Audiobook Review: Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett

The audiobook version of this classic I listened to on Audible. I vaguely recall seeing it on a late night classic movie channel back when I was a kid. I think it was in black and white but don’t quote me; I’ve slept a lot since then.

The story was written by Dashiell Hammett in 1934, and William Dufris is the narrator in the audiobook version.

It was hard to get into the story. Nick, the main character, sounded bored most of the time while he was telling his side of the story and when responding to others. The wisecracks fell flat because there wasn’t much emotion in them.

The story itself was good,a well thought out murder mystery I would’ve enjoyed more if I’d read it myself.

I give the audiobook three stars mostly because I got bored because the narrator sounded bored a lot. This said, don’t take my word for it. Check it out for yourself here. You can purchase a print copy in a bunch of places cheaper than you can get the audiobook for, and you might enjoy it more – in my humble opinion.

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!

The Limehouse Golem – Movie Review

This movie is a Victorian era horror movie starring Bill Nighy and Olivia Cooke, among others.

It’s a fantastic movie. The creep factor is high, but it adds to it. The movie shows the reality of the society in that era. At one point, there was a little Irish girl who spoke only Gaelic. She was a witness to one of the murders, and she was being brought to speak to the police without understanding what was going on. The detective was using a nun to translate, and the little girl told her to tell him she wasn’t for sale. She said her mother had a gentleman coming for her on her next birthday. That was the reality of the lives of the poor of that era.

It’s this attention to detail that made this movie so good! The acting was superb as well. It has a fine cast. The story was well written, and the action was engrossing. Yes, I really liked the movie.

I give this movie five stars and strongly recommend it. I found it on Hulu.com, but it’s also on Amazon, VUDU and iTunes. Don’t take my word for it, of course, see it for yourself!

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!

Lincoln Rhyme : Hunt for the Bone Collector – TV show

This show started in Januaryt of this year on NBC. It airs on Friday night, and I watch the rerun on Hulu since I work Friday nights. The show is based on Jeffrey Deaver’s famous book: The Bone Collector, and it uses a lot of the elements from the book. I especially liked they showed how Rhyme ended up paralyzed in the very first episode.

The show stars Russell Hornsby as Lincoln Rhyme. I first saw him on Grimm where he played Detective Hank Griffin, the partner to the main character. In this show, he gets to play a stronger character – the main lead in a cast of leading actors. He portrays Rhyme a lot like Denzel Washington did in the movie, but he also gives him some humanity.

Amelia Sachs, his “eyes and ears” on the scenes, is played by Arielle Kebbel. I’ve seen her in a couple of horror movies. She was also in a television show called Midnight Texas that didn’t last long. I saw a couple of episodes of it, and I think they could’ve done much better with it…. In this show, she also gets to play a strong character, one with compassion and strength as well as a bit of a reckless streak.

The Bone Collector, aka Peter, is played by Brian F O’Bryne. I think I saw him in Million Dollar Baby, but I’m not sure. In this show, the Bone Collector is known to the viewer, and he’s married which is why I know his name is Peter. In the first episode, you also see how the Bone Collector knows Lincoln Rhyme. I like seeing both sides of this particular conflict.

Due to its very name, I’m not sure how long this show is going to last – planned obsolescence comes to mind. A great many shows, here and in the UK, are being designed to only last a few seasons. Maybe the next season will be based on another Deaver book featuring Rhyme. That would be nice.

The show has episodes mainly about other cases to solve with the Bone Collector being worked in the back ground so, something is always going on. Lots of interesting scenes including one where Sachs builds a thermite bomb in a matter of minutes with Lincoln’s help. I like learning more about New York and its environs – its history features heavily in all the books featuring Rhyme. Makes me want to go visit just to see some of what they’ve talked about, including some of the subway stations.

One of the things I didn’t like was the casting of his wife, Danielle. They used Claire Coffee, another former cast member on Grimm. She doesn’t get much onscreen time as the Bone Collector’s wife, but it doesn’t matter. I don’t think she’s got that much talent. Her facial expressions are pretty limited. If she sticks to playing romance parts where she gets to smile and flirt and whatever, she’ll be okay. Playing a villian or anything else that requires strong emotion, I don’t see her pulling it off.

