Book: Robert Crais “The Sentry”

January 12, 2017

OK, first book of the new year – seems to have taken 12 days but then I’ve had a lot on and as you will see in the next two posts I’ve had some other books I had to read that took away from leisure reading.

bookAnother story in the Elvise Cole and Joe Pike series, I would say this one focuses a lot more on Joe again and certainly we see a more emotional side of him come out.  It starts of simply enough with Joe witnessing some local thugs beating up a store keeper and goes to his defense.  But that simple action starts to unravel a complex series of lies, secrets and a rapidly growing body count.

A fantastic read, fast paced and with complex twists and cliff-hanger ending.

Review of 2016

January 1, 2017

The summary of my ever diminishing blog posts for 2016 (and some other things that I haven’t posted but which would be worth noting)… as ever please note this is only to help me remember things I really don’t know why anyone else would be interested.  Previously 200920102011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015

The blog originally included a lot more about what I did or thought, now it is mainly ‘reviews’ of books read and only really so that I can look back and be prompted which one is which since in general I read fast paced thrillers which are more or less the same… go figure :-/


MOVIES (cinema)

Events (anything significant to remember)

  • 24 Aug:  Lewis first day at Nursery
  • 3 Nov: Rachel born

Cycling (new to 2016 now I have Garmin and record things)

  • 2016 totals:
    247 rides
    126 hours
    1415.5 miles
    41,270 ft gain

    Rides worth recording:

  • 11 Sept:  Pedal for Scotland Glasgow to Edinburgh
    — 45miles — 3hr 25 (moving time) — 4hr 17 (total time)
    — 1600 ft gained — 13mph average speed — 30mph fastest speed

BOOKS read this year….


  • March: Center Parks (just us)
  • April: Center Parks (Cheung clan)
  • April: Crieff Hydro
  • July: Isle of Lewis

Other Highlights:

  • Jan: Car was stolen
  • Feb: Got a new car
  • March: Danar 40!
  • April: lots of Holidays
  • July: last ever CLAN Gathering
  • July: Michael’s Wedding
  • Sept: Pedal for Scotland
  • Nov: Daughter born !
  • Dec: Danar moved from iPhone to Android :-0

Youtube uploads:

Running Totals:

  • 2009 – 23 books – 6 Movies – 4 gigs/events
  • 2010 – 33 books – 13 Movies – 10 gigs/events – 6 meals – 4 holidays
  • 2011 – 18 books – 2 Movies – 3 gigs/events – 1 meals – 3 holidays
  • 2012 – 16 books – 7 Movies – 3 gigs/events – 3 meals – 4 holidays
  • 2013 – 8 books – 2 Movies – 0 gigs/events – 1 meals – 2 holidays – 1 Son
  • 2014 – 1 books – 3 Movies – 2 gigs/events – 4 holidays
  • 2015 – 18 books – 2 Movies – 2 gigs/events – 3 holidays – 6 videos
  • 2016 – 34 books – 2 Movies – 1 events – 4 holidays – 4 videos – 1 daughter

Book: Robert Crais “The First Rule”

January 1, 2017

Just finished in time to count it in 2016..

bookAnother complex but compelling thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat.  Here an old friend of Joe Pike is murdered so Joe gets involved.  Might expand later but actually trying to post before midnight  just to please my sense of completeness  :-)

As promised, a little more to remind me what this story was about.  Focused around Joe Pike, with a little help from his partner Elvis Cole, we get a little more insight into Joes mysterious mercenary work.  Joe hears of the death of one of his old company.  Murdered in an apparent house break.  Was his old friend involved in something he shouldn’t have been or did he manage to leave all the violence behind as everyone thought. 

With a strong, silent character like Joe it is interesting to see how much the reader can care about him and how much character there can be.

Movie: Stormy Weather (1943)

December 31, 2016

October 2016 (forgot to post at the time)

Using up tickets we were given months ago for GFT but found it difficult to get around to so when we had the opportunity to go we just chose the best available film and found this ‘gem’.  It was on as part of Black History Month and is (or should be) famous for a number of things, it is one of the only major Hollywood films of that time with an entirely black cast.  The film includes the most famous and iconic black singers and dancers of the time, such as Bill “Mr Bojangles” RobinsonLena HorneCab CallowayFats WallerThe Nicholas Brothers.

However, the movie itself suffers from being copied too many times.  While the acrobatic tap routine from the Nicholas Brothers is breathtaking we have seen it imitated a million times and with a modern perspective it is difficult to watch this and appreciate that this is the first time these moves were ever seen.  It also isn’t a very sophisticated or well executed plot as all it is really trying to do is keep things moving till there is an excuse for another song and dance number.  But putting that aside as a piece of history it is extraordinary, as a night out it was pleasant enough and viewed in the wonderful GFT.

Book: Robert Crais “Chasing Darkness”

December 21, 2016

Starting to run out of Robert Crais novels!  This book opens with a body being found and the police come to see Elvis Cole.  Some years ago Elvis was hired to investigate the alibi of a murder suspect, Lionel Byrd, for his bookdefense lawyer.  Elvis finds the evidence, the case is dropped and it is history, until Byrd kills himself while holding evidence of not only that murder but others both before and after Elvis helped him walk free.

So is everything as it appears, did Elvis make a mistake and is he responsible in some way for the further murders that took place?

As ever with these stories everything is fast paced and keeps you guessing as a complex plot unfolds.

Book: Robert Crais “The Watchman”

December 21, 2016

Most of Robert Crais novels (but not all) are in a series around the main character Elvis Cole, a private detective, and often helped by his partner Joe Pike.  This is the first outing where Pike takes the lead, which is an interesting twist.

bookIn a previous novel Pike had to agree to take on a job, any job, in order to get information he needed to save a life.  This novel is that payback.  Pike receives a call to take on a job to protect a witness – Larkin Barkley a spoilt, feisty daughter of a billionaire who saw something she shouldn’t have and has a team of people trying to kill her, even when in protection of the authorities they seem to be getting inside help.

Joe, with his inability to express emotion or say more than four words thrown together with Larkin is an interesting mix and Joe Pike can’t simply protect but needs to go after those who are trying to kill Larkin.  An excellent page turner and great to get inside Joe Pike’s head.

Book: Robert Crais “The Two Minute Rule”

December 21, 2016

The two minute rule refers to how long you can hope for during a bank robbery before the cops turn up.

A bank robber, Max Holman, served his time and is phased back into society… when his son (who he had no contact with and grew up to be a police officer) is killed by bank robbers.  Now, it’s been a few weeks since I read this and to be honest it was complex and I can’t remember the details.  The highlights however was the relationship between Max and the ex-FBI agent who caught him.

This is a one-off novel, not part of Robert Crais various series and is an excellent if a little complex read.  Page turner.