Books of the month
DEATH VALLEY: KARMAGEDDON – Fantasy
In a post-apocalyptic wasteland, mankind still strives to survive. In Death Valley, a lawless desert town, only the strong survive. Franky Bones is one of those survivors and this is his story…
The Crows (Adult Paranormal, Gothic, New Weird)
When broken-hearted Carrie Rickard falls in love with a ruined house, her life changes forever – especially when it loves her back. Fairwood House, known locally as The Crows, is no ordinary ruin. As Carrie pours herself into its restoration, she learns that it comes with a curse and an unsolved sixty-year-old child murder… and a mind of its own.
As she digs into the secrets of The Crows, Carrie is dragged into a world of witchcraft, blood magic and the supernatural, aided by her eldritch soothsayer neighbour, Ricky Porter, who’s as obsessed with the house as she is. Ricky, desperate to be master of Fairwood and the arcane artefact it guards, sees Carrie’s future is set in stone – and so is her death-date. But is his offer of help sincere, or is he the reason she’s doomed?
The Cuban Crisis – History of Cuba, Military History, Military History of the United States
Sent with a dual commission from an English newspaper and an American journal, George Clarke Musgrave landed in Cuba “a warm sympathiser with Spain.” For two years, though, he lived and served with the revolutionaries, learned of their cause and experienced their suffering. Appointed as a Captain on General Garcia’s staff, he repeatedly crossed the lines carrying despatches from the insurgent Cuban Government to the Americans. Danger and hardship became his companions and he was twice imprisoned, three times wounded, barely rescued from a spy’s death and finally arrested and deported to Spain under threat of execution. Following intervention by the British government he was eventually released from prison in Cadiz, from where he journeyed back to England and on to America to join the United States forces at Tampa Bay for the invasion of Cuba at the start of the Spanish-American war. Thus equipped, he gives us “a plain story of the sufferings and sacrifices of the Cubans for their freedom.”
This detailed review of the insurrection from the arrival of General Weyler to the USS Maine disaster and the ultimate advent of the American forces is thorough, vivid, picturesque and full of incident. The sketches of troops and commanders, lifestyles and politics, characters and manners, are finely drawn and illuminating, as are the comments on the abject failings of the commissariat of the American Army in Cuba and the crushing indictment of the oppressive Spanish rule.
The war in Cuba left the world with a much-changed opinion of the Cuban patriots. They had prevailed against all the forces which Spain could bring against them. The stories of torture, of murder, and of the imprisonment and rescue of Evangelina Cisneros match anything in the history of crime, and bring a spotlight to bear on the cruelty perpetrated by the Spanish aggressors. The later chapters are devoted to the war and chronicle the action from the arrival of the US forces to the final capitulation of Spain at Santiago, depicting in intimate detail the horrors and the heroism of this brief but bloody war, and paying graceful compliment to “the amazing valour of the American soldier” and “the stupendous challenges faced in taking Santiago.” In his concluding retrospect, the author expresses his belief in the British policy of making an ally of a conquered enemy and his opinion that this should be a priority for the United States as they work to fulfil their moral pledge of giving the Cubans independence.