Books I have authored.

Many times I receive books for FREE to give them an honest review. I do not get paid to give a good or bad review. Spotlights are promotional and should be regarded as advertising for the book spotlighted. Regardless of where or how I got a book, my review will be as honest as I can make it.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Questions and Answers From Christi Phillips

Miss Phillips has been kind enought to answer a few questons about her great book, "The Devlin Diary".

Q & A for Christi Phillips, Author of The Devlin Diary
1. When did you realize you wanted to be a writer? Was there some specific incident that inspired you?
There wasn’t a specific incident that I can recall. I began reading early, before I started grade school, and had my nose in a book throughout my entire childhood. I knew that I wanted to be a writer when I was quite young, at ten or eleven. I simply loved reading so much that I started writing—I suppose I wanted to recreate something that brought me so much pleasure. By the time I was twelve or thirteen, I carried around a notebook in which I wrote poetry, and I kept a journal. In time, I wrote short stories, then screenplays, and finally a novel. The poetry and most of the short stories were terrible, by the way. I was highly motivated, but I didn’t show any early promise. Mine is a story of determination triumphing over lack of talent.

2. Why did you choose the medium of historical fiction? How do you pick what time/place to focus on? Are these periods you have always been interested in?
I chose it in a very round-about fashion, actually. Originally I had planned The Rossetti Letter as a comedy of manners (√† la Forster or Austen) about a woman who chaperones a teen-age girl to Venice. I decided that the dramatic set-up would be stronger if the woman had a reason to go to Venice—so she became a historian on her way to an academic conference. Then, of course, I needed to know what her dissertation was about. I began researching Venetian history, and almost at once came across a mention of the 1618 Spanish Conspiracy. As I read further—not just about the conspiracy, the real event upon which The Rossetti Letter is based, but about Venetian history in general—I was inspired to write scenes set in the past and to make the historical portion of the story a major part of the book instead of background.

I set The Rossetti Letter and The Devlin Diary in the Early Modern era because I found that period of history fascinating. The Early Modern era, a 250-300 year time span which is generally agreed to begin around the end of the Renaissance (c. 1500) and end with the advent of the Industrial Revolution (c. 1750), was an incredibly vibrant and important period in European history. It’s the time of the Reformation, of the exploration of the New World, and the beginning of scientific inquiry. People began questioning authority and began to observe the world objectively, without the blinders of religious dogma. Although The Devlin Diary takes place fifty-four years later than The Rossetti Letter, both books are set within the Early Modern era, and the characters in both novels reflect their time.

3. Why do you choose to interweave the past and present, rather than writing straight historical fiction?
As I mentioned above, it wasn’t exactly planned that way! It happened organically. Once I started doing research, I realized that I didn’t have to keep the past “in the past,” but could bring it forward and make it part of the story.

4. Is the character of Claire based on your own experiences?
Claire is based on experiences I would like to have. She’s a kind of alter-ego who allows me to do something I love doing—historical research—and to vicariously live out the fantasy of being an academic. Being almost entirely self-taught, academia—especially the ivy-covered, hallowed-hall sort that Claire inhabits—holds a fascination for me. After visiting Trinity College and learning about its history degree program, I was convinced that if I had another life to live I would choose to spend it there, getting a doctorate in Early Modern History and spending the rest of my years cloistered in a cozy set. In spite of the many terrible (fictional) things that happen at Trinity College during the course of The Devlin Diary, I found it (and the people therein) absolutely charming. Cambridge is at least as lovely as I have described it. It’s the ultimate college town (although residents of Oxford might disagree).

The Christi Phillips Web Site

My thanks to Christi for taking the time to give us all some insight as to what inspires her! See the contest to win a FREE copy of "The Devlin Diary" in the previous post.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Free Book, "The Devlin Diary by Christi Phillips

My First Giveaway!

My review of The “Devlin Diary” by Christi Phillips will be posted at the Pick of the Literate on June 29, 2009.

The Question and Answers for Christi Phillips, author of the “Devlin Diary” will be posted on June 30, 2009 at Pick of the Literate.

Drop by, read the review, make your comment and sit back and hope you win. Contest will begin on June 29, 2009 and end on July 6, 2009.

