THE BLUE JOURNAL: A dark, sexy detective novel set in affluent and murderous suburbia – #mystery #bookreview

 

The Blue Journal

A Detective Anthony Walker Novel

L.T. Graham

Seventh Street Books – paperback, Kindle

Anthony Walker had been a good street cop in New York City. But the dangers and grim realities he encountered every day eventually made him fear for the safety of his family. So he took a job as a detective on a suburban Connecticut police force. The move “meant a substantial pay cut and an increase in his cost of living. But Walker felt it was the right thing to do for his wife and daughters,” L.T. Graham writes in this intriguing novel that introduces the “Detective Anthony Walker” series.

Unfortunately, the job turned out to be boring for Walker. “Taken together, all of the incidents of vandalism and burglary he had handled over the past five years were considerably less dangerous than a single midnight-to-eight tour in his old Manhattan precinct,” Graham describes.

But what is worse is that the move also gradually destroyed his marriage, leaving Walker almost friendless and alone in an affluent town where he barely can afford an apartment.

However, a murder case–something very rare in Darien, Connecticut–is about to bring big challenges and big changes to Walker’s life in several ways.

On the one hand, Walker’s boss, Chief Gill, wants the case wrapped up quickly and as quietly as possible. On the other hand, Walker is still a New York cop at heart, and he is not shy about asking blunt, upsetting questions to some of the suburban town’s wealthy movers and shakers.

The murder victim has left behind some kind of diary that seems to brag about her sexual escapades with prominent men and women in Darien. The names are barely coded, and as Walker investigates, he learns that many of the people in the diary, including the victim, are associated in some way with a therapy group conducted by Dr. Randi Conway, “a tall, attractive blonde” psychologist who recently has aroused Walker’s interest. Walker thinks one of the people in the diary could be the killer. But Dr. Conway, of course, has to protect her patients’ confidentiality, even as she finds herself somewhat reluctantly being drawn to Walker–and is not yet aware that her life truly is in danger.

L.T. Graham’s new detective novel is a dark, sexy look at murder and entitled attitudes in affluent suburbia. And Detective Anthony Walker is the kind of dogged detective who just plunges ahead through the subtle and not-so-subtle barriers that keep being thrown in his way.

There is one other mystery within this well-written and entertaining mystery. “L.T. Graham” is a pen name. The writer of this new series is described only as “a New England-based suspense writer who is the author of several novels.”

Si Dunn

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Tinsley Harrison, M.D., Teacher of Medicine: An inspiring biography of a dedicated physician – #bookreview

Tinsley Harrison, M.D.: Teacher of Medicine

James A. Pittman Jr., M.D.

(NewSouth Books – hardback, Kindle)

Dr. Tinsley Randolph Harrison is an important figure in 20th-century American medicine, and both his legacy and his influence live on in 21st-century health care.

Before his death in 1978, Dr. Harrison taught medicine for 54 years and was fond of telling medical students and other doctors: “Learning is more a matter of the heart than the brain.”

Dr. Harrison also was a medical researcher, and he wrote and edited the first five editions of Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine, which, by some estimates, has been the best-selling medical book of all time. During his long career, Dr. Harrison served as dean at three medical schools: Bowman Gray School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C., Southwestern Medical College in Dallas, Tex., and the University of Alabama School of Medicine.

This well-written and inspiring biography not only traces Dr. Harrison’s young life and his rise to prominence as a seventh-generation physician. It also presents sometimes shocking looks at the state and practice of medicine in the Deep South during the racially segregated 1950s and 1960s, as well as some of the significant improvements that have occurred in recent decades.

Tinsley Harrison, M.D.: Teacher of Medicine can be enjoyed by physicians, medical researchers, medical administrators and medical students, as well as by fans of biographies in general. The book gives good insights into how some successful people choose their careers and how they work their way to success and prominence in their field.

Si Dunn

KLAIL CITY / KLAIL CITY y sus alrededores – 1st bilingual edition of the 2nd novel in the famed ‘Klail City Death Trip’ series – #bookreview

 

Klail City y sus alredeores

Klail City / Klail City y sus alrededores

Rolando Hinojosa

(Arte Público – paperback)

 

Problems involving race relations and immigration never go away in the United States. Sometimes, they boil over in big, violent ways that bring them back to the headlines, spotlights and TV screens — until something else happens that shifts the media’s–and the public’s–attentions elsewhere. Yet, even then, the problems stay with us, in our daily lives and in our literature.

Klail City / Klail City y sus alrededores is the second book in Rolando Hinojosa’s famed “Klail City Death Trip” series, which recently totaled 15 novels. In Klail City, a fictional town near the Texas-Mexico border, Texas Mexicans are the majority population, but a minority of Anglos run the town.

This well-written book, set just before and during the Korean War, examines life at a time when Anglos on the high school football team are given letter jackets, but the Texas Mexican players initially are not. It is a town where a young Mexican-American veteran of combat in World War II has been shot down by an Anglo deputy sheriff under questionable circumstances. After a long-delayed trial, the deputy is cleared by a jury, and the young veteran’s father can do little else to protest except destroy a marker listing the names of men from the county who were killed during the war, including his own son. It is a town where one man tells another: “We’re like the Greeks, Don Manuel. Slaves in service of the Romans…we’ve got to educate them, these Romans, these Anglos…amounts to the same thing.”

The Spanish version of Klail City was published in the 1970s in Cuba and won the Casa de las Américas prize in 1976. Arte Público Press at the University of Houston published an English language edition in 1987.

The new edition from Arte Público is the first bilingual version to be published. The novel is presented first in English, followed by the Spanish version.

Rolando Hinojosa’s often experimental writing style has been described as having echoes of William Faulkner and Gabriel Garcia Márquez.  His 15-book “Klail City Death Trip” series is set mostly in fictional Belken County in the Lower Rio Grande Valley.

Arte Público is “the nation’s largest and most established publisher of contemporary and recovered literature by U.S. Hispanic authors.”

Si Dunn