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Search tags: K.A.-Tucker
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review 2019-12-27 04:10
City of Light, City of Poison by Holly Tucker
City of Light, City of Poison: Murder, Magic, and the First Police Chief of Paris - Holly Tucker

This true account of a massive criminal investigation in 1670’s Paris could have been much better. In brief, many people accused others of involvement in poison and witchcraft, and at least some of the poisoning seems to have been true (various poisons were in fact found in the possession of some of these folks, and in the case of one noblewoman, her father and brothers all really did die under similar and suspicious circumstances). Louis XIV appointed Nicolas de la Reynie police chief to reduce the high crime rate in Paris at the time (including lots of murders), but made him back off this particular investigation once fingers began to be pointed at some of Louis’s own mistresses.

It’s interesting stuff, and a quick read; you could likely read it in a single sitting if so inclined. That said, Tucker takes a somewhat novelistic, almost sensationalist approach, despite the fact that she does seem to stick to documented historical facts. There are many chapters about the doings of Louis’s mistresses and female associates (including the sudden death of his sister-in-law Henrietta Anne, sister of Charles II of England), which never really merge with the poison storyline. At best the history of the mistresses provides some background on why one or two of them might have been as cutthroat as was alleged (though only sort of; on their way out these women got significant parting gifts from the king), but it’s all indirect and spends a lot of time with mistresses who were never even implicated. After all the talk about Henrietta Anne I thought we’d get at least a theory on who might have poisoned her, but the author offers very little analysis in the end.

Because the author doesn’t really analyze the facts presented, it’s a bit hard to tell, but I had the impression she was more on the side of the authorities – and more inclined to believe the confessions of people who had been imprisoned for months or sometimes even years without trial, but with the ever-present threat of torture and execution – than I was. Judicial torture was a commonplace part of the process, though strangely, it occurred between sentencing and execution. (I don’t know if the examples the author presents are representative, but in the book, only one person provided meaningful new information under torture, and she later recanted.) The torture is described in unpleasant detail and recurs frequently throughout the book. Noblewomen fared far better in court than commoners, some of whom seem to have been convicted and executed before their cases were fully investigated. There’s a witch hunt quality to the whole thing in the figurative as well as literal sense, and by the time Marie-Anne Mancini told off the police chief in court I was cheering her on. Oddly there’s no discussion of the gender dynamics at play here either – given that most of the accused appear to have been women, that abortion was a major accusation and that a common motivation for women accused of poisoning seems to have been domestic abuse and/or escaping forced marriage.

At any rate, colorful history but not very substantive. The author certainly has storytelling skills, but the book is lightweight.

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review 2019-12-07 01:26
A Sweeping Historical Fiction Epic
Burton Blake - Robert Tucker

Burton Blake is a sweeping historical fiction epic that will also interest business novel readers because it focuses on corporate greed, family business involvements, historical conundrums revolving around financial decisions, and more. 


Historical fiction and business novel audiences receive an astute, compelling story that provides a sequel to Robert Tucker's The Revolutionist, but doesn't require prior familiarity with that book in order to prove satisfying. 


Burton's father, Elias Blake, fostered the rise of a real estate empire from his parents' initial efforts to start an international company. At a very young age, Elias has absorbed the drive for material gains which has helped him create a giant legacy for his son, Burton. 


Tucker takes the time to explore the entire dynamic of this inheritance, beginning with the roots of the financial behemoth in the 1940s, when a lower-class taxi dancer births a son who will never know his father. At a very early age, Burton inherits his stepfather's real estate fortune, made in the post war real estate boom of the 50's. 


This legacy comes with a price tag, as the usual youthful endeavors are set aside for business pursuits and a drive for financial success and stability that successfully answers many business challenges and keeps the company on an upward trajectory. But what is successfully won comes at a big cost. 


Burton inherits not only the company, but a wealth of problems. He also cultivates a different awareness about third world peoples and poverty when world travels bring him into contact with diverse peoples and economic struggles. Thanks to these journeys, he returns to the fold with a revised attitude about life's values. In many ways, a company cannot grow and change without the concurrent evolution of the leader at its helm. 


The entire process of empire-building, inheritances of attitudes and economic strengths, and the personal growth of moral and ethical considerations that come from outside the family fold and original business focus lends to a compelling saga, indeed. 


