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Tag Archive for ‘corruption’

My 15 favorite detective novels

The 15 detective novels listed below may not be the 15 “best” detective novels, even by my uniquely idiosyncratic criteria. I’d read a lot of work in the genre even before I began writing these reviews in January 2010—and there are tens, maybe hundreds of thousands of detective novels I’ve never read. This list consists… Read More ›

Police corruption in suburbia

Where It Hurts (Gus Murphy #1), by Reed Farrel Coleman @@@@ (4 out of 5) After decades of reading mysteries and thrillers, I still frequently encounter authors whose names are new to me—but are described as “bestselling” and sometimes have dozens of novels to their credit. Reed Farrel Coleman is the latest example. Author of… Read More ›

Karin Slaughter’s tale of neo-Nazis and meth in rural Georgia

Beyond Reach (Grant County #6), by Karin Slaughter @@@@ (4 out of 5) Detective Lena Adams of the Grant County Police is in trouble again. On a visit to her home town, she witnesses the gruesome murder of a friend on the back seat of a car she has been forced to drive. While sitting… Read More ›

Hedge funds, insider trading, and the most wanted man on Wall Street

Black Edge: Inside Information, Dirty Money, and the Quest to Bring Down the Most Wanted Man on Wall Street, by Sheelah Kolhatkar @@@@@ (5 out of 5) If you want to understand the depth of corruption that prevails on Wall Street, a good place to start is New Yorker staff writer Sheelah Kolhatkar‘s admirable new… Read More ›

A true story of high finance and murder in Putin’s Russia

Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man’s Fight for Justice, by Bill Browder @@@@@ (5 out of 5) Even if you follow international news only casually, you’re likely to be aware that Putin’s Russia is a kleptocracy. The country is effectively governed by fewer than two dozen oligarchs. Some, including… Read More ›

John Grisham takes on judicial corruption

A review of The Whistler: A Novel, by John Grisham @@@@ (4 out of 5) With Big Money flooding into politics and overseas into the tax havens of Luxembourg, Panama, the Cayman Islands, and the Bahamas, Americans are becoming inured to corruption. If a United States Senator is shown to have received millions of dollars… Read More ›

A postmortem for the Arab Spring

A review of A Rage for Order: The Middle East in Turmoil, from Tahrir Square to ISIS, by Robert F. Worth @@@@@ (5 out of 5) Historians are fond of advancing the notion that no major event in human affairs can be fully understood until many years later, when the major actors have passed from… Read More ›

Dirty politics, union style

A review of Yellow-Dog Contract, by Ross Thomas @@@@@ (5 out of 5) It’s been so long since labor unions have appeared high on our radar screens here in the US that you may be unaware what the phrase “yellow-dog contract” means. I for one had forgotten. Well, it turns out that such a contract,… Read More ›

A detective novel that highlights corruption in Italy

A review of Death and Judgment (Commissario Brunetti #4), by Donna Leon @@@@ (4 out of 5) Though she has lived in Venice for more than a quarter-century, Donna Leon has insisted that the Commissario Brunetti series of detective novels she sets in Venice not be translated from English into Italian. There’s no mystery here…. Read More ›

An irreligious take on Catholic history

A review of The Relic Master: A Novel, by Christopher Buckley @@@@@ (5 out of 5) In an interview conducted by Deborah Solomon for the New York Times Magazine in 2008, Christopher Buckley engaged in this exchange: [Your father] was a practicing Catholic. What are you? I am post-Catholic. As opposed to a lapsed Catholic?… Read More ›