The Devlin Diary by Christi Phillips



The Devlin Diary is historic fiction at its best. The story vacillates between the 1670s and the present. The mysteries of King Charles’ court and the experiences of a young American scholar at Trinity College in England provide the background of the mystery. How murders in 1670 can possibly influence a murder in the present underlie the mystery.

Phillips did a masterful job in characterization. She painted solid portraits of the main characters providing the necessary information for the reader to develop strong feelings on each individual. Her portrayal of the sordidness of the English Court contrasts dramatically with the rose tinted perceptions commonly held about English Court life. If you have read any of my other reviews, you are aware I am fond of strong female characters. Phillips crafted two women that I would be proud to know and hope that my granddaughter would emulate.

I felt the plot was intricate without being confusing. I particularly liked not being able to pre-determine the true villain. Being a romantic at heart, I also liked the final conclusion. Any loose ends were neatly bundled at the climax of the story.

I would recommend the book to those who enjoy mystery, romance and history and gentlemen don’t be put off by the comment on romance, it isn’t a romance novel, it is an excellent mystery novel that includes romance. I am going out to get her previous book, The Rossetti Letter. I don't give five dragons very often but this book demanded them.

Body of work of Christi Phillips

Review: http://www.likesbooks.com/cgi-bin/bookReview.pl?BookReviewId=7315

Web site: http://www.christi-phillips.com/
Coming tomorrow, questions and answers from the author, Christi Phillips!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

When the Devil Dances by John Ringo


The action keeps on coming. I am reminded of and will paraphrase the Joker from one of the Batman movies, “where does he get all these marvelous toys?”. The SheVa is a multistory tank that does not defy the imagination as much as tickle it. Once again, Ringo shows he is not adverse to knocking off characters, even if they are highly likeable. The Posleen are learing and thusly more dangerous. In all their conquests, no one any where has successfully fought them, until now. The action is non stop, the characters angst is often palatable. Through it all, Ringo shows he has an undeniable faith in the willingness of man to fight on, regardless of the odds. I recommend it.


Body of work of John Ringo

Review: http://www.scifidimensions.com/Apr02/devildances.htm

Web site: http://www.johnringo.com/Home/tabid/1574/ctl/Terms/language/en-US/Default.aspx


Friday, June 26, 2009

Lack of Love Hurts

Maybe I have been reviewing too many books that have relationships instead of swords, sorcery, lasers and space shuttles. I was talking to a friend recently who was bemoaning her social life. She is an attractive, intelligent, divorced mother of three. She is a registered nurse; she does volunteer work and wants to find somebody to love. She has concluded that our community is overrun with swine of many stripes. Her biggest outrage are the married swine who assume she is ripe for the picking. Trust me, she may be ripe but the picking will be done by her. From my perspective, some of the reasons she is still alone is she is not compliant, easy, stupid or needy. There are a lot of guys out there who are afraid of strong, self confident women. They want to be doted on rather than have a mutually satisfactory relationship.

Looking outside of our community has been tiresome. Taking a run to New York or Philadelphia is both time consuming and expensive it you are planning on looking for a mate. Plus, she has found the bar scene is hardly conducive to meeting someone looking for a commitment. She has talked about trying one of the online dating services but doesn’t know which one. The number of services and their claims are overwhelming.

There is hope for her and others. There is a site called Prime Dating Sites that has evaluated and reviewed a wealth of choice for the lovelorn. I checked out Friend Finder, Chemistry.com and eHarmony. There was a good review of each site and links to ten different matchmaking sites. Frankly I was surprised I hadn’t heard of a couple of them. I use Yahoo all the time and didn’t have any idea they had a matchmaking site called Yahoo Personals. I guess being happily married I haven’t paid a lot of attention to these kinds of sites. The TV ads that promote many of the sites are slick and well done but don’t tell you much. Prime Dating Sites, at least gives you some points to ponder and may help you narrow your search to a service that makes sense for you.

Being lonely truly hurts; frankly I can’t imagine life without my mate. There are a huge number of lonely people out there trying to find someone. Maybe these sites might help. If you have had experience with them, please comment on this blog. You too, might help someone find the person they can love.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Guardian of the Balance by Irene Radford


I am new to Irene Radford. This is the first book of hers I have read. I have read more Arthurian tales than I can recall and am always amazed at how the same story can be told in so many entertaining ways. One review said this book was upbeat. Hmm, my take was more gritty. Merlin’s daughter, Wren, spends the entire book agonizing over her own behavior and every other characters behavior. She, herself, suffers a variety of travails. The overall theme as noted in the title is to maintain balance. This means that the bad guys win almost as often as the good guys. Sadly that is more realistic than most novels. I enjoyed the story and look forward to reading the rest of the trilogy.

Body of work of Irene Radford


Review: http://www.owldaughter.org/articles/radford.html

Web Site: http://www.theflyingparty.com/radford/


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

An Online Backup Could Save Your Butt

In a pique of responsibility I recently bought a new ide/sata to usb converter. For those of you who aren’t geeks, that means a small device that allows me to use a fairly wide range of old hard drives to connect to my computer through the USB port. One of my computers did not have a backup drive in it and I thought the converter would be an easy and cheap solution since I have a bunch of old hard drives. I fired it all up, saw the external USB drive and immediately got the black screen of death and my internal hard drive wheezed to a stop. It could be serendipity, coincidence, a short through the USB cable to my computer or karma but whatever it was, that computer is now stone dead. I have not yet taken the time to trouble shoot the problem primarily due to the incredible, enormous frustration over trying to be proactive to protect my data and ending up with a steaming, smelly pile of crapola.

Where am I going with this you may ask? Since I have a bunch of computers I have my data backed up elsewhere but in discussing my disgruntlement with some golfing buddies, the comment was made that suicide would be a viable alternative to having their computer crash because they have no backup. If the contemplation of suicide is preferable to facing a crashed PC there is a possibility that regularly backing up your data would be a positive thing.

Online Backup by a company called iBackup may be a way for those of you who are uncomfortable trying to do a backup. They are setup for a wide range of clients and priced inexpensively enough for a home user. If you are interested you can check out their pricing table here, you can do an online backup for less than $10.00 per month. For me technical support for a product is crucial. I am always reticent to write about something that may have lousy support. I called iBackup tech support’s number and got through to Juan, immediately. I also tried their online chat for support and got Sam, immediately. The company has won some awards,too. Their software interface for Windows users looks like Internet Explorer. I don’t use a Mac but that interface looked pretty simple too.

Bottom line as an author, I would beat my head with my keyboard if I lost one of my stories. Luckily I have the technical expertise to have multiple paths of backup but it is apparent that many folks out there are not backuped up regularly. If you care about your work, back it up. iBackup may be a good solution for you, go to their site, check them out, run their demos and maybe try their free trial. Trust me, a good backup beats blooding your brow with a blunt instrument.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Interview With Author Ray Melnik


Ray, thank you for allowing me to interview you.


Bill, thanks for the opportunity to talk about my story and for your time and review.


Why did you write this book? What initiated this particular burst of creativity?

After publishing my first novel The Room in 2007, I started to miss the characters. The Room which takes place in 2006 involved an extraordinary happening near the end and since the purpose was to illustrate how a single event can affect our whole lives, I only eluded to what caused it. I also left the reader hanging about whether the protagonist, Harry, and his love interest, Lacie, ever get back together.

I thought it might be interesting to reveal the answers through the mind of Harry’s daughter, Kaela, but at a time 15 years in the future, in 2021. In The Room, she’s introduced as an 8 year old with a high aptitude in math and it would lead her to a career in the sciences. Since I’ve researched and written articles about new technologies for years, I was excited at the prospect of describing a world that I believe we’ll be living in not too long from now. I have a voracious appetite for science and it was fun to be able to use that background as well.

Does your story line develop organically or is it a gestalt before you begin?

Before I start I have the beginning, milestones and end, but the real story develops organically.

Is your process to outline and then fill in the blanks or just sit down and start to tell a story or ?

I start with writing a page or two that tells the story through the milestones to the end. I write character profiles for each of the players initially planned; with more to come later. Then with a number of chapters in mind I write descriptions by breaking up the original short draft into the parts I plan to tell in each. I set up an Outlook calendar and place the events on a timeline. It was interesting, turning the calendar to the year 2021 and following it there. There are always shifts and changes as the story evolves, but it keeps the pieces in order.

Do you have a favorite character in the book and if so why?

In this story I think I would have to say I related most to Rael. I was 17 years old when I started college during the day and worked a full time evening shift at a nursing home to cover, credit costs, expenses and rent on a small studio apartment. Like, Rael, I saw no benefit in complaining. You do what you have to do. In the novel, Kaela says it, but Rael understands it perhaps best; “Life is neither malicious nor kind. It simply doesn’t care.” I did care very much for Kaela and Kyle as well. It’s strange how I missed my characters when the novels were done.

What do you like the most about writing?

Since I hadn’t written fiction since school, I had forgotten how much fun it is. I can put my issues into the characters, make things turn out they way I wish they would, and do the impossible. It gives me a way to provide readers with an existential view of life and hopefully the realization that no belief system has a lock on compassion, generosity and empathy.

Where do your new story ideas come from?

I started writing The Room when my marriage broke up and it was a way to share it with the protagonist, Harry, who was going through the same thing. I’ve been fascinated with String Theory and it made a great vehicle to illustrate how a single event can change the course of your life. I was able to explore what would happen if the tables were turned.

When I was promoting The Room I wrote several short stories, two of which became subplots and the start of To Your Own Self Be True. The first was the story of Rael, the rape of his mother and the love he had for his little sister. It was titled, My Little Treasure. The second was the story of Dr Kyle Trace and his encounter with an alternate reality in his lab in 2006. That one was titled, To Your Own Self Be True which of course became the book title. I subconsciously wanted to continue the story of the Ladd family.

What advice has helped the most in your writing?

I got my best advice from the editors, Ed Hayman who edited The Room and Joann Horai who edited To Your Own Self Be True. It was a great benefit in so many ways, to have their point of view from outside.

What is the favorite book you have written?

So far there are only the two novels and both were enjoyable to me in their own way. Maybe after a few more I’ll have a favorite. (I knew this from Ray's web site, forgive me for a less than stellar question.)

Who is your favorite author and why?

My favorite author is Albert Camus and his book The Stranger, tops my list. My views about existence had been with me since before I was a teen, but in an existential literature course in college, that book was the first assignment and I finally realized that there were others who thought the same way that I did.

What advice would you give for the want to be writer?

Don’t be afraid to be honest and place some of yourself into your characters. Never be afraid to open up.


Ray, thank you very much for participating in this inteview, I learned some things and I hope my readers do as well.
More information can be found on Ray Melnik and his books at his web site. Also see my review of "To Your Own Self Be True" below.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Great Maternity Clothes Are Way Cheaper Than Therapy

If you have been reading my blog I am sure you have noted that I have decided feminist leanings. Note that does not in any way impinge my masculinity, I just happen to enjoy strong, self confident, successful women. Check my review of Elizabeth Moon’s work, great female protagonists.

Anyway, yesterday I attended a “Hooray, School is Out” block party hosted in my son’s circle. I was fortunate enough to be able to hold my youngest grandson for two hours while his older brother celebrated the end of school and his Mom caught up with neighbors. Some great conversations, I got a compliment on my book, “I Like to Whine” and we talked about books and book swapping. I put in a couple of plugs for my blogs. Of course, there were many young mothers with young kids there and it wasn’t surprising that there were a few conversations about pregnancy, who was and who was done.

Awhile back I wrote about some of the psychological impact that pregnancy creates. In fact, some of the best comments I have gotten were in regards to an understanding that self image is dramatically impacted by the body changes in being a mother. My title appears to be joking in regards to mental health and pregnancy. I don’t really feel it is a joke or at least not a very good one. Looking good while pregnant can have a major impact on feeling good. Motherhood is an astounding, amazing thing that too often my gender takes for granted. Positive reinforcement while pregnant truly can stave off the need for therapeutic intervention. When your pregnant sweetheart looks into the mirror she does not want to see her mother. She wants to see a sophisticated, stylish woman who just happens to be with child.

Kiki’s Fashion Maternity may have some of the most attractive maternity attire I have ever seen. I know, how much can I guy know about maternity fashion. I happen to be one of those guys who find impending motherhood attractive. No fetish, just overwhelming feelings of protection characterize my feelings about motherhood. I was grossly overprotective when my wife was pregnant and had to whack my self in the head a few times not to smother my daughter-in-laws when they were pregnant. BTW they did great and I have astounding grandchildren, but that may be just a touch prejudicial.

