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! 🙂

A Book Review

Well it was what I had planned on writing for this posting but then, when I sat down to write about a book I’d finally found time to finish, I went blank.

I actually have had very little sleep today since I had to stay up after work this morning to go run errands until almost noon.  Then, I had issues going to sleep – the world outside my door and window is very loud at times – so there was that.  I got maybe five hours of sleep which is supposed to be great.  Me, however, I take a medication for my medical condition which zonks me out, once I get fully asleep and waking up is almost as hard as going to sleep.  I know, cry me a river why don’t you.

Still, I’m going to say a few words about the book and later, I may do a full blown review – I haven’t decided yet.  Here it goes:

Blue Labyrinth by Preston and Child is a good book.  I have read them before, but I didn’t like their main “good guy” Aloysius Pendergast.  He’s grown on me since reading this book so I’m going to go back and read the beginning book – when I can find it.  I recommend it for those of you who like a good “what the hell is going on” book.

As always, don’t take my word for it.  Read the book yourself.  Following someone blindly will only get you run into a wall, or worse.  I merely give you my own honest opinion about something, and it’s up to you to listen or not.

So, it’s that time again.  I need to get ready for work soon.  I’ll see you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver.

Personal Update April 10, 2018

Public: So, what have you been up to lately?

Me: Working and sleeping mostly.  Did have to go see the dentist after two of my implants fell out.  He took out two more and now, I have to wait a month before he’ll put them back in again.

Public: Bummer.

Me: *sigh* That’s life.

Public: Surely you’ve done more than that lately?

Me: I’ve been working on things to put into my Etsy store when I have the time.  I make hats and lapghans for cancer patients and veterans first, then I work on other stuff.  I’m currently working on an edging for an altar cloth.  The pattern is one that Marie Antoinette Hees published around 1915.

Public: That sounds like fun.

Me: I like learning new things and easy isn’t much fun anymore.

Public: Sounds like you have a full life.

Me: Not really, but I do try to keep busy even when not working.

Public: How is your writing going?

Me: Just submitted The Inbetween to Independent Publishers for consideration.  I’ve not done much else since.  I am trying to make money anyway I can to make ends meet, and my writing suffers because of it.  The Etsy store and my job have to come first.

Public: Good luck on the book.

Me: Thanks.  I’m also trying to read The Stone Monkey by Jeffrey Deaver when I have some time to.  Not watching any television or movies right now – not enough time.

Public: What’s the link to your store, we’ll go have a peek at the very least.

Me: I’d appreciate that.  The link is: https://www.etsy.com/shop/GriffinsMarket

Public: Keep up the good fight, and we’ll see you later.

Me: See you 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! 🙂

As Promised – Kafka Mini Reviews

Just finished reading the last short story in the collection, and I am ready to write the mini reviews I promised you ages ago. 🙂

The last story I reviewed was The Stoker so I begin this with In The Penal Colony.

This short story, In The Penal Colony, was written in 1914 and published in 1919.  It is described as a parable.  I agree with this.  It’s describes a torture device that is actually put to use.  The description of that scene is pretty graphic and if you don’t like blood, you won’t want to read it.  It’s not scary, not by a long shot, just puts too much emphasis(in my opinion) on the bloody nature of the device.  It’s also one of his longer stories.

A Country Doctor is next.  It was written in 1916 and published in 1919.  This story must have been one of his “dream logic” stories because it was quite confusing.  Either that or the doctor, while freezing to death waiting for a horse to take him on a house call, loses his mind; said mind going on one last house call that made very little sense.  Read it if you like, but I saw nothing to recommend it except Kafka’s emotive writing.  His use of words to convey surrealism on the verge of horror is fantastic.

An Old Leaf was published in 1919 with no mention of what year it was written – most likely 1916 along with A Country Doctor.  Not sure what this story was trying to say but at least it wasn’t that long.

A Hunger Artist, written in 1921 and published in 1924.  This short story is about an actual hunger artist who can’t seem to come to terms with how society viewed his idea of “art”.  People used to flock around people who were actual hunger artists but only because of the morbidity and oddity of these “performers”.  I found it interesting from a historic perspective.  I wouldn’t have considered these performances as being art.