Don’t take my word for it though, check out the show yourself!

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!

Dexter – the Television Show

That one’s a blast from the past isn’t it?  Stars Michael C Hall and ran from 2006 to 2013 .  According to the Wikipedia, Mr. Hall was undergoing treatment for cancer around the time he was in the middle of working on Dexter.  Kudos to him for that!

Dexter aired on Showtime as a show for adults with lots of violence, some nudity, lots of foul language and sexual content.  Quite risque for that time period in television in fact.

Dexter is a serial killer with a code of honor he adheres to no matter what, and he works for the Miami PD as a blood splatter expert in the Forensics lab.  His sister also works for the Miami PD – as a homicide cop.  I haven’t discovered if she knows the truth about him yet as I’m still on the first season.

What is Dexter’s code of honor and can a serial killer have one?  Well apparently a fictional one can.  Dexter was adopted by a police officer who found him at the scene of his mother’s death.  Dexter witnessed it, but he had repressed the memory.  Despite this, he had no feelings, no emotions whatsoever and his dad, Harry, had to teach him how to fit in so people wouldn’t realize he was different.  Harry also taught Dexter how to channel his killing urges and beat forensics.  His main lesson to Dexter, other than don’t get caught, is to only kill people who deserve to die – really bad criminals who have beaten the system.  These people include murderers, drug dealers, coyotes who kill the ones they are supposed to be saving, and such like.

I am enjoying this first season which has one main case – the Ice Truck Killer – he and his sister are trying to solve with the Miami PD – while Dexter is also taking care of his own killer needs.

Oh yeah, he is also dating a young woman with two kids….

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!  We might need to fix something! 😀

Cop Town – Karin Slaughter

Read a new book by an author I’d never heard of thanks to a friend of mine whose reading tastes are similar to my own. 🙂

My copy of this book is a trade paperback produced by Dell Books Copyright 2015.  The story itself is approximately 431 pages long.  There’s an Acknowledgments page which is needed for all the research that went into creating this fantastic story, and there’s a teaser for the next book in the series.

This book is a snapshot in time as a great deal of it is based on fact.  The murders, the cops, they’re figments of the writer’s imagination, but the rest of it is fact.  I like how the writer was able to weave these two things together into such a compelling tapestry.

I have to admit to not liking the story at first – it was slow, to me.  However, I kept reading, and the story got better.  Characters began to flesh out and become more like people than just descriptions and dialogue.  Scenes began to flash and take on color, to move faster.  It was a fabulous ride!

Our story begins with Kate Murphy’s first day on the job at Atlanta PD in 1974 – a time when women were just beginning to get into “men’s jobs”.  A cop has been killed, a cop who was the partner of the brother of Kate’s first partnet, Maggie Lawson.  The only thing the two women have in common is their gender – Maggie is from the poor side of town, and Kate is from a wealthier Jewish family.

Still, as the two women find a way to help track down the cop killer despite all the male testoterone trying to keep them from it, the two find ways to connect.

I can’t tell you much more than that without giving away the story so, I’ll stop here.  Read the book for yourself, don’t listen to me and my opinion.  Think for yourself and maybe, you’ll enjoy yourself.  I know I do!

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver.  Keep an eye out for a black 67 Impala too!  There’s always an adventure waiting when you see it!

15TH Affair – James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

I’m a big James Patterson fan, and I’ve become a fan of his teaming up with Maxine Paetro for this series.  I must confess to only having read the first two books in The Women’s Murder Club series before reading this one, but I do plan to fix that by finding the rest of the series as soon as I can afford to.

My copy is a paperback – trade size – and the story is roughly 357 pages.  There’s the usual About The Authors in the back as well as some other things in there the reader will like.  This copy was published by Grand Central Publishing,a division of Hachette Book Group Inc., and has a copyright of 2016.  The hardcover version was originally published by Little, Brown and Company in May 2016.