Another plus is that Burton Blake assumes no singular path. Subplots about immigrant perceptions and struggles in America, political influences such as the rise and threat of Nazism, and outdoors training and hunting by mentor Web, who teaches Elias how to survive, create a multifaceted story that melds the lives of several generations into an engrossing story of personal growth. 


The road to social corruption and financial greed isn't a linear one, so readers receive a satisfying juxtaposition of daily living and lifelong lessons, along with insights into how these translate into bigger-picture thinking. 


The result is a powerful study in generational attitudes, measures of financial and personal success, and the evolution of Burton, who inherits more wealth than he'd imagined. 


Tucker creates a vivid, engrossing story that's highly recommended for readers of historical fiction and business stories. These usually-disparate audiences will appreciate the attention to psychological development and evolutionary detail that place Burton Blake more than a cut above the usual historical novel or multi-generational business fiction read. 

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review 2019-12-06 03:07
Review: 64th Man
64th Man - Betty Tucker-Bryan,John Cena,Anna Chlumsky

This was a fun story. I enjoyed Billy's story of redemption...ish. Mildred was by far my favorite character!   The cast did a wonder job of bringing the characters to life.

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review 2019-06-11 00:42
Say You Still Love Me by KA Tucker
Say You Still Love Me - K.A. Tucker


๏ ๏ ๏ Highlights ๏ ๏ ๏


A Favorite Author
Part Adult Contemporary Romance
Part YA Romance
Love at First Site
Summer Camp
Corporate Real Estate
A Tragic Accident


๏ ๏ ๏ MY RATING ๏ ๏ ๏




๏ ๏ ๏ My Thoughts ๏ ๏ ๏


I haven't been able to finish a book I was reading (rather than listening on Audio) in less than a week in quite some time. I found myself actually wanting to read this. So thank you, KA Tucker, for that. I've always liked this Author's stories and this one is no exception.


Told in alternating chapters between their teen years at Camp Wawa and their 30's in Lennox, NY (actually, a real city just spelled differently), made for a very interesting story. I found the past and present tenses equally compelling. I didn't think this was going to have anything hard hitting like most of her books do, but by the end...I found myself shedding a few tears. It was sad, and the ending doesn't wrap everything up in a perfect little bow, but it was a satisfying ending...it was more like real-life tends to be...a little messy but still doable.


๏ Breakdown of Ratings ๏


Plot⇝ 4.5/5
Main Characters⇝ 4.5/5
Secondary Characters⇝ 5/5
The Feels⇝ 4.5/5
Pacing⇝ 4.5/5
Addictiveness⇝ 5/5
Theme or Tone⇝ 4.3/5
Flow (Writing Style)⇝ 4.5/5
Backdrop (World Building)⇝ 5/5
Originality⇝ 4.7/5
Ending⇝ 4.5/5
๏ ๏ ๏
Book Cover⇝ I don't know that it fits the story...it's not like they ever sat on a dock overlooking a lake with colder-weather clothes on. They did stand on a cliff, though...but whatever.
Setting⇝ Lennox, NY & Camp Wawa
Source⇝ I received an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
๏ ๏ ๏



๏ ๏ ๏ Links ๏ ๏ ๏


Goodreads | Booklikes | BookDigits | Kobo 

Amazon | GooglePlay | IndieBound 

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review 2019-02-10 17:12
The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist: A True Story of Injustice in the American South - Radley Balko,Tucker Carrington

You will never look at science the same way after reading this book. Even if you know that the shows like C.S.I. are science fairy tales what Balko and Carrington chronicle isn't so much a miscarriage of justice but a deliberate hoodwinking by a group of men (the two in the title are the most important but hardly the only ones) who didn't give a damn about the truth because those accused were poor, or black or the forgotten or all three.

The book focuses on Mississippi and two men who were supposedly "science experts" were anything but. Because of a variety of factors - from judges and the public who don't know or are misinformed, too science groups that slap on wrists, to racism - lives were badly effected and harmed by these two men.

You will, as the book itself notes, want to throw it across the room. But it is an important read because it disabuses (with footnotes) several myths and images readers have about science and crime.

And makes a case for getting rid of elected coroners.

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