Friday, September 21, 2018

Friday's Forgotten Books, September 21, 2018


This is the third book of what McKinty calls THE TROUBLES TRILOGY. This won the Ned Kelly Award and I enjoyed it immensely. It's a locked room murder inside a story of the troubles. I have not read the first two books so that probably factors in to a certain lack of knowledge of the character and his problems with the Royal Ulster Constabulary,

Sean Duffy has a chance for reinstatement in the local forces if he is able to find the whereabouts of an infamous IRA member. The two were childhood friends so this gives him a certain insight into the terrorist. His deal with those who can tell him Dermot's whereabouts is to solve the locked room murder of their daughter a few years back. And watching Duffy solve this crime is enjoyable. McKinty writes very clearly and yet doesn't repeat himself. It's a pleasure to be led through the clues by such a good plotter.

Also enjoyable is McKinty's use of Joseph Kennedy Jr. on a trip to Belfast. And the final scenes, which take place during Margaret Thatcher's stay in a Brighton Hotel, are exciting. I liked the style of writing and the cast of characters a lot. We get some of Duffy's life but not enough to slow the action down. I also really like the single POV in this book. It does make following a plot easier. Highly recommended for crime fiction lovers.

Frank Babics, CONJURE WIFE, Fritz Leiber
Mark Baker, MURDER ON MARBLE ROW, Victoria Thompson
Les Blatt, THE WIDOW's CRUISE, Nicholas Blake
Elgin Bleecker, STOOL PIGEON, Louis Malley
Brian Busby, Five Short Canadian Plays, Fred Jacob
Crossexaminingcrime, POISON IN JEST, John Dickson Carr
Martin Edwards, MURDER'S FEN, Andrew Garve
Curt Evans, THE RELUCTANT MURDERER, Bernice Carey
Richard Horton, DREK  YARMAN, Keith Roberts
George Kelley, WAR OF THE DONS/BLACK MAFIA, Peter Rabe
Margot Kinberg, MARLBOROUGH MAN, Alan Carter
Rob Kitchin, FLETCH, Gregory McDonald
Kate Laity, A FAR CRY FROM KENSINGTON, Muriel Spark
B.V. Lawson, DEATH OF A DUTCHMAN, Magdelen Nabb
Evan Lewis, THE DOOM LEGION, Will Murray
Steve Lewis, THE BUY BACK BLUES, Frank Dennis
Todd Mason,  MY LIFE AS A CARTOONIST by Harvey Kurtzman as told to Howard Zimmerman
Only Detect, HALO FOR SATAN, Howard Browne
Matt Paust, DETECTIVE INSPECTOR HUSS, Helene Tursten
James Reasoner, SCARRED FACES, Hank Janson
Richard Robinson, THE BOOKMAN, Lavie Tildar
Kevin Tipple. MURDER ON THE ICE, Ted Wood
TomCat, Vegetable Duck, John Rhoade
TracyK, LIMBO LINE, Victor Canning

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Forgotten Movies-Le Samoura

Le Samoura is an 1967 movie by Jean Paul Melville. It tells the story of a hitman played by Alain Delon who is moody, sinister, a blank slate really. It is mostly about style although there are some good sequences-well, a lot really. It is considered neo-noir. I wonder when noir ended and neo noir began. I guess this was the film that made Delon and his wife plays his girlfriend. But the fabulous Cathy Rosier as a nighclub piano player was the more memorable woman in the film. This is so much more mood than dialog it was a long time before we had to read subtitles. On finishing the film, I was not overly impressed but a day later, I think it was pretty terrific. And I may not have come to that conclusion if I hadn't decided to write this up. You can watch it for Delon's gorgeous eyes if nothing else.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Things That Are Making Me Happy

Enjoyed THE WIFE with Glen Close. It seemed familiar to me though. I may just have read the novel but kept wondering if that same premise hadn't been used before.

Reading Sarah Weinman's book THE REAL LOLITA. Once again, I read the Sally Horner story in some magazine (THE NEW YORKER?) but Weinman has a lot more to say about Nabokov especially.

Finished up OZARK and it finished pretty strong. The women are certainly the dominant characters. Good for Jason Batement for stepping back and letting them take center stage so much.

I could love September so much more if what comes next didn't hover over it like the angel of death.

How about you?

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Friday, September 14, 2018

Some late additions to FFB

An explanation: my life is very unpredictable now and if an entry is not up when I first do them in the morning, sometimes I am gone all day. (Like today and you would not want to know what I was doing).
So I apologize for late additions. The best bet might be posting them a day early if possible.

Yvette Banek, SPINSTERS IN JEOPARDY, Ngaio Marsh
Crossexaminingcrime, MURDER UNDERGROUND, Mavis Doriel Hay
J.F. Norris, MURDER ON THE MARSH, John Ferguson

Friday's Forgotten Books, September 14, 2018

AFTERMATH, Peter Robinson

It is not until the end of the book that you realize that almost every character has an aftermath of sorts to deal with in this excellent mystery. DCI Banks has irrevocably lost his wife to a new love and a new pregnancy. The female detectives at police headquarters are reeling from issues arising from their own pasts. The neighbor who alerts the police of the crime is struggling with the past she has fled from. And, of course, there is the aftermath of a vicious crime of a decade earlier that Banks has to solve. This is perhaps the darkest Robinson book I have read. And normally, I would have shied away from all the violence it spews out. But Robinson does it so expertly that you are too far in before you realize what you are up against. And that is the reader's aftermath. Serial killer, serial rapist, it's all in here.

Yvette Banek
Les Blatt, MURDER A LA MODE, Patricia Moyes
Crossexaminingcrime, THE PURSUED, C.S. Forester
Martin Edwards, A RAGE IN HARLEM, Chester Himes
Curt Evans, THE BEAUTIFUL STRANGER, Bernice Carey
Richard Horton, THE IMPOSSIBLE BIRD, Patrick O'Leary
Jerry House, CREED, James Herbert
Margot Kinberg, DOWN CEMETERY ROAD, Mick Herron
Rob Kitchin, THE CITY IN DARKNESS, Michael Russell
B.V. Lawson, HOME IS THE PRISONER, Jean Potts
Evan Lewis, THE BUCCANEERS, Alice Sankey and Russ Manning
Steve Lewis, MURDER PLAIN AND FANCY, Gardland Lord
Todd Mason, THE SHAPE OF THINGS, ed. Damon Knight; THE UNKNOWN 5, ed. D.R. Bensen
J.F. Norris
Matt Paust, INTRUDER IN THE DARK, George Bellairs
James Reasoner, PULPWOOD DAYS, Vol 2, John Locke ed.
Richard Robinson, KILLER IN THE RAIN, Raymond Chandler
Gerard Saylor, THE REST IS SILENCE, James R. Benn
Kevin Tipple/Barry Ergang, DEATH KNELL,.Baynard Kendrick
TracyK, CHARLIE CHAN, Yunte Huang

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society-book and film

Hey, wait a minute. I read this novel a few years ago and although it had romantic elements, it told the reader a lot about the horrors of the German occupation of the Channel Islands, and its aftermath. How the disruption of life in an isolated community might be more severe than in other places.
Well, yes that's here, but it gets far less play than watching Lily James choose a mate. When historical fiction becomes historical romance, it can be a disservice to the material and I think that was the case here. Hire a director that made FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL and a movie can take a decided altar turn.
Writer, Juliet begins a correspondence with a fellow on Guernsey and his stories about the occupation cause her to travel there and meet the members of his reading club. But we hear very little of those stories and even the central one is squeezed in amongst more romantic interludes. Cute kids, scenic vistas, kooky characters, pigs and sheep take center stage too. So if you have come to learn, dear viewer, she married him.
However, taken on its own terms, it was not a complete waste of two hours. It's on Netflix.