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review 2017-12-28 00:00
Black Bolt, Vol. 1: Hard Time
Black Bolt, Vol. 1: Hard Time - Saladin ... Black Bolt, Vol. 1: Hard Time - Saladin Ahmed Full review at my site.

Gorgeously drawn, with a interesting story that weaves in thoughts on who we jail and loneliness and life with a kickass prison break.
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review 2017-09-12 12:59
REVIEW TOUR & #GIVEAWAY - Hard Time (Responsible Adult #2) by CF White
Hard Time - C.F. White
Hard Time is the second book in the Responsible Adult set, and get ready for your socks to be knocked off! Now, you do need to have read book one as this one follows straight after. I said for book one that it is quite dark and gritty, well, that remains true for this one.
 
Micky has everything going on - a court appearance, his deadbeat dad back in town, still feeling unworthy of Dan, you name it, it's probably here. Dan is determined to stick around, no matter how Micky may push him away. And Flynn is still as adorable as ever.
 
This book is, quite simply, amazing. It doesn't shy away from the nastier side of life, nor indeed of how people can be drawn into it just through circumstances. Gwen did an amazing job in the circumstances for her boys, but she wasn't wonder woman. The rest of the journey is up to them, and Micky got lost for a while. Luckily for him, Dan is there to show him the right way to go. I said it last time, I'll say it again - these two are perfect for each other. Seeing Micky come out of his shell towards Dan? Perfect.
 
One thing I will say, is that the courtroom scene was brilliantly written. Part of me wanted to dislike Micky for being able to 'play' it the way he did, whilst the other part of me respected him like hell for knowing how it works, and doing the best he can for Flynn in those circumstances.
 
Reading this book, without any editing or grammatical errors to disrupt my reading flow, was anything but a Hard Time. It finished off Micky and Dan's story perfectly, although I still want more! A fantastic story, and definitely recommended by me.
 
* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and my comments here are my honest opinion. *
 
Merissa
Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!

 

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review 2017-06-14 14:34
Hard Time
Hard Time - Sara Paretsky

Not much to say here besides the fact that I really enjoyed this one a lot. We get to see VI go into the prison system in order to find out how an escapee from a woman's prison was found on a road in Chicago. We get to see VI and other characters go through some changes in this one due to a new age of American politics as well.

VI in this one is accused of a hit and run after she barely misses hitting a woman's body in the road. Though VI has her run ins with the law at times, she still doesn't know why the police are looking hard at her for this one. When she turns up details on the dead woman which ties her into a high profile private security firm, it becomes pretty clear that VI may not be able to get herself out of trouble in this one.

 

VI is a bit slower in this one. She is definitely feeling her age. She also feels a bit flat since her long time rival and friend Murray is now being pushed to do more public friendly stories and the era of print media has seemingly died in Chicago. What I think made me like this one a lot more is that honestly VI is left friendless in this one and has to survey by her own wits. Her assistant pretty much quits and blames VI for how she behaves which is why she is always targeted. And VI has a power crazed Chicago cop on her heels who is not going to stop until he has her arrested.

 

The book shifts gears though with it's smart insight into the prison system and how easy it is to abuse women behind bars. Some of the descriptions were stomach inducing.

 

I do have to say though I loved this book, I found most of the circumstances involved to be highly implausible. I have finished a bunch of the books in this series recently, and I do have to say that after "Fire Sale" I started to just feel a shift in quality. I constantly compare VI to my other favorite female private eye, Kinsey Malone. And I think what gets me the most is that VI is antagonistic towards everyone and even the police. With what she gets up to I am surprised she hasn't been arrested for how many times she gets involved in a police matter. And I just don't like how she treats others around her. That said, I would be a happy person if the character of Mr. Contreras would be written off from this series along with the two dogs that VI ends up bringing everywhere in the latest books.

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review 2016-01-20 14:38
Doing Hard Time - Stuart Woods

A Stone Barrington novel without much Stone Barrington...still a good, quick read, but not up to the level of others. Woods is really cranking out the Barrington books lately, adding more and more central characters, which distracts from the main characters that made this series so much fun to read. This one is very by the numbers as Stone crosses paths with an old contact, Teddy Fay, and somehow ends up convincing him to protect his son from the Russian mob. Stone really doesn't have much to do with the main plot as the focus seems to be on Teddy, aka Billy, and his dealings with the Russians and others new characters in Vegas and L.A. Stone does have a small role at the end in helping set up the Russians for a hit by Teddy, but I'm hoping the next one brings Stone back as the central protagonist. One gripe: Teddy's dealings with Vlad, a Russian hitman, are poorly handled by Woods...just my opinion.

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review 2015-05-11 21:52
The Worst Hard Time-history that hits close to home
The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl - Timothy Egan
 

My family lived this story so I may be a little bit prejudiced toward it.  This is a history of people who lived through the Dust Bowl and my family, grandparents and mom, did just that.  My mother owns the book but hasn't been able to read it yet because it is too painful.  If you aren't familiar with this episode of American history, this was the 30's when the land literally blew away.  The farming that had been done had ripped away the centuries old grasses and left the topsoil exposed to the never-ending wind.  Then the rains stopped for about 6 years.  It was a brutal time and the majority of people who lived in the Dust Bowl moved away. My grandparents stayed and kept their farm through it all.  My mom was born in 1934 in a dugout so this history is my family's history.

Timothy Egan did his research well.  He has first-hand accounts from many who are my mom's age and older who distinctly remember the Black Dusters coming through town and blocking out the sun.  He ties the stories together well.  His creation of the atmosphere of the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles is masterful.  I've spent a lot of time there and he describes it beautifully.  I think he is very fair in explaining why the Dust Bowl happened and who was to blame.  He doesn't vilify the farmers as some have though they do take blame.  They didn't know any better and they were told that they were doing the right thing.  He shows the progression of the problem clearly.  He does vilify the ones who deserve it, the land speculators.  He does an outstanding job of showing the determination and fortitude of the settlers. 

Settling the frontier sounds like something that happened 150 years ago but this frontier was being settled in my mom's lifetime and this book is an excellent history of how that part of the Great Plains developed.  Some people won't like his story-telling style.  It's not linear.  He goes back and forth between families and usually has to go back a few years each time he changes families but it's not a hard style to read.  For a non-fiction book, this was as compelling as any fictional story I've read lately.  I couldn't put it down. 

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