Fallen Angels by Marvin J. Wolf and Katherine Mader is described in its subtitle as a chronicle of L.A. (Los Angeles) crime and mystery. Yep, I know that “everybody” knows L.A. stands for Los Angeles but there are those unfamiliar with the United States that might think L.A. is a genre of crime and mystery that involves the use of leather articles (LA) so I wanted to clear that up. This novel fulfills the requirements of a chronicle as it presents true crime accounts from 1847 to 1983. There is a fascinating addendum at the end dated 1987 which provides updates to the earlier reported Thelma Todd mystery. This is crime reporting with many irrefutable facts referenced in an approximately 11-page bibliography. Some may argue this is not a novel due to the reporting of so much factual information. But there are also a lot of unsolved mysteries and possibilities presented. The idea that studios staged crime scenes to protect contract actors may have a basis in truth. The reader will probably question why there was so much time between a death and the report of the death to the police. Because of conjectures, no one knew what really went on in the “missing time” sequences, I call this work a novel.
I opened my emails this morning (11 November 2017) to find an offer from Wild Blue Press to review a copy of Targeted by M. William Phelps. The book is a non-fiction true-crime novel, a type that I really like but so many of the ones I have read put me off to the point that I avoid the genre. This one, however, was inciteful, thoughtful, balanced, and so detailed that the general reader might shy away from it. But just as the reader might be nodding off like some of the jurors Phelps describes, the author takes a break and follows a new tangent to draw the reader’s attention back to the wider, more comprehensive, less detailed but still interesting context.
Tracy Fortson is a murder. Juries have spoken, judges have decided sentencing, Tracy is in prison currently serving a mandated life plus ten-year sentence for killing Doug Benton and this condition is unlikely to change short of possible parole board clemency. There is no surprise ending, no “gotcha” moment in the book. So, why read the novel? I am a “Law and Order,” “Homicide Hunter,” and “CSI” fan as well as a former sheriff’s deputy. Tracy Fortson is a former sheriff’s deputy. So much for why I am interested. Feel free to read and review this and explain why you think it is interesting.