House of Spies (Gabriel Allon #17)

We expected in this book that Gabriel Allon would stay home, now the Chief of Israeli security and father of twins.

Not so much.

… Daniel Silva’s runaway bestseller The Black Widow was one of 2016’s biggest novels. Now, in House of Spies, Gabriel Allon is back and out for revenge—determined to hunt down the world’s most dangerous terrorist, a shadowy ISIS mastermind known only as Saladin.

Four months after the deadliest attack on the American homeland since 9/11, terrorists leave a trail of carnage through London’s glittering West End. The attack is a brilliant feat of planning and secrecy, but with one loose thread: the French-Moroccan street criminal and ISIS operative who supplied the combat assault rifles. …


Click PLAY or watch a TV interview with the author on YouTube.

A TV series in in the works produced by MGM.

I went to Kindergarten in Hemer, Germany

Sadly I can’t recall my years as an Army brat in Canadian Armed Forces Base Hemer.

I can’t recall traveling to and from Europe by ship.

I don’t even recall the Mercedes my parents brought back to Canada on the ship.

I can’t recall speaking German well enough to have local ladies believe I was a local child. I was family translator. Dad would take me with him to the coal store to place his order.

I’d love to travel back in time to see what Hemer was like back in 1960.

In 1953 Canadian troops moved into newly built barracks in Deilinghofen (Forts Macleod and Prince of Wales) as well as two former German barrack complexes in Iserlohn (Forts QuèAppelle and Beausejour). Canadian soldiers and their families resided in two separate locations in Hemer.

We lived 17km from the base in a town Guest House. Three military families shared the upstairs of the small hotel. Parties and weddings were hosted downstairs.

One time I locked myself in the main hotel bathroom … then threw the keys out the window. They bounced into a street drain.

Rent was reasonable post-war. In fact my Dad’s monthly beer bill sometimes exceeded his rent.

The local German men had all fought on the Russian front. Astonishingly none had ever fought British, Canadian, Aussie or American troops.

related – Ruhrmemories 1953 -1971

Kelly’s Heroes (1970)

I often think of this movie. It was the first  film I saw in a theatre that was not for kids. My Mom got me in.

It made me a Donald Sutherland fan, that’s for sure.

I was already anti-war at that age.

Kelly’s Heroes is a 1970 war comedy about a group of World War II American soldiers who go AWOL to rob a bank behind enemy lines. The film stars Clint EastwoodTelly SavalasDon RicklesCarroll O’Connor, and Donald Sutherland … 

The film received mostly positive reviews. It was voted at number 34 in Channel 4‘s 100 Greatest War Films of All Time.

Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gave the film an approval rating of 80% based on 20 reviews, with an average rating of 6.9/10.

 Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

what I did on my Summer vacation

I’m actually working a lot this summer. Gymnastics video editing. Gymnastics clinics and camps. I won’t get free until mid-September.

But I did get a week in a rent-a-car doing some of the best hikes Squamish to Pemberton. Those trip reports over on my hiking blog.

Rick atop the Elfin Lakes Gargoyles

Baja sailboat for sale

Kip and Mary have many years been living part of the year on a boat in the Baja. They’re currently out of Puerto Escondido.

Kip and Mary's boat - Puerto Escondido, Baja

The skipper spent a lot of time …

Kip skipper - Puerto Escondido, Baja

… tinkering and swabbing the poop deck.

Kip & Mary recently bought a place close to Loreto so are selling the boat. Asking US$29,000.

Email to learn more.

HillK821 (a)