The Player of Games by Iain Banks

Banks is an excellent writer. The plot of his 1988 book Player of Games is superb. WAY ahead of its time.

It’s on some lists of the best Science Fiction all time.

So why am I having trouble recommending this book?

None of the characters are likeable. Jernau Morat Gurgeh — the Player of Games — is a jerk. Everyone else worse.

His drone sidekick, Flere-Imsaho, should have been the character readers can identify with. He’s not.

This book is too long, I feel. Some have called it sluggish.

I will read more Banks, however. He is a canny wordsmith.

Banks died of cancer in 2013 age-59.


The Other Woman – Daniel Silva

The Other Woman is a 2018 spy novel by Daniel Silva. It is the eighteenth in the Gabriel Allon series…

I read it shortly after it’s July 17th release.

This one is as good as any previous.

It’s set modern day. Trump is President. And it’s clear the author doesn’t like Trump.

Brits and Israelis are once again battling the Russians. Searching to find a traitor mole akin to Kim Philby.

Characters are well-developed and realistic. Plots detailed enough to make me feel this could actually be happening right now.

The Other Woman is a tour de force that proves once again that “of all those writing spy novels today, Daniel Silva is quite simply the best” (Kansas City Star).

I agree.



The Racketeer by John Grisham

My first Grisham, I believe.

The protagonist Malcolm Bannister, an African American and former United States Marine, is an attorney … is wrongly convicted and given a 10-year prison term. …

Bannister makes a deal with the FBI to give them the name of a killer, in exchange for his release and being made a member of the United States Federal Witness Protection Program …

It was the #8 best seller on Amazon in 2012.

I found it OK. … The plot not believable. Story telling good.

It doesn’t motivate me to download more Grisham.

The author hopes Denzel will play the character in a movie adaptation.


our earliest ancestors – San people

I was reading The Wayfinders (2009) by Wade Davis … and was captivated by his story of an African DNA study which concluded the San are likely to be the oldest population of humans on Earth.

The San, also known as bushmen, are directly descended from the original population of early human ancestors who gave rise to all other groups of Africans and, eventually, to the people who left the continent to populate other parts of the world.


The Gods Must Be Crazy films are based on one branch of the San people.

This Wade Davis book argues that ancient wisdom still matters in the modern world. And that humanity will be lesser if we lose cultures like the San.

For some reason(s) a small group of San migrated north about 350 generations ago. Most people in the world are likely descended from that intrepid group. Some of the San still live much like they did 350 generations ago.

Racists won’t like this, of course.

Fact is, humans are 99.99% the same.

more San photos

Echo Park by Michael Connelly (2006)

In 1993, Harry Bosch and his partner Jerry Edgar caught the Marie Gesto case.

Marie was a young equestrian who went missing. Her car and clothing turned up in an apartment garage but her body was never found. …

… 13 years since the Gesto case went cold …

Echo Park

Bosch can’t let it go. His Unsolved unit is called back into the investigation.

Great plot … but not one of best of Bosch.

Cardinal – season 1

One of the best TV seasons ever. 

And it’s Canadian. Unapologetically  Canadian. There’s no effort to puff it up for the American market.

I highly recommend the 6 episode opening season. Be warned … it’s violent.

Click PLAY or watch a trailer on YouTube.

Cardinal is a Canadian crime drama television series, which premiered January 25, 2017 …

The series is an adaptation of Giles Blunt‘s crime novels about police detectives John Cardinal (Billy Campbell) and Lise Delorme (Karine Vanasse) in the fictional city of Algonquin Bay.  …

The first season is based on the novel Forty Words for Sorrowabout the investigation of the murder of a young girl.

Veteran actor Billy Campbell plays the title role perfectly.

Karine Vanasse from Québec is superb as Cardinal’s young new partner. That subplot is fascinating. Canadian Brendan Fletcher is believable, too, as a young serial killer.

Critics have called it plodding. Too slow paced.

I’d disagree. It’s superb. No filler. The plot is excellent. I’ll definitely be downloading series 2.