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Syracuse Journal-Democrat - Syracuse, NE
  • Readers Guide: Anne Rice and 'Downton Abbey'

  • In her latest novel, Anne Rice returns to the world of horror that made her so famous, but this time she adds her own intriguing twist.

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  • - In her latest novel, Anne Rice returns to the world of horror that made her so famous, but this time she adds her own intriguing twist. Reporter Reuben Golding is assigned to write a piece on the beautiful home of Marchent Nideck which she has recently put up for sale. Reuben’s interview with the older, elegant Nideck ends unexpectedly when both are brutally attacked. Marchent is killed and Reuben is seriously injured. It turns out, though, that his wound is actually a bite from a werewolf. Confused and horrified by his periodic transformation into a creature the police now want in connection with several murders, Reuben is also fascinated by his ability to recognize and destroy evil. It is “The Wolf’s Gift.”
    - With the lavish PBS production of “Downton Abbey,” a new generation of viewers has been introduced to the once-flourishing world of the great English estates. The drama of the Crawley family, headed by Robert the Earl of Grantham, and their servants unfolds as England careens into World War I. Jessica Fellowes, the niece of series creator Julian Fellowes, presents a lushly illustrated and entertaining companion volume -- “The World of Downton Abbey: the Secrets and History Unlocked.”
    - The precursor to “Downton Abbey” was “Upstairs, Downstairs,” yet another PBS series that was a huge hit during the ‘70s. That drama was based on a book written in 1968 by Margaret Powell, a woman who went into domestic service at age 13 and eventually became cook at one of England’s great estates. Powell wrote her memoir when she was in her early 60s, giving us a rare glimpse into what life was really like “Below Stairs.”
    - An assistant district attorney must reconcile his commitment to justice with the truth behind his son’s arrest for murder in William Landay’s new page-turner, “Defending Jacob.” To Assistant District Attorney Andy Barber, a local pedophile seems the likely culprit when an eighth grader is found stabbed to death in the woods. But after the boy’s classmates are interviewed, a new suspect emerges -- Andy’s son, Jacob. Removed from the case by his boss, Andy continues to pursue the disturbing truth even though his marriage falters and his own violent past is brought to light.
    - Although we seem to live in a culture increasingly dominated by extroverts, former corporate lawyer and negotiations expert Susan Cain reminds us introverts hold valuable skills and talents that should not be overlooked. She provides a well-researched and finely written look at this unassuming personality type in “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking.”
    - The Department of Defense is always on the alert for ways to stop terrorists. Fronted by Joshua Treadway and his associates at Blue Sky Capital Partners LLC, the DOD targets two exterminators, Bob Dillon and Klaus Muller, who need money to develop an assassin bug that will kill other insects. Treadway offers them financing to go one step further -- develop a bug that will kill terrorists. What Treadway and the DOD don’t know is that Dillon and Muller have had a Bolivian drug lord pursuing them ever since they pulled a double-cross on him several years ago. “The Exterminators” is another entry in Bill Fitzhugh’s zany “Assassin Bug” series.
    Page 2 of 2 - The Oak Ridger

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