September|October 2016 Good Reads

New books of interest to the Longhorn Universe

good-reads-4Lady Cop Makes Trouble

by Amy Stewart, BA ’90, MS ’92

In her second Constance Kopp mystery—the series is based on a real-life deputy sheriff born in Brooklyn in 1878—Stewart creates a rollicking romp that blends historical fiction, mystery, and true crime. The Kopp sisters must contend with a con man, a murderer, and other assorted miscreants while also facing down sexism—echoing the real-life struggles of early policewomen, who fought for the right to carry a gun and make arrests alongside male officers.

 

 

good-reads-3The Future of Crime and Punishment: Smart Policies for Reducing Crime and Saving Money

by William R. Kelly

In the U.S., 77 percent of offenders released from prison will be arrested again within five years. If prison sentences don’t reduce crime, what will? UT sociologist Kelly argues that societies must do more to address the root causes of crime—issues like poverty, health, education disparities, and unemployment. The Future of Crime and Punishment includes an accessible but thorough overview of the history of U.S. criminal justice policy, as well as the newest interdisciplinary strategies that researchers believe could lower crime rates.

good-readsThe High Places

by Fiona McFarlane, MFA ’12

This Michener Center alumna’s first collection of short stories leaves the reader feeling slightly uneasy and off-center—in a good way. McFarlane is an Australian writer who sets much of her work there, and she has a knack for careful, measured prose that blends disparate narratives seamlessly. One story relates a vet taking care of a cat and being in a car crash; another follows what happens after two brothers go missing in an abandoned shopping mall; a third tracks a marine biologist studying a giant squid. If you want easy resolutions or beach reading, look elsewhere; otherwise, the dark and mysterious worlds of these stories will pull you in.

good-reads-2Good as Gone: A Novel of Suspense

by Amy Gentry, BA ’01

Fans of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train will devour this smart psychological thriller (an association that the title seems designed to invoke). The Whitaker family is overjoyed when their daughter Julie comes home eight years after she was abducted, but things soon take a dark turn. Where a simpler book would have shoehorned Julie into a stereotype, Good as Gone portrays her as neither victim nor villain, but someone far more interesting. Houstonians will also enjoy Gentry’s on-the-money depiction of her native city, from the “rosy, polluted glow” of the sunset to the maze of freeways, where on-ramps rise “like the ribbed tails of dinosaurs.”

 

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