Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Book Review

Anonymous Sources
Author: Mary Louise Kelly
Publisher: Gallery Books
ISBN: 978-1476715544

Women who are flawed but focused make for intriguing characters. Alexandra James is fighting personal demons, and on some days barely keeping it together when a story falls into her lap that alerts her reporter’s instincts. In “Anonymous Sources,” James becomes convinced the death of Harvard graduate Thomas Abbot Carlyle, a gifted student who has just returned from a year abroad, is neither an accident nor a suicide, despite evidence – or the lack thereof – to the contrary.

She manages to get past police lines and other barriers through sheer guts to further her investigation. Her tenacity and ability to sort through clues keeps her moving forward to the story of a lifetime, or perhaps to no story at all.

In this fast-paced book about international intrigue and an ever-changing newspaper world where online instant headlines vie with above-the-fold breaking news that sells papers, James finagles her way to Cambridge believing Thom’s last year holds the key to his death.

She learns a lot about Thom, his liaison with a glamorous woman, and other facts about his life in England, most of it innocuous, hardly cause to commit suicide or reason enough be a murder victim. Nor does everything she’s learned about him indicate he is careless. He was well liked, had no controversial friends and seemed to have it all. With a charmed life ahead of him, how and why did he end up with a broken body in the cobbled courtyard at Harvard?

In her pursuit of the truth the New England Chronicle reporter triggers events that put her life in danger and make her even more determined to continue asking questions. What she learns exposes a conspiracy bigger than anything she could have imagined and puts her in the crosshairs of an assassin.

Author Mary Louise Kelly spent two decades traveling the world as a reporter for NPR and the BBC. Her assignments have taken her from Belfast bars to the glittering ports of the Persian Gulf, and from mosques in Hamburg to the ruined deserts of Iraq. As an NPR correspondent covering the spy beat and the Pentagon, she reported on wars, terrorism, and rising nuclear powers. A Georgia native, her first job was working as a staff writer at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Kelly was educated at Harvard University and at Cambridge University in England. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband and their two children.


This article also appears in Happenstance Magazine, published by Happenstance Publishing. For more information go to

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