Crime pays. And pays well. Sal, Max, and Enzo Bruschetti have proved this over a lifetime of nefarious activity that they have kept hidden from law enforcement. Nowhere in any file on any computer is there a record of anything illegal from which they have profited. But Max has a problem. His body is getting old, and his doctor has told him to take it easy. Max has decided that the time has come for the family to retire.
Okay, David McCallum's become lovable on NCIS as Dr. Ducky. A very well known actor, he reads his own work well. Unfortunately, the work doesn't read well. Oh, the plot's interesting... but... well, imagine a restaurant where the waitstaff's distractions eventually deliver up average lukewarm food .
At first I thought that his character's fixation on details like the way toilet water swirls down from a flushing... I thought that clues were deeply disguised in those details. Generally they weren't anything but time wasters. Did a publisher demand that he stretch his work to fill more pages? Dunno, don't care... either about the lukewarm plot or the reason it got that way. This is an average book that, without McCallum's name attached, would remainder fast. Which is probably the only way the word fast will wind up in my review of Once A Crooked Man.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Deep in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains sits a mansion, its image reflected perfectly on the still water of Flat Lake. Inside that estate are the savagely murdered bodies of a wealthy elderly couple. All evidence points to Jonathan - their mentally handicapped twenty-eight-year-old grandson - but Matt Fielder, his appointed defense lawyer, isn't convinced.
1. Lettuce get this out of the way first: James Klempner is a terrific technician. He's got the chops to wrap a murder story tighter than a DVD.
2. James Klempner fiddles with enigmas. He wraps this tale around a seemingly simple question that has a couple of correct answers: They're both disturbing.
3. In Flat Lake in Winter, Klempner hauls us along the line between passion and reason.
He's so authentic that, for a lot of chapters, I really thought this was a true crime story.But the niggling clues dribbled out of hiding to reveal a crafty legal/murder/mental - well - conundrum. Here's a good story, well crafted, with just enough complexity to make me want to unravel it...
4. Yep, liked this book a lot. And George Newbern's as competent and creative as Klempner. They make this as good as mystery-stuff gets.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Growing up, Kate Priddy was always a bit neurotic, experiencing momentary bouts of anxiety that exploded into full-blown panic attacks after an ex-boyfriend kidnapped her and nearly ended her life. When Corbin Dell, a distant cousin in Boston, suggests the two temporarily swap apartments, Kate, an art student in London, agrees, hoping that time away in a new place will help her overcome the recent wreckage of her life. But soon after her arrival at Corbin's grand apartment on Beacon Hill, Kate makes a shocking discovery.
Whew, Steven King could like this especially if his own imagination hasn’t inured his “Ewwww!” response. But King loves his gross-out devices that abruptly kick in a reader’s “Holy Dung!” instinct. Swanson doesn’t do that. Yeah, this is a story of murdery gore, but it darkly builds until hairs begin to wriggle upon your neck’s back. If you like to be terrified gradually - by a good writer and excellent reader - here’s your book.
Me? Well I don’t much like creepy stuff, so I won’t buy another Swanson novel, um, well - maybe not. I don’t think so. OTH, I held on till the end and.... look at all the stars I somehow gave...
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
When a worker goes missing from a North Sea gas platform, there seem to be just two possible explanations - it was a tragic accident or a suicide. It does not take Smith and his detectives long, however, to discover that James Bell led a double life back onshore in Kings Lake, a life complicated enough to make him at least one dangerous enemy. Before the case can be unraveled, Smith must get a new team working together.
Something happened to a guy who's missing from a North Sea oil rig that's studded with tv cameras. Where'd he go? And DS Smith's got to unravel it all. Also there's a hint of romance and a lot of procedural politics. Gotta' get the next in this series, so I shall, right now. Bye.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Riske is a freelance industrial spy who, despite his job title, lives a mostly quiet life above his auto garage in central London. He has avoided big, messy jobs - until now. A gangster by the name of Tino Coluzzi - once a compatriot of Riske - has orchestrated the greatest street heist in the history of Paris: a visiting Saudi prince had his pockets lightened of millions in cash, and something else. Hidden within a stolen briefcase is a secret letter that could upend the balance of power in the Western world. The Russians have already killed in an attempt to get it back.
What's the secret that can wack the world's geo-political equilibrium all to hell? ho's got it? Who wants it? How many bodies will pile up? Will mild-mannered killer Riske figure it out? Clever story with psychological dynamics. Here's recreational writing... Nice partner for you while you clean, wash, drive, repair, gym... like that.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Most history is hierarchical: it's about emperors, presidents, prime ministers, and field marshals. It's about states, armies, and corporations. It's about orders from on high. Even history "from below" is often about trade unions and workers' parties. But what if that's simply because hierarchical institutions create the archives that historians rely on? What if we are missing the informal, less well documented social networks that are the true sources of power and drivers of change?
Niall Ferguson is a scholar and this is a serious work of scholarship. I recommend it, but you can probably use fast forward or set your device to 3X during chapter 5 where he explains the theoretical constructs of his attack upon historical process.
