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Ann E Haynes has commented on (3) products.

Doomsday Book by Connie Willis
Doomsday Book

Ann E Haynes, November 14, 2013

Yes, I read this book years ago and it has remained one of my all time favorites, and have re-read it several times. Willis makes these people real, and I just love how she makes her (meticulous) research resonate when real people who are living the facts of that time.
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An Exchange of Hostages by Susan R Matthews
An Exchange of Hostages

Ann E Haynes, September 9, 2013

Susan R. Matthews had created a future culture where "The rule of law" operates to further a corrupt, tyrannical interstellar culture which uses torture and mind control, to name two of its methods, to control the populace galaxy-wide. Hiding behind "the law," the Judiciary structure gets away with obscene forms of murder and oppression. The protagonist, Andrej Kosciusko, a man forced by his wealthy family(which, of course, supports the Judiciaries)to become a torturer , lives in agony as he performs his required tasks. An Exchange of Hostages is the first in a series, still in progress, in which Andrej's conscious grows along with the levels of civil unrest in the galaxy, which the Judiciaries can no longer control. I haven't gotten to the end because Matthews hasn't yet written it. I'm rooting for the resistance!

I love this series!! Matthews is an exquisite writer, very character-driven, and would be excellent no matter which genre she chose. I believed her characters, and believed the situations, because she wrote them as human beings would live them, not as flashy excuses for violence or even soap boxing. She lets the situation do the talking and doesn't preach, yet in the end I got the message--respect human dignity--clearly.
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Lucky You by Carl Hiaasen
Lucky You

Ann E Haynes, January 1, 2013

Well, "Lucky You" was my first Carl Hiassen crime novel, but it wasn't the last. Boy,is he funny! I've since read "Nature Girl," "Striptease," and "Skinny Dip," which all take place in Florida. Hiassen writes a lot of his action in the wild Everglades, and in this way he tells us without preaching that these beautiful waterways are fast disappearing--as a matter of fact, many of his villains are agri-business giants.Hiaasen's narrative is sarcastic and cynical without becoming negative, if you can imagine that, and his droll descriptions of flawed criminal thought processes had me rolling.

"Lucky You" tells the story of JoLayne Lucks, a lottery winner whose ticket is stolen by two thugs who've started their own little white supremacist group, The White Clarion Aryans. JoLayne-who happens to be black-tracks the two of them, who have beaten her as well as stolen her ticket, across Florida. She's aided on this road trip by journalist Tom Krome, who isn't sure why he's dropping everything to help her, except that maybe he's bored stiff with his job at the fictional "Daily Register" writing silly little puff pieces for an editor who wouldn't know good writing if it bit him on the nose.

Hiassen uses one particular device in every one of his books I've read so far: his villains, who don't start out as the most attractive people around, go through physical deterioration throughout the novels, and it's all their own fault. In "Lucky You" Chub, no last name, is disgusting to begin with because he never bathes and is, well, an ignorant bigot. Then JoLayne manages to give him a torn eyelid as she fights back during the beating, which he covers with a rubber tire patch, allowing no air inside. Later he passes out with his hand dangling over the side of his boat in the Everglades and is attacked by blue crabs--apparently a very nasty species of crab, like piranhas, almost. Chub cannot get the pincer off his hand, and it stays there until the bitter end. Naturally Chub's odor doesn't get any better along the way either. This plot device works as an excellent method to build suspense: although I hated Chub with gusto I kept wondering will he, or won't he, go to a doctor?! I wish I could tell you, but, sadly, you must read "Lucky You" yourself to find out.

This book is funny, the plot is plausible even though surprising, and it's well thought out. I didn't want to put it down, and I look forward to more of these Floridian adventures.
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