Now, this story centers around Detective Lindsay Boxer of the San Francisco Police Department.  She’s married with a baby girl and a dog, as well as a wonderful neighbor/nanny and her murder club friends.

A murder and a disappearing woman threaten her marriage and, at one point, her life!  The book is full of twists and turns as well as some strong feels as Lindsay works the case and tries to deal with her life crumbling around her.  The action is fantastic and nothing is wasted as everything you learn leads to something else – sometimes unexpected things!

I really enjoyed the book, and I think you will too.  Just don’t take my word for it – read it for yourself! 🙂

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver.  If you can’t have a Tardis, get a black 1969 Impala or, my personal fave, a cherry red 1969 Firebird!

Solitude Creek – Jeffrey Deaver

This book is a Kathryn Dancer novel, not a LIncoln Rhyme novel, but I liked it anyway. 🙂 My copy is a paperback published by Grand Central Publishing Copyright 2015. It’s roughtly 579 pages long plus a bit of a lead in to another book and the always present, Author page, every novel should have – if only so we have a picture of the author. 🙂

Agent Kathryn Dance works for the California Bureau of Investigation and lives in the area.  She’s a widow with two children, boy and girl, and several dogs.  She is friends of Lincoln Rhyme(might we see another pairing of this intelligent and determined duo?) and Amelia Sachs.  She is also an expert in kinesics – the study of body language and how to read people.  She uses it as one of her main interrogation techniques.

In this story, a man named Antioch March(he prefers Andy) is staging stampedes – for profit!  Kathryn is sent as part of an undercover operation for another ongoing case dealing with gangs to the site of the initial stampede, and she decides she’s going to work this case too.

With two cases going and with two men she’s really into, you’d think her dance card would be full!  Then, there’s the kids.  Wes, her son, is hanging out with new friends and not quite telling her lies about what he’s doing with them.  Maggie, her daughter and the younger of the two, is moody and a bit withdrawn – to the point of not wanting to since at her school’s talent show even though she’s a great singer!

Agent Dance manages all of this chaos in her life and doesn’t get shot once! A shocker to me too especially when her demotion means she can’t carry a weapon!  Still, she does her job, on all fronts, superbly!

You have to read this book!  I refuse to give away the ending or even tell you any of the really good parts – because I can! 🙂 As you all know, I’m a big advocate for doing things yourself: see the movie critics are panning, read the book everyone seems to hate, listen to the music everybody else scoffs at.  Don’t be a lemming who just follows what everyone else is doing – you’ll miss out on a lot going over the cliff with the others.

So, see you on the flipside and don’t forget to bring your towel and sonic  screwdriver!  Who knows, we might run into some evil alien lemmings bent on throwing us off the cliff! 🙂

Secrets in Death – J.D. Robb

My copy of this book is a trade paperback meaning it’s small enough to fit in my purse. 🙂 It’s printed by St. Martin’s Press, the Paperback division.  Copyright is 2017 and held by Nora Roberts aka J.D. Robb.  It’s a cop driven whodoneit which I like when it’s written well.

Lieutenant Eve Dallas and Detective Peabody (aka Shebody to her beau, EDD Detective Ian McNab) are the main players from the police force, and there’s Raorke, the civilian consultant.  He also happens to very rich and very married to Eve though she doesn’t use his last name when she’s working.  Not sure what that means, but it’s in the book.

The story starts with Eve going to a swank bar to meet a colleague she really doesn’t like that much and during a somewhat testy exchange of why don’t you like me; I don’t like you because.. Eve sees a woman come staggering into the bar from the lower floor, bleeding.  She literally catches the woman before she dies and goes to the floor with her even as she breathes her last.

So begins the mystery of who killed the woman, who turns out to be the gossip queen of a big television studio.  Everyone has a reason to kill, more so than others, so motive is a no-brainer.  The question is, amongst all the people this woman blackmailed and extorted, who actually ended her.

