Tuesday, 25 October 2022
Monday, 24 October 2022
All Laramie Davis wanted was a hot meal. What he got was a plate full of trouble. It started with the killing of a Deputy Sheriff in Rock Springs and went downhill from there. Laramie tangled with outlaws, blood hungry Indians, and a murderous posse led by a family of killers. Before it was over, many men would die and Laramie would be lucky if one of them wasn't him!Another day and another Audible listen in the company of favourite narrator, Theo Holland. To be fair, he's only as good as the material he's reading and here it's a Western from author, B. S. Dunn. And it's pretty good.
Lots of action, decent storyline - its busy, with an interesting main character - he's part of a series from Dunn, and I can see how you could get a good bit of mileage out of the character.
Entertaining and satisfying. If I get the chance to read more in the series, I will.
4 stars from 5
Read - (listened to) September, 2022
Published - 2016
Page count - 323 (4 hrs 7 mins)
Source - Audible purchase
Format - Audible
Friday, 21 October 2022
Every writer finds the question "Where do you get your ideas?"annoying, even insulting in its presupposition that the idea's all there is to it. Shakespeare got most of HIS ideas from other writers; do you think it was the idea of it that enabled him to write, say, "Romeo and Juliet?" Or that the same idea, a couple of centuries later, guaranteed success on Broadway for "West Side Story?"
Besides, we never know where ideas come from, or how they reach us. Something blooms in the garden patch where dwelleth the unconscious mind, and it doth or doth not engage on, and when everything works it takes root and groweth into thomething. (Sorry, I meant something.)
Of course, there are exceptions. In the summer of 1976 I was driving east across the Arizona desert with my three young daughters, who'd flown out to spend the summer with me. I had a '68 Chevy, old enough to give trouble, although thus far it hadn't. I stopped for gas in the middle of nowhere, and the helpful station owner kept spotting potential problems, one right after another, and...
Couple of hours later I was back behind the wheel, fuming more than the engine ever could. I fell silent, and after a few minutes I straightened up and said, "Okay."
One of the girls asked what exactly was okay.
"That just cost us $200 I can't afford," I said, "and I don't know whether the son of a bitch saved us or screwed us. But if I write the story and run it to 4000 words, and Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazines takes it and pays their princely nickel a word, at least we come out even."
Which happened. I wrote it a few days later, AHMM snapped it up, and published it the following March. And then, a couple of years later, it got dramatized on TV for Roald Dahl's Tales of the Unexpected. I figure Dahl had about as much to do with the program as Hitch did with the magazine, but who cares? That highway stop had paid off nicely.
And I still don't know for sure if we got saved or screwed...
Another wee bump to the reading stats and a bit of a pick me up as I do like a bit of Block and I've been struggling with my reading of late.
A short story and funny enough a first chapter intro to a Bernie the Burglar book - Spoons - which I'm just about to start soon anyway.
Two brothers stop at an isolated gas station for fuel and a coffee. The two are on their way elsewhere to meet a guy and pull a job and their funds are low.
The gas owner and his wife who runs runs the cafe/diner opposite his joint use the isolated location to charge an optimum price for their wares. The gas fill up leads to a repair job, then another fix, and another ... a $10 fill up runs to nearly $300.
Who's robbing who?
Enjoyable, if a little predictable. I liked where it went and how we got there. The ending is under-stated which is pretty much bang on.
Short, long, fact, fiction, dark or light - Block can do it all well.
4 stars from 5
Read - October, 2022
Published - 2013
Page count - 22
Source - Kindle Unlimited
Format - Kindle
Note to self. See if I can find the TV show which was drawn from it. You Tube here I come.
Monday, 17 October 2022
The scandalous new novel from the godfather of the legal thriller.
Lucia Gomez is a female police chief in a man’s world and she’s walked a fine line to succeed at the top. Now a trio of police officers in Kindle County have accused her of soliciting sex for promotions and she’s in deep.
Rik Dudek is an attorney and old friend of Lucia’s. He’s the only one she can trust, but he’s never had a headline criminal case. This ugly smear campaign is already breaking the internet and will be his biggest challenge yet.
Clarice ‘Pinky’ Granum is a fearless PI who plays by her own rules. Her 4-D imagination is her biggest asset when it comes to digging up dirt for Rik but not all locks are best picked.
It’s cops against cops in this hive of lies. And it will take more than honeyed words from the defence to change the punchline and save the Chief from her own cell.
I do like a legal thriller and author Scott Turow is well known for crafting them. Win/win when the opportunity to enjoy his latest offering, Suspect came a calling.
Great story with plenty of twists, turns, tangents and off-shoots. A cracking cast of characters, not least the lawyer's PI, Pinky who is at the centre of the narrative. She's capable, quirky, irrational and definitely one of a kind. Her personal life kind of spills over into the case, albeit at one step removed, as she doesn't know how her interactions with her neighbour have a connection with the guy, who Gomez fears has set up the sting operation against her - former police officer, now billionaire tycoon, Moritz Vojczek.
I loved the way the tale unfolded. I do like a bit of confrontation in a courtroom and we get this when the first witnesses are cross examined by Chief Gomez's defence. I think actually it's a kind of pre-trial hearing/inquiry, as opposed to a full-on trial, buit the to-ing and fro-ing and dissembling of testimony is really enjoyable.
As the book progresses, more factors comes into play, with murder and the involvement of the FBI. Gomez ends up fighting for more than just her job and reputation. Surveillance techniques, recording devices, gadgets, gizmos and new-wave tech also feature prominenntly.
