The Black Ice - Michael Connelly

February 27th, 2007

The Black Ice by Michael ConnellyNarcotics officer Cal Moore's orders were to look into the city's latest drug killing. Instead, he ends up in a motel room with his head in several pieces and a suicide note stuffed in his back pocket.

Years ago, Harry Bosch learned the first rule of the good cop: don't look for the facts, but the glue that holds them together. Now, Harry's making some very dangerous connections, starting with one dead cop and leading to a bloody string of murders that wind from Hollywood Boulevard's drug bazaar to the dusty back alleys south of the border and into the center of a complex and lethal game -- one in which Harry is the next and likeliest victim.

After his richly acclaimed debut, Michael Connelly brings Bosch back in an achievement even more stunning and suspenseful than its predecessor -- a time-bomb of a novel supercharged with tension and non-stop action that doesn't let up until the final, explosive ending.

I like reading Michael Connelly because typically he writes his characters as free-speaking without being too over-the-top. There is a certain irony with that feeling and this book, but I still enjoyed it. Harry Bosch is Connelly's serial character and he is a misfit detective in Hollywood because...well, because cops who get along with other cops are no fun to read about.

I found myself thinking that, in The Black Ice, Harry Bosch was a little too "rogue warrior action hero." Some of the things he did and situations into which he was written were maybe a little extravagant. I wondered if after the book was released if anyone considered optioning the character for the Harry Bosch Action Figure.

Normally when you read detective fiction you should expect to read about cops who have seemingly endless supplies of both cash and contacts which move their cases along with the greatest of ease. I have come to accept that. It doesn't bother me anymore, and I definitely know that it is not how things really work (most of the time); it just makes good books. This was a little different from that, but while it stood out in my mind, it did not bother me.

Rather than read the Harry Bosch books as they come out and skipping the earlier books because I found the series late, I have decided to read the series in order. The Black Ice is the second installment. It had the unfortunate duty of following a very highly praised novel in The Black Echo. The Black Echo lacked the commando vibe I tried to describe about The Black Ice, so I had not expected it. Sophomore slump? I don't think so. I think I liked The Black Ice a little more than The Black Echo. So who knows, maybe there will be more of that feeling, or maybe not. I am not done with this series, not by a long shot.

I love a good mystery/suspense novel. Sometimes the lengths to which the detectives go are a little unrealistic, but that is part of why it is on the fiction shelf. The Black Ice was a little unrealistic at times, but it was still a fast-paced story that I enjoyed greatly.

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February 23rd, 2007
Larrikin Love - The Freedom Spark - Downing St. KindlingWho says there has to be a beach to wear a bathing suit?

The Sleeping Doll

February 22nd, 2007

The Sleeping Doll by Jeffery DeaverJeffery Deaver is back with a dark and multilayered psychological thriller about a vicious killer's escape from a California super-prison and the mysterious and deadly quest he embarks on once he's free.

Making her first appearance in The Cold Moon (2006), special agent Kathryn Dance—a brilliant interrogator and body language expert—stars in The Sleeping Doll, where she and her partners at the California Bureau of Investigation hunt down escaped killer Daniel Pell, a self-styled Charles Manson.

Deaver's most frightening villain to date, Pell is a master of control, who mesmerizes, seduces, and exploits people for his own murderous ends. To track down Pell before he destroys more lives, Kathryn Dance must enlist the help of people from the killer's past: the three women who lived under his sadistic sway in the cult he once headed, as well as the young girl known as The Sleeping Doll, the only survivor of her family's slaughter at Pell's hand.

Filled with masterful plot twists: Jeffery Deaver creates plots with so many twists and turns they could "hide behind a spiral staircase" (People), and The Sleeping Doll has Deaver's trademark twists in spades. It is guaranteed to keep readers guessing right up to the breathless end.

The Sleeping Doll will be released on June 5, 2007, in the USA and Canada, and on July 26, 2007, in the UK and Ireland.

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OK Go - Here It Goes Again

February 21st, 2007

OK Go - Here It Goes Again

This song is probably more well known for the genius of its video than for the song's own merits, but at least for OK Go the song is well known. I like the song a good deal and enjoy turning up the volume if only for this one track (but secretly I LOVE the video just like everyone else). Either way you choose to enjoy the song, I hope you do enjoy it.

Book of the Month - March, 2007

February 20th, 2007

Boy's Life by Robert McCammon

Boy's Life by Robert McCammonZephyr, Alabama, is an idyllic hometown for eleven-year-old Cory Mackenson -- a place where monsters swim the river deep and friends are forever. Then, one cold spring morning, Cory and his father witness a car plunge into a lake -- and a desperate rescue attempt brings his father face-to-face with a terrible vision of death that will haunt him forever.

As Cory struggles to understand his father's pain, his eyes are slowly opened to the forces of good and evil that are manifested in Zephyr. From an ancient, mystical woman who can hear the dead and bewitch the living, to a violent clan of moonshiners, Cory must confront the secrets that hide in the shadows of his hometown -- for his father's sanity and his own life hang in the balance....

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Movie of the Month - March, 2007

February 20th, 2007

Spirited Away

Spirited AwayFrom one of the most celebrated filmmakers in the history of animated cinema comes the most acclaimed film of 2002. Hayao Miyazaki's latest triumph, filled with astonishing animation and epic adventure, is a dazzling masterpiece for the ages. It's a "wonderfully welcoming work of art that's as funny and entertaining as it is brilliant, beautiful and deep" (Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal).

Spirited Away is a wondrous fantasy about a young girl, Chihiro, trapped in a strange new world of spirits. When her parents undergo a mysterious transformation, she must call upon the courage she never knew she had to free herself and return her family to the outside world.

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February 19th, 2007
Nick Hornby - About A Boy - 2You'd think that if you'd peed with someone you ought to keep in touch with them somehow.

The Overlook

February 16th, 2007

The Overlook by Michael ConnellyIn his first case since he left the LAPD's Open Unsolved Unit for the prestigious Homicide Special squad, Harry Bosch is called out to investigate a murder that may have chilling consequences for national security.

A doctor with access to a dangerous radioactive substance is found murdered on the overlook above the Mulholland Dam. Retracing his steps, Harry learns that a large quantity of radioactive cesium was stolen shortly before the doctor's death. With the cesium in unknown hands, Harry fears the murder could be part of a terrorist plot to poison a major American city.

Soon, Bosch is in a race against time, not only against the culprits, but also against the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI (in the form of Harry's one-time lover Rachel Walling), who are convinced that this case is too important for the likes of the LAPD. It is Bosch's job to prove them all wrong.

From MichaelConnelly.com:
The Overlook was originally printed in the New York Times Sunday Magazine. This published hardcover will include new material that was not published before. It will be released in the USA and Canada on May 29, 2007, in Australia and New Zealand on June 8, 2007, and in the UK and Ireland on June 13, 2007.

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Top 5 Movies: Dealing with Race

February 15th, 2007

My French Whore

February 14th, 2007
"Gene Wilder has written a remarkable period piece. It’s an elegantly woven story of intrigue, danger, sex and comedy –but for me the big surprise is that it’s a truly moving and eloquent love story."
-Mel Brooks

My French Whore by Gene WilderThe beloved actor and screenwriter’s first novel, set during World War I, delicately and elegantly explores a most unusual romance. It’s almost the end of the war and Paul Peachy, a young railway employee and amateur actor in Milwaukee, realizes his marriage is one-sided. He enlists, and ships off to France. Peachy instantly realizes how out of his depth he is—and never more so than when he is captured. Risking everything, Peachy—who as a child of immigrants speaks German—makes the reckless decision to impersonate one of the enemy’s most famous spies.

As the urbane and accomplished spy Harry Stroller, Peachy has access to a world he could never have known existed—a world of sumptuous living, world-weary men, and available women. But when one of those women—Annie, a young, beautiful and wary courtesan—turns out to be more than she seems, Peachy’s life is transformed forever.

The book will be released on March 6, 2007.

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