Kiki’s clothes are so darn cute you have to check them out yourself. In addition, Bloggers and Friends of Bloggers receive an exclusive 20% Off! Just use coupon code "blogfriends" during checkout to apply. Considering how much it costs to have a kid these days, that discount can help. I’m not saying there won’t be emotional distress some days during pregnancy, I’m just suggesting that if a woman looks in the mirror and is satisfied with how she looks, she is less susceptible to that distress. Good looking, stylish attire may help. Check it out!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Interview With Author Ray Melnik June 21, 2009

Author Ray Melnik's first two books, "The Room" and "To Your Own Self Be True". Ray Melnik Web Site

An interview will be posted June 21, 2009 DON'T MISS IT!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

To Your Own Self Be True by Ray Melnik


Succinctly I felt this book tries to drive home the point that you are what your choices make you. The experiences of a new, young scientist and her interaction with both her technology and the people around her provide the experiences and data for her to define her self.

The growth of an introverted, somewhat sad self contained young woman into someone who makes some decisions to change her life was interesting. I liked the interaction with an artificial intelligence and the growth of that AI into a personality based on decisions and beliefs. I think Melnik could double the number of pages and put a lot more flesh on the characters. I really liked the willingness of characters to stick out their neck for each other. Rael’s connection to reality and the darker side of human nature was a good counterpoint to KaeIa’s naivet√©. I was disappointed that Adam, the AI, wasn’t more of the story. I enjoyed the interaction between it and Kaela. Overall I felt the message was be cognizant that your choices are defining your life.

I recommend the book, it isn’t a kick back, relax and be entertained book, it is a thought provoking, hmm do I believe that kind of book that we all need to read once in awhile.

Body of work of Ray Melnik

Review: did not find one

Web site: http://www.emergentnovels.com/




Monday, June 15, 2009

Guardian of the Trust by Irene Radford


Radford spends a lot of time on character development. If you are looking for action packed, heart pounding adventure, this book will not be your cup of tea. This book takes place several generations after the first book in the series. The female protagonist is a descendent of Wren from the first book. Her trials and tribulations in politics and love are documented with the line between politics and love being rather blurry. King John, who is generally portrayed as the epitome of evil in many movies and books is characterized somewhat differently in this book. Instead of a simplistic bad guy, his character is shown to be confused and enormously complex. I doubt seriously if you will identify with him and if you do, don’t walk, run to your nearest mental health professional. I enjoyed the book.

Body of work of Irene Radford

Review: http://www.sfsite.com/07b/gv132.htm

Web Site: http://www.theflyingparty.com/radford/


Friday, June 12, 2009

The Wackiest, Wildest, Weirdest Animals in the World by Jack Hanna


The premise of the book is pretty much explained in the title. The book devotes a page to each wacky animal. There are beautiful photos of the animal with facts that explain why they are wacky.

This is an oversize beautifully done children’s book. My 3 & 5 year old grandchildren liked the pictures and having the book read to them. From the blue footed booby to the naked mole rat, they laughed and giggled. Well, the naked mole rat was more like, ugh. My 10 year old grandson read the book himself and was amused by many of the animals; he liked the naked mole rats. My personal favorite was the duck billed platypus. I really liked the book, it gives a good overview on each animal and the photos are just great. There is a DVD included with bloopers. That is nice but the book is just great. The two little ones have returned to it several times to see the “funny” animals.

I would recommend the book for all ages of children. You will have to read it to the younger kids and most likely just the balloon captions as opposed to all the text. The older kids will read it themselves and all ages will enjoy the photos. Guaranteed all of you will learn something from this enjoyable book.


Body of work of Jack Hanna


Web Site: http://www.jackhanna.com/


Review: http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/AmazingAnimals/Story?id=7730489&page=1



Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Web Hosting Reviews and Ratings Site


Periodically I write about web related stuff. I find that a lot people are still a bit intimidated by the Internet. I belong to a lot of book blog sites. Many of the forums have questions about how to do web related things like selecting the best host for your web site or blog. If you are uneasy about setting up a website or don’t know where to go, I found a site that can be a big help. It is called Web Hosting Geeks. The site rates and reviews web hosting companies on a wide variety of classifications. For example if you have a need for multiple domain web hosting, they have a section that rates and reviews the best host for creating and maintaining multiple sites. They have ratings on the most economical domain host and ratings and reviews on the best domain host for a reseller. All hosts are not created equal. They all have characteristics unique to their business. A host with terrific tech support may be more expensive than one with better features and abysmal support. It is best to discover what your needs are before you commit to a lengthy contract.

