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Its tough being a small-time hustler in Key West, FL. When this hustler is being beaten by a cop, John Deal steps in to stop it, but it is only a temporary rescue: the hustler turns up dead only two days later. The cops are claiming ignorance and the locals arent saying a word. Could the dead man be somehow connected to a seventy-year-old tale of piracy, murder, and greed? No one knows what really happened on that storm-swept night. But something about the legend and the recent murder are haunting John Deal to the bone.
Reluctant sleuth and Miami developer John Deal is the last of his kind--a builder who appreciates his craft. His friend Arch Dolan was the last of his kind, too, a Miami bookseller who sold books because he loved them. Now someone has killed him for it. And he's only the first body to fall. In quick succession the CEO of a huge bookstore chain and a local lawyer meet violent ends...and Deal starts finding connections. Still, it's not easy for Deal: his estranged wife Janice, is still emotionally and physically scarred from mishaps the last time Deal stepped into the path of the wrong people. But Janice was close to Arch and she's as eager to find the killer as her husband. Working together, they discover that Arch's sister, lately employed by a charismatic revivalist, has disappeared. With the clues pointing north, Deal and Janice set out on a journey to a distant and frigid climate, one that threatens to chill them out for good.
Before Adam Walsh there were no faces on milk cartons, no Amber Alerts, no National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, no federal databases of crimes against children, no pedophile registry. His 1981 abduction and murder-unsolved for over a quarter of a century-forever changed America. One sunny July morning in 1981, RevÉ Walsh and her six-year-old son Adam stopped by the local Sears to pick up some new lamps. Enchanted by a video game at the store's entrance, Adam begged RevÉ to let him try it out while she shopped. When she returned a few minutes later, Adam was gone. The shock of Adam's murder, and of the inability of the police and the FBI to find his killer, radically altered American innocence and our ideas about childhood. Gone forever were the days when parents would allow their kids out of the house with the casual instruction "Be home by dark!" RevÉ and John Walsh-who would go on to create America's Most Wanted-became advocates for the transformation of law enforcement's response to and handling of such cases. Prompted by the Walshes' activism, Congress passed the Missing Children Act in 1982, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children was founded in 1984. While our lives have been significantly altered by Adam Walsh's case, few of us know the whole story-how, after more than twenty-seven years of relentless investigation, decorated Miami Beach homicide detective Joe Matthews finally identified Adam's killer. Bringing Adam Home is the definitive account of this horrifying crime-which, like the Lindbergh kidnapping fifty years earlier, captured public attention-and its aftermath, a true story of tragedy, love, faith, and dedication. It reveals the pain and tenacity of a family determined to find justice, the failed police work that allowed a killer to remain uncharged, and the determined efforts of one cop who accomplished what an entire legal system could not. As harrowing as In Cold Blood, yet ultimately uplifting, Bringing Adam Home is the riveting story of a triumph of justice and the enduring power of love.
This suspenseful third John Deal crime thriller from Standiford finds the Miami building contractor tangling with Chinese gangsters who are trying to move in on a scheme hatched by two Hollywood porno magnates to create X-rated films for the huge mainland Chinese market. Deal already has troubles enough?his wife, Janice, has sunk into a deep depression over the serious burns she suffered in last year's Raw Deal, and a close friend has apparently committed suicide, shortly after she has told her film-star sister, Paige Nobleman, that Paige was adopted. Deal and his tenant/pal, ex-cop Vernon Driscoll, begin investigating Paige's birth and, eventually, the friend's death, following leads that take them directly into the porno scheme and the path of some deadly Chinese gang members. Standiford, an unusually fine thriller writer who has won the Frank O'Connor Award for Short Fiction and who directs the creative writing program at Florida International University, is at the top of his game here, displaying excellent pacing and a particular affinity for action scenes. The ongoing saga of John Deal remains especially intriguing above all, however, because its author drenches each volume in the ambiguities?sometimes rewarding, sometimes nightmarish?of real life.
