Posts Tagged Chicago

Dollface: book review

dollface

Dollface by Renee Rosen. Publisher: NAL (2013). Historical fiction. Paperback. 396 pages. ISBN 978-0-451-41920-0.

“Shep Green was the type of man a girl like me dreamed about. He may have scared me, but he also thrilled me. He could bring me into a world I’d only read about in magazines and seen in movies. If I were his girl, I’d never have to model jewelry again to get into a fancy party. Instead I’d be at the top of the guest list.”

Young Vera Abramowitz works hard at her day job as a typist but lives paycheck to paycheck and it’s not enough. She finds some second jobs modeling jewelry at fancy parties. It’s the roaring twenties and prohibition has reached Chicago. One night she wanders into a speakeasy and meets a mysterious and handsome well-dressed man who gives her a sampling for the extravagance she desires. She’s a bit naïve about what’s going on and why Tony’s so connected and able to take her to the hot spots in Chicago. Soon enough she captures another man’s attention and falls for him before realizing he’s a mobster and part of a rival gang in competition with Al Capone. When she becomes pregnant, it’s too late. She wants to keep the baby and she’s in too deep. She marries Shep Green and carries on an affair with Tony from the rival gang. Apart from her paramours, Vera possesses an independent spirit and a strong character. The more interesting aspects in the novel are when Vera and her friend Evelyn hang out or when Vera joins a Jewish women’s organization. When she’s fretting over her love triangle it falls into romance novel territory and that’s when Dollface can be melodramatic and drags out at times but it’s intensely researched and descriptive.

RATING: ***/5

–review by Amy Steele

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for review from Penguin Group.

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Lifetime TV movie review: One Angry Juror:

Rough justice just isn’t good enough.
–Sarah Walsh

Despite the limited access to special affects and feature-film quality editing, Lifetime Movie Network movies have gotten much better. Lifetime has always attracted name actresses and actors but usually not in the midst of their popularity. That’s changed and the scripts and stories are stronger.

One Angry Juror stars Jessica Capshaw [Grey’s Anatomy] as corporate litigator Sarah Walsh. Instead of getting off because most wouldn’t want an attorney on jury duty, Walsh finds herself sitting on the jury for a murder trial in Chicago. At first Walsh makes the assumptions of many others that the defendant is a throwaway, a delinquent. When she starts to truly listen to the prosecution’s arguments she realizes that it may be a set-up and realizes that the young man, Curtis [Jonathan Scarfe] could be not guilty. She stands strong and the case gets thrown out as a mistrial.

Walsh joins defense attorney Donald Burston [Cold Case’s Jeremy Ratchford] and private investigator Derrick White [Michael Jai White] to prove Curtis’s innocence. Through investigation and perseverance, Walsh and White uncover layers of corruption throughout the police department and D.A.’s office just proving that Chicago is a really corrupt city, as Walsh states at one point. As Walsh, Capshaw is strong and intense and the viewers root for her to discover the truth. She’s a hard-working attorney with a private law office and makes tons of money but through this case, she realizes that as an attorney she may gain much more by helping people. It doesn’t pack the punch of Conviction but for a TV movie, One Angry Juror proves to be thoughtful in that Lifetime sort of way.

ONE ANGRY JUROR Premieres Monday, November 15 at 9pm EST/PT on Lifetime Movie Network

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