Web Hosting Geeks note whether the hosting company has gotten any awards. They have reviews from actual customers of the web hosts they rate. There are checklists to help you determine the most important thing in a domain host for your specific type of site.

In addition Web Hosting Geeks has a blog with tons of information on how to select the best host for your web site or blog. They have articles that explain things like data base hosting and articles like Avoiding Common Web Hosting Traps.

Overall I found the site very helpful and it is now bookmarked in my web utilities folder for continuous use. If you are uncertain what direction to go for your domain hosting, I think you should visit this site.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Woman Into Wolf by Alysse Aallyn


This is a tale of insidious growth from a loving, malleable and dominated wife to a more resilient, strong and implacable woman. It is characterized as a true crime story. Sadly if it is true, there are more tortured souls out there seeking release than we can imagine.

I found it difficult to like anyone in this book. All the characters were dysfunctional in so many ways. Persey as the main characters was entirely too accepting of a domineering spouse. Roy as the spouse was psychopathically disabled. Be glad that you can’t identify with any of these amoral creatures. Aallyn does a good job in painting the faces of evil. I found the story somewhat disjointed but considering the topics of serial killing, spousal abuse, homicide and violence the disjointed aspect seemed to fit. I did like the author’s success in keeping the end results a true mystery.

Psychologists should have a ball with this book. Part of my master program involved abnormal psych and the visiting of inmates and if I hadn’t had that exposure to psychopaths I would find the book hard to believe. Be prepared to be disgusted with the characters and be willing to delve into the cesspool of their aberrant behavior. The book made me uneasy, to accept these types of people is very uncomfortable. It truly is a psychological thriller and worth reading if you like that genre.

Body of work of Alysse Aallyn

Review: http://groups.google.com/group/alt.books.reviews/browse_thread/thread/705543e1e1619692/8f1e09d12e993e90?lnk=raot&pli=1


Web Site: none found


Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Forever Hero by L.E. Modesitt Jr.


This is a trilogy compiled under one cover. I like that since it means I only have to buy one book to get the whole enchilada. “Dawn for a Distant Earth”, “The Silent Warrior” and “In Endless Twilight” comprise the trilogy. These were all published in the 1987 time frame and considered Modesitt’s first major work. The characterization shown in Modesitt’s later work is displayed in these three works. A strong, self depreciating, angst driven, goal oriented, terse protagonist is a recurring theme in his stories. In these stories a strong statement of concern for what we are doing to our planet is central to the story line. Earth is a backwater of the galaxy due to depleted resources and life ending pollution. The central plot is the resurrection of the planet’s ecology and livability.

The heroic efforts to that end by Devulkid, Greg Gershwin, provide the action and motivation of the books. Modesitt clearly illustrates that progress or innovation may not necessarily be a positive move for the average person. I have read most all of Modesitt’s books and there is most definitely a pattern to his characters and plots. I don’t find that to be a bad thing. There is a warm, ill defined, pleasant familiarity when reading his stories. I recommend all three of the books, there is enough action to satisfy the thrill seeker and enough meat to placate the moralizer.

Body of work of L.E. Modesitt

Site: http://www.lemodesittjr.com/


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Promise Me By Harlan Coben


I like the hard nose private eye genre. Myron Bolitar isn’t the typical gumshoe. He is too open with his feelings and too insecure in his motivation to be the typical hard nose PI. I like that, it makes him much more believable. In this story Myron sticks his neck out for a couple of teenagers and discovers that is a perilous choice. Having worked with teens, I found a great deal of accuracy in the portrayal of teen behavior. Living in a small town, I also saw distinctly accurate portrayal of small town politics. A good story about risking a great deal in trying to do what you feel is right regardless of what others think you should be doing. Once again the ancillary cast of the story is highly entertaining. I really enjoy this series from Coben and recommend it.

Body of work of Harlan Coben

Web Site: http://www.harlancoben.com/static/novels/nsc.htm

Review: http://www.bookreporter.com/reviews2/0525949496.asp