Josephine, the Singer, or The Mouse People was also written in 1921 and published in 1924.  It’s a longer story, but it also deals with an artist who can’t come to grips with the way her society actually views her “art”.  I found this story to be boring.  I won’t lie since that would be a disservice to you, the readers of this review.  Read it for yourselves as you may get more out of it than I did.

The last story in the collection is actually part of a larger novel.  Before the Law, written in 1914 and published in 1919, is part of his completed novel The Trial which was published posthumously in 1925.  Before the Law is very short and doesn’t make any sense at all to me.  It might to you.  Personally, I think I’d rather read The Trial as context might help it make sense to me.

And thus ends my mini reviews of the remaining short stories of Franz Kafka.  As always,  I urge you readers to read this body of work for yourselves because only then can you truly know how you feel about them – know completely what you have brought away from reading them.  I am no expert on anything and thus, you have no need to take my word for anything in regards to this body of work or any other.  Don’t take my word, or anyone else’s for that matter – find out for yourself!

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

Kafka and More

I’ve almost finished reading the collection of short stories by Kafka.  I’ll do a quick overview of each one as soon as I’m done.  Writing complete reviews of each would rather spoil things for you, if I haven’t done so already with my other reviews.  Kafka is well worth a read because of the way he writes and not just what he writes.  I’m looking forward to reading at least one of his novels in the near future.

Working the mid shift I’m on at work has thrown my life out of whack.  I can’t really plan things like I could before.  I only have so much time before and after work to do things.  What makes things harder is that my back issues are getting worse since I started work.  I don’t lift heavy things but I do a lot of walking, bending over and other things which is causing me a lot of pain.  I have to force myself to work a full shift because by the time I’ve been there an hour my feet feel like I’ve been on them for days.  I’m going to call the doctor tomorrow to see about getting an appointment.  I need something done so I can keep working.

My filet crochet project of the peacock is nearing the end – only about 30 more rows to go – if I don’t decide to add panels to the side of it.  It is looking quite lovely, and I’ll be posting a picture of it when it’s done.

I messed around and missed the deadline for entering Mr. Nobody into the contest for FunDead Publications, but that’s okay because I’m going to turn the short story into a full length novel called The Demon’s Rules. 🙂

I joined Soldier’s Angels, a volunteer agency that links volunteers with soldiers and groups of soldiers here at home and abroad.  They have many teams doing things from writing letters to sending care packages to providing items for baby showers and other things as well.  All branches are served by this group, and I’m happy to be a part of the team.

I’m also loom knitting hats for cancer patients and veterans here in the States.  I’m only making one a day due to my schedule, but it’s still something.

So, I’m working, reading, writing, and crafting every day – very busy schedule. 🙂  How are things with you?

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

Duolingo, TinyCards and Me

Sounds almost like a song lyric doesn’t it.

In high school, I took French as an elective class two years in a row. Two years ago, roughly, I discovered Duolingo – an online language course that’s free.  I played with it off and on for a while before not bothering with it up until November 2017.  Since then, I have been working on it almost every day – the touted 5 minutes most of the time but sometimes longer – relearning a language I only remembered parts of.  The course is lots of fun and quite easy. It helps you not only learn how to pronounce words, you learn how to read and spell them.  Fluency is the goal for this course, and it helps you get there.

Now TinyCards is a site that works in conjunction with Duolingo. If a word has more than one meaning, Tiny Cards teaches you these words along with the ones Duolingo has taught you.  Same with words that have more than one spelling.  It just enhances what you’ve already learned.  You can spend 5 minutes on this site as well and still learn something new.

I’m currently at 34% Fluency.  I have found a site that has French children’s poetry on it so I can work on my reading and translating skills – when I feel I’m ready.  This same site has adult poetry as well, but I’m aiming for the kids’ stuff first.

I highly recommend these sites as they have numerous languages to choose from – a friend of mine is learning German, and she’s gotten very good at it.  Let me know how it goes for you if you do decide.

I’ll see you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!