Ferguson argues that historians for a range of reasons, examine hierarchies to explain the past. Wrong! At least that's the author's persuasive argument and he instead looks at relationship management to instead understand why historical events occurred. No, he doesn't argue that hierarchical research is invalid, but that it merely explains only part of the engine that's led us to this moment in time.
It's a fascinating premise, and except for chapter 5, he's quite clear and interesting as he applies his theory to so many epochs and tipping points. It's a thesis that resonates with me now and I'll look for it as I listen to other books.
It does take 17 hours though for Elliot Hill to read us this book. And though he reads it very well, I think that some sharpened-pencil editing could have either removed or abridged some of Ferguson's examples to achieve the same end.
For me though, this is an important book and finishing it has rewarded me. Be prepared though to study Ferguson as you listen to Hill.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
In 1964, when Ned Parker, farmer and part-time constable, is summoned to a cornfield one hot morning to examine the remains of a tortured bird dog, he discovers that there is a dark presence in their quiet community of Center Springs, Texas. Ned is usually confident handling moonshiners, drunks, and instances of domestic dispute. But when it comes to animal atrocities—which then turn to murder—the investigation spins beyond his abilities.
I know that stereotypes are VERY useful in genre writing. A stereotypical bad guy can be poked into a reader's mind with very few words. Then, character development out of the way, the author can drill into his story to lay out a narrative. Problem is with Wortham's Red River Mysteries... the ensemble cast of characters are so thin, you can read texts right through them... particularly the two kids who romp through these stories.
As a result of an Audible sale, I started these books with Burrows, the second in the series. While it was over all OK, it had distinct stretches of tedium. Still, I'd hoped by going back the beginning with The Rock Hole, that the provenance of the characters would come clear. Well they have, and frankly I don't much care about them.
Soooo... This is a very ordinary book with few surprise and a lackluster plot. 3 Stars means to me that the book didn't do me any harm and that I finished it without regret. Still, I'm finished with this series with the Fock Hole.
Oh, Traber Burns reads well and unlike say, Scott Brick, I'd not pass on a book merely because he is the presenter.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
When another resident of the Rosemary House care home is found dead in her chair one Saturday evening in December, no one is very surprised - not until the results of a routine post-mortem reveal something extraordinary. Sergeant DC Smith and his team have to tread carefully as they investigate what took place, and Smith himself has to confront some difficult memories. Others, meanwhile, seem intent on getting him to leave the force altogether.
The setting is British. DC Smith is now a Sergeant of Detectives who was once among the top administrators in the police force. Why? Start this series with the previous book, An Accidental Death to find out why. Here we've got a nursing home death and a drawing room murder mystery. You will probably recall the details of But For The Grace maybe for three days after finishing the book. Not to worry, Peter Grainger's written a police procedural entertainment. And it entertained me well. I'll buy the next in the series, Luck and Judgement.
What more can I say? Oh, Gildart Jackson's read is fine. He NEVER intrudes, creating an ensemble cast that is uniquely defined in each character's own voice. Which makes Jackson a very good actor at the least.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
You can pick your friends, they say, but you can't pick your family. And lately, Mike Daley's family has been keeping him very busy. An ex-priest, ex-public defender, and ex-corporate lawyer, Daley and his former wife, Rosie Fernandez, now run their own San Francisco criminal defense firm. Most of their cases are fairly small-time, which is why it would be surprising that the person accused of murdering movie director Richard (Big Dick) MacArthur is calling them - except that the accused is Rosie's own niece, Angelina.
Criminal Intent IS NOT The Great American Novel. It is a legal/murder mystery. Mike Daley & Rosie Fernandez have had fine chemistry since Special Circumstances -the first novel in Sheldon Siegel's series. In fact, you'd do well starting with that book and enjoying their growth through Criminal Intent.
Here they wrestle with movie moguls, real estate developers, community organizers, and shabby politicians in San Fransisco. Apparently neither Bill Godfrey nor any of the production staff have ever visited that city or they'd pronounce place names accurately. The mispronouncing is repetitive and ripped my attention away from the narrative. Still, even with this irritant, it's the sort of book that makes cleaning the dishes, or mowing the lawn totally bearable.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
The man who calls himself David Loogan is leading a quiet, anonymous life in the college town of Ann Arbor, Michigan. He's hoping to escape a violent past he would rather forget. But his solitude is broken when he finds himself drawn into a friendship with Tom Kristoll, the publisher of the mystery magazine Gray Streets - and into an affair with Laura, Tom's sleek blond wife. What Loogan doesn't realize is that the stories in Gray Streets tend to follow a simple formula: Plans go wrong.
So mix satire with enough twists to thicken a clot then with characters duller than a knife that won't slice through water and, Bad Things Happen. No, actually bad is too strong an adjective, actually the book's like a knife that will just barely slice through water, y'know.
But it still slices, just took a lot of work: from me. See, it's pace that drives Harry Dolan's story about the way a '68 VW Bug will drive a U-Haul up a hill. But I digress, which is dull thing huh?
This story is all about murders that surround a man-of-mystery. The problem is, neither Dolan or Erik Davies as hard as they work - and they reeeeeely work hard - made me care about allusions, murders or man.
Nor the huge cast with (endless) speaking parts. Zzzzzz.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful