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The Snowmanís Children by Glen Hirshberg

 

Publisher: Carroll & Graf ISBN: 0786710829

 

When Mattie was just a boy growing up in the suburbs of Detroit, a child serial killer stalked the streets for two long winters, shattering childhoods and creating fear.  Now as an adult, Mattie feels compelled to return to this heartbreaking scene, never having been able to give up the memories of those life-altering events.  From joyful moments with his best friends, Theresa and Spencer, to the undercurrent of fear that seemed to taint everything, Mattie returns to search for a way to finally let go. 

 

Hirshberg writes of childhood with a graceful, tragic, and bittersweet beauty that will surely evoke memories in the most stalwart reader.  Though not really a mystery in the literal sense, this rich and intricate novel possesses enough nuance and depth to keep the suspense alive through itís many journeys.  Mattie is one who we all might have been, or at the very least, known on some level, and he keeps the story alive with monsters both real and imagined. Donít miss this one, as it just might take you to a place you havenít been in quite awhile.   

 

 

Glen Hirshberg was nominated for two International Horror Guild Awards, one for the story "Dancing Men", found in THE TWO SAMS, and one for the collection as a whole.  Visit his web at: http://www.glenhirshberg.com

 

The Circle of Sodom by Pat Mullan

Publisher: 1stBooks Library; (June 2002) ISBN: 075969222X

Reviewed by Narayan Radhakrishnan

Part Tom Clancy, part Michael Crichton The Circle of Sodom by Pat Mullan provides an entertaining and thrilling read.

The novel begins like a Hollywood Film (I am sure the author had in mind a film project) with a bizarre medical operation on a hi-fi Colonel. The year is 1975 and MASH commanding Officer Owen MacDara is called to perform an operation on a colonel by Major Whiteside. A blubbery like material is retrieved from the rectum of the Colonel- and soon after the operation he leaves, and Major Whiteside swears MacDara to secrecy.

Now the action shifts to 1999, and now MacDara is a multi- millionaire and CEO of a large Finance company. He often thinks about the peculiar operation but does not lose sleep over it. But all that changes when suddenly his close friends and colleagues start to die. MacDara soon realizes that all the persons who died where those who had witnessed the operation on the Colonel, now a high-ranking General of the U.S. Army. MacDara enters the fray, and what follows is tense suspense action and a dark conspiracy that touches even the upper echelons of political power in U.S.A.

Mullan had done a good job. The great theme and plot is well told- but I would have preferred the action to be more narrative rather than descriptive. A thrilling political read of the first order, The Circle of Sodom is however, not for a good nightís read- for the chilling suspense sure will keep you restless!!!.

The blurb informs us that Mullan is ready with another MacDara thriller Who Killed Hammarskjold? I have already booked my copy!! Recommended, highly recommended

 

A Place of Safety by Natasha Cooper

 Publisher: St. Martin's Minotaur  ISBN: 0312319363

London Barrister Trish Maguire, now working in commercial law, is approached by one of her higher-ups for a favor.  He wants Trish to discreetly investigate the art director who overseas a very important collection dating back to WWI.  It seems the director, Toby Fullwell, is suddenly acting odd and appears very frightened of something, all of which is affecting the collection in nefarious ways.  Trish agrees, hoping it will lead her to bigger and better cases down the road, not knowing it could also put her, and her young brotherís life, in danger. 

One of my favorite parts of this job is getting to discover authors Iíve never encountered, and Cooper is definitely another great find.  Trish Maguire, a woman in her late thirtyís, is trying to juggle it all; her career, the care of her young brother, her boyfriend, and her distant relationship with her father.   She does it all with aplomb and sincerity, while maintaining a compassion thatís refreshing.  And in this particular outing, the reader will be delighted by an aside love story from WWI, a suspenseful and clever yarn of today, and an intelligent heroine worth her weight in gold.  This is a superb read with plenty of twists and turns that will keep you glued to the pages until the climatic ending.