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Shames, Terry. A Reckoning in the Back Country. Seventh Street Books: Prometheus. (A Samuel Craddock Mystery, Bk. 7). Jan. 2018. 272p. ISBN 9781633883673. pap. $15.95; ebk. ISBN 9781633883680. MWith one officer visiting family, and one out sick, Jarrett Creek, TX, chief Samuel Craddock catches most of the calls over Thanksgiving, including the one about a missing husband. Dr. Lewis Wilkins has been gone for over a day when two young boys stumble across a body in the woods, one that appears to have been attacked by dogs. As Craddock questions neighbors and local residents, two stories emerge. There are rumors of dog fights in the area, and pet dogs have disappeared. There are odd stories about the victim as well. He lost a malpractice suit, his practice, and he's a heavy gambler. Who could have wanted him dead? VERDICT Macavity Award-winning author Shames's  (A Killing at Cotton Hill) compelling mystery is as issues-oriented as others in the series; his lawman protagonist is believable and realistic, and the strong sense of place should appeal to fans of Bill Crider's mysteries.

Sciences

Fowler, John. A Forest in the Clouds: My Year Among the Mountain Gorillas in the Remote Enclave of Dr. Dian Fossey. Pegasus. Feb. 2018. 336p. ISBN 9781681776330. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9781681776996. NAT HISTResearch Professional Fowler's memoir covers the year he spent as an undergraduate research student at Karisoke Research Center, Rwanda, working for famed mountain gorilla behaviorist Dian Fossey. It is his belated response to the question: “What was Dian Fossey like?” While at first thrilled to be chosen as one of three students to work with Fossey, he quickly learns she can be unwelcoming and temperamental, offering limited direction to her students and suffering from paranoia., Fowler perseveres despite the challenges, and his first job is caring for a young gorilla, recovered from poachers, that Fossey hopes to return to the wild—their first attempt a harrowing experience for all. Fowler describes in detail his life and work in the beautiful Virunga Mountains and shares his experiences studying gorillas at Karisoke. VERDICT The writing is vividly descriptive of the landscape, plants, and animals Fowler encounters. This fascinating memoir will appeal to those interested in Dian Fossey and her work, gorilla conservation, and the life of a research scientist.—Sue O'Brien, Downers Grove, IL

VERDICT: The writing is vividly descriptive of the landscape, plants, and animals Fowler encounters. This fascinating memoir will appeal to those interested in Dian Fossey and her work, gorilla conservation, and the life of a research scientist.

Keith, Ellen. The Dutch Wife. Park Row Books. Sept. 2018. 352p. ISBN 9780778369769. pap. $16.99; ebk. ISBN 9781488098666. FDEBUT Arrested by the Nazis for her participation in the Dutch resistance, Marijke de Graaf makes a desperate choice in the hopes of being reunited with her husband: she volunteers to work in a concentration camp brothel. Once there, she quickly captures the notice of high-ranking Nazi Karl Müller, whose passionate attraction to Marijke alters both their lives. Debut novelist Keith explores the two's strange romance while also introducing readers to Luciano Wagner, a young man arrested and tortured by police in 1977 Buenos Aires. Readers' enjoyment of this novel will depend on their willingness to accept Karl and Marijke's peculiar romantic relationship as plausible rather than deeply disturbing, particularly as Karl's perspective quickly dominates the narrative while Marijke's thoughts and feelings remain frustratingly underdeveloped even once she learns of Karl's war crimes. Luciano's story line is more compelling but never quite jells with the rest of the book despite the eventually revealed connections between the characters. VERDICT Readers looking for historical fiction about the horrors of the concentration camps would do better to seek out Martha Hall Kelly's Lilac Girls, Affinity Konar's Mischling, or Heather Morris's forthcoming The Tattooist of Auschwitz.—Mara Bandy Fass, Champaign P.L., IL

VERDICT: Readers looking for historical fiction about the horrors of the concentration camps would do better to seek out Martha Hall Kelly's Lilac Girls, Affinity Konar's

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