Archive for November, 2008

November 25th 2008

Death in Paradise

This is the first book I’ve read by Robert Parker.  It was a recommendation from Booksfree based on some of the other books I’ve rented from them.

I’m not sure exactly why, but I’m utterly delighted with Parker’s style of writing.  The dialog seems more real than many of the authors I’ve read lately.  Someone ought to tell other authors what Parker has discovered… real people don’t always talk in complete sentences.  No, seriously… they don’t.

In this book, we have a murder mystery.  I seem to read a lot of those.  There’s a dead girl… who is she?  Who killed her?  There are interesting interpersonal relationships… Jesse, our hero, still dates his ex-wife.  He dates other women, too.  He drinks too much, he plays softball, and he seems like a basically good guy.

In the end, the killer confesses after only a small amount of police intimidation.

I’ll be adding more of Parker’s books to my Booksfree queue.

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November 22nd 2008


My buddy Stan the Baseball Man recommended this book, and I must congratulate him on an excellent recommendation.  It’s a little bit science fiction, a little bit philosophy and a whole lot of fun.

What would you do if, after you died, you came back to live out a portion of your life all over again.  What if you did it again and again and again… except that every time you came back, you were a little bit older?  You know all of the history that happened your first time around, and you know exactly when you’re going to die.

What would you do?  What choices would you make the second or third or eighth time around?

That’s the idea behind Ken Grimwood’s novel.  It asks the age-old human question, “Why are we here?” in an entirely novel way.  And it certainly made me stop and think… if I could answer the question about choices I’d make the second and fourth and sixth times around, what’s stopping me from making those choices right here, right now?

I highly recommend this book!  Thanks, Stan!

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November 4th 2008

The Closers

Yet another Harry Bosch novel from Michael Connelly.  This one is set many years after the one I read last week.  Harry spent three years in retirement, and learned that he has a six-year-old daughter.  Yeah, I’m going to have to go back and find out what that’s all about.

Harry is back on the job, this time working in the Open-Unsolved division of LAPD.  He and his partner get a DNA hit on one of the open cases on his first day back.  And wouldn’t you know it… there’s high jingo involved!  There were cover-ups, and Harry’s old nemisis Deputy Chief Irving is somehow involved.

Even though the case has been open for 17 years, the detective work is top-notch.  It’s a fast-paced story, with enough twists and turns to keep you wondering just what happened back in 1988.

I think it’s fair to say I’m a fan of Michael Connelly and Harry Bosch.

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November 1st 2008

The Concrete Blonde

I’ve read a number of Connelly’s books over the years, so I’m somewhat acquainted with Harry Bosch, the LAPD detective who stars in most of his books.  One of the things I like about Connelly is that he’s good at twisty plots, and tossing in little surprises here and there.  Here’s what the cover blurb has to say about this book:

They called him the Dollmaker — the serial killer who stalked Los Angeles and left a grisly calling card on the faces of his female victims.  With a single faultless shot, Detective Harry Bosch thought he had ended the city’s nightmare.

But then the dead man’s widow sues Harry and the LAPD for killing the wrong man — an accusation that rings terrifyingly true when a new victim is discovered with the Dollmaker’s macabre signature.

Now, for the second time, Harry must hunt down a death-dealer who is very much alive, before he strikes again.  It’s a blood-tracked quest that will take Harry from the hard edges of the LA night to the last place he ever wanted to go — the darkness of his own heart.

Well, it’s a little over the top, but the bottom line is that this new “Dollmaker” isn’t the guy Harry killed and is just following in the footsteps of the Dollmaker.  There are a few wrong guesses made by Harry (and me) about who the new killer is.  And darned if it doesn’t all make sense when everything is finally revealed at the end!

This book gets a thumbs up from me.

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