Harry Bosch – book 2 in the series

I bought both the first and second novels in Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch series, both as good as any of the later novels.

The Black Ice starts with an apparent suicide of a narcotics officer in Los Angeles.

It was rumored that he had been involved in the selling of a new drug called “Black Ice”.

As the L.A. police higher-ups converge on the scene to protect the department from scandal, Harry Bosch inserts himself into the investigation.

The trail he follows leads to Mexican drug gangs operating across the border while he gets attracted to Calexico Moore’s widow as the case progresses. …

Titus Welliver as Harry Bosch in the TV series

The Stranger on Netflix

The Stranger on Netflix is very bingeable.

The Stranger is a British mystery thriller series … based on the Harlan Coben novel of the same title. The miniseries premiered on Netflix on 30 January 2020.

A mysterious stranger tells a man a secret that has a devastating impact on his seemingly perfect life. …

It’s complex. But not so complex that you lose track of what’s going on.

Rotten Tomatoes 86%.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Harry Bosch – book 1 in the series

I’ve read most of the Bosch books.

Black Echo is the 1992 début novel by American crime author Michael Connelly. … won the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Award for “Best First Novel” in 1992.

Detective Hieronymus “Harry” Bosch …

… debuted as the lead character in the 1992 novel The Black Echo, the first in a best-selling police procedural series now numbering 21 novels. …

Bosch’s mother was a prostitute in Hollywood who was murdered on October 28, 1961, when Bosch was 11 years old. …

In Vietnam, Bosch was a “tunnel rat” (nicknamed “Hari Kari Bosch”), with the 1st Infantry Division—a specialized soldier whose job it was to go into the maze of tunnels used as barracks, hospitals, and on some occasions, morgues, by the Vietcong and North Vietnamese Army. …

After his return from Vietnam and an honorable discharge from the Army, Bosch joined the LAPD …

Harry is astonishingly unchanged from the beginning nearly 30 years ago.

Titus Welliver in the TV series is quite true to fiction. Season 3 of the Amazon TV series, Bosch, is loosely adapted from this novel.

Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris

One odd book.

I can’t decide whether or not to recommend it.

Then We Came to the End (2007) is a satire of the American workplace.

It takes place in a Chicago advertising agency that is experiencing a downturn at the end of the 1990s Internet boom.

 

What ties the novel together is the canny formal choice Ferris has made: his decision to write the novel in the first-person plural.

There is no single “narrator.” Rather, a group of workers relates the story, reconceiving 19th-century omniscience as a gossipy group consciousness …

Hell Is Other Cubicles

Click PLAY or watch it on Vimeo.

I Must Say: My Life as a Humble Comedy Legend

I listened to the audio version of Martin Short’s 2014 autobiography — read by the author, of course.

Very funny. Plenty of name dropping. Embarrassing stories. 

Martin Short is one of Canadian comedy’s greatest generation: Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Dave Thomas, Dan AykroydJohn Candy,  Eugene Levy.

Short remembers his favourite years as those with the Second City comedy troupe in Toronto. And playing whacky and weird SCTV.

He doesn’t remember Saturday Night Live all that fondly.

I enjoyed most Marty’s stories of his earliest years in the entertainment business. Short is 7-years older than me. I can relate.

“What a wonderful book! If only it was about someone else.” (Larry David)

In writing this, no doubt Marty was influenced by his buddy Steve Martin’s 2007 memoir Born Standing Up. Also excellent.

With friends in Idaho, summer 2019, I saw Martin Short and Steve Martin LIVE in An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life.

The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer

Meyer is best known for her vampire romance series Twilight, which has sold over 100 million copies. They made her a multi-millionaire.

Thought they are YA, I kinda enjoyed those books.

The Chemist (2006) is her second adult book. As a Mormon, there is no no drinking, smoking, or explicit sex scenes in her work. So this one reads something like a YA novel.

For me there was too much time dedicated to romance, as well.

Mormons have no aversion to violence, it seems. This bloody book has a super competent female protagonist called Alex – she’s a medic and an interrogator who worked for a shadowy branch of the US government torturing terrorists before her bosses turned on her.

Known as the Chemist, because she used to squeeze the truth out of her suspects with excruciatingly painful drug concoctions

Now she is a fugitive.

There are some new-to-me plot twists and surprises that makes me recommend the read to those who enjoy thrillers.

Meyer said she was inspired by the Jason Bourne character while writing this book.

A television series based on The Chemist is planned

related – The Guardian review 

 

Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald

I made it half way through this long novel before finally giving up.

The (1996) novel takes place in late 19th and early 20th centuries and chronicles four generations of the complex Piper Family. It is a story of “inescapable family bonds, terrible secrets, and of miracles.”

Beginning in Cape Breton IslandNova Scotia through the battlefields of World War I and ending in New York City, the troubled Piper sisters depend on one another for survival. …

The plot was promising.

But ultimately I agree with reviewer G. L. Fredrick:

There’s some brilliant writing in this book. Quite a bit actually, but not enough to justify the read.

The story is presented in a disjointed fashion that is hard to follow without frequent searches (glad I read the kindle version).

The characters are bleak, depressing, and also disjointed. They come and go in the story often having gone through some change that is not adequately explained.

By the end, you’re left with more questions and confusion than satisfaction.

It’s not worth your effort.

Another reviewer loved it. And read the book several times.