Desperate Sons: Samuel Adams, Patrick Henry, John Hancock, and the Secret Bands of Radicals Who Led the Colonies to Warby Les Standiford
Explores the role of the Sons of Liberty in the American Revolution. Knowing that their deeds-- often directed at individuals and property-- were illegal, and punishable by imprisonment and even death, these agitators plotted and conducted their missions in secret to protect their identities as well as the identities of those who supported them. Those determined men-- including second cousins Samuel and John Adams, Paul Revere, Patrick Henry, and John Hancock-- saw themselves as patriots. Yet to the Crown, and to many of the Sons' fellow colonists, the revolutionaries were terrorists who deserved death for their treason.
Done Deal is the first in the series featuring reluctant sleuth John Deal, a South Florida building contractor who has a penchant for stepping into the path of the wrong people. Here, Deal is struggling to rebuild the once formidable DealCo, a development company once headed by his flamboyant father Barton Deal--but little does he know that the piece of land upon which he plans to build a small apartment complex is coveted by a ruthless businessman intent on making a fortune off Major League Baseball's arrival in South Florida.
John Deal has spent much of his adult life trying to rebuild the Miami construction firm that his late father ruined. When the possibility of a major project in post-normalized Cuba arises, he cant help but be intrigued. But Deal quickly learns that hes been lured to Havana for another, more dangerous purpose: to help a freedom-fighting group spring an American prisoner from a Castro jail. Of course, Deal wants nothing to do with ituntil he discovers who the prisoner is. That prisoner is also the holder of secrets, highly sensitive information that Deals own government thinks worth killing for. The next chapter in the edge-of-your-seat John Deal series.
The story of the crazy idea to build a railroad over open ocean in the Florida Keys, its completion, and its complete destruction 22 years later in a hurricane is well told by author and Florida resident Standiford. Though the central protagonist is the oil tycoon Henry Flagler, who was a pivotal figure in the development of Florida's coast, Standiford never loses sight of the experience of the railroad's less well-known engineers and workers. Annotation c. Book News, Inc. , Portland, OR (booknews. com)
Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of the Railroad that Crossed the Oceanby Les Standiford
A huricane in 1935 destroys the railroad ostentatiously built by Flagler.
As uplifting as the tale of Scrooge itself, this is the story of how one writer and one book revived the signal holiday of the Western world.Just before Christmas in 1843, a debt-ridden and dispirited Charles Dickens wrote a small book he hoped would keep his creditors at bay. His publisher turned it down, so Dickens used what little money he had to put out A Christmas Carol himself. He worried it might be the end of his career as a novelist.The book immediately caused a sensation. And it breathed new life into a holiday that had fallen into disfavor, undermined by lingering Puritanism and the cold modernity of the Industrial Revolution. It was a harsh and dreary age, in desperate need of spiritual renewal, ready to embrace a book that ended with blessings for one and all.With warmth, wit, and an infusion of Christmas cheer, Les Standiford whisks us back to Victorian England, its most beloved storyteller, and the birth of the Christmas we know best. The Man Who Invented Christmas is a rich and satisfying read for Scrooges and sentimentalists alike.From the Hardcover edition.
As uplifting as the tale of Scrooge itself, this is the story of how one writer and one book revived the signal holiday of the Western world. Just before Christmas in 1843, a debt-ridden and dispirited Charles Dickens wrote a small book he hoped would keep his creditors at bay. His publisher turned it down, so Dickens used what little money he had to put outA Christmas Carolhimself. He worried it might be the end of his career as a novelist. The book immediately caused a sensation. And it breathed new life into a holiday that had fallen into disfavor, undermined by lingering Puritanism and the cold modernity of the Industrial Revolution. It was a harsh and dreary age, in desperate need of spiritual renewal, ready to embrace a book that ended with blessings for one and all. With warmth, wit, and an infusion of Christmas cheer, Les Standiford whisks us back to Victorian England, its most beloved storyteller, and the birth of the Christmas we know best. The Man Who Invented Christmasis a rich and satisfying read for Scrooges and sentimentalists alike. From the Hardcover edition.
