Book: Michael Connelly “Trunk Music”

August 1, 2015

The fifth Harry Bosch book sees him back in Homicide after disciplinary leave picking up his first case.  A corpse in the trunk of a white Rolls Royce, it looks like a mob hit.  The investigation takes Bosch to Las Vagas, again a mob connection, and here he stumbles on Eleanor Wish.

Trunk_musicWish appeared in Connelly’s debut novel THE BLACK ECHO as an FBI agent who Bosch was involved with but who…  well I can’t tell you about that bit.  Anyway her circumstances are very different five years on. The relationship now between Wish and Bosch is a little unconvincing, but looks like she will be a long term character.  The investigation is good – I didn’t see where it was going and again this is well put together page turner.


Book: Michael Connelly “The Last Coyote”

August 1, 2015

The forth Harry Bosch book from Michael Connelly. I’m going through these fairly quickly using kindle app on my phone.  They are really easy to pick up at any point in the plot without needing to keep track of everything.

The_Last_CoyoteThis story opens with Harry on involuntary stress leave and having to attend regular sessions with a police psychologist. He is also rebuilding his house which has been officially condemned following an earthquake.

During this suspension Harry starts looking back at the murder of his own mother many years earlier.  Was this case poorly investigated covered up?  Well his one man investigation opens up long term political corruption and many secrets.


Book: Michael Connelly “The Concrete Blonde”

July 2, 2015

The third book this series takes place while Harry Bosch is on trial (well the widow of a serial killer is suing the city for an unlawful killling by Harry).  The case has been referred to in the previous two books so it is good to get around to knowing more about this.  The serial killer, known as the Dollmaker had some fairly specific ways of staging the killing and during this trial a new body is uncovered that looks like the same killer but who was killed after Harry killed the suspected Dollmaker.

bookSo was Harry wrong, did the police plant evidence to clear the crime and how did this new body fit in?  All the twists and turns you expect from these thrillers so that just as you find out the truth you can think that you almost guessed the correct outcome.


Book: Lee Child “Personal” (Jack Reacher 19)

June 2, 2015

Having read every Jack Reahcer book, and all the short stories I can find, it is fair to say I like this character.  I enjoy Child’s writing style (usually) and his stories are well crafted and full of pace, racing along with twists at the end of each chapter that draw you into reading the first few sentences of the next till you just can’t stop.

However this book was more disappointing.  Not all Reacher novels are great, there have been some hickups along the way, but event poor Jack Reacher books are still good stories in them selves – just not up to Lee Child’s high standards.  This time it isn’t even a very good story.

bookReacher is tracked down – in an odd way in my opinion – by a general who needs him for a job only he can do … yada yada.. there’s a female officer he has to work with (who is really only there so he can explain the plot to her) .. he has to travel to Paris (which was a good part since Jack Reacher’s has a past in Paris – his resistance fighting mother) then to London on a wild goose chase after a sniper who yada yada might be the best -snooze- sniper in the world and has a grudge against —-….  oh man this was a slow, meandering and pointless plot.  By the time the book finally got to the plot twist at the end I couldn’t have cared less.

In part the book was building to a Boss level fight between Jack and his target, but it felt like Child had also lost interest as the final meeting of the two ends fairly simply.  I will read the next and the next and the next but I do hope they get back to form.


Book: Michael Connelly “The Black Ice”

June 1, 2015

Connelly’s second novel follows on from “The Black Echo” which I also read and wrote about recently. Picking up 18 months after the close of the previous novel this opens on Christmas Day with Harry Bosch monitoring the police scanner to know what is going on.  He hears a message about a homicide since he is on duty, thinks he should bookalready have been notified about this.  It turns out to be an apparent suicide of a fellow cop working out of the Hollywood Division’s narcotics unit. Although Bosch didn’t know him well it gets his interest and even though he is warned off the case it turns out some of his other cases seem to be tied to this.

What follows is a fast (this book takes place between Christmas Day and New Years) series of linked cases taking Harry across the border into Mexico to take down a drugs lord with the help if the DEA, local police and some Bulls.  Another excellent police procedural novel with the usual cliches of working against the rules.


The Garden

May 29, 2015

Since moving in Dec 2011 we hadn’t done much with our garden other than putting up a new fence when the existing one fell down, cutting the grass, etc. The main problems the garden had was poor drainage close to the house where the ‘grass’ is often waterlogged, steps and slabs that became an issue with a toddler around

Our priorities for a garden space is

  • Child safe & fun, so robust planting that will survive a child and educational
  • Functional (clothes lines, seating, bbq, play, storage)
  • Food! veg & herbs
  • Compost area
  • hardy and seasonal plants, scented planting, nothing with thorns and if possible insect friendly

March 2015 The Design I came up with…garden-the-planLevel step out from house onto decking area – pots and containers on deck for herbs – an ‘open pergola’ structure to give height and something to hang a swing, lights, planting, etc. – storage benches made from decking material to tie in – storage shed – raised beds for veg -two flower beds, one in sun an one shaded – keep the existing paved area retained for BBQ or play area.

 

su-garden01

su-garden02

It took several quotes and chasing builders to find someone who could do it then in two weeks this happened…


Before & After Photos..

01before
01after

02before
02after

03before
03after

2015-04-26 17.37.32

2015-05-04 18.23.21

2015-05-09 15.10.25

 

Now I just need to grow stuff :-)

 


Food: The Rum Shack

May 27, 2015

I used to blog about food a fair bit, but got out of the habit, tonight is worth sharing…

The Rum Shack on Pollokshaws Road, opened about a year ago and is exactly what you expect from a place called The Rum Shack – lots of Rums (their facebook site claims 50, I didn’t count), Caribbean food and reggae music.

2015-05-26 20.13.01Being child free for a night meant we were out on a school night – but being parents of a young child meant we were in and out again before the cool people made the place look busy, in order to get to bed at a sensible time :-(

However, there was time for a couple of rums.  The bar staff were knowledgeable and after a few questions and suggestions….  “Yea I’ve tried that”  “Is that like their previous one”  “What’s new from Barbados?” I had an Angostura Cask Collection No.1 and later a Plantation Grande Réserve 5 years.  Both were very nice, but the Angostura was amazingly smooth and I’ve started trying to track down a bottle (limited edition with only 9,600 bottles available worldwide).  But I was supposed to be blogging about food not rum…

The Rum Shack’s menu isn’t extensive but from my limited Caribbean experience (honeymoon in Barbados) it seems authentic enough with Salt Fish, Curry Goat and rice-and-peas of course. We shared a starter of Accra -Salt Fish mixed with herbs and seasoning, shaped into balls and fried till golden. This came with the house hot sauce which nearly melted my lips and I thought I wouldn’t taste anything else all night!  The hot sauce isn’t messing and was way beyond my limit.

After some water and about 10min my mouth had calmed down enough to carry on.

2015-05-26 19.45.05Our main courses were Rum Shack Fish-n-chips which had a jerk style coating, sweet potato chips and lentils and Jerk Chicken, served with rice and peas and corn on the cob.  It was all absolutely delicious, the flavours weren’t overwhelming or too hot, everything was perfect.  Except, in my opinion, the portion size was a little small especially given the prices, e.g. 3 small balls of fish.  It isn’t extortionate but neither is this a cheap choice so you really don’t want to leave still feeling hungry.  That said, I would certainly like to go back and give it another try for both the excellent food and the chance to try different Rums!

 


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