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review 2017-03-10 15:27
Wallflower by Chad Lutzke
Wallflower - Chad Lutzke

Wallflower is a novella rich in character development. Unfortunately, the main character develops in a way that does little to improve his life, and the reader is along for the ride.

 

I'm not going to get into the plot, because this isn't a book report and because I don't want to be a spoiler. I will say that this story rang true to me and I think it would to anyone that has ever known a person with an addiction-be it drugs, alcohol, gambling or anything else.

 

The whole "I'm not addicted", or the "I'm too strong to let any drug take over my life" arguments are what I've heard and even said myself at times. But it wasn't true. I knew it, and everyone around me knew it. My addiction was only to nicotine, (I'm saying only to a drug that kills almost 500,000 people per year in the U.S. alone), but it was a powerful addiction just the same. By the time I admitted that it was an addiction, it was too late, and I was hooked for another 25 years before I finally quit for good.

 

How does a person get to that point? What could be done to prevent it from happening, if anything? These are all valid questions surrounding addiction. Wallflower doesn't answer any of these questions, but it does tell the story of one man and tells it poignantly, with feeling and truth.

 

Highly recommended! You can get your copy here: Wallflower

 

*I was provided a free e-copy of this book by the author, in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*

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review 2017-02-10 23:13
The Fireman by Joe Hill, narrated by Kate Mulgrew
The Fireman: A Novel - HarperAudio,Joe Hill,Kate Mulgrew

 

Kate Mulgrew's narration raised  my rating ,(click to see my original review), of this book, just as it raised my rating of NOS4A2. The Fireman is so good to start with, but with her heartfelt voicing, the ball is knocked out of the park. 

 

Highly recommended on audio!

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review 2017-01-13 12:45
Ubo by Steve Rasnic Tem
Ubo - Steve Rasnic Tem

 

Ubo is difficult to talk about without sounding insane. There are so many thought provoking questions here, all locked up with roaches holding the keys. I know, I know...insane.

 

I have to touch on the basic outline here to make any sense at all of this review. Daniel goes from sitting in an airport contemplating walking away from it all, (including his wife and their sickly son), to living out scenarios of the most violent events in the history of the world, with only a vague, surreal, memory of wings and a moon separating the two.

 

When I say living out violent scenarios, I mean from inside the very heads of those doling out said violence. Jack the Ripper. Jim Jones. Charles Whitman. Here you are, witnessing these crimes as if it were you perpetrating them, while at the same time finding your conscience and your stomach recoiling. What possible good could come out of that? If there IS something good, can it be discovered and/or implemented before humanity destroys itself? You'll have to read this to find out.

 

I requested this ARC from NetGalley/Solaris because I have been a huge fan of Mr. Tem's short stories over the years. I remember his name always showing up in horror anthologies and knew I could depend on him to give me a good thrill. This book, however, is more of a science fiction novel with horrific elements-but all of his intense, strong writing? It's still here.

 

There's so much more I want to say, but...spoilers. Many things are going on in the background that beg for your attention, important things. Commentary about humanity really, where it is going and where it has been. Much of it is unpleasant. Somehow though, I found hope at the end. Is that because I couldn't face the stark reality, (not that far off from our current reality, by the way), or because I truly do think there's hope? I'm not sure. This is one of those times where I wish the author was my friend and I could just call him up and ask him. Since that's not happening, I'll settle for hearing what YOU think.

 

Highly recommended for those readers that enjoy turning over the reigns to a trusted author and believing that they will bring it all home. Go ahead and discover if there's even any home left. Read Ubo.

 

Ubo is available February 9th. You can pre-order your copy here: Ubo

 

*Thanks to NetGalley and Solaris for the e-Arc of Ubo in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*

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review 2016-11-09 22:05
Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff by Pappy Pariah, narrated by Sean Penn, Francis McDormand & Others
Free: Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff - Leila George,Pappy Pariah,Audible Studios,Ari Fliakos,Sean Penn,Frances McDormand

 

There's satire and humor here and this audio book is timely. The political landscape is current and even Bob Dylan's recent award of the Nobel Prize in Literature is here.

 

I think I understand what this piece tried to do, however I'm not sure it succeeded. At times very funny, (Francis McDormand I'm looking at you), and other times flat out WTF confusing, (Welcome to Nightvale anyone?), I'm trying to figure out if I should listen to this again. Sometimes authors, (Pappy Pariah, are you Sean Penn?), get too witty for their own, (or my own) good.

 

To give Bob Honey the benefit of the doubt: it probably didn't help that I listened to this audio on election day and the day after what I consider to be a stunning outcome. Perhaps in a less charged atmosphere I would have taken away more than I what I did. Then again, perhaps not.

 

I decided. I'm not listening again.

 

It's free at Audible if you want to give it a try.

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review 2016-10-28 08:03
The Whistler
The Whistler - John Grisham
Narrator:  Cassandra Campbell 
ASIN: B01JKG9JME
Publisher:   Random House Audio 
Publication Date: 10/25/2016
Format: Audio
My Rating: 5 Stars ++
 

OUTSTANDING!  Following John Grisham’s great intro prequel, Witness to a Trial, a perfect set up to the highly anticipated, THE WHISTLER What is not to LOVE?

