Category Archives: Book Reviews

Review of Synergy


Benoit builds characters that are multidimensional and with whom readers can establish a bond, even when those characters aren’t behaving as nobly as we would like. Her science is sound, which is critical for this genre, and the ethical questions she raises are already being debated in medical research circles. But, it is Benoit’s ability to put all of this into plot twisting, fast paced thriller that has her right up there with the big boys like Gregg Hurwitz and Michael Crichton. ©2007

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Reviewed By Liz » Featuring M. D. Benoit

My series, the Jack Meter Case Files, is featured during the Summer Mystery Reading Challenge at Reviewed by Liz. Thanks, Liz, for a great write-up!

dynastic_queen has posted an interview with me on her LJ blog. She’s starting a new feature, LJ Writers’ Block, where she’ll interview authors. I was honored to be her first victim… ah, I mean interviewee. Thanks, Stephe!

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Currently Reading…

The List, by Tara Ison
Scribner Hardcover
272 pages
ISBN-10: 0-7432-9414-9

Isabel and Al are a couple. A mismatched one, on the surface: she is a future surgeon, a brilliant one at that, he is a one-time wonder movie director now working in a video store. When they meet at a movie theater, they connect at a fundamental level. The next day, Al moves in.

Yet, the relationship does not go smoothly for either of them. Isabel is troubled that she loves someone with so little direction in life when she is so driven herself, Al resents her using her money to buy him things, things he doesn’t want. Soon, the love they have becomes twisted and so unsatisfactory to Isabel that she proposes a breakup process: a to-do list of ten activities that will conclude their relationship. But as the items are struck off the list, their behavior becomes more erratic and warped, leading to the mangled conclusion of their affair.

The list is a deeply disturbing novel on several fronts. It makes us face the reality that we all judge someone’s value by their work status. What they do is what they are. It makes us realize that our own insecurities could fuel the destruction of something precious, for fear of knowing ourselves. It makes us realize that passion without real communication is doomed to fail. Yet, The List doesn’t provide the solutions. It leaves us with the unsatisfactory ending of a NHE (Not Happy Ending), and yet, the story could not have ended any other way.

Tara Ison delves equally well into the worlds of medicine and movies, which helps paint each protagonist into vivid details without ever telling us about them directly. Ison’s prose is sharp, crisp, and elegant. Even when she writes a funny scene, she succeeds in showing its underlying pathos. The List is a thinking novel, one that leaves you wanting to change a few things about your own life.

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Page Turners

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This 12-member writers’ co-op has created an email newsletter to communicate with readers who like exciting books that they may not see on the New York Times list (novel genres such as: suspense thrillers, sf/fantasy, paranormal, mysteries, westerns, and action-packed romances, although some of the member authors write in other genres too). The idea is to help readers discover new authors and be able to interact with them.

They rotate the Author of the Month position in the newsletter, but all contribute, so that readers “meet” them all. (Editor Joan Upton Hall collects the news to keep it moving smoothly.)

How often does it come out? Once a month.
You can read a sample issue on Joan’s website at:, plus member authors’ photos.

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