Blog Posts by Uncle Will
This is Griffin's latest book in his Badge of Honor police mysteries' series. Even though it was 2003 since he wrote Final Justice, the 8th in the series, I had no problem remembering the main characters.
Character development and topic research are his strengths as a writer. This series of books takes place in Philadelphia. It is about Irish policemen, their families, and their trials and tribulations.
Matt Payne is a recurring character. He is a young, rich, highly intelligent Homicide Detective Sergeant. He has had the misfortune of repeatedly being in the wrong place and the proverbial wrong time. There are police officers that never discharge their weapon during their entire careers. There are officers that never even draw their weapons during those careers. Then there are some, like Payne, who are labeled Wyatt Earp because of the number of firefights he has been involved in during his brief career.
Payne must assist a Texas Ranger who comes to town to capture El Gato, a trafficker of drugs and young girls. El Gato, The Cat, brands all his girls and beheads those that need discipline. Payne also is aiding in the investigation of the motel explosion that housed a Methedrine lab, killing 2 and critically wounding 2 others; one a former girlfriend-gone-awry.
There is a nice romantic subplot that is created between Payne and a new character. Both story-lines are inner connected and as in many series books, do not get fully resolved by the last turned page. However, there is an unwritten rule for people that create: Always keep your audience wanting more.
Finally, there is the definitive bible for all those budding class clowns in the world to read. Impress friends by telling them that you just read an entire encyclopedia, cover to cover. Omit the part about it being 75% picture book.
I was drawn in by the cover art; probably because the cover appears drawn on.
Where else can one learn: to juggle, ride a unicycle, the best ever Knock-Knock joke (the jury is still out on this one), what's one's Eman, and how to get free stuff in the mail all in one little book. This is an appropriate book to read and review at the end of a decade and the beginning of the new. Happy New Year!
This book is hilariously irreverent. The premise is: much has been written about Jesus Christ starting at his birth and when he was thirty-three; however, there is a big gap in his autobiography. This book fills in those lost years as told by, Levi (Biff), the supposed best friend of The Son of God. I have not read anything to date by Christopher Moore. He has written a lot of books and I'm told that he is well-known for his humor. I found this book spiritual in a weird and wacky way.
"Aye, shiver me timbers, matey!" The late Michael Crichton's estate found this finished manuscript in his files after his death. When is the last time a good pirate book was published?
This story has all the essentials: A flawed hero: Captain Charles Hunter; his sleek sloop, the Cassandra; his crew of 60 lost souls; not one, but three fair maidens; the corrupt governor of Port Royal, Jamaica; a more corrupt assistant; the Spanish villain, Cazalla, the captain of the warship El Trinidad; stolen treasure beyond imagination; a sea monster that defies sensibility; a helmsman who is a true artist; a tongueless Moor assassin; a French pirate who is not what he appears; blazing cannons; swashbuckling swords; menacing muskets; barrels of rum called kill-devil; the development of what is known today as grenades; remote island paradises inhabited by cannibals; sea-battling-sinking-ships; wooden-legged spies; a treasure map of sorts; bawdy wenches; and plenty of action and sex. The only thing missing from this book is a parrot.
Parrot be damned! This story hooked me from the title page. It has been a while since I read Crichton. I forgot how visual his books can be. Hollywood will undoubtedly purchase the rights and cast a spirited crew of actors. Until then, reading this book will have to fulfill all those dormant piratical needs.
I wish this Young Adult book was written about 4o years ago. The story is simple and tragic. Two young teenagers; one German and one American, long to enter the armed forces to defend their country during WWII. Both are underage and fear that their window of opportunity to become a hero is rapidly closing. Both were raised in good families and taught values.
However, values can vary country to country. Dieter believes every word that he heard while in the Hitler Youth. Spence is driven more by the love of a girl that loves another.
Mid-teens is universally the rough stage for growing up. Boys who should still be playing with toys want to prove their manhood. During a world crisis, boys are compelled to mature more rapidly; especially if they insist on pressuring their parents into allowing them to enter wars underage.
This story is a good rite-of-passage. It's two different perspectives on the war and one's responsibilities. In today's world conflicts, reading this book before making the decision to enlist would be worthwhile. There is nothing more noble that wanting to defend one's country with honor. This book tries to make the point that there is a lot of baggage that accompanies that journey and being true to oneself is paramount.
This is the 2nd installment in the Eddie LaCrosse series. I am still confused why it is cataloged as Science Fiction instead of a Mystery. The dead body appears by page 17.
