September 9, 2011 |
There is something about child abductions that captures the public's imagination like no other crime. Whether it's the more common parental ones or infamous kidnappings like the Lindbergh baby in 1932 and the more recent Polly Klaas, Elizabeth Smart and Jaycee Dugard cases, such crimes have even spurred some spectators to travel across the country to join searches for the missing victims or attend the trials. While memoir, nonfiction and academic books have long explored such crimes as a sociological phenomenon, fictional accounts concern themselves with the toll on the victims as well as their circle of family and friends.
September 4, 2011 |
Denise Hamilton knows Los Angeles and mystery stories: She's the editor of "Los Angeles Noir" and its sequel and once covered the city as a reporter for the Los Angeles Times. She's stepped aside from her Eve Diamond mystery series to write "Damage Control," due to be released Tuesday, about a thirtysomething crisis consultant with her first big case - a senator's aide has been found murdered - that has ties to her past. At the heart of the story is a relationship between Maggie Silver and Annabel Paxton, who was her best friend in high school.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 20, 2011 |
It was the paradox that drew me in: The notion of a comfortably retired 85-year-old teacher trying to make the tawdry topic of sex trafficking a priority for her suburban San Diego chapter of the American Assn. of University Women. Myrra Lee was upset about a column I wrote last month on a campaign by residents in Los Angeles' West Adams district to rid their block of prostitutes and pimps . I'd painted prostitutes as the villains, Lee said, and missed a chance to educate readers about how complicated and dangerous their situation is. Then she proceeded to educate me: "This is not their choice to be doing this.
July 10, 2011 |
Once Upon a River A Novel Bonnie Jo Campbell W.W. Norton: 348 pp., $25.95 Bonnie Jo Campbell's "American Salvage" was one of the standout books of 2009 — a collection of 14 stories so sharp they made you bleed. In one, a hunter hits a teenage girl with his car on a foggy morning roadside, then must resist the urge to "use her body" while they wait for an ambulance to arrive. In another, a man quickly cycles through his options for dealing with a meth-addicted wife, only to realize, as if he didn't know it from the outset, that he has no choice but to carry on. These are brutal stories, set in rural Michigan (Campbell lives in Kalamazoo)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 8, 2011 |
The juvenile arrested in Ventura County along with seven men on suspicion of gang-raping two teenage girls they lured from social networking sites was charged as an adult in the case, authorities said Tuesday. The 15- and 16-year-old girls agreed to meet the suspects on separate occasions, one in March and one in April, said Det. Sgt. Ismael Cordero of the Santa Paula Police Department. Cordero said the suspects gave the victims alcohol and possibly other substances. In both cases the girls passed out and awoke to find themselves being sexually assaulted, he said.
April 10, 2011 |
The gig: Keren Taylor is the founder and executive director of WriteGirl, a nonprofit organization that pairs professional women writers in Los Angeles with at-risk teenage girls. Now in its 10th year, WriteGirl serves about 300 girls from 60 high schools throughout Los Angeles. WriteGirl was named California Nonprofit of the Year last year by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Forging independent women: WriteGirl participants are 13 to 18 years old and come primarily from low-income neighborhoods.
April 1, 2011 |
Actor David Schwimmer's second feature-directing outing, "Trust," shows clear commitment to its vital and sensitive subject matter. Unfortunately, this well-acted cautionary tale is hampered by a lack of visual finesse and a script (by Andy Bellin and Robert Festinger) in need of a narrative rethink and a dialogue polish. In suburban Chicago, the seemingly idyllic Cameron family — ad exec dad Will (Clive Owen, excellent); Realtor mother Lynn (Catherine Keener); and three kids, including 14-year-old Annie (a fine Liana Liberato)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 29, 2011 |
Moreno Valley police arrested the final suspect Monday in the gang rape of an 11-year-old girl. Michael Sykes, 19, was arrested about noon at a residence in Moreno Valley, said Cpl. Courtney Donowho, a Riverside County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman. He had not been booked into jail as of Monday afternoon. Six male juveniles had previously been arrested and booked in Riverside County Juvenile Hall on charges of sexual assault on a child. A teenage girl who allegedly helped lure the victim to the scene of the rape was also arrested.
March 27, 2011 |
Between Shades of Gray A Novel Ruta Sepetys Philomel: 344 pp., $17.99, ages 12 and up In young adult books about World War II, the Holocaust dominates. But there are lesser-known atrocities that also took place, including during the Soviet occupation of the Baltic states. The Soviets not only displaced countless Lithuanians, Latvians and Estonians, leaving them to die, but wiped those countries from the map for much of the last century. It's this story that is told in "Between Shades of Gray," the heart-wrenching debut novel from Ruta Sepetys.
January 16, 2011 |
Tiger's Curse A Novel Colleen Houck Splinter: 416 pp., $17.95 Inter-species romance has become routine in young adult lit lately, especially between nubile young women who like their guys muscular and wolfen, at least for part of the day. In the kickoff to a trilogy from debut author Colleen Houck, the object of affection this time is feline ? a big cat of regal bearing with azure eyes and a purr that rumbles like a train. FOR THE RECORD: "Tiger's Curse": A Jan. 16 review of Colleen Houck's novel "Tiger's Curse" calls it the first part of a trilogy; it is part of a five-book series.