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review 2018-03-26 00:33
Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America - Jill Leovy

Putting names to the murdered young black men in LA she tells the story of one, a cop's son, and gives us more vignettes of others around the same time as his.  She also takes us into the detectives' lives who are handed these murders and how they solve them.


I liked this book.  While there was a lot of statistics and history of what lead up to the high murder rates of young black men, she puts names to them.  They are not statistics only.  She shows what the detectives do and how invested they are to find their killers.  There were times I cried as she talks about the Tennelle family and tells of funerals and the fears many of the young men have of not living to be 21. 


Though a few years old, it is still timely.  Well worth the read.

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review 2018-02-12 23:00
Bikers, escorts, and a detective with a conscience in hipster Vancouver
Invisible Dead - Sam Wiebe

I do read mysteries, but I don't tend to read the gritty crime/noir genre. Too dark, in most cases. I loved this, though. 


Wiebe captures the culture, ephemera, and atmosphere of Vancouver with endless telling details, making his narrative about crime and the seedy, dark underbelly of the city all the more alarming. Reads smoothly and convincingly, with all-too-recognizable characters. The endless men (and some women) dismissing the harm they do to others, particularly to the most vulnerable (and often First Nations and visible minority) women, are the company owners I've worked with and for, the powerful and dismissive, the entitled and self-satisfied, and most of all, the casually careless.


The specificity of eating out in Vancouver and enjoying the views are so common in the city as to be living stereotypes, and the friendly familiarity of the lifestyle and location details drives the knife in even further as one character after another drives the women who've suffered in this book, and on our streets in real life, further into the mud.


I prefer reading mysteries set in exotic foreign places and times. New York. Chicago. London. Paris. 1920s. 1940s. A crime novel calling out not only the shady hidden figures of my Vancouver, but all of us in the city, privileged and struggling alike, for glossing past, stepping over, and treating with casual disdain and irresponsibility the ones having the hardest time surviving, hits far too close to home. But there's a balance of hope and tenacity in this book that keeps the darkness from feeling entirely crushing. So I'll read more of Wiebe's work, if only to remind myself of the faces, the voices, and the stories I need to not forget.

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review 2015-10-01 01:13
The Outsiders - S.E. Hinton
  Wow! I never read this in high school. Did I miss a good book! I loved this book. It resonated so much. The characters were great. I loved the first person point-of-view. I became part of the book as I was reading it. I bawled my eyes out at Johnny's letter to Ponyboy. Fantastic!
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review 2015-03-03 17:17
The Quick Fix
The Quick Fix - Jack D. Ferraiolo

The Quick Fix is a realistic fiction book and a sequel to The Big Splash.  Set mostly in “The Frank” (Franklin Middle School), Matt Stevens (private-eye) is hired by four interested parties (the school bully, the candy dealers, and two cheerleaders) to solve the mystery of a wooden decorative trinket. But who is the rightful owner, and why would they want to pay top dollar for its safe return?  What he is about to uncover will change his life! The book’s plot twists and turns will leave you wanting to decipher the mystery behind the contents of the wooden box. 

I found this book quite humorous and interesting quick read. You will enjoy reading this book because of its complex plot and variety of characters, including a male lead.

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review 2014-10-31 18:12
Peaky Blinders
The Gangs of Birmingham: From the Sloggers to the Peaky Blinders - Philip Gooderson


The TV series

Birmingham 1919
Theme tune is by Nick Cave

Cillian Murphy as Tommy Shelby
Sam Neill as C.I. Chester Campbell
Helen McCrory as Aunt Polly Gray
Paul Anderson as Arthur Shelby Jnr
Iddo Goldberg as Freddie Thorne (series 1 only)
Annabelle Wallis as Grace Burgess
Sophie Rundle as Ada Shelby
Joe Cole as John Shelby
Ned Dennehy as Charlie Strong
David Dawson as Roberts (series 1 only)
Andy Nyman as Winston Churchill (series 1 only)
Richard McCabe as Winston Churchill (series 2 only)
Charlie Creed-Miles as Billy Kimber (series 1 only)

Cracking storyline, love the period, the setting, the music. Violent but not more than one would expect from gang warfare.


Episode 1

‘Zandstra’ by Nick Cave & Warren Ellis
‘Martha’s Dream’ by Nick Cave
‘Red Right Hand’ by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
‘I think I smelled a Rat’ by The White Stripes
‘St James Infirmary Blues’ by The White Stripes
‘Queenie’s Suite ‘ by Nick Cave
‘Song for Jesse ‘ by Nick Cave

Episode 2

‘Red Right Hand’ by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
‘Tough Call’ by The Samphire Band
‘Blue Veins’ by The Raconteurs
‘The Hardest Button to Button’ by The White Stripes
‘Proposition #1′ by Nick Cave
‘Black Math ‘ by The White Stripes
‘Vedi la Ma Guite Lo Stendo A Tel ‘ by Giacomo Puccini
‘Lo Tenni La Promesca’ by Giacomo Puccini
‘Brother My Cup is Empty’ by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
‘Little Room’ by The White Stripes

Episode 3

‘Red Right Hand’ by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
‘When I hear my name’ by The White Stripes
‘Abattoir Blues’ by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
‘St James Infirmary Blues’ by The White Stripes

Episode 4

‘Red Right Hand’ by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
‘I fought Piranhas’ by The White Stripes
‘Clap Hands’ by Tom Waits
‘Broken Boy Soldier’ by The Raconteurs
‘Martha’s dream’ by Nick Cave & Warren Ellis

Episode 5

‘Red Right Hand’ by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
‘Ball & Biscuit’ by The White Stripes
‘Little Cream Soda’ by The White Stripes
‘God is in the House’ by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
‘Time’ by Tom Waits
‘Bring it on’ by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

Episode 6

‘Red Right Hand’ by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
‘The Prowl’ by Dan Auerbach
‘Love is Blindness’ by Jack White German
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