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Hide and Seek: A John Rebus Mystery
In a run down area of Edinburgh, a junkie is found dead in a building used by squatters.      On a wall near the body of the deceased, officials notice a drawing. It's a five star image with two concentric circles.      Detective Inspector John Rebus is at the scene. His first thought is that it might be some sort of astrology or witchcraft symbol. Perhaps …
reviewed A Darkness More Than Night. March 23
A Darkness More Than Night
I have read most of Mr. Connelly's works and somehow I missed this one. Terry McCaleb is an ex-FBI profiler that is recovering from a heart-transplant. Terry lives with his wife Graciela and baby daughter (Cielo Azul) on an island outside of Los Angeles. He gave up the life to be with his family and run a charter boat business.      Jaye Winston is an LA Detective that had …
reviewed A Darkness More Than Night. March 23
A Darkness More Than Night
I have read most of Mr. Connelly's works and somehow I missed this one. Terry McCaleb is an ex-FBI profiler that is recovering from a heart-transplant. Terry lives with his wife Graciela and baby daughter (Cielo Azul) on an island outside of Los Angeles. He gave up the life to be with his family and run a charter boat business.      Jaye Winston is an LA Detective that had …
reviewed Shadow Country. February 07
Shadow Country
Like Tolkien's original Lord of the Rings manuscript, Matthiessen wrote Shadow Country as a single extended novel, but his publisher insisted on breaking it into a trilogy.  While the series were successful, the writers weren't satisfied, so Matthiessen revisited the territory, rewriting sections of the book, adding some new material and deleting nearly 400 pages.       …
reviewed Dirty White Boys. January 27
Dirty White Boys
Lemar Pye, his mentally challenged cousin, Odell, and another prisoner escape from McAlester State Penn, a maximum security prison. Pye had just murdered another prisoner and so he had nothing to lose. The men go on a killing and robbery spree in Oklahoma and North Texas.      They stop at a farm belonging to WWII vet Bill Stepford to look for guns.      State …
The Great Game: The Struggle for Empire in Central Asia (Kodansha Globe)
Unfortunately Hopkirk talks a good game about the Great Game but doesn't deliver.  The Great Game is the name Rudyard Kipling immortalized in his classic novel Kim about the imperial cold war between England and Russia over the high mountains and deserts between British India and Russia.  This blood drenched ground is now parts of Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the other Stans freed from …
reviewed Kim. December 26, 2014
I had never Kipled before now (punch line to the old joke that starts "Do you like Kipling?") and picked this up at a used book sale as a bolster to my library of reading and thought on the period between the American Civil War and World War I which I have long considered the most fertile period in recent history.  I am of course familiar with the criticism of Kipling as a defender …
reviewed Goodreads. December 09, 2014
This is a book cataloging site that helps me to be organized and to discuss the books I've read.      One fun aspect of this site is in the groups it provides so many  choices to become involved with.   For instance, I am in the club read with a goal of 100 books in a year. There are also groups for giveaways, historical mysteries and many more.   …
reviewed The Cold Dish: A Novel. December 06, 2014
The Cold Dish: A Novel
Four white high school students lure a female American Indian high schooler to a meeting and rape her in a cruel and brutal manner. The woman, Melissa Little Bird, suffers from fetal alcohol syndrome and her reasoning powers are impaired.      The trial ends with a ridiculous sentence of two years suspended and then probation. The Indian community is incensed with the light sentence.   …
reviewed The Invention of Air. December 05, 2014
The Invention of Air
After reading Johnson's latest, How we got to now,  I found this book from 2008 on the shelf in my excellent local public library, and discovered that it contains a tightly argued statement of Johnson's cultural ecosystem approach to science and history. applies the approach to six key innovations, but The Invention of air gives the approach a solid logical foundation.  …
reviewed Cape Fear. November 23, 2014
posted in Movie Hype
Cape Fear
In the original movie version of "The Executioners" that was named Cape Fear' the setting was a small town where a family man, Sam Bowden, is an attorney.   He had been a witness of a rape during WWII and his testimony helped send the criminal to prison.   Sam is played by Gregory Peck. He is a master at acting as an attorney. Who could forget his memorable role as …
reviewed A Laodicean (Penguin Classics). November 12, 2014
A Laodicean (Penguin Classics)
In a retrospective edition of his collected works near the end of his life Hardy classed A Laodicean as one of his "Novels of Ingenuity" and not one of the "Novels of Character and Environment."  Without condemning Laodicean too harshly, Hardy certainly categorized it correctly for it is precisely in the areas of character and environment that this effort falls short of his …
reviewed The Core. November 11, 2014
posted in Movie Hype
The Core
            Pigeons gone loco, people mysteriously dropping down dead, storms like you've never seen tearing up the heavens. The reason: the earth's core has stopped spinning.       If that sounds like a silly premise to you, that's because "The Core" definitely is, without a doubt, a silly movie.    …
posted a Quick Tip about The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. November 05, 2014
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millenium
I really enjoyed this one as it reminded me of the intrigue of the Collins family in the old Dark Shadows series.  The two follow-ups, though necessary, were not nearly as good.
posted a Quick Tip about The Fifties. October 02, 2014
The Fifties
My favorite time and the best rock and roll music. Elvis, Fats Domino, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, need I say more?
reviewed The Fifties. September 24, 2014
The Fifties
My title for this review works both ways.         Halberstam writes in classic narrative history style when tackling a subject as a broad as a decade.  He doesn't limit his topics to politics, wars, economics or "great people" biographies, but tells the history of the decade in stories about television (then reshaping marketing. news and entertainment …
posted a Quick Tip about Swan Peak, James Lee Burke. September 01, 2014
Swan Peak, James Lee Burke
Not only excellent suspense but well developed characters and vivid descriptions.
reviewed Milk (2008 movie). August 23, 2014
posted in Movie Hype
MILK image
We just returned from San Francisco and visited the Castro section of the city which is known for being the center of the San Francisco gay rights area in the late 70s.      Watching the movie, Milk, about the life of gay activist, Harvey Milk, was all that more powerful after seeing the Castro section in today's times.      Sean Penn did an excellent job …
reviewed The Captain's Peril. August 19, 2014
The Captain's Peril
To be perfectly honest, I didn’t expect much going into William Shatner’s CAPTAIN’S PERIL, but it might not be for the obvious reason.  Bill gets a lot of negative press about how (A) his books are vanity projects so they can’t be all that good and (B) he doesn’t even write them (it’s been disclosed that they’re heavily ghostwritten by Judith and Gar …
reviewed Star Wars: Dark Empire II. August 01, 2014
Star Wars: Dark Empire II
Erm … it’s a bit difficult to figure what to make of Dark Horse’s DARK EMPIRE II.  Rarely does a title seem so entirely unnecessary much less a crass attempt to cash in on a middling first entry (namely DARK EMPIRE) but that’s honestly about the best I can figure come the “big finish” … which isn’t so much a “big finish” as it is a …
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