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Deborah A. Woehr (San Jose, CA USA)
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Ferryman
Ferryman
by Christopher Golden
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
17 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Different Kind of Ghost Story, Aug. 12 2002
This review is from: Ferryman (Mass Market Paperback)
The spooky cover of this book made me pick it up. Page one hooked me. The Ferryman is a very different kind of ghost story in that the main characters' nemesis is Charon, Greek god of the Underworld.
Janine Hartschorn experiences a nightmare, where she is standing next to a river in a hellish place. A lone figure beckons to her from his boat in the river. She realizes that she has three silver coins in her hand and that they are her fare towards death. Terrified, she flings them into the river and tries to run. But the mud sucks at her.
What she thought was a nasty dream turns into an all-out harrowing fight for survival. Janine is not alone, though. Her former lover, David Bairstow, and their mutual friend, Annette also find themselves entangled as the ghosts of David's past spring to life as Charon's minions, bent on killing them so he can claim Janine.
The Ferryman is a fast-paced story that kept me reading. If I had to describe it, I would say that it is a blend of Peter Straub's "Ghost Story", William Blatty's "The Exorcist", and Golden's own weird surrealism. The ending was well done. Very cinematic, as one reviewer put it. Recommended.

Cold Heart
Cold Heart
by Chandler McGrew
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 9.99
21 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars A Fast and Furious Read, June 13 2002
This review is from: Cold Heart (Mass Market Paperback)
If you enjoy reading suspense novels, then you'll love this book. Cold Heart begins with Micky Ascherfeld, patrolling the streets with her lover/partner, when an armored truck crashes into them, sending their cruiser into a topless bar. The truck backs up and smashes them again. Micky manages to get out of the cruiser, only to suffer a nasty flashback of her parents' brutal murders as she is trying to flee from the psychopath that is now chasing her through the bar.
She survives the ordeal, but it has taken a terrible toll on her spirit. At the urging of a good friend (Damon), she visits McRay, Alaska. The story jumps ahead four years. She now lives in McRay, and everything is fine until the town oddball decides to go on a killing spree. Will Micky's past cripple her with fear again, or will she overcome it?
McGrew throws in plenty of twists, and the ending may surprise you. El was a good killing machine, but he wasn't very interesting as a villian. Damon, however, would've made an excellent psychopath since he made a living dealing with such. In that way, I was disappointed. But I give this book five stars because it is so entertaining. I found myself rooting for Micky and Dawn until the very end. Recommended.

Armed and Dangerous: Memoirs of a Chicago Policewoman
Armed and Dangerous: Memoirs of a Chicago Policewoman
by Gina Gallo
Edition: Hardcover
18 used & new from CDN$ 8.57

5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful, March 17 2002
Armed & Dangerous is an excellent book whether you are considering a career in law enforcement or not. Gallo begins her story with her father, who was shot on Easter, describing the pain of being a child of a police officer. She vowed never to become an officer, but life's circumstances forced her to change her mind.
From there, she takes the reader on a roller-coaster ride from her days at the Academy to the day she resigned from the Chicago Police Department. Her depiction of the Academy made me wonder if this was fiction because I couldn't believe the brutal fashion in which the trainers handled future officers. A few of them left the Academy with permanent disabilities and no chance at a law enforcement career. She tells us how the rest of them made it through that grueling period, by banding together and forming a team. Being a team player is the most important skill in police work.
I felt like I was right there with her as she described her first day on the job with a slacker for a field trainer and how that trainer deserted her when she needed him to back her up. She tells us what it was like to kill a man and what that did to her soul. She tells us what it's like to see a mutilated baby and then have to be professional in dealing with his murdering mother. And, she tells us what it's like to have to go to the same neighborhoods to deal with the same people day after day. There are lots of heartbreaking stories in this book and some incredibly funny ones, too.
I found myself laughing out loud at the craziness and the stupidity of both the criminals and the corrupt officers. More often than not, however, I felt disgusted by the drug addicts and the political games of the department brass. Throughout this book, I wondered how she managed to keep her humor when faced with the pain, the terror, and the good ol' boy mentality that tried its best to keep her in the trenches. The end saddened me, but it was typical.
Armed & Dangerous stripped me of all my notions about police officers and what they do for a living. Gallo is a powerful writer, and I applaud her for having the courage to write this book. Throw away those police procedural novels. They pale against Gallo's book.

