Needle Work – Book Review
by: Fred Rosen
Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corp.
Copyright: 2001, ISBN: 
reviewed by: Lynard Barnes, November 9, 2003
Summary: Not much depth, not much of interest concerning the Carol Giles and Timmy Collier murder team.
This is a rather straightforward account of a wife who actively participates in the murder of her husband and the murder of another woman who may have learned about the first murder. Beyond that, there is nothing but questions.
The biggest question in this book is whether Carol Giles initiated the events to kill her husband or whether it was her boyfriend, Timmy Collier. They met after Giles took a job in a hospital to supplement the income of her drug-dealer husband who, among other things, suffered from diabetes. The preponderance of evidence presented by Rosen points to Giles as the instigator of the murder plot. In the final analysis, she probably was. However, the author does not devote the time to flush-out the people in this sordid story to make them stand out as individuals. The husband, the wife, the boyfriend are more like stick-people in a murder plot.
NEEDLE WORK adds nothing to our understanding of why some take the leap beyond the bounds of a nurturing society. Even if we accept Carol Giles as the daughter of a child molesting father and Timmy Collier as a status seeking, crack-addicted gang member, we are left to our own mechanization to determine how the two ended up in the same life, snuffing out two other lives. Based on what Rosen offers, it is very tempting to see Carol Giles, who did not indulge in drugs, as the smarter of the two and the instigator of events. But that results in a dilemma. If she was smart enough to manipulate Collier into assisting her in murdering her husband, why wasn’t she smart enough to prevent the paranoid, totally senseless murder of the woman she maintained was her friend. Of course . . . yada, yada, yada.
Books like NEEDLE WORK leave you with a rather empty feeling. The author buys into the surface abstractions. There may be many reasons why that is so–time, money, lack of skill in going any farther. But as the reader, you too are forced to buy into the abstractions, the superficial rationalizations and reasons. That’s not the purpose of a book. A news article, maybe. But not a book. Skip this one.