Fiction - Mystery - General
263 Pages
Reviewed on 05/23/2018
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Author Biography

I grew up in El Paso, went to Pomona College for a B.A. in Spanish Literature and to the University of Washington for an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature, spent a formative year in Madrid, and then came Athens, Georgia, to join the faculty of Comparative Literature at the University of Georgia. After thirty-eight happy years at the University of Georgia, I retired in 2011 as University Professor and Director of the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts. I live with a smart, talkative, funny African Grey Parrot named Cosmo, about whom I wrote the book Conversations with Cosmo: At Home with an African Grey Parrot.

Then I began writing fiction—a Witherston Murder Mystery series and the stand-alone suspense thriller Aldo—to present big ideas through entertainment.

Aldo is an exploration of our society's response to genome modification. Here's the situation: An ideological opponent of "designer babies" kidnaps the president of a prestigious university and demands, as ransom, the firing of a tenured genetics professor who is studying the eradication of genetic diseases. How does the university community—faculty, students, donors, administrators—react? How does the public react?

I wrote the four Witherston Murder Mysteries to introduce to readers the beautiful mountains of north Georgia, where the thousand year-old Cherokee civilization, the Georgia Gold Rush and Land Lottery of the 1820s, the moonshine business of the 1920s, and the rise of the Ku Klux Klan all left their mark on the present.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers' Favorite

Aldo by Betty Jean Craige is a fascinating thriller that melds themes of terrorism, suspense, and science fiction, a novel that features terrorist threats, kidnapping, and an endearing love story set against a difficult backdrop. Dr. Isabel Canto is the associate director of the Institute for Genome Modification at Pambrook Atlantic University, a seasoned researcher who is passionate about knowledge. But when she discovers that she is pregnant by Frank, a fellow post-graduate researcher, she also receives devastating news: a domestic terrorist, “Aldo,” has threatened to hurt the president of the research institute unless she shuts it down and fires its director, Dr. Linus Winters. Isabel advises Mary Ellen Mackin, the president, not to comply with the demands of the terrorist. Unfortunately for her, the president listens to her advice, and Aldo kidnaps her. It’s just the beginning of mayhem and the effects will reverberate in many lives.

This is a novel for readers who enjoy great characters and strong plot points in a story. The story begins in the future with a letter to Lino, the child of the protagonist, promising to share a secret his parents have kept for sixteen years, and then moves on quickly to events of 2018. The story is engrossing and Betty Jean Craige handles the setting in a brilliant way by incorporating cutting edge technology into the narrative. The use of the epistolary style enriches the plot, deepens character development, and enhances the reading experience. The prose is crisp, filled with gorgeous descriptions, well-crafted dialogues, and intense scenes. The plot is fast paced, features twists and turns, and the tension builds up in great intensity until the satisfying end.