You are here


Book Review: Bone Deep

By Robert McCool

In Charles Bosworth Jr. and Joel J. Schwartz's  brand new true crime book, Bone Deep, Untangling the Betsy Faria Murder Case (Kensington Publishing, ISBN 978-0-8065-4197-6), the characters and story are real. The circumstances happened as portrayed.

The writing is crisp and compelling, driving the reader to keep reading without stopping, in this true tale about Russ Faria supposedly killing his wife Betsy two days after Christmas in 2011. This book is all about the truth being stranger than fiction, and as it unfolds the truth gets abused by law enforcers and the prosecuting attorney in order to rush a guilty conviction.


Book Review: Robin Cook's "Viral"

By Robert McCool

With a name like "Viral," you'd expect this book to be about COVID-19. But in Robin Cook's 2021 release (Penguin Random House, $27.00, ISBN: 978-0-5933-2829-3) the title refers to an encroaching wave of an even deadlier disease without a vaccine to protect those exposed to it.


How fair is the public defender system?

By Amelia Alexander

This is the one-year anniversary of Amelia Alexander, an Ada High School student, becoming an Icon columnist.

Recently, I learned about the public defender system in my government class. This article is inspired by what we learned and our discussion.

What are public defenders?


Icon sportswriter on 75th anniversary of Boston Celtics

It may seem like the Boston Celtics and professional basketball have been around forever. In a new article for, Bluffton Icon sportswriter Cort Reynolds tells us the story of the early team and its competition:


Review: A Spooky Book For Halloween 

By Robert McCool

This book has it all--deaths, a coven of evil witches, ghosts, a dreadfully haunted Victorian house, children in peril, and rain storms at night. It's a great book for Halloween.

I'm referring to Chris Bohjalian's 2011 tome The Night Strangers (Crown Publishers ISBN: 978-0-307-39499-6).

I've reviewed Chris Bohjalian before and praised his writing talents. This book continues with more of the same. The volume will keep you on your toes with its shifting points of view and precise portrayal of the characters and their intentions.


Icon book review: Nailing It

Review by Robert McCool

In Robert Dilenschneider's December of 2021 release of “Nailing It-How History's Awesome Twentysomethings Got It Together” (Citadel Press, $16.95. ISBN: 978-0-8065-4175-4 PB), we see the future through the past, be it by circumstance or choice. The future we create by our own desires. In our twenties these choices determine our path forward to our later life. It can be a calling from our hearts or minds to follow what life has presented to us. What we choose when we're young enough to dream--and old enough to strike out on our own and fight for our beliefs.