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Book Review: The Stranger in the Lifeboat

By Robert McCool

And now a brief word about the Lord.

Mitch Albon's new novel “The Stranger in the Lifeboat” (Harper Collins: ISBN978-0-06-288834) is a conundrum and mystery. Is it a discussion about God, or is it a study into the human condition? It is both.

A $200,000 yacht explodes in the middle of the ocean. All that's left behind is a raft containing ten people. They are a mixed group containing men and women and a young girl named Alice.


Book Review: Billy Summers

Billy Summers (Simon and Schuster ISBN: 978-1-9821-8966-2) is the latest release from Stephen King, and at 528 pages it tells the story of the complex man that Billy Summers becomes. As a child he sees his little sister stomped to death, then kills the man who hurt her. Having an alcoholic mother, he was removed to live in a group home, which is all that you've heard about and more. When he comes of age he joins the Marines and becomes a deadly sniper. When he leaves the service he becomes a sniper for hire.


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: