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text 2018-07-21 13:54
Review: In For the Kill
In for the Kill - Ed James

It’s always a pleasure to sit down with an Ed James book, because I know it will be a deftly plotted, action packed thrill ride and In For the Kill lived up to the hype. Fenchurch has a lot on his plate at the moment, with dealing with the aftermath of finding Chloe, his long ago abducted daughter, his wife nearing the birth of their second child, and a the terrifying case of a college co-ed found murdered in her bed at the same university Chloe attends.

 

This was a great read, I loved the thrilling fast paced chase through London solving this complex crime. There were one or two points where the pace slowed a bit, but not by much and there was a lot of action to keep my pulse racing and the tense atmosphere kept me turning pages, impatient to see the next bombshell. Although I missed a few books in the series since I read the first book, I was able to get right back into it. Thanks to the great character development and the consistency of the writing, I remembered many of the principal characters, making me feel like I was catching up with people I hadn’t seen in a while. Fenchurch is developing as the sort of hangdog character you can’t help but root for; intense, persistent, stubborn, and fallible, there’s a little Fenchurch in everyone I think. I enjoy watching him methodically pick at the threads of the crime until it all unravels alongside coping with the struggles in his personal life.

 

Overall, a great read with a fascinating case full of twists and turns to keep me guessing. Definitely recommend for fans of dark and gritty police procedurals.

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review 2018-07-21 13:00
Free Falling
Free Falling - Sandy James

Better than the first book.
I liked that there's a lot happening; a rescue, mistaken identity, a stalker, a 2nd rescue, and a mystery. I have to admit the "mistaken identity" is one of my favorite tropes. Laurie and Ross do fall quickly, but it felt believable. I liked the 1920s style mystery. I liked Ross and Laurie's comprising. I liked Laurie rescue of Ross in the beginning. Laurie's ability was also a cool one.
What I didn't like/annoyed me: Laurie's stupidity. And her roommate's. The whole, we forget to lock out door! Or if we have to carry a key around we will lose it! Really?! Then, after the office gets ransacked, someone (walks right into) breaks into her home and does the same to her bedroom, and she gets pushed down the stairs; she STILL forgets to look the door? What?! And this leads to an event that later happens to Laurie and she needs to be rescued. 
I also thought the ending was a bit rushed. I would have liked to read about Ross and Laurie arriving to the conclusion they did. Earlier in the book, I thought that was a viable solution to Laurie's issue (not the door locking; she's promised her parents she will take over the chair of her family's charitable Foundation when she turns 30). It would have been interesting to read about the "light bulb" moment.
Bruiser, Sheila, Deepika, and Andrew were all decent supporting characters.

Ripped Bodice Bingo: Free Space

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text 2018-07-21 12:17
Reading progress update: I've read 9 out of 289 pages.
Isaac Newton - James Gleick

Newton was clever and influential...

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review 2018-07-18 02:53
Ulysses
Ulysses - James Joyce,Cedric Watts

The life of the everyman in a single day in Dublin is the basic premise of James Joyce’s Ulysses, yet this is an oversimplification of the much deeper work that if you are not careful can quickly spiral down into a black hole of fruitless guesswork and analysis of what you are reading.

 

Joyce’s groundbreaking work is a parallel to Homer’s The Odyssey though in a modernist style that was defined by Joyce in this novel.  Though the primary character is Leonard Bloom, several other important secondary characters each take their turn in the spotlight but it is Bloom that the day revolves around.  However any echoes of Homer are many times hidden behind Joyce verbosity and stream-of-conscious writing that at times makes sense and at times completely baffles you.  Even with a little preparation the scale of what Joyce forces the reader to think about is overwhelming and frankly if you’re not careful, quickly derails your reading of the book until its better just to start skimming until the experience mercifully ends.

 

While my experience and opinion of this work might be lambasted by more literary intelligent reviewers, I would like to caution those casual readers like myself who think they might be ready to tackle this book.  Read other modernist authors like Conrad, Kafka, Woolf, Lawrence, and Faulkner whose works before and after the publication of Ulysses share the same literary movement but are not it’s definitive work.

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review 2018-07-17 12:04
A Higher Loyalty
A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership - James Comey

I didn't know what to expect with Comey's memoir, and I ended up being impressed by his sense of principled leadership and ethical conduct. I don't necessarily see eye-to-eye with him on every issue, but I can appreciate his thought processes as he describes his reasoning behind various difficult decisions.

 

Going back to working in Rudy Giuliani's U.S. Attorney's office in New York City in the 1980s, to being in the Department of Justice under the Bush II administration, to Barack Obama's appointing him as FBI Director, through Donald Trump firing him (via the TV news), Comey takes the reader on a fascinating ride, with a narrative peppered with humor that sometimes made me laugh out loud (while in public, listening to my little mp3 player). Regardless of what your current opinion of James Comey might be, I think the book is well worth reading/listening to.

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