Really satisfying, really interesting, very clever.
There's also a cracking narration from Robert G. Slade.
4.5 stars from 5
Read - (listened to) October, 2022
Published - 2022
Page count - 449 (14 hrs 20 mins)
Source - review files from Isis Audio
Fornmat - Audible
Friday, 14 October 2022
Darwyn Cooke, Eisner-Award-winning writer/artist, sets his artistic sights on bringing to life one of the true classics of crime fiction: Richard Stark’s Parker. Stark was a pseudonym used by the revered and multi-award-winning author, Donald Westlake.
The Hunter, the first book in the Parker series, is the story of a man who hits New York head-on like a shotgun blast to the chest. Betrayed by the woman he loved and double-crossed by his partner in crime, Parker makes his way cross-country with only one thought burning in his mind - to coldly exact his revenge and reclaim what was taken from him!
The Hunter is the first of four graphic novels from Richard Stark's Parker series. I read the original book by Stark (aka Donald Westlake) years ago, so it was a bit of a trip down memory lane for me.
Great tale, great artwork. Like previous encounters with graphic work, I struggled on occasions to decipher the block text accompanying the art. More a me problem than anything with the book. I did end up reading it on my work breaks, where I could have it on a larger screen. A slight inconvenience, but nothing to bump me out of the story.
I really enjoyed this series a long time ago and have re-acquired copies of all the books. I'm hoping to go first to last next year, having previously stopped at #16, which was the last of the original series, before Westlake brought Parker back after a twenty year hiatus.
My kind of reading. A tough guy outlaw, determined, violent if he has to be, but taking no pleasure in the act, ruthless, economical, logical, a good investigator, able to follow a chain from A to B to C, capable and committed. He has his rules and ethos and he's not someone to suffer fools gladly. Here it's a tale of revenge for being double crossed and left for dead after a job.
Do I like him? Tough one. I admire him and I probably wish I had a bit more of his steel and conviction in my own make-up. I find him interesting to read about.
4.5 from 5
Darwyn Cooke adapted four of the Parker series. Hopefully I'll read the other three.Read - September, 2022
Published - 2012
Page count - 141
Source - Kindle Unlimited
Format - Kindle
Thursday, 13 October 2022
Wednesday, 12 October 2022
Tuesday, 11 October 2022
Monday, 10 October 2022
Ann Cleeves returns with a delicious short story featuring DCI Vera Stanhope.
Set before The Rising Tide, Vera goes on a day trip to Holy Island, eager to escape the pressures of work. When there she is reminded of the day decades earlier when she, as a teenager, went with her father Hector on another day trip, and the mystery woman he met there . . .
Vera already knew then that Hector kept secrets, but this time the fledgling investigator was determined to find the truth, never realizing it would mean taking her first step onto a path to becoming a detective.
A short read to kickstart the month of October. I'm in a bit of a reading slump. I've had a few books on the go, but haven't really been able to get into them so far. A short story from a new-to-me author, one whose characters I've enjoyed seeing come to life on the TV, will hopefuly give me a bit of impetus.
Half the 24 page Kindle freebie is devoted to the story itself. The other half is a preview/first two chapters introduction to The Rising Tide.
The story is set on Holy Island and could almost be classed as Vera's first case with a bit of snooping on her dad. She follows him when he meets a woman on the beach. I'm guessing Vera has a difficult relationship with Hector, her father. Prudence dictates, she doesn't ask him what he's been upto. Years later, she meets the woman again and gets the answers to some questions that have obviously stayed with her through time.
I enjoyed the writing and the description of the island. I liked the little bit of ambiguity at the end of the tale. Vera's tenacity, intelligence and inquisitive nature and already well established as a teenager.
4 stars from 5
I'm minded to read at least one of the Vera Stanhope (and Jimmy Perez - Shetland) novels one day, though I'm not in a rush to pick one up immediately. Hopefully Ann Cleeves has given me back my reading mojo! Time will tell.
Read - October, 2022
Published - 2022
Page count - 24
Source - purchased copy, albeit an Amazon FREEBIE
Format - Kindle
Friday, 7 October 2022
Thursday, 6 October 2022
Wednesday, 5 October 2022
Monday, 3 October 2022
Six more good looking books ...
|Colin Conway - Cutler's Bargain (2022) - review copy from author|
Cutler's Bargain is the fifth in the author's Cutler series. I've enjoyed the previous entries in the series, even though, Cutler isn't my favourite of Colin Conway's characters.
|Frank Zafiro - Live and Die This Way (2022) - review copy from author|
Fourth entry in Frank Zafiro's SpoCompton series, I've loved the first three!
|Matt Orlando - Truncated: Apocalyptic and Loving It! (2017) - Amazon purchase|
Not quite sure how I 'discovered' this book, but it looks like fun.
|Anthony Neil Smith - Trooper Down (2023) - review copy from Net Galley|
Not out until next year and not much of a blurb, but I'm a fan of Anthony Neil Smith's work. A no-brainer that I would want to read this.
Psychological thriller in the Hitchcock tradition told in first person by a South Dakota State Trooper who is shot in the head and tries to redeem himself.
|John H. Arbor - Joe Broderick's Woman (1978) - purchased copy|
Trucker crime! Recently featured and reviewed by Paperback Warrior, I thought I'll have some of that.
A NOVEL OF CRIME, ADVENTURE, AND LOVE
|Scott Turow - Suspect (2022) - review copy from Isis Audio|
Scott Turow is an author I've been meaning to read for years. Now's my chance.