The No Spin Zone: Confrontations with the Powerful and Famous in America
The No Spin Zone: Confrontations with the Powerful and Famous in America
by Bill O'Reilly
Edition: Hardcover
68 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Media Man with a 'Tude, March 10 2002
Bill O'Reilly is a definite personality, and it shows in his book, The No-Spin Zone. Along with his commentary on issues such as free speech, education, politics, and taxes, are the transcribed versions of his interviews with the famous and well known of America. I was surprised to find out that President Bush had interviewed with him during his campaign. No, I haven't seen many of The No-Spin Zone programs. In that interview, O'Reilly confronted Bush about his position on the death penalty, explaining ahead of time that politicians are given rehearsed answers to the most frequently asked questions. Bush was thrown off, thereby giving an honest answer instead of a rehearsed one. Then O'Reilly gives his opinion of the death penalty, suggesting that we send prisoners to an isolated facility in the Yukon for the rest of their lives with no cable, but a radio. He feels that this is a better deterrant than what we have now. It made me think.
For those who refused to interview with him, he attacked, albiet professionally. Jesse Jackson and Hillary Clinton were his favorite targets, along with Janet Reno. He gives us the real spin on what the government does with our tax dollars. It's enough to elevate your blood pressure. The politicians who did show up tried to dodge the questions and failed.
Then there is CBS and the media. O'Reilly does not like CBS due to their politics and methods of censorship. They didn't like him because of his brazen, no-nonsense style of reporting. Ah, well. He has his own show now. But he does give us a clear picture of how the media distorts the truth.
I enjoyed The No-Spin Zone on several levels. It was short and easy to read. His insights made me think. Sometimes I got angry or disgusted, especially where our taxes are concerned. Sometimes, I felt like he was trying to stab at the people he didn't like. He's got an attitude, but at least he's honest.

A Winter Haunting
A Winter Haunting
by Dan Simmons
Edition: Hardcover
26 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars A Tight, Hair-raising Ride, March 10 2002
This review is from: A Winter Haunting (Hardcover)
I was thrilled when I saw Dan Simmons's new book, A Winter Haunting on Amazon. Until I saw the reviews, I had no idea it was a sequel to Summer of Night when I preordered it. That doesn't matter. This book can stand by itself, although you may get to know Dale Stewart better by reading the first book.
Dale is an interesting guy, to say the least. After a failed suicide attempt, he returns to Elm Haven to write a book about his long-dead best friend, Duane McBride and their pack of nerdy friends. This is a last-ditch effort to rebuild his broken life, most of which is his own fault. He moves into Duane's old house, which has ghosts of its own. Whether they are real or imagined is the reader's guess until the very end.
Simmons did a superb job in his depiction of an eerie town, its hostile citzens, and one whacked out main character. This book is a tight, hair-raising ride into terror. I hope Simmons will continue to write more horror stories because he is good. Highly recommended.

The Astronaut's Wife (Widescreen)
The Astronaut's Wife (Widescreen)
DVD ~ Charlize Theron
Offered by Fulfillment Express CA
Price: CDN$ 15.47
25 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Good Acting, Good Suspense, March 6 2002
Two astronauts lose contact with NASA for two full minutes during a routine repair operation on a satellite. What happened during those two minutes becomes the center focus of this movie. Spencer (played by Depp) and his partner return to Earth, but the partner dies and Spencer isn't quite the same. That isn't apparent at first until a former NASA employee tries to contact Jillian (played by Theron). Then the movie takes a sinister turn. Is Jillian crazy, or is she pregnant with alien twins?
I enjoyed the performance of Depp and Theron. They have a chemistry that I haven't seen between two actors in a long time. The special effects were good, but I had to turn up the volume to hear the actors' voices over the sound. I give this movie four stars because of the climax. Rather than give it away, I'll say that it didn't fit with the natural laws of science. Otherwise, I enjoyed the movie. It has a cliffhanger, which suggests a sequel.

Careers in Criminology
Careers in Criminology
by Marilyn Morgan
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 16.76
29 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars A Valuable Resource, March 3 2002
This review is from: Careers in Criminology (Paperback)
Careers in Criminology covers a wide spectrum of law enforcement careers. Each section lists the type of job, its specialties and hazards, the skills and education requirements needed, and the salary. In the back is a list of websites and organizations you can contact.
If you aren't sure which avenue to take, I suggest reading the book all the way through. It is filled with interesting facts and pertinent information that can help you attain your career. If you already have an idea of what your interests are, you can skip to the relevant chapter. Recommended.

