Beacon Quick Picks

James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge prove two heads aren’t always better than one with Step on a Crack, another crap mystery novel with a title that should have graced one of those titillatingly textured Goosebumps covers of yesteryear.,James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge; STEP ON A CRACK; AVAILABLE NOW

James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge prove two heads aren’t always better than one with Step on a Crack, another crap mystery novel with a title that should have graced one of those titillatingly textured Goosebumps covers of yesteryear. As an NYPD detective who is struggling to pull off a merry Christmas for his ethnically diverse pack of 10 adopted children, Michael Bennett is forced to take on a ridiculously complex and fantastical kidnapping case ripped straight off “Law Order: SVU.” Problem here is the authors didn’t borrow any of “SVU”‘s interesting characters, as this novel is desperately lacking an Odafin Tutuola-like tough talker to lay down the law. That pesky brood of children is another annoyance, leaving the reader wanting to step on a crack, just to break their backs–or at least end the book.

Philip Zimbardo; THE LUCIFER EFFECT; AVAILABLE NOW

If you’ve ever wondered how good people with a mean streak turn sour and go to hell in a handbasket, The Lucifer Effect puts forth some possible answers. Zimbardo, a social psychologist, outlines his original study of college students turning to the dark side as prison guards and then wraps all the creepy psychotic data up with modern examples, such as the recent case of torture Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. After reading how easily the human psyche can turn, readers may start questioning the potential evil in friends or even themselves.

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