Archive for the ‘True Crime’ Category


ABC’s Gift Ideas: Travel, True Crime, Young Adult Fiction

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

The gift-giving season is upon us – hooray!

The ABC Staff has rummaged through their sections and order lists, and come up with another year’s worth of wonderful gift ideas for you: from fiction to history to cookbooks to children’s books to travel to non-books and onwards.

In a series of blog posts and recommendation lists throughout the coming month, you will find what we think will make great gifts, whether you celebrate Sinterklaas, Christmas or just like giving books to people. And since we’re a bookstore, these posts will be alphabetical by subject. :-)

Today we’ve reached the end of our alphabet and you’ll find gift ideas for Travel, True Crime and Young Adult Fiction as picked out by section buyers Tom, RonG and PeterL. Bear in mind that this is just the tip of the iceberg – come to either one of our stores to browse many, many more titles in any of these subjects.

We are ready as ever to be your personal shoppers again this year, and hope you will find our selections useful and inspiring!

You can find our gift ideas from previous years here (scroll down a bit pas 2013), and be sure to have a look at our ABC Favorites, too.

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You Review: Hood Rat by Gavin Knight

Monday, August 8th, 2011

Reviewed by Jake Lloyd Staley

In Hood Rat, author Gavin Knight reports on the subject of gang warfare by telling stories about particular individuals and specific events. It is nonfiction that reads like fiction.

The antihero of these stories is a consummate urban warrior, a skilled and practiced killer who lives and fights in parts of certain major cities in the United Kingdom: Manchester, London, Glasgow. He is a young man who begins to rob and even to kill when he is as young as eight years. Murder is not incidental to his life, but central to it. Knowing how to use guns becomes an emblem of his manhood. It gives him access to drugs, money and girls. He avoids the police as much as he can, but risks being killed every day, either by a cop or by another street killer. Jail is part his life, and he expects to spend some number of the years he is alive locked up. His violent criminal life goes on, whether he’s in prison or out. He has a short life-expectancy.

On the other side are earnest officers of law enforcement, who are doing a good job of detection, and putting criminals in jail, but who are not able to change the culture of warfare that continues to thrive.

Some elements of these stories seem familiar, for the very reason that they are typical of the ones most often borrowed by writers of crime fiction for their stories. The challenge to the reader is to appreciate that these events are real and current, not fiction, and not something out of some long-ago, more savage age. Knight stacks one appalling tale on top of another in such a way that the reader feels some of the pressure that life in this underworld puts on both criminals and police officers. The result is a provocative and informative piece of journalism.

You Review: The latest releases, reviewed by ABC customers. If you’d like to join in and get free books and ABC gift vouchers, see the original post for more details.

Mr Briggs’ Hat: A Sensational Account of Britain’s First Railway Murder by Kate Colquhoun

Friday, June 17th, 2011

Reviewed by Stefanie Rosenboom

I started reading Mr Briggs’ Hat with great enthusiasm, because murder mysteries and especially true crime have always interested me. It soon became clear that the book is no ordinary work of non-fiction. The amount of details mentioned in every single paragraph is staggering, from court cases to eye-witness accounts Kate Colquhoun can certainly be said to be meticulous about details.

The fact that it is the first railway murder in history means that it was well documented as well as being feverishly covered by the sensationalistic press at the time.The long list of ’select biography’ makes the book read like a well worked research paper and in fact that is just what the book ends up as in my opinion. It crosses the line from being non-fiction literature to PhD thesis by the sheer volume of research incorporated in every sentence. Out of curiosity I went to the university library to reference check some of her notes. Her work is accurate to the T, however the “conclusion jumping” or “filling in character’s opinions” by adding her own ideas based on her research will ultimately topple it back to the non-fiction literary section. The book in itself is an enjoyable read for those interested in Victorian law enforcement or court proceedings, but might be a bit much for the true-crime reader who doesn’t want to be bogged down by paragraphs full of descriptions. Fair warning, it is no easy read and will make you replay certain scenes in your head like a Victorian CSI episode. I tip my hat to Kate for doing such great detective work, for her search to piece together this entire case in the form of a book almost supersedes the detective work Scotland Yard had to do to put together this case in the first place.

You Review: The latest releases, reviewed by ABC customers.

If you’d like to join in and get free books and ABC gift vouchers, see the original post for more details.

Read the book before you see…

Friday, August 21st, 2009

Fifty dead men walking: directed by Kari Skogland and starring Jim Sturgess, Rose McGowan, Ben Kingsley & Kevin Zegers.

This crime thriller movie is loosely based on the autobiography Fifty dead men walking written by Martin McGartland.

Martin is a spy for the IRA. He started as a volunteer and worked himself up. Everything goes well until one day he winds up in the wrong hands and barely escapes his death. After that he goes in hiding with the help from his best friend and former British police colleague.

The taking of Pelham 123: directed by Tony Scott and starring Denzel Washington, John Travolta, John Turturro & James Gandolfini.

This thriller film is based on the novel of the same name by Morton Freedgood (writing under the pseudonym John Godey).

A four men strong gang, led by “Ryder” board a metro in New York. The group uncouple the front car from the rest of the train and hold the passengers of that car hostage and demand a $10 million in ransom money to be paid within the next 60 minutes. Meanwhile MTA dispatcher Garber tries to negotiate with “Ryder” to get the hostages safe, but he has no idea which route the metro will take.

Read the book before you see…

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

Public Enemies: directed by Michael Mann and starring Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, Marion Cotillard & Giovanni Ribisi.

The film is an adaptation of Bryan Burrough’s non-fiction book Public Enemies: America’s Greatest Crime Wave and the Birth of the FBI, 1933–34.

The FBI tries to capture the infamous gangsters John Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson and Pretty Boy Floyd during the Great Depression in the 1930s.

The Private Lives of Pippa Lee: written and directed by Rebecca Miller and starring Keanu Reeves, Robin Wright Penn, Alan Arkin, Monica Bellucci, Julianne Moore & Winona Ryder.

The film is based on the book by the same name written by Rebecca Miller (yes, the director of the movie).

When the husband of a 50-year-old woman falls for a younger woman and wants to spend his time in the country, she begins to explore her buried sensuality and begins to have a very quiet nervous breakdown.