Good Reading : June 2005
44 goodreading Here’s a selection of some of the reviews you sent in to us. Keep them coming to: email@example.com At Risk John F Kennedy: An Unfinished Life Murder by Manuscript Stella Rimington Arrow $19.95 Reviewed by Clive Hodges Elizabeth Carlyle, MI5 officer, is seconded to a joint counter-terrorism group set up after the British prime minister’s directive that the gathering and analysis of intelligence were not to be compromised by commun- ication breakdowns or turf wars between government departments. She learns that an ‘invisible’ is expected to enter Britain within days. ‘Invisible’ is CIA-speak for a terrorist who is an ethnic native of the target country. It is Liz Carlyle’s job to track down this terrorist before his/ her mission is accomplished. Time is of the essence; stress levels are high. Liz gradually closes in on the threat, but then MI6 interferes … Stella Rimington worked for MI5 for 27 years, the last four as director-general. Her debut novel is a tense and absorbing thriller with a dramatic conclusion.The characters are well drawn and the writing evocative. Robert Dallek Belonging Isabel Huggan Steve J Spears Who can make murder, revenge and scandal amusing? Steve J Spears is a playwright and novelist who has learnt how. Murder by Manuscript is an over-the- top scramble through an urban crime scene featuring a string of psychopaths who kill, run the country, or make bad television shows. Spears uses his satirical skills to sketch political and religious intrigue in a fictional Australian city – as well as the underlying sexual tension between the two heroes: Stella Pentangeli and Investigator Ng. Stella is a passionate private eye, Ng, an enigmatic detective. Together they confront a killer and build an unlikely team of crime-fighter misfits, including an hilarious CIA operative who roams the Western world with an unlimited budget. Murder by Manuscript is easy-to-read crime theatre. A real treat. readers’ reviews Wakefield Press $22.95 Reviewed by Mark Young Penguin $29.95 Reviewed by Chris Stevens Bantam $22.95 Reviewed by Fotini Dangiris Where do we belong? What are the places, who are the people and what are the practices to which we belong, and which belong to us? Canadian writer Isabel Huggan delves into this theme in her latest book Belonging, part memoir, part short story collection. Huggan reflects on her personal experiences living in foreign places, including Kenya, the Philippines, Tasmania and the Cevennes Mountains in southern France. Each place has left an indelible mark on her perception of home, and she beautifully illustrates the way each experience has contrib- uted to her overall perspective of what it means to belong. She elaborates on these revelations in her featured short stories, which read as poetic mini-portraits of ‘home’. You’ll find Belonging a charming book that will prompt you to consider everything to which you feel you belong. This is a superb biogra- phyof John Fitzgerald Kennedy, arguably one of America’s finest presidents, providing insights into Kennedy’s family back- ground, the forces that propelled him into a politi- cal life, his successful race for the presidency, and a detailed analysis of his time as President. Dallek does not recoil from delving into Kennedy’s human failings, including his now well-known womanis- ing and the dangerous levels of drugs he took to alleviate his many health problems, but not to sensationalise, merely to provide a balanced account of Kennedy’s life. This is well written, thoroughly researched and detailed, leaving the reader to ponder what the world lost with Kennedy’s untimely death.