Alone In A Bitter World

Savage Country, by Robert Olmstead Olmstead’s title here says all that’s relevant here, but indulge me in a few details. Michael Coughlin has lost his family and wandered off the white man’s reservation into existential territory. He meets Elizabeth, his brother’s widowed wife, whom the brother has left destitute. There’s a strain of Americana in…

The Inevitability of Fate, or Fate Floats

The North Water, by Ian McGuire There are numerous stories out there playing on the trope of a self-styled mystic aboard a ship at sea predicting some ominous thing that may or may not come true, and Ian McGuire works that ground as if virgin soil. Patrick Sumner is an ex-British army surgeon fresh from…

Hardball Publishing and Selling

Okay, tooting my own horn begins today, and I’ll begin with my first novel. A REASON TO TREMBLE was originally published in Canada. Because of the dollar exchange between the U.S. and Canada, the company was able to sell books in the U.S. at prices below comparable books published here. But Canada has to depend on…

The Girl On The Train – Movie Review

This past summer as I nursed a failing metal knee replacement and another bit of personal trauma I see fit not to mention here, I holed up watching movies – terrible movies, movies I’ve seen a million times, streaming movies, movies on demand. While I purport to review movies here, I’ve failed miserably to live…

A Southern Boss Tweed

  The Commissioner – A True Story of Deceit, Dishonor, and Death, by Bill Keith Sometimes I read a book, not to assess its literary qualities, but simply because it fits into my personal history. This is one of those. But first, something about the author. Bill Keith is a journalist who has really gotten…

Home and Heart

Sometimes it takes a push to get us out of our rut, the habits that would have us waste the precious days of our lives. And when we fail to see the love and support of those around us for what they are, well, it’s time to hit the road, to clear our senses and minds…

You Can Go Home Again

The Black House, by Peter May The twentieth century saw many people leave the land of their roots for what seemed more opportunity in the growing, vital urban areas. And many of these discovered that this move didn’t allow new roots and a new culture; instead it left them emotionally adrift. Peter May embraces this…