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Book of the Week: Touched by an Alien by Gini Koch

It was just another day in Arizona – and then the monster showed up.

Marketing manager, Katherine ‘Kitty’ Katt had just finished a day on jury duty. When she stepped out of the Pueblo Caliente courthouse, all she was thinking about was the work she had to get caught up on. Then her attention was caught by a fight between a couple – a domestic dispute that looked like it was about to turn ugly. But ugly didn’t even begin to cover it when the “man” suddenly transformed into a huge, winged monster right out of a grade Z science fiction movie and went on a deadly killing spree. In hindsight, Kitty realized she probably should have panicked and run screaming the way everyone else was doing. Instead, she got mad, searched her purse for a weapon and, armed with a Mont Blanc pen, sprinted into action to take down the alien.

In the middle of all the screeching and the ensuing chaos, a tall handsome hunk of a guy in an Armani suit suddenly appeared beside her, examined the body, introduced himself as Jeff Martini with ‘the agency’, called out to an Armani-clad colleague to perform crowd control, and then insisted on leading her to a nearby limo to talk to his “boss”.

And that was how Kitty’s new life among the aliens began.

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Recent Review

Stardust (1990) [novel]
Review by michael a draper (2015-05-26)
In "The Journal of Popular Culture," Scott R. Christianson writes about tough talk and wisecracks. "...the hardboiled detective/narrator talks all the time to the reader. He talks tough and he talks smart but mainly - as the narrator of the story as well as the protagonist - he talks a lot."

As an example of the above, Robert Parker's wonderful P.I., Spenser, demonstrates in Parker's "Stardust," published in 1990.

Spenser is asked to protect a spoiled, temperamental TV star, Jill Joyce. She stars in TV's Fifty Minutes and has been filming the TV show from Boston.

The story in "Stardust" seems realistic as we learn that someone has been harassing Jill and she demands protection. She shows that on the TV show she may be a star but off screen she's something else.

When violence erupts and someone on the TV crew is killed, Spenser goes into action to find the killer.

Jill drinks to excess and seems like a sex starved nymphomaniac, but underneath her outward persona, Spenser recognizes fear and vulnerability.

He investigates her background and learns things that make him sad to see. How can someone who had to rise above misfortune gain the public spotlight? And, at what cost?

There are lessons of endearment and loyalty that Spenser demonstrates to his own love, psychologist, Susan and we see the empathy Spenser shows for a number of people associated with Jill whose lives have also been shattered.

For a dish of mystery topped with a flavoring of humor, this can be the main course.

(This review refers to the 1990 version titled “Stardust”)

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