Avid Readers, Occasional Bloggers

Tag: Crime Page 1 of 3

The Bourbon King: The Life and Crimes of George Remus, Prohibition’s Evil Genius by Bob Batchelor

Prohibition – most people think this American experiment in outlawing alcohol sales and consumption was an abysmal failure. Not only did it encourage otherwise law abiding citizens to break the law, but it also spawned modern organized crime in this country. One of the early crime bosses was George Remus in Cincinnati. Bob Batchelor chronicles Remus’s life in The Bourbon King: The Life and Crimes of George Remus, Prohibition’s Evil Genius.


Batchelor meticulously details Remus’s rise from a pharmacist and lawyer in Chicago to one of the largest bourbon distributors in the eastern U.S.. During that rise, Remus divorced his first wife and married a socialite wanna be who eventually fleeced him of most of his money. This fleecing lead to Remus murdering his wife and successfully (for the first time in the U.S.) pleading temporary insanity. 


Batchelor details how Remus quickly cornered the market on bourbon distribution through legal and illegal means – he used his brilliant legal mind to skirt the law. His rapid rise brought many benefits (great wealth and attention from the public), but also the attention of liquor agents, including the U.S. Assistant Attorney General Mabel Willebrandt (assigned as the chief Prohibition enforcement officer). 


The most fascinating part of the book is how much Prohibition corrupted public officials. According to Batchelor, the corruption went as far as Attorney General Harry Daugherty (and possibly even President Harding). Remus was at the center of a lot of the corruption in the Midwest, including Ohio. His money bought off liquor agents, policemen, and politicians.

The book includes ample photographs (38 total) of Remus and the other major figures in Remus’s life.


The book provides great insight into a brilliant man who was greatly troubled.

Luther: The Calling by Neil Cross

I like many of the detective/crime series on television, particularly the two NCIS series. So, when I had an opportunity to read about BBC’s hit crime series Luther, I figured I would give it a go.  The book entitled Luther: The Calling by Neil Cross is much more than I bargained for.

The book’s premise is an investigation of the murder of Tom and Sarah Gilbert by Detective Chief Inspector John Luther.  The couple is brutally murdered in their home. The crime scene is grotesque and has an odd twist – Sarah Lambert was 8 1/2 months pregnant at the time of her death and the baby is missing.  Luther tries to find the baby and bring the Lamberts’ killer to justice.

Luther is known for an extraordinary ability to solve crimes.  He is determined and focused to bring perpetrators to justice. Sometimes that takes him beyond the law in order to catch a suspect.  The Lambert case almost drives him over the edge.

I like the character development – especially Luther and his relationship with his fellow police officers and his wife Zoe. For instance, Cross does a good job of developing the friction between Luther and Zoe – a friction based on Luther’s obsessive work habits that cause him to work long hours at their relationship’s expense.

Luther: The Calling by Neil Cross

I like many of the detective/crime series on television, particularly the two NCIS series. So, when I had an opportunity to read about BBC’s hit crime series Luther, I figured I would give it a go.  The book entitled Luther: The Calling by Neil Cross is much more than I bargained for.

The book’s premise is an investigation of the murder of Tom and Sarah Gilbert by Detective Chief Inspector John Luther.  The couple is brutally murdered in their home. The crime scene is grotesque and has an odd twist – Sarah Lambert was 8 1/2 months pregnant at the time of her death and the baby is missing.  Luther tries to find the baby and bring the Lamberts’ killer to justice.

Luther is known for an extraordinary ability to solve crimes.  He is determined and focused to bring perpetrators to justice. Sometimes that takes him beyond the law in order to catch a suspect.  The Lambert case almost drives him over the edge.

I like the character development – especially Luther and his relationship with his fellow police officers and his wife Zoe. For instance, Cross does a good job of developing the friction between Luther and Zoe – a friction based on Luther’s obsessive work habits that cause him to work long hours at their relationship’s expense.

In the Mail: A Hard Death

A Hard Death by Jonathan Hayes

Publishers Weekly

Disgraced forensic pathologist Dr. Edward Jenner hoped that a move to Florida would be a distraction from the serial killer horrors in Precious Blood, but in Hayes’s solid sequel, the medical examiner finds himself embroiled in another life and death investigation. Barely eking out a living as Port Fontaine’s temporary pathologist, Jenner is shocked when one of his first cases in the sleepy coastal town is the murder of his former mentor and Port Fontaine’s regular medical examiner, Dr. Martin Roburn, whose body shows signs of torture. When Jenner is alerted to the decomposing bodies of four migrant workers deep in a swamp, he suspects their deaths are tied to Roburn. Jenner, along with a local detective, starts putting the pieces together to connect Port Fontaine’s richest men, the booming migrant population, and the lucrative drug trade. Though Hayes flirts with a few genre clichés, Jenner emerges as a sufficiently flawed yet empathetic hero.

T.J. English & The Savage City on The Daily Show

I am late in posting this but thought it still worth doing so. The Savage City by T.J. English is one of a great many serious and engaging books that I am unlikely to get a chance to read but wanted to make you aware of it.

Page 1 of 3

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén