“Brutal Silence,” by Margaret Dardess

Reviewed by Donna Meredith Hidden in plain sight, human trafficking occurs in American neighborhoods where few expect that such a crime could exist, in the world of shopping malls and classy restaurants. But someone—a banker, a motel owner, a health care worker—surely suspects what is happening and fails to speak out. Margaret Dardess gives voice […]

“The Velvet Hours,” by Alyson Richman

Reviewed by Donna Meredith In The Velvet Hours, Alyson Richman explores two different eras in Paris, the Belle Epoque and the lead-up to Hitler’s Nazi invasion, each rendered with meticulous attention to detail. The novel would be a fine read as a multi-generational romance, but it soars beyond that convention because it was inspired by […]

“Honey from the Lion” and “Allegheny Front,” by Matthew Neill Null

Reviewed by Donna Meredith The land itself and male characters dominate the early works of West Virginia author Matthew Neill Null. They include the literary novel Honey from the Lion (Lookout Books, 2015) and a short story collection, Allegheny Front (Sarabande Books, 2016), which won the Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction. If there is […]

“Charlotte’s Story,” by Laura Benedict

Reviewed by Donna Meredith Charlotte’s Story (Pegasus Crime, 2015), by Laura Benedict, takes your classic Southern gothic novel and spices it up a notch with a whodunit. If you like gothic and mystery, this spooky tale is sure to entertain. The story takes place in 1957 in Old Gate, Virginia, on a picturesque estate complete […]

“The Pink House,” by Trish MacEnulty

Reviewed by Donna Meredith Trish MacEnulty’s smooth delivery of four very different female viewpoints in The Pink House creates a rich reading experience to savor like a tasty casserole. Each narrator has a compelling story and unique problems that meld into a riveting whole. The action centers around a women’s prison in North Florida, a […]

“A Field Philosopher’s Guide to Fracking,” by Adam Briggle

Reviewed by Donna Meredith In 2009, Adam Briggle accepted a position at the University of North Texas in Denton as a philosophy professor. He soon discovered he had moved into the heart of the Barnett Shale Formation and fracking wells were being drilled throughout the community. Near playgrounds. Next to schools. Beside homes. The risks […]

“The Last Great American Magic,” by L.C. Fiore

Reviewed by Donna Meredith The Last Great American Magic, by L.C. Fiore, is a sprawling epic spanning the life of the great Shawnee warrior Tecumseh from childhood in Ohio Country to his death in Upper Canada, roughly 1774-1813. The warrior’s battles take him all over the East, from Tennessee to southern bayous, joining forces with […]

“It’s Not Like I Knew Her,” by Pat Spears

Reviewed by Donna Meredith It’s Not Like I Knew Her, by Pat Spears, shines as a classic coming-of-age story exploring a young woman’s poignant awakening of forbidden desire. This Tallahassee writer and Florida State University graduate wrangles words with the clarity and style of a true wordsmith. Her sentences percolate with the right rhythms and […]