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review 2021-04-18 16:37
Where it all began
The Black Echo - Michael Connelly

There is nowhere better for me to try to understand the mindset of Harry Bosch or indeed his creator Michael Connelly by starting again where it all began book one in the series.

 

Harry is best described as "a detective who would do the right thing no matter what the cost. A man with a sharp worn code of conduct. A classic outsider.".... In The Black Echo we learn about Harry's activities as a tunnel rat during the Vietnam war and how the horrors of this underground hell helped shape him as a detective with the will to survive and a loner's code of justice. When the body of a fellow "rat" Billy Meadows is discovered in a drain outlet, Harry is determined to find the perpetrator responsible and bring justice to his onetime comrade in arms. In this endeavour he is joined by FBI agent Eleanor Wish, a relationship develops that becomes personal and leaves Harry wondering if her intentions are honourable or does she harbor an underlying agenda.

 

The weakness of the story is the plot; dirty money profits from Saigon laundered as precious stones and kept secret in a bank vault in downtown LA. The only way to retrieve the hidden stash is to tunnel deep into the innards of the bank. In contrast the strength of the story is the superb charactization of the main players. Bosch, Eleanor Wish and Deputy Chief Irvin Irving who appears to be on a one man crusade against what he views as underhand tactics by a maverick lone detective.

 

As always Michael Connnelly is razor sharp in his acute observations of the human spirit....."Sunsets did that here. Made you forget it was the smog that made their colors so brilliant, and that behind every pretty picture there could be an ugly story."....."He was a worn-out old man whose eyes had quit caring about anything but the odds on three year olds"..."I believe that shit happens. I believe that the best you can do in this job is come out even".......

 

Having just reread The Black Echo I have actually awarded it an extra star! Whilst the plot becomes a little laborious there are nice incidental comments that can be made. There is a theme of tunnels running through the story, a young teenager found murdered in a drainage tunnel, bank robberies where the perpetrators ingeniously use tunnels as their mode of entry, and of course Harry Bosch was a tunnel rat in Vietnam and murder victim Meadows was a tunnel rat and friend. The characters of Lewis and Clarke are portrayed as 2 buffoons from Internal Affairs, who under the strict command of Irving have been asked to shadow Bosch and somehow find or witness the detective acting outside the law. There is a particularly funny scene where Harry confronts the 2 and handcuffs them around a tree.....again this sense of comedy does not sit well in the overall theme of The Black Echo....needless to say the conclusion of this affair is swift and bloody.
The Black Echo is an important read not only because it is the first book in a great series but it lays the groundwork for many great adventures to come and the cynicism of dedicated detective that can only increase....

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review 2021-02-23 03:04
Dear Martin by Nic Stone
Dear Martin - Nic Stone
One of the most powerful reads I've read.
Maybe because it hits too close to home.
With all the injustice happening in the world, this story was a vivid reality of what life is like for African-Americans, told by an African-American. People need to hear the stories to bring about change. We all need to stop turning a blind eye to any injustices that constantly surround our lives. These horrible things don't just happen in the US. It happens here in Canada and more. You would think racial attacks were a thing of the past, but they're not.
This book may be labeled as fiction, but it couldn't have felt more real.
Read it. Let it affect you. Then change.
 
 
Source: www.fredasvoice.com/2021/02/dear-martin-by-nic-stone-8.html
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review 2021-02-10 20:31
Dear Haiti, Love Alaine by Maika Moulite & Maritza Moulite
Dear Haiti, Love Alaine - Maritza Moulite,Maika Moulite
Can we just focus on the cover for a second?! So pretty!
This was a story about the culture of Haiti. It was also about a girl who had roots to it and was on a mission to end a family curse. 
I was enthralled. I loved learning about the places Alaine visited or researched in Haiti. I had not once thought of ever visiting, but now I want to.
This story had a plot that you didn't actually see coming. When it happened it was so easy to get into it. Politics and corruption go hand-in-hand, even if all is not what it seems.
Solid story, and authors I would like to read again.
 
Source: www.fredasvoice.com/2021/02/dear-haiti-love-alaine-by-maika-moulite.html
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review 2021-02-03 01:36
BLACK HILLS DEATHBLOW by Jon Sharpe
The Trailsman #395: Black Hills Deathblow - Jon Sharpe

Fargo's been asked to stop the men who are giving the Sioux alcohol and guns to start a war between the whites and the Sioux and other tribes. He also has to work with Logan Brennan, a notorious gun sharp, who plans to kill his brother, the purveyor of guns and alcohol to the Sioux. Fargo only wants to complete his mission but on the way he has to rescue a few people and deal with those who want to kill him.