The Man Who Invented Christmas: How Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol Rescued His Career and Revived Our Holiday Spiritsby Les Standiford
(front flap) As uplifting as the tale of Scrooge itself, this is the story of how one writer and one book revived the signal holiday of the Western world. Just before Christmas in 1843, a debt- ridden and dispirited Charles Dickens wrote a small book he hoped would keep his creditors at bay. His publisher turned it down, so Dickens used what little money he had to put out A Christmas Carol himself. He worried it might be the end of his career as a novelist. The book immediately caused a sensation. And it breathed new life into a holiday that had fallen into disfavor, undermined by lingering Puritanism and the cold modernity of the Industrial Revolution. It was a harsh and dreary age, in desperate need of spiritual renewal, ready to embrace a book that ended with blessings for one and all. With warmth, wit, and an infusion of Christmas cheer, Les Standiford whisks us back to Victorian England, its most beloved storyteller, and the birth of the Christmas we know best. The Man Who Invented Christmas is a rich and satisfying read for Scrooges and sentimentalists alike.
Here is history that reads like fiction: the riveting story of two founding fathers of American industry--Andrew Carnegie and Henry Clay Frick--and the bloody steelworkers' strike that transformed their fabled partnership into a furious rivalry. Author Les Standiford begins at the bitter end, when the dying Carnegie proposes a final meeting after two decades of separation, probably to ease his conscience. Frick's reply: "Tell him that I'll meet him in hell."It is a fitting epitaph. Set against the backdrop of the Gilded Age, a time when Horatio Alger preached the gospel of upward mobility and expansionism went hand in hand with optimism, Meet You in Hell is a classic tale of two men who embodied the best and worst of American capitalism. Standiford conjures up the majesty and danger of steel manufacturing, the rough-and-tumble of late-nineteenth-century big business, and the fraught relationship of "the world's richest man" and the ruthless coke magnate to whom he entrusted his companies. Enamored of Social Darwinism, the emerging school of thought that applied the notion of survival of the fittest to human society, both Carnegie and Frick would introduce revolutionary new efficiencies and meticulous cost control to their enterprises, and would quickly come to dominate the world steel market. But their partnership had a dark side, revealed most starkly by their brutal handling of the Homestead Steel Strike of 1892. When Frick, acting on Carnegie's orders to do whatever was necessary, unleashed three hundred Pinkerton detectives, the result was the deadliest clash between management and labor in U.S. history. WHILE BLOOD FLOWED, FRICK SMOKED ran one newspaper headline. The public was outraged. An anarchist tried to assassinate Frick. Even today, the names Carnegie and Frick cannot be uttered in some union-friendly communities.Resplendent with tales of backroom chicanery, bankruptcy, philanthropy, and personal idiosyncrasy, Meet You in Hell is a fitting successor to Les Standiford's masterly Last Train to Paradise. Artfully weaving the relationship of these titans through the larger story of a young nation's economic rise, Standiford has created an extraordinary work of popular history.From the Hardcover edition.
The author of Last Train to Paradise tells the riveting story of Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick, and the bloody steelworkers' strike that transformed their fabled partnership into a furious rivalry. Set against the backdrop of the Gilded Age, Meet You in Hell captures the majesty and danger of steel manufacturing, the rough-and-tumble of the business world, and the fraught relationship between "the world's richest man" and the ruthless coke magnate to whom he entrusted his companies. The result is an extraordinary work of popular history.
Brand-new stories by: James W. Hall, Barbara Parker, John Dufresne, Paul Levine, Carolina Garcia-Aguilera, Tom Corcoran, Christine Kling, George Tucker, Kevin Allen, Anthony Dale Gagliano, David Beaty, Vicki Hendricks, John Bond, Preston Allen, Lynne Barrett, and Jeffrey Wehr. From the introduction by Les Standiford: The truth is that Miami, though naturally lovely, is a frontier town, perched on the border between the known and the rarely before experienced . . . We are not only on the edge of the continent, we are to this country what New York was in Ellis Island's heyday, what the West Coast was in the middle of the 20th century. This is where the new arrivals debark these days, and it is no mistake that during the last decade of the last century, commentators as diverse as Joan Didion, David Rieff, and T.D. Allman devoted entire volumes to Miami's role as the harbinger for America's future . . . But for now, the novel of crime and punishment is the perfect vehicle to convey the spirit and the timbre of this brawling place to a wider world.
