Book: Michael Connelly “Chasing the Dime”

November 27, 2015

Yes, another one – I’ve read little but Michael Connelly since May.  This was a nice change where again Connelly takes a break from his usual protagonist Harry Bosch.  This is about a Scientist, Henry Pierce, who is on the verge of developing a breakthrough in nanotechnological microprocessing. Unfortunately his personal life is falling apart and he finds out about a prostitute who may be missing or in trouble… for a long time we don’t know why this bother’s him at all and why he goes off trying to find her only to become a suspect in her murder.

Ibook2t is refreshing to have a protagonist who is a naive civilian, rather than a cynical cop like Harry Bosch or a manipulative FBI agent.  The book also weaves together the two sides of Henry Pierce’s life very well, giving us the details of his work and potential scientific breakthrough while also following his unofficial investigation into the missing prostitute.

I know I keep saying the same thing about these books but they are fascinating, very well paced, page turners.

Book: Michael Connelly “City Of Bones”

November 27, 2015

Another Michael Connelly book.  A dog finds a bone, but his owner is a retired doctor identifies it as a human and Detective Harry Bosch happens to pick up the job.  It turns out to be the partial skeleton of a child buried for around 20 years.  The examination of the remains reveals a harrowing tale of prolonged abuse. Harry will not leave this one alone and methodically discovers the identify with victim and discover what happened to him.

bookThere is a love interest, many possible leads and dead ends as well as the surprises and twists right till the end.  Again this is a page turner, so much so that this is the book that was adapted to make the Bosch TV series that first introduced me to this character – meaning that I actually should know this story but it still had me captivated.

Book: Michael Connelly “Void Moon”

November 5, 2015

This Michael Connelly novel is a stand alone story, rather than part of any series, and features a female protagonist, Cassie Black, who is a thief rather than on the side of law enforcement more common to Connelly.

Cassie is trying to go straight after release from prison but needs one last job.  The job that comes up just happens to be in the Las Vegas Casino where she lost her partner and went to jail for trying to rob six years earlier.

The first major twist is when [spoiler alert] after getting to know this character a little it appears that she isn’t averse to killing in cold blood.  As soon as that happens her story is dropped and we pick up with a private detective called in to solve the robbery/murder committed by Cassie.  Then as we are getting to know him – he kills someone in cold blood and turns out to be a very-bad-man.  So who in this story is the hero/heroine?

Well, gradually there is a cat and mouse chase with lots of secrets being revealed along the way.  The climax to this novel is breathtaking with you never really knowing who will end up on top or how they will manage it.  A great story.

Book: Michael Connelly “Blood Work”

November 5, 2015

Continuing my journey through the Michael Connelly back catalog. This is another book that doesn’t feature his ‘star’ Harry Bosch character, but unfortunately I had already read the sequel to this story so I had met the main protagonist and had references to what happens here.  That said it was a very good read and again an easy page turner.

bookBlood Work features retired FBI agent Terry McCaleb who, for complicated reasons ends up investigating the murder of a woman who became organ donor responsible for McCaleb’s recent heart transplant.  Very much against his cardiologist’s wishes, against the LAPD officers and everyone surrounding the case McCaleb gradually gets drawn in.  There are so many twists and turns in this book it is difficult to remember which directions it takes – suffice to say it is a great read with the only downside being the amount of driving around LA that goes on – these details must be fascinating to those who know the place but it gets a little tedious at times.

Movie: The Program

November 5, 2015

An all to rare trip to the movies tonight took us to the GFT to watch The Program.  Firstly this was the first time I’ve been in screen 3 at the GFT, which was small, but nice, very clean and with the well behaved audience you expect at the GFT –  only it was very cold!

movieSo, to the movie.  The Program is about the legendary cyclist Lance Armstrong. Seven times winner of the Tour de France and the iconic figure at the head of the sport when I, like many others, discovered how fascinating this race is.  However he is also one of the worlds best known sport cheats taking and making normal the use of performance enhancers and bullying anyone who didn’t agree out of the sport.

This movie is supposed to be based on the work of Irish journalist David Walsh (played by Chris O’Dowd) who pursues Lance and others in the sport involved in drug taking.  Personally I would like to have seen a lot more of his story, but predictably the film focuses on Lance and tries to squeeze far to much into too short a time – in one seen we see him meeting a woman, exchanging a few words cut to them leaving a church as bride and groom – then we never see her again.  For those of us who know the Lance Armstrong story there isn’t much new in this.  The cycling scenes are ok but there isn’t enough.

The most interesting story (perhaps because I wasn’t aware of it) is that of Floyd Landis, a fellow rider on the team who has to struggle with not only lying to the public and to his Pennsylvanian Amish community.

If this is shown on TV it’s worth a watch, or if you are interested in cycling but don’t know the recent horrible history then it’s a place to start.



Book: Michael Connelly “The Poet”

September 27, 2015

I have become somewhat obsessed with Michael Connelly this year, marching may way through the Harry Bosch series.  However I’ve now decided to read his books in published order after discovering in “A Darkness More Than Night” that other characters have guest experiences.  So I’ve gone back to read “The Poet” where we first meet crime reporter Jack McEvoy.

bookMcEvoy’s twin brother, a homicide detective, has apparently committed suicide. In a complex plot McEvoy works out it was homicide, there are links to other apparent cop-suicides and eventually a serial killer is discovered.  McEvoy (a reporter remember) manages to get inside the FBI investigation of this killer, mainly because he discovered what was going on.  He falls for an FBI agent he is assigned to.  They get close to the killer – but then in the closing chapters of the book there are more twists than a twisty thing has on a twisty day!!

OK, so there are too many perfect murders in this story and falling for the only non-incidental female character was predictable but little else was.  The story is also written from two points of view, Jack McEvoy and ‘the killer’ which adds a nice pace and insight to what is going on.

Book: Michael Connelly “A Darkness More Than Night”

September 14, 2015

Things just got confusing in the world of Harry Bosch.  Earlier this year I stumbled across the Harry Bosch TV series, enjoyed it so downloaded the Kindle version of the first Harry Bosch book, and debut novel from Michael Connelly “The Black Echo“.  Since then I’ve worked my way through “The Black Ice“, “The Concrete Blond“, “The Last Coyote“, “Trunk Music” & “Angels Flight”  Which brings me to this book, “A Darkness More Thank Night”, only to discover that Michael Connelly has written books about other characters in the Harry Bosch version of LA and this book seems to involve at least two of them (as well as Harry).

book2The plot opens with retired FBI profiler Terry McCaleb (from a previous Connelly book “Blood Work” that I’ve not read) is pulled back from retirement by an unusual case.  Terry knows Harry and goes to talk to him about this case, even though Harry is at the start of a very high profile trial.  So in this book we have the ‘who done it’ of the original case and an insight into the case that is on trial each written from a slightly different point of view.  This starts to get even more interesting when it turns out (spoiler alert) that Harry is the perfect and therefore prime suspect in the original murder Terry is looking into!

Has Harry lost it enough to start killing bad guys rather than putting them away?  Once Terry has convinced everyone that the only possible person to carry out this killing is Harry Bosch, he is then approached by Bosch to prove someone else did it.  Harder to explain than read, this is a fantastic story where two well rounded and well written.  Made me immediately go back and fill in the gaps I had in Michael Connelly’s work by only reading the Bosch series.


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