 

First and foremost, the “King” of modern legal thrillers. Grisham is back full throttle! 29 books #1 bestsellers

Indian Casinos: Unregulated, lots of cash and plenty who want a piece of it: Treasure Key, Florida Panhandle near Pensacola

A Whistle-blower: Love them! Exposing the unethical and powerful. Always danger and intrigue. Who is The Whistler?

• Setting: State of Florida My Sunshine State

Lacy Stoltz: Age 36, Single, sexy, smart strong female investigative lead for the Florida Board on Judicial Conduct

Hugo Hatch: Male investigator partner: Funny, family man, former football star, married to Verna; 4 children,

• Themes: Corruption, Murder, Bribery, Gambling, Conspiracy, Money Laundering, Racketeering/RICO; Legal, Suspense, Humor, Crime; a little Romance

Honorable Claudia McDover: Age 56, The most female corrupt judge in America

• The Coast Mafia: Always a clever name for the bad guys

• Vonn Dubose: Ubervillain Mob Kingpin Gangster

Greg Myers: Codename, "Randy." (formerly Ramsey Mix) Lawyer, ex-con, a Jimmy Buffet type who lives on a boat, with one client. Reminds me of TV Series/Amazon Trial/Goliath Billy McBride (Billy Bob Thornton).

Last, but not least: Audiobook Narrator: Cassandra Campbell:Award-winning performance! She is without a doubt my favorite narrator with a wide range of voices. Top Audio Performance of 2016. Listen PRH Audio.

 



From the State of Florida, the book takes us from the coast: East, west, north, south, to the Florida Keys.

Picking up from Witness to a Trial, where we saw an innocent man convicted, a murder, a corrupt judge, a casino, and tribal land, as we move to the opening of THE WHISTLER, when a complaint is filed with the Florida Board Judicial Conduct in Tallahassee, Florida.

Overseeing judicial ethics and assigned to the investigative case is Lacy Stoltz and Hugo Hatch. Lacy single, and Hugo married, they are a funny duo and friends both at work and outside work.

They are on a road trip from Tallahassee to the east coast in St. Augustine, FL to meet with the informant. He has one client, a mysterious whistle-blower. Their boss says this could be big.

However, Greg has a shady past, and they are not sure if he is on the good side, or bad. If they can trust him. He wants to meet them in a remote area near the Tappacola reservation late at night, adding to the mystery and suspense.

There is a corrupt judge and she is tied into the casino with her monthly cash bribes. Of course, they have to get the goods and all the players involved for proof. There are real estate developments, land, and golf courses tied to corruption, among off-shore holdings.

Claudia also has a partner and the two women are quite loaded and know how to travel in style (and shop). The novel, as well as the prequel, revolves around a tract of Native American land that has welcomed gambling and can operate outside the Florida law. Acting outside the law, indeed. In America, Indians don’t pay taxes on casino profits. The Tappacola didn’t want to share.

To make things more interesting, the small Tappacola tribe has welcomed a group of mobsters, known as the Coast Mafia, to indulge in unlimited development in tribal land in exchange for a share of the casino’s profits.

Of course, anytime there is corruption, bribery, and coverups, the villains have to maintain their secret. Anyone coming close to the truth, they have the need to eliminate and coverup. Hence, the identity of a whistle-blower needs to be protected.

However, Lacy and Hugo have no idea how far this corruption goes, the elaborate crime scheme and conspiracy, and the danger they are placed in- the more they dive into the investigation. They do not even carry guns. Who knew their job would be so dangerous?

 



There is murder, and the Native American on death row, a gangster having anyone killed who gets in the way, and a crooked judge who looks the other way, keeping her hand out for monthly cash.

A high-stakes legal crime thriller of good versus evil, with a well-developed cast of characters. We get to see the down and dirty, greedy, rich getting richer, and eliminating anyone who gets in their way. An unfair judicial system portrayed brilliantly.

When the FBI get involved, Lacy has a little romance with one of the agents, even though she is cautious. Grisham has more female leads in this novel than usual, which was a nice change. Of course, also included female leads in Gray Mountain, landing on my Top Books of 2014.

What a great book! I can see this one as a hot movie. Grisham takes on top topics and unravels the complex web of deceit. Wow, Claudia was cold and evil and she loved her money and power.

As a former Florida whistle-blower myself (SOX 2002), making history; the Sunshine state has their share of dirty officials, corporations, developers, and politicians, in real life as well as fiction. speaking from experience.

Lacy, the heroine is a great character, and hope we hear more from her in the future. Loved the cover, reminding me of my two years in Key Largo, where I worked and resided selling real estate at a waterfront condo hotel with a yacht club.

Grisham shines with THE WHISTLER! What interesting topics- from well-researched Indian casino operations, with all the intense legal drama and judicial corruption, and no one does it better!

Buy the audiobook , Grisham/Campbell, perfect duo for The Whistler, for my Top Books of 2016 List.

JDCMustReadBooks

 

 

 

 

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/03/17/TheWhistler
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