In the fifth installment of the series, Deal is being awarded the Presidential Medal of Valor, and as a campaign gimmick, the presentation ceremony is held in Miami. During the ceremony, terrorists interrupt with machine gun fire, and Deal and the First Lady are taken captive.
Can golf save the world? An all-star line-up of acclaimed authors answers this question and more in this wickedly entertaining novel. Contributors include Lee K. Abbott, Dave Barry, Richard Bausch, James Crumley, James W. Hall, Tami Hoag, Tim O'Brien, Ridley Pearson, and Les Standiford, with each contributing a chapter and passing it along to the next.
John Deal lives in Miami, where he is rebuilding after Hurricane Andrew. His house is torched, with no apparent reason.
Washington Burning: How A Frenchman's Vision for Our Nation's Capital Survived Congress, the Founding Fathers, and the Invading British Armyby Les Standiford
For the lover of U. S. history or Washingtonian architecture or even basic political intrigue, this marvelous new history, probably the best to date on [Pierre Charles] L'Enfant and his troubled life, is essential. --"Miami Herald. "
In 1907, Irish immigrant William Mulholland designed and began to build one of the greatest civil engineering feats in history: the aqueduct that carried water 233 miles from the Sierra Nevada Mountains to Los Angeles--allowing this small, resource-challenged desert city to grow into a modern global metropolis. Drawing on new research, Les Standiford vividly captures the larger-than-life engineer and the breathtaking scope of his six-year, $23 million project that would transform a region, a state, and a nation at the dawn of its greatest century.Mulholland, a penniless Dublin immigrant who made his way west as a stowaway on a passenger ship, personifies the American rags-to-riches tale, working from a position as a ditchdigger to become chief engineer of the Los Angeles Water Company. Confronted with a decade-long drought that threatened his adopted city's future, the self taught Mulholland found the answer in the rushing snow melt from the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains, nearly 250 miles away. He proposed to build an aqueduct that would outdo any such ever conceived, one that would carry an entire river from its source to Los Angeles, through mountains, over chasms, and across an alternately freezing and blistering terra incognita, because he believed it was the city's only hope.The project brought a simmering-to-this-day firestorm of protest from residents of California's Owens Valley where the waters would be taken, as well as an all-out onslaught from political opponents and vested interests in Los Angeles, who were fearful of losing their stranglehold on the city's yield. But after nine years of struggle, including the efforts of thousands of workmen--many of whom lost their lives--and the use of engineering techniques and strategies never previously employed, Mulholland turned the gates and loosed the waters that brought an unprecedented wave of development and prosperity to his city and the region.Though the landmark film Chinatown touched on the subject, Mulholland was characterized there as Hollis Mulwray, a colorless pipsqueak easily dispatched by archvillain and developer Noah Cross (John Houston). In real life, however, Mulholland was every bit the equal of any of his foes, a colorful, brook-no-nonsense man of the people who accomplished a feat like no other and became a hero in the process. Water to the Angels is not only a book that provides insight into the seeds of significant ecological concerns of this day, it is also a stirring story of accomplishment against all odds, all the more captivating for being true.As Robert Towne, author of the screenplay for Chinatown suggests, the subject is timeless. "I found the ubiquity of water in everyone's lives to be compelling. Everybody needs water."At a time when the importance of water is being recognized as never before--considered by many experts to be the essential resource of the twenty-first century--Water to the Angels brings into focus the vigor of a fabled era, the might of a larger-than-life individual, and the scale of a priceless construction project, and sheds critical light on a past that offers insights for our future.
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