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Grassy Knoll ("Columbo") Hardcover – 31 Jul 1994

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 31 Jul 1994
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Robert Hale Ltd; New edition edition (31 July 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0709054203
  • ISBN-13: 978-0709054207
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 16 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,601,198 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I received this book and was surprised at the excellent condition. It looked as if it hadn't even been opened, and hard back at that.
It was certainly a good read, and I enjoyed it very much.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am pleased with book but there was no front cover on it like the others I have bought. I will have to buy book again if I can't get the front cover because it stands out like a sore thumb to the rest of the columbo books I have bought. The delivery was very quick and the book is in good condition but no front cover and that's why I have given 3 stars.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9a3ac150) out of 5 stars 14 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a51caa4) out of 5 stars Controversial Talk Show Host Murdered and Columbo is on the Scene 26 April 2012
By Nick Howes - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Columbo is called in to investigate the murder of controversial TV talk show host Paul Drury. The reader knows immediately, as is common with Columbo's TV episodes, who the murderers are but the motive is hidden from both reader and Columbo. The execution-style murder at Drury's home with no real cluses except for attempts to stage a phony burglary attempt, is unbreakable unless Columbo can find out what the motive was. Drury had too many enemies. The killers smugly realize the rain-coated detective will never be able to discover what that motive is.

Again attorney and author William Harrington tackles a Columbo tale using a tie-in with a famous crime, in this case the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the subject of Drury's planned 30th anniversary show which perhaps, in some way, relates to the motive.

Columbo, as usual underestimated by the villains, doggedly chases down leads, looking for the thread that leads him to the killers And, as we all know, Columbo never fails.

Great, quick read if you come across a copy at the Friends of the Library book sale or at a yard sale.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a3ba960) out of 5 stars A Secret About the Assassination 6 Dec. 2013
By Acute Observer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Columbo: The Grassy Knoll

"Columbo" was one of the most popular detective shows on TV. William Harrington was a former criminal lawyer who wrote these novels using this TV character. The best fiction is based true crime.

Los Angeles is plagued by smog (the result from the policies of big landowners and oil corporations). Smog resulted in more automobile accidents, street crimes, and murders. "The Paul Drury Show" has interesting guests. Tonight it will feature the Assassination of JFK. One guest told of a shot from the people watching; it was covered up. There are questions from the television audience. When Paul Drury returns home at night he gets a surprise. Lt. Columbo is called to the murder scene. Were computer disks stolen? Who had an access card? Can an answering machine time a call? Drury's computers have been wiped clean of all data! Columbo investigates Drury's co-workers. They have alibis. Columbo continues to investigate.

The coroner says Drury died earlier than the time on the answering machine. [What is more reliable?] Columbo goes to Las Vegas to follow a lead. The odds on gambling assured the house always won in the long run. [You learn about show business by the conversations.] He learns about Drury's ex-wife. Columbo talks to a Professor and learns about the backed-up data. Does Columbo know too much about the ex-wife? Did Drury plan to show a photo of two men with a rifle? Can an artist age the picture of two men? A sound engineer can detect a recording of a copy. A car bomb explodes, and Columbo uses this clue to arrest a suspect. He explains why. The suspect talks and names the others. The last chapter ties up the loose ends. [Believable?]

This was the first "Columbo" novel in this series. Harrington is a good writer who weaves facts into his fiction for an interesting story. Those who know more about the most famous unsolved murder of the 20th century may criticize some details. There were plenty of books written in the 1960s, and in the 1970s after a House Select Committee reinvestigated the JFK murder. The 1974 book "The Assassination Tapes" raised objective facts to question the "lone gunman" theory.

This 1993 book discussed personal computers and explained the details to the general public. Remember those days? It points out the commercial advantages from knowing what a TV program might expose. Are there connections between show business and organized crime?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a2b0750) out of 5 stars Can;t get much better. 28 April 2011
By bookbuyer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
i've read the other reviews but went and bought this book anyway. the book is great. it reads like the tv show, and could have been an episode. it actually gets into columbo's mindset more than a tv show could without that show becoming boring. i'm currently buying the other books in the series, and would recommend these to any fan of the dumb, devious cop. it's an awesome premise to stake columbo's wits against some of america's most baffling acts of society, and the way this first book unfolds, it's a story within a story. what else should it be?
HASH(0x9a2a2744) out of 5 stars The Best Columbo Book So Far 23 Mar. 2014
By FredricRice - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book's first printing was in 1993 which is significant in that it marked the 30th anniversary of the JFK assignation, and the novel itself manages to be without a doubt the best Colombo-themed novels I have yet read, and to be sure I have read a great many of them.

The story begins with a television tabloid show doing another episode on the famous murder of John F. Kennedy, a subject which continues to fascinate American citizens and people around the world if only because the official conclusions of who murdered the President continue to be subjected to debate, both from truly bizarre conspiracy-minded approaches to academic, well-reasoned explanations and descriptions of why The Warren Commission report (which is widely available of U. S. governmental web sites today) is almost certainly not the full truth about the murder.

