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Suzanne Oxford has commented on (16) products.

A Time to Kill by John Grisham
A Time to Kill

Suzanne Oxford, May 4, 2014

This is a powerful drama of life in the Deep South. John Grisham starts with a violent and gruesome rape of a little 10-year-old Black girl by 2 drug-dealing white thugs. This sets off controversy and racial tension as the community struggles to deal with what happened. Carl Lee Hailey, who is the little girl's father decides to take matters into his own hands when he shoots the 2 white thugs. Grisham was born and raised in MIssissippi, so is very knowledgeable about issues such as racial inequality when it comes to justice in the South. Jake Brigance is the lawyer who takes on defense of Carl Lee. The story itself would be suspenseful and riveting, but Grisham gives it an authentic touch with his colorful characters. Ozzie Walls is a Black sheriff who is very popular with both races. Jake Brigance is an idealistic lawyer who believes that Blacks should be treated equally under the law. Then there is Rufus Buckley, very egotistical prosecutor and rival against Jake. Omar Noose is the presiding judge over the Carl Lee Hailey case. He is over-all fair, but will not tolerate anything underhanded in his courtroom. Then there is Harry Vonner, Jake's best friend, who is described as a "big slob" in the book due to his voracious appetite. The dialog is true to the characters with profanity and crude language as is customary in the South. This story kept my interest to the very end. I would recommend this to anyone, although there are some issues which may be offensive to some readers. This is not a politically correct book according to today's standards.
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Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion by Gregory Boyle
Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion

Suzanne Oxford, May 1, 2014

This book was well worth reading. Father G, as he is affectionately known by the gang members, could be compared to Mother Teresa or Ghandi. He has devoted his life to helping the poor, who turn out to be homies from many different gangs who mainly live in the housing projects of Boyle Heights. He is the founder of Homeboy Industries which provides jobs for gang members who want to change. They must be willing to make the change, removing their tattoos, refraining from their former gang banging, etc.

This is such an inspirational Christian book. The message here is love and compassion. Father Gregg preaches a message that God loves you no matter what. He is totally involved in helping these young homies. When they are shot, he races to the hospitals, if they die, he performs the ceremony at the funerals. He even takes one young man to JC Penney's when he needs clothing.

I highly recommend reading this book. It is full of humor, laughs, but also very sad and will make you cry. Father G is truly remarkable. Do not miss this one.
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Midnight Is a Lonely Place by Barbara Erskine
Midnight Is a Lonely Place

Suzanne Oxford, October 28, 2013

I was given this book by a good friend who highly recommended it. Upon reading the first few pages, it did not catch my interest and almost seemed boring. He reassured me that I needed to stay with it, as it gets much better. He was right. This book takes place in Essex on the Eastern coast of England. The setting and stormy weather lend themselves well for a haunted tale. Erskine is excellent with her characterizations. Kate Kelly, Diana, Roger, Greg and Allison all seem very real and believable. I almost never read ghost stories about graves, but this was different and very intriguing. The suspense builds and builds with each event creating more mystery. Each character slowly comes under a spell cast by something buried in the dunes. The fierce storms and deadly cold winds only add to the somber mood. It seems as though no one is safe from the ghostly encounter.

The only problem with reading this book is trying to put it down.
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The Weight of Water by Anita Shreve
The Weight of Water

Suzanne Oxford, September 21, 2013

This book explores the lives of 2 different women. Jean is a modern-day photographer and journalist who goes to Smuttynose Island to do research on a crime of murder which took place more than 100 years ago. Upon discovering some new material in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, there are more questions than answers as to what really happened on the island many years ago. Shreve does an excellent job of exploring the lives of these two women, as only she can. Through subtle language and descriptions, she examines themes of jealousy, adultery, betrayal and loss. We are taken back to Norway in the mid-1800's, when Maren and Evan are just children, how she grew into a young woman, married John Hontvedt and traveled to live in America. For all the ensuing disappointment with her life, she believes that she and Evan would have been better off if they had both drowned at Hakon's Inlet near their home. Jean too has had her share of disappointment with her life and thus can relate to Maren. This is a fascinating story full of twists and turns. Just when the reader thinks he has figured out the outcome, Shreve throws them a curve.

Don't start this book unless you have plenty of time to read. I was haunted and mesmerized by the ending long after I read the last page.
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A Descent Into Hell: The True Story of an Altar Boy, a Cheerleader, and a Twisted Texas Murder by Kathryn Casey
A Descent Into Hell: The True Story of an Altar Boy, a Cheerleader, and a Twisted Texas Murder

Suzanne Oxford, July 13, 2013

This is a very tragic story of young college students who could have been very successful in life. They were special in many ways with great intelligence, outstanding scholastic achievement in their respective schools and from good families. But this was not to be. Colton Pitonyak and Jennifer Cave both came to Austin, Texas with dreams of a great future. But somewhere along the way, he got caught up in the underworld of drugs. He soon started skipping classes, not doing his class work and then failing many classes. Jennifer too found the drug crowd and would eventually meet up with Colton. This would prove ill-fated and have disastrous repercussions for her family. Jennifer knew early on that Colton was a dangerous person and someone she should avoid, but there was a strong attraction on both sides. Jennifer had become addicted to methamphetamines and Colton was a good source and what she thought of as a safe haven. Then Laura Hall comes into the picture. She too is a gifted and exceptional student wanting to be a lawyer. She found Colton at a party and was instantly in love. This would prove to have deadly consequences for Jennifer as Laura was insanely jealous and made it known.

Then came August of 2005. Jennifer had landed a great job with a law firm and was due to start work on a Monday in August. She called her mother and good friends bubbling over with excitement. This may be the beginning of a new life for her. Then Monday morning and Jennifer did not show up for work. What happened? From here the case of a missing college student would evolve into a murder mystery. This would prove to be one of the worst, most gruesome and horrific crimes UT West Campus of Austin, Texas had ever seen.

Kathryn Casey has a well-known reputation for being an excellent true crime writer. She painstakingly does extensive research, interviewing of subjects and reviews court documents and transcripts before writing her book. The reader can go back in time to see how each character lived his life, what was his family like, childhood friends and teachers, so he is familiar with all aspects of this person'a life. Colton's former teachers at the Catholic high school he attended were shocked to hear that he was arrested and convicted on murder charges. Could this be the same promising, exceptionally bright student they taught years ago? Jennifer's family would go through an emotional upheaval, trying to understand what happened and why. These families would be torn apart and their lives would never be the same.

This novel is fascinating. It is very sad too. To think that Colton could have been a CEO on Wall Street and Laura too would have been very successful. Jennifer was just beginning to change her life. She had such high hopes. So what happened to them? Kathryn Casey tries to answer this question, but there are still areas which will remain unanswered.

I recommend reading this book. You will not be disappointed.
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