I enjoyed the book immensely.  I’ve actually read most of the series from the very beginning, and the evolution of the Eve character is fun to watch. 🙂 Sex is in the book, but it’s not all that graphic (not compared to many so called “romance” books that are really just soft porn).  It’s also between the loving couple of Eve and Dallas, and it’s part of the story – their story.

This story isn’t your run of the mill mystery.  People really matter.  How they feel, what they’ve been through and the secrets they’ve felt the need to protect despite what it led to – in this case extortion and blackmail.  There’s a great deal of depth and emotion, and I really like that as it makes me care more, makes me relate better, to the characters.

I highly recommend reading this book, but as usual, I don’t advocate taking my advice blindly.  Check out the book yourself.  If it’s not what you like, no worries.  I’m not here to judge, just to share a little bit of my world with you. 🙂

See you all on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!

Stephen King – End of Watch

First off, let me say how much of a fangirl I am of Stephen King’s writing.  I can’t say of the man because I have never actually met him, but his writing – OMG!!  I discovered Mr. King in the fall of 1984.  I was in school and found his book, IT, in the school library.  It was a hardcover without a dust jacket.  It was gray all over with IT in red letting that looked almost slashed into the cover.  I was intrigued as I had not read a horror story before – the book cover gave no clue what genre it was and I didn’t bother to look at the inside of the book.

Anyway, I started reading the book, and I couldn’t put it down.  I read it far past my bedtime, I read it during lunch at school and even in some of my classes when I got my work done early.  It took me three days to read the entire book and from then on, I was hooked.  My second book by him was Carrie as I wanted to start from the beginning.

Now, almost 34 years later, I am still a major fan of his work, and the most recent book of his I have read is called End of Watch.

From the moment I opened the book and began to read, I was hooked.  Just like with It, I couldn’t put the book down!  Unlike IT, it took me less than 24 hours to read it from cover to cover. I was disappointed not to see the Dear Reader missive I’ve gotten used to seeing at the end of the book – there was Author’s Note instead.  Ah well, things do change….

End of Watch is related to two other books written by Mr, King: Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers.  It brings the story thread full circle in fact, and the ending is one you should definitely get to.

The main bad guy in this book is Brady Hartsfield, a major psycho if ever there was one.  The good guys are Retired Detective Bill Hodges, Holly Gibney with some help from Jerome Robinson.  Mr. King has fleshed out these characters so well you loathe the bad guy and really dig the good guys.  I actually cried about one of them, and I don’t usually cry over fictional characters so kuddos to you Mr. King.

Brady is a mass murderer who killed 8 people with a car and injured quite a few more in the first book to introduce him.  Holly stops him from killing hundreds more using a bomb by smacking him in the head with a sock containing ball bearings – big ones.  In this book, Brady has learned how to leave his wasted body and “ride” along inside of other people’s brains.  He’s also learned a lot about mind control and hypnosis.  Combining all this, he plans to kill a whole lot more people – kids mostly – and not get blamed for it.  He is the “prince of suicide” after all.

Bill has retired from the police force since Brady was captured, survived a heart attack and opened up a detective agency with Holly.  Now, he’s been told he has pancreatic cancer, and it’s pretty bad.  Once people who survived Brady’s rampage with the car begin committing suicide, he thinks of Brady right away.  He puts off treatment of his condition until he finds a way to stop the once perceived brain dead man with the help of Holly and Jerome.

The story is often fast paced with heart pounding action Mr. King is wonderful at creating!  The feasibility of what he proposes could happen is what is more frightening than anything else in the book.  Violence is a bit graphic but not unduly so – be fair warned.  The book, as a whole, is happily fantastic and well worth reading!

As usual, don’t take my word for it.  Read it, or not, as you wish.  I know there are some people out there who don’t like Mr. King’s writing (oh say it isn’t so!!), and that’s their prerogative.  I’m not a literary expert or anything and even if I was, you should make up your own mind and not follow what everyone else thinks.  You can miss out on a lot of fun experiences that way.

Thus ends my review, I’ll see you all on the flipside.  Don’t forget your towels or your sonic screwdriver – someone may need a bureau made at them! 🙂