The television show's host after 30 years of being fixated on the Kennedy assignation was poised on the brink of disclosing information about the events which took place on the so-called "Grassy Knoll," new information which was made possible by the advent of inexpensive computers capable of manipulating and enhancing photographs taken by people who had been in the Plaza at the time of the killing, many of which routinely were sent in to the television show over the years.

The author of the novel -- William Harrington -- manages to weave homicide detective Columbo in to events which follow the murder of the television show's host which is a crime committed to ensure that the truth detailed in the enhanced photographs never made it to the widely-watched television series. After all, there is no limiting statutes which protect attempted murder, and those individuals involved in the wider conspiracy to kill Kennedy beyond Oswald's involvement could still be charged with the murder even 30 years later.

What makes this novel the best so far is the way Harrington draws in the history of right wing extremism which existed in the United States long before the advent of contemporary Republicanism, and the right wing motivations for the Kennedy murder stemming from the failed Bay Of Pigs Invasion (Invasión de Bahía de Cochinos,) the nationalization of American Real Estate and other financial assets in Cuba by Fidel Castro, and the history of the old-style Sicilian organized crime Mafias which, in the mid 1960s when Kennedy was murdered, were in large respects running many American State and local governments.

In the real world there are nearly endless conspiracy beliefs as to why Lee Harvey Oswald murdered John F. Kennedy, most of which attempt to depict Oswald as a patsy, ignoring Oswald's Russian history and eventual right wing politics and favoring, among many other conspiracy notions the idea that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) conducted the murder, offering a wide spectrum of motivations.

The fact of so many conspiracy beliefs awash in the world is important because in this novel Harrington almost entirely ignores Oswald since, presumably, Oswald has "been done enough" and the author wished to examine an entirely new thread, a new story that placed men on the Grassy Knoll who were utterly unassociated with the murder yet men who could still be charged for Kennedy's attempted murder.

Harrington manages to get much of the actual history of the consequences of Cuba's revolution as it relates to the Sicilian mob accurately depicted in the book, and he manages to describe faithfully and accurately the role that Las Vegas casinos have in the mob world. Also quite amusingly the author manages to describe very well the mind set of gamblers who visit Las Vegas with the belief that they can some how win, something the author -- and the casinos themselves -- knows is absolutely impossible, not when the house makes the rules.

As Columbo walks through the evidence and collects suspects, he shambles from one bowl of chili to the next, from one hot dog to the next, asking his list of suspects "just one more thing, not really important really, just for my paperwork since the Captain is always after me to fill out my forms completely," one gets a good look at how the famous homicide detective's brain works, complete to how he prioritizes his mythical wife's academic schedule in between his efforts to catch the killer.

It's a good read, it should be on your shelf.
HASH(0x9a39df54) out of 5 stars A Secret About the Assassination 6 Dec. 2013
By Acute Observer - Published on Amazon.com
Columbo: The Grassy Knoll

"Columbo" was one of the most popular detective shows on TV. William Harrington was a former criminal lawyer who wrote these novels using this TV character. The best fiction is based true crime.

Los Angeles is plagued by smog (the result from the policies of big landowners and oil corporations). Smog resulted in more automobile accidents, street crimes, and murders. "The Paul Drury Show" has interesting guests. Tonight it will feature the Assassination of JFK. One guest told of a shot from the people watching; it was covered up. There are questions from the television audience. When Paul Drury returns home at night he gets a surprise. Lt. Columbo is called to the murder scene. Were computer disks stolen? Who had an access card? Can an answering machine time a call? Drury's computers have been wiped clean of all data! Columbo investigates Drury's co-workers. They have alibis. Columbo continues to investigate.

The coroner says Drury died earlier than the time on the answering machine. [What is more reliable?] Columbo goes to Las Vegas to follow a lead. The odds on gambling assured the house always won in the long run. [You learn about show business by the conversations.] He learns about Drury's ex-wife. Columbo talks to a Professor and learns about the backed-up data. Does Columbo know too much about the ex-wife? Did Drury plan to show a photo of two men with a rifle? Can an artist age the picture of two men? A sound engineer can detect a recording of a copy. A car bomb explodes, and Columbo uses this clue to arrest a suspect. He explains why. The suspect talks and names the others. The last chapter ties up the loose ends. [Believable?]

This was the first "Columbo" novel in this series. Harrington is a good writer who weaves facts into his fiction for an interesting story. Those who know more about the most famous unsolved murder of the 20th century may criticize some details. There were plenty of books written in the 1960s, and in the 1970s after a House Select Committee reinvestigated the JFK murder. The 1974 book "The Assassination Tapes" raised objective facts to question the "lone gunman" theory.

This 1993 book discussed personal computers and explained the details to the general public. Remember those days? It points out the commercial advantages from knowing what a TV program might expose. Are there connections between show business and organized crime?
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