The New Thought Police: Inside the Left's Assault on Free Speech and Free Minds
The New Thought Police: Inside the Left's Assault on Free Speech and Free Minds
by Tammy Bruce
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 35.95
36 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars 1984 Snuck Up on Us, Feb. 28 2002
Tammy Bruce explains the difference between the old-fashioned Liberal and today's multiculturist liberal. There is quite a difference between the two. The old-fashioned Liberal believes in freedom of speech, equal rights, individuality, morals, and personal responsibility. The multiculturist society has a self-righteous attitude that believes in entitlements and very little responibility. To open your mouth and speak against them is to face public humiliation via verbal attacks, death threats, and ostracism. These people hate everything the original America stood for.
Bruce illustrates how the media plays a strong hand in steering people toward the multiculturist way of thinking. Her first example was Dr. Laura Schlessinger, who was forced to cancel her TV show because GLAAD accused her of bashing gays. Eminem didn't hear a peep from them or the media for bashing gays in his "songs". Bruce goes on to explain. Joan Garry, the leader of GLAAD, used to work for MTV. Her sponsor is Seagrams. Basically, if she had made the same stink with Eminem, she would have lost her sponsors. So, he is still bashing gays while Dr. Laura still preaches family values on her radio show.
Bruce explains how the media is responsible for a great deal of fear about racism and its impact on society. She points out that the majority of the rioters over Rodney King weren't black, but Hispanic and white. The media tried to portray the entire black community rioting in the streets when all you had to do was watch the news and see that it wasn't so. I saw plenty of opportunistic criminals carrying stolen TVs, and they weren't black.
I agreed with Bruce 100% where the O.J. Simpson case was concerned. I didn't get obsessed with the case like my mother-in-law did, but I saw the news coverage of him trying to flee and heard the 9-1-1 tapes of Nicole crying and asking for help. I knew he was a batterer who killed his ex-wife and her friend, but I also knew he was going to get away with it. Why? Because of the Rodney King case. Those two cases, and the media coverage they received, sent a terrible message to the victims of drunk drivers and batterers. The only justice Nicole Brown Simpson and her children received was the distruction of O.J.'s career. Thanks to Tammy Bruce, his scheduled TV appearance to "clear his name" was thwarted.
It doesn't stop there. Bruce attacks NOW, Knopf, Howard Stern, and certain media officials. NOW is not about feminism and women's rights. They are staunch protectors of the multiculturist movement, stifling opinions of the women they allegedly support and turning them into victims of said movement.
The only thing I didn't like was her stance and tactics concerning Knopf, which published American Psycho. I have never read American Psycho and decided to check out the reviews on Amazon. It received both good and bad, pointing out that its graphic violence isn't for everyone. I felt she used invasive tactics for censoring that book. That's what she did, regardless of whether she was trying to protect kids from pornography and violence. She not only made her stand with the publishing industry, but earned some leverage with the news media. That, I applauded.
The New Thought Police was a tightly written, well thought out piece of education. I enjoyed Ms. Bruce's witty if not sarcastic style as well as the wealth of information she gave to us concerning NOW and the real definition of a liberal. If you weren't aware of how stifled you were before reading this book, you will after you turn the last page. I recommend this book to anyone who values their own opinion and freedoms.

Hell to Pay: The Unfolding Story of Hillary Rodham Clinton
Hell to Pay: The Unfolding Story of Hillary Rodham Clinton
by Barbara Olson
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 22.75
51 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Dangerous Woman, Feb. 20 2002
This was one of the most educational books I have read in my life. Olson writes a compelling story about Hillary Clinton, starting with her middle-class upbringing in suburban Illinois. Growing up with a house full of men, Hillary felt she had to excel at everything in order to win her father's approval, which she never seemed to get. This was the only time I felt any empathy for this woman.
We've all heard the blatherings about the Clintons' scandals via the media. But the media never came close to telling us the truth, especially concerning their dealings with the Chinese government, who now has possession of our nuclear secrets. Barbara Olson not only illustrates their involvement but gives an unsettling picture of how Hillary Rodham Clinton's mind works. She is a megalomaniac who wants nothing more than absolute power over the American people, especially our children. Olson also gives us the scoop about Whitewater, the Lewinsky fiasco, and scores of other calamaties and injustices that went on inside the White House during their double-term. Basically, the Clintons perfected the Nixonian technique for covering their tracks, destroying a countless number of lies both figuratively and literally.
I would have liked to have read what really happened to Vincent Foster, Ron Brown, and several other officials who met untimely deaths. Olson barely skimmed this issue, but told how Vince Foster was Hillary's lawyer and possible lover. I can understand why Olson couldn't touch that issue, given her position in the Justice Department. But she portrays the Clintons for who they really are, slick criminals who will use anyone and any means to secure their agenda.
I recommend this book to every American citizen, whether they were (or are still) pro-Clinton or not. Hell to Pay is loaded with facts that we cannot ignore.

The Corrections / Jonathan Franzen
The Corrections / Jonathan Franzen
by Jonathan Franzen
Edition: Hardcover
95 used & new from CDN$ 1.55

4.0 out of 5 stars The Human Condition with a Twist, Feb. 2 2002
The majority of this 562-page novel is about the characters' individual lives. Franzen wrote this novel so well that I not only felt like I was walking in each character's shoes, but felt transported to St. Jude, New York City, and Lithuania.
The Corrections packs a humorous and realistic punch about life at the end of this century. He depicted the '90s parent very well in Gary, who tries to be the authority figure in his household and fails due to his insecurities. Denise is the Career Woman who doesn't know who she is or how to deal with life's emotional challenges. Chip starts out as a directionless sex fiend, a man I really started out despising. Out of the three, he surprised me with his growth. Enid and Alfred are the aging parents these adult children have to deal with.
I give this book four and a half stars for two reasons. Although the Lamberts' lives are interesting, I couldn't wait to get to the Christmas Dinner, which I expected to be darkly satirical. Instead, it was brutally realistic but not a total letdown. Still, I enjoyed it for what it was.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading about the human condition.

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