Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Dead Connection

Alafair Burke
Henry Holt and Company , New York 2007
ISBN-13: 978-0-8050-78-7785-8
ISBN-10: 0-8050-7785-5

Readers of crime novels will be familiar with James Lee Burke's character Dave Robicheaux and Dave's daughter Alafair. Well, it turns out, in a self referential fiction-turned-reality twist that makes John Barth look cheap, Burke's own daughter, Alafair, judging by her picture, is the model of the fictional character in much more than name. Get one of her books and take a look.

Dead Connection is the fourth novel by this former deputy district attorney turned criminal law professor. This one involves online dating services, hackers and Russian organized crime in New York. It's a page turner to be sure. I won't let out any spoilers except to say that the main character makes a call to someone in New Iberia Parish, Louisiana. That ought to get you Dave Robicheaux fans interested.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

The Supreme's Greatest Hits

The 34 Supreme Court Cases That Most Directly Affect Your Life
Michael G. Trachtman Sterling Publishing Co. Inc. New York 2006
ISBN-13: 978-1-4027-4107-4 ISBN-10: 1-4027-4107-3

Editors note: for Diana Ross etal please click here.

Well, not really. It's hard to see how the Dred Scott decision directly affects my life, but I get the point. This book illustrates how the Supreme Court works, it's foibles as well as it's triumphs.
Some of the cases, such as Bush v. Gore are illustrations of how the prejudices of individual Supreme Court justices can affect the course of history in unexpected ways.

How can an eighteenth century document, the United States Constitution, be used to regulate twenty first century social issues? What about internet commerce? When does human life begin or end in an era of ever expanding medical technology? Many fascinating questions are asked and not answered. Stay tuned to the Supreme Court of the future as these issues are addressed.