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text 2018-12-02 21:39
Reading progress update: I've read 299 out of 391 pages.
The Pictures - Guy Bolton

as shocking as the murder plot line has been...the real terror comes from learning that the head of MGM wanted to cut one of the songs from The Wizard Of Oz, Judy Garland singing Somewhere Over The Rainbow. luckily, not a successful crime perpetrated in this novel, or in reality.

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text 2018-12-02 17:12
Reading progress update: I've read 223 out of 391 pages.
The Pictures - Guy Bolton

I absolutely love it, and I recommend it to fans of Darktown by Mullen, fans of Joseph Kanon, and people who like LA Confidential.

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text 2018-12-01 21:52
Reading progress update: I've read 85 out of 391 pages.
The Pictures - Guy Bolton

Guy Bolton? you mean...as in “Bolton, Wodehouse, and Kern!”?

 

(no, Tigus)

 

apparently not that Guy Bolton.

 

(how could that even be, you silly fellow)

 

whatever, it doesn’t matter. this Mystery set in Hollywood, 1939, is intensely excellent, so far.

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review 2018-09-10 03:55
No Pictures?! Really?
The Book with No Pictures - B.J. Novak

Oh, yes. If you did not think it was possible for children to enjoy a book with no pictures than this book will prove differently! If I were to sum up this book in one word it would be: HILARIOUS. The Book With No Pictures, by B.J. Novak, is a fun and entertaining book for children of all ages. The reader is at the whim of the author. The author gets the reader to read the absolute silliest things because, as the reader, "you MUST read whatever the book says....no matter what!" This book will force you to admit that you are a robot monkey, your best friend is a hippo named Boo Boo Butt, and the child you are reading to is the best kid ever. It's a great book to model reading with expression, and to show children how wonderful books can be even if they don't have pictures.

 

There are so many teaching ideas to go along with this book. Students could:

 

  • Write their own "Book With No Pictures"
  • Record an audiobook version of the story
  • Create artwork to accompany the pages in the book
  • View the hilarious video of the author reading the book: http://thebookwithnopictures.com/

 

Recommended Age Range: 5-8

Lexile Level: 490L


 

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review 2018-07-13 03:04
A Solid Sequel featuring a Procedural and a Puzzle
The Death Pictures - Simon Hall

So here we are a few months after the events of <b><a href="https://wp.me/p3z9AH-3nh" rel="noopener" target="_blank">The TV Detective</a></b>, and while Dan Groves, TV reporter, and DCI Adam Breen aren't working together any more, their friendship has grown and both of the careers are improving from their collaboration. So when there's a serial rapist on the loose -- one who made a point of leaving a calling card at the crime scenes to get public attention -- both of their bosses are interested in them renewing their partnership (even if no one ever gets to hear about his calling card).

 

Around the same time, there's a famous artist dying of cancer who is using his impending death as a launching pad for a contest of sorts -- it raises money for charity, and raises his public profile a bit, too (not that it needed much). Dan has been tapped by his producer and the artist's wife to help with the final part of the contest, and to do his final interview -- most to be aired upon his death. This is so far from the rape case that it seems odd to spend time on it -- until the artist dies under mysterious circumstances. A murder inquiry into a celebrity's death obviously gets the police's and public's attention -- although it's really seen as more of a distraction from protecting women who are prospective targets of the rapist by Adam and his team. For the most part at this point, Adam and Dan tackle the murder investigation and his team handle the rapes, and Dan pretty much only covers the case as a reporter (with an inside track, of course), but not as an investigator.

 

Arrests are made pretty early on in both cases -- it's in the aftermath of the murder investigation and the contest that the latter part of the novel focuses on. The puzzle's solution is clever, but the reader can see it coming (we do have a little more information than all the characters), but that only adds to the sense of drama leading up to the Reveal. I thoroughly enjoyed watching Dan through this story -- both his official work as a reporter or with the police and his unofficial personal obsession with the puzzle.

 

As for the rape story? I don't mean to sound cold, but there was something very cookie-cutter about the motivation and perpetrator. Horrible, yes; disturbing, yes, but nothing that hasn't been on <strong>Law &amp; Order: SVU</strong> an estimated 3,709 times -- I'm not saying badly written or boring, just something I've seen before. But when Adam gets him in the interview room and he starts laying out his defense? That was utterly chilling. As I write this, I imagine the accused's approach is not completely novel in Crime Fiction, but man . . . the way that Hall depicts this guy? Chilling.

 

Dan's frequent work on the contest is reminiscent of his search for the Ted Hughes Memorial in <b>The TV Detective</b>, but is obviously tied more closely to the plot of this novel. I don't recall another series doing something like this in book after book -- I hope Hall continues it.

 

There's something that happened to Dan in the past that was alluded to in the previous book and is talked around a good deal here. We're not going to get more details on that in Book 3 (I bet), but I expect to see it wreak havoc on Dan's life and various relationships soon. Similarly, there's something that happens in this book to Adam -- that will possibly do worse pretty soon. Both of these guys are ticking psychological bombs.

 

I have one gripe: the formatting. There are occasional -- maybe even rare -- white space breaks between sections of the story, but by and large they are conspicuously absent. Which is problematic when the perspective changes from character to character -- what's worse is when the perspective change introduces an entirely new character and you don't know how this new name connects with anything. It honestly only caused a real problem for me once, but was frequently annoying.

 

I should stress when your complaint about a book has to do with Kindle layout (who knows what the paperback looks like), there's a lot that's working pretty well.

 

<B>The Death Pictures</B> is a solidly entertaining mystery novel that recaptures a lot of the high points of its predecessor, but isn't just a repeat of it. This series has legs, that's obvious, and I look forward to returning to it to see what happens next.

Source: irresponsiblereader.com/2018/07/12/the-death-pictures-by-simon-hall-a-solid-sequel-featuring-a-procedural-and-a-puzzle
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