the sequel, Box Office Poison.

Recommended for adults.