INSPECTOR OF THE DEAD is a historical mystery novel set in London, England in 1855 featuring real life writer Thomas De Quincey and his daughter Emily as amateur sleuths assisting detectives with Scotland Yard with solving a series of murders targeting high government officials. It is the second novel by Morrell featuring De Quincey as an amateur sleuth. As in the first De Quincey novel, MURDER AS A FINE ART, Morell incorporates other historical characters into the plot of the novel including England’s Queen Victoria and its prime minister Lord Palmerston. In real life, De Quincey became a famous author after writing CONFESSIONS OF AN ENGLISH OPIUM EATER, an autobiographical account of his addiction to laudanum (a mixture of opium and alcohol) and its effect on his life. David Morrell, the author of more than thirty books, is best known for his novels FIRST BLOOD and RAMBO, which were made into feature films starring Sylvester Stallone.
THE DEBTOR CLASS follows the lives of several characters with various challenges in their lives who go to work for a collection agency owned by Philyaw, an empathetic debt collector who looks like Humphrey Bogart. Set in present day Southern California, Goldman writes with a wry, humorous view of humanity that lightens the mood of what could be a dark novel. More importantly he humanizes the debt collectors letting the readers know that they are no different than the people they call on behalf of creditors. Ivan G. Goldman is anjournalist and the author of five novels.
Tune in at 12:30 p.m. Sunday, June 27 to KAZI 88.7FM for my interview with Don Winslow, author of the new novel THE CARTEL
With the release this month of his new novel, THE CARTEL, Don Winslow completes his two book magnum opus, narrating the 30 year conflict between DEA agent Art Keller and Mexican drug lord Adan Barrera that began with the publication of THE POWER OF THE DOG in 2005. Panoramic in scope, THE CARTEL tells the story of the war on drugs in Mexico with unvarnished brutality, depicting not only the extreme violence of the cartels, but the callous policy of the U.S. which contributed to the violence.
THE CARTEL plays out Keller’s obsession with recapturing Barrera after he escapes from a Mexican prison, and Barrera’s desire to have him killed. Keller’s conflict with Barrera, which began in THE POWER OF THE DOG, has ruined his marriage and made him unpopular, but tolerated by his superiors in the DEA. In a literary sense, Keller is Ishmael and Barrera is his Moby Dick. Meanwhile Barrera attempts to reclaim his position as the symbolic head of the drug gangs, engaging in a war with his fellow drug lords, that spills over into the lives of ordinary Mexican citizens with thousands of innocent people dying.
What kept me from feeling the THE CARTEL had created a nihilistic, hopeless world were two characters, Marisol Cisneros, a Mexican doctor that Art falls in love with, and Pablo Mora, a journalist covering the drug war in Juarez, Mexico. These characters, who took up a substantial portion of the narrative, displayed honesty and courage in the face of threats against their own lives. I especiailly enjoyed Pablo, a divorced father of one who has literally covered so many murders in Juarez that he feels “morally exhausted.” Through his narration, the reader sees the daily bravery of the Mexican journalists caught in the crossfire of the drug war.
Ultimately in THE CARTEL, Winslow deftly balanced the morally corrupt world of the drug lords, the morally compromised world of the DEA, and the lives of ordinary Mexican citizen heroes. It kept me entertained while making me think long and hard about the U.S. war on drugs. For those seeking serious novels to read this summer, it should be at the top of their list.
Tune in at 12:30 p.m. Sunday to KAZI 88.7FM for my interview with John Renehan, author of the novel THE VALLEY.
THE VALLEY explores the alienation of an American officer sent to investigate a warning shot fired by a near-forgotten platoon at remote and dangerous forward operating base in Afghanistan on the border of pakistan. In the novel, Tenehan not only provides us a glimpse of the daily challenges and frustrations of our soldiers at war, but also shows the complex politics of the shifting alliances between the afghanistan tribes and the Taliban.
Currently an attorney, John Renehan served in the Army’s Third Infantry Division as a field artillery officer in Iraq.
Tune in Monday at 8 a.m. CST for my interview with Peter Whybrow, author of THE WELL-TUNED BRAIN: Neuroscience & THE LIFE WELL LIVED on on KAZI Book Review on KAZI 88.7FM in Austin, Texas.
In Peyer Whybrow’s new book, he tries to answer two questions, and I quote: First, why is it that human beings tend to consume excessively in a resource-rich environment, and second, why despite our growing conscious awareness of the challenges we face do we find it difficult to change our ways?
In our interview we discussed the philosophy behind capitalism, the short term nature of human beings that can drive our behavior to the detriment of our longterm needs, and the moral and social constraints necessary to keep our behavior and capitalism from overtaking the greater good for humanity.
Peter Whybrow, M.D. is Director of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior and a Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA). He is the author of numerous scientific papers and six books, including A MOOD APART: The Thinker’s Guide to Emotion and its Disorder, which is widely acclaimed as the definitive guide to the experience and science of mood and its disorder, written expressly for the general public.
Tune in at 12:30 p.m. CST today to KAZI 88.7FM for interviews with Nelson DeMille, author of the new novel RADIANT ANGEL and Bruce Ferber, author of the new novel CASCADE FALLS. Listen live online through tunein.com or live365.com or their respective apps.
After a showdown with the notorious Yemeni terrorist known as The Panther, Corey has left the Anti-Terrorist Task Force and returned home to New York City taking a job with the Diplomatic Surveillance Group. Although Corey’s new assignment with the DSG—following Russian diplomats working at the U.N. Mission—is thought to be “a quiet end,” he’s happy to be out of the FBI. But Corey realizes something the U.S. government doesn’t: The all-too-real threat of a newly resurgent Russia.
Prescient and chilling. DeMille’s new novel takes us into the heart of a new Cold War with a clock-ticking plot that has Manhattan in its crosshairs.
CASCADE FALLS explores the failed promise of the American Dream. Raised to believe that with hard work, anything is possible, a staggering number of Americans hate their jobs and see little chance of ever escaping the grind. In his tragicomic followup to the laugh-ridden Elevating Overman, Bruce Ferber asks the question: “How does giving up our dreams affect our relationships and our psyches?”