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Nancy's Notes January 17, 2008

“The Darkest Evening of the Year” by Dean Koontz, “The Book of the Dead” by Patricia Cornwell, “The Forgotten Man” by Amity Shlaes.

Dean Koontz is back with a title that fits right in with the winter weather. It is entitled “The Darkest Evening of the Year”.  Amy Redwing has dedicated her life to the organization she founded to rescue abandoned and endangered golden retrievers. She’s famous for the risks she’ll take to save an animal from abuse. Among her friends her devotion is a cause for concern. No one is surprised when Amy risks her life to save Nickie and take her into her home. The edition of the dog brings her instant joy that is shadowed by a series of incidents. First there is an ominous stranger followed by a mysterious home invasion and the sense that someone is watching Amy’s every move. They have come to turn Amy into a hunted creature. But now there’s no one to save Amy.
    Patricia Cornwell is the Director of Applied Forensic Science at the National Forensic Academy. She recently finished a new Kay Scarpetta novel, “The Book of the Dead”. The book in the title is the morgue log where all cases are entered. Fresh from her battle with a psychopath in Florida, Scorpetta decides its time for a change of pace and location. She moves to Charleston, South Carolina where she opens a private forensic pathology practice and offers expert crime scene investigation and autopsies to communities lacking local access to competent death investigation and technology. It seems an ideal situation until a new battle starts with local politicians whose attempts at sabotage are meant to run her out of town. Before she is through the book of the dead will contain many names and the pen may be poised to include her own.
    If you are a history buff you might enjoy “The Forgotten Man” by Amity Shlaes. She presents a reinterpretation of the Great Depression. Rejecting the emphasis on the New Deal, Shlaes tells stories of individual Americans to show how through their leadership they helped establish the character we developed as a nation. She traces the agony of the New Dealers as they discovered their errors and how both Presidents Hoover and Roosevelt failed to understand the prosperity of the 1920’s.
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