 

This is a comfort read for me. I know Fargo will get his man, bed a few women, get shot at, but survive it all. I liked the action as well as the Cherokee who helped him once or twice. I liked that Logan's story does come out and Fargo has a change of heart about him. It's a good shoot-'em-up read--perfect for a snowy night.

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review 2020-10-06 02:48
Jack Frost: The End Becomes the Beginning (The Guardians, #5) by William Joyce
Guardians Chapter Book #5 - William Joyce

I've been reading this series for a long time now. I began reading this series earlier this year with the intent to read each book back to back to get the full picture of what William Joyce wanted to tell the reader. I started well with my reading adventure, reading all the picture books and the first four books in the series in a timely manner. Then 2020 happened and slapped everyone in the face including myself. I'm not going to lie, guys. It's been hard. Extremely hard. With the pandemic, the civil injustices happening in my country, wildfires raging madly on the West coast, and personal issues happening throughout, I have not had the time nor the mental fortitude to dedicate to reading. My health (physical, mental, and emotional) has not been doing well either. I just feel like I've been all over the place as of late. With that being said, I am hoping things are settling enough that I can get back into reading. Still being mindful and aware we are not out of the woods yet (nor will we be any time soon), but also capable of treating myself right and enjoy a good book from time to time. I'm still mentally clogged with everything going on, but I want to try to get back into the hobbies I love and miss doing this year.

 

And with that, I bring to you my review of Jack Frost: The End Becomes the Beginning.

 

I really liked this book. It's not my favorite book in the series, but I did enjoy it for what it was. I don't intend to go into too many details with this review since it's the final book in the series but I did want to talk about a few things that won't spoil the plot.

 

It's a very good book. And the conclusion, though not really what I was hoping for, was not bad in any way. However, I had a few problems with it as I was reading it. The first thing that bugged me was the pacing. Joyce wrote this book after the movie came out and it shows. Which is a bit of a bummer for since his original story was magnificent. In this book he tried to tie in the movie and book universes too much and it did not blend well. It felt disjointed at times and forced. The pacing suffered because of this as well. The beginning was very slow. VERY SLOW. He kept rehashing certain scenes from the previous books and also diving deep into moments that took placed in the past and not during the actual story being told. A lot of the story was told in "flashback" moments which took the reader out of the current plot. It felt messy and rushed in some areas and it dragged in others.

 

The characters are still loveable and unique. But they definitely took a backseat in this book. Joyce focused more on action and "plot" but he completely forgot about what a lot of readers picked up these books for in the first place and that was to see these amazing characters interact in this whimsical world he created. When those parts appeared in this book, it was incredible just like it was in the precious books. But they were few and far between. Most of the scenes in this book was one battle after the other. That's it. I wanted to see more of the relationships between all of the characters,

 

I especially feel Pitch was left as an afterthought, almost. Yes, he's a lingering presence throughout the whole book, but he doesn't actually make an appearance until the end of the book, if you're not including the flashback portion. It was very underwhelming seeing what happens at the end. I was hoping for more interaction, more feeling. It was like (and I'm keeping it vague here on purpose) Jack does a thing, Emily Jane says thanks, and that's it! I wanted Jack and Pitch to have a full on conversation! To come to the realization that they are not so different after all. To say thanks or sorry or something! But we didn't get much of anything and it felt very hollow.

 

The ending... I'm not a huge fan of. It was an ending that would have meant something if we were introduced to certain elements beforehand. Not almost 250 pages into the book. It felt, like most of this books, rather empty and pointless.

 

That's not to say this book is bad. It's not. I did like it. I was just expecting to see more of the characters I fell in love with interacting with one another and understanding one another. Instead I got a bunch of action with no real substance.

 

If you've read the other books in this series, I do recommend you read this one. It's good to see the conclusion to this amazing series. Just don't expect too much going in and you may enjoy this a lot more.

 

I'm glad that despite everything that's been happening in the world, I was still able to finish this series that I have been meaning to read for quite some time now. I don't know what I'll be reading next but I hope that I will continue to read regardless.

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