Eddie is a medieval sword-jockey; the equivalent of today's private-eye/gun-for-hire/bodyguard. He is of royal blood and as learned in the 1st novel, gave up his privileged life when the Prince's sister, while under Eddie's protection is brutally killed. The years that followed were dark for Eddie. He joined the army and later became a ruthless mercenary.
Midlife has mellowed the big brute. He lives with a young, independent twin, Liz, who runs a 1-wagon UPS business. He has mellowed so much that Eddie evens befriends a horse and mourns his loss when he, the horse and a near-naked blond are attacked on a forest road and left for the vultures. A new fire is lit in Eddie.
Fire is one of the reasons that Eddie was attacked. He stumbled upon a damsel who had information that a cult of fire-eating-dragon-freaks coveted. Eddie vows to find the mysterious blonde's killers and get some justice for the slaughter of his horse, Lola.
Alex Bledsoe knows how to hook his readers. The day I checked out this book I also got new novels by Stephen King, Michael Connelly, James Patterson, Andrew Vachss, and a couple of others. I read some chapters from each book and chose this one to finish. I like authors who don't take themselves too serious. Try reading the book jacket and Bledsoe's bio tells that he once lived near Elvis and Tina Turner: two things that must be important in order to become a serious, successful writer.
In his latest novel, Connelly joins together for the first time two of his most memorable characters: Mickey Haller and Hieronymus (Harry) Bosch. An old rival of Mickey's is murdered and he is appointed by the court to pick-up the deceased lawyer's 30 cases. One of the cases is big-time Robert-Blake-O.J.-Simpson-like; a televised courtroom drama starring a Hollywood studio-head-defendant on trial for allegedly shooting his wife and her lover. If you are an avid Connelly fan you'll enjoy the banter between the boys in this book. The ending might be the biggest surprise.
"...That ******* Flowers..." is back. Virgil Flowers works for the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. He is a surfer-dude- lookin' investigator that has long blond hair. His wardrobe consists of blue jeans, polished cowboy boots and T-shirts that feature the names of abstract music bands. He has been married a few times and likes the women. He works for Lucas Davenport and always is assigned the most troubling cases. In his up-time, he writes articles for outdoor magazines. To complete his character, he travels from case-to-case in a pickup truck pulling his bass boat on a hitch.
In this book, which is 3rd in a series, he is sent to a remote resort that caters to rich, single, successful women that might or might not be lesbians. A successful owner of a affluent ad agency is assassinated. There isn't much evidence left at the crime scene because she was paddling a canoe in the middle of a lake when she was struck down by a single sniper's shot. Virgil's job is to sort out the suspects and bring closure to a case that touts a killer with little or no apparent motive.
As usually, Sandford has several suspicious characters tossed into the plot to provide a well-structured whodunnit. As Sherlock Holmes had his cocaine to help solve his mysteries, Virgil has his bass fishing pole to aid in his deductions. Once again Sandford has a story that flows like a stream from Eagle Mountain Minnesota; full of likable characters and witty banter.
I usually don't read a lot of SF, but I find this author's books irresistible. This book takes place back when knighthood ruled and damsels always seemed distressed. Eddie LaCrosse is a medieval private-investigator who packs a mean sword. He is hired by a king to prove that his queen didn't eat their newborn baby. In his travels to find the truth, Eddie runs up against a plethora of kooky characters including a diabolical dwarf and a Horse Goddess. This book is not only a well-written mystery, it is also quite clever. A lot of detail is spent describing fictional sites, sounds and cities. There are love stories and plenty of action. Eddie is quite the hero. Like most of his kind, there's no telling where or when he will draw a line in the sand. By the end of the book Eddie even has a new perspective on horses. Go figure! This book would make an interesting addition to someone's book discussion group. It is only 230 pages long. It's refreshing reading a mystery that takes places hundreds of years ago and still is hip and happening.
"...Peace, love, dove, beads, bells, incense, light shells, crash pads and Hari Krishna all you groovy freaks. You having a good time? Far out and solid..."
What a hip-happenin' book this is. Vampire Baron Rudolfo Zginskiis outed in 1915 England by Sir Frances Colby and staked with a gold crucifix. 75 years later, the Baron gets a new lease on the dead-life. He is brought back in America to a world that has vampires who read and believe all the Hollywood press clips. They don't even realize that the sun has no effect on them. The Baron has to deal with this mass ignorance while he tries to plot his revenge against the one man that caused his forced retirement for the last 65 years. There is a cast of righteous characters that brought back memories of the bell-bottoms and tie-dye days of past.
This is Bledsoe's first novel. I am already reading his 2nd novel, a SF story about a quirky private investigator from c.1250, who packs a fast sword and likes faster blonds.