Monday, September 23, 2019

The Guilty Pleasures of Reading Crashing Heat, by Richard Castle(?)

We all read books to satisfy our guilty pleasures, and for me, one of the series I read is the Nikki Heat series written by the TV characters on the TV show, Castle.  Richard Castle is a fictional character that writes a book about a fictional character named Nikki Heat, and Jameson Rook, a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author.  "Crashing Heat" is the 10th book in the Nikki Heat series.  I really used to enjoy that series but it seams Castle jumped the shark tank when he separated from Kate Beckett, a fictional detective on the NYPD.  But this is about the book series, not the TV series.

Tom Straw is the ghostwriter of the Richard Castle novels.  These novels are sometimes over the top about a ruggedly handsome writer and yes, in this book he refers to himself that way about a half a dozen times.  These books are hammy, lovey-dovey and the police almost always get there man or woman, sometimes it might take the next book but they're like the Canadian Mounties, they do get the bad guy.

"Crashing Heat" starts out a little slow but 4 or 5 chapters later Jameson has become the lead person of interest in a murder case where a student where Rook was recruited to teach a semester at his old Alma Mater, is found naked in his bed and naturally she is dead.  This book has probably the least amount of action out of the other 9 books in the series but because of my guilty pleasure, I really enjoy the series.  ABC canceled the series after season 8, but the books keep coming.  If the books keep coming I'll still read them.

Crashing Heat by Richard Castle,
Book 10 in the Nikki Heat Series

The Girl Who Lived Twice by David Langercrantz, The Millennium Series Book 6

I really enjoy the Millennium Series and The Girl Who Lived Twice, in my opinion lives up to the Stieg Larsson story that he started.  The Millennium Series follows Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Bloomquist, two people from different ends of all spectrums but always manage to find pain and trouble.

Lisbeth is set out to get revenge on the Russian Mafia and kill her sister, Camilla.  Bloomquist is set out to do nothing.  He's in a rut and just wants to holiday at his lake home.  At the same time, a homeless man dies, and nobody pays any attention to him, except for one person.  Langercrantz weaves these stories into a tale of political corruption and the criminal underworld and does it at the pace of the Larsson books, a little slow but always entertaining.   A very good book.

I giving this a 7 of 10 ratings.

The Girl Who Lived Twice by David Langercrantz,
The Millennium Series Book 6

Friday, September 13, 2019

Tedeschi Trucks Band - High & Mighty (Tokyo Travelogue)

I've been under the weather and wanted to post something, so I thought I would put this up from one of my favorite groups.  Enjoy!

Saturday, August 31, 2019

The Bitterroots, by C.J. Box, Cassie Dewell Series Book 4

I'm no longer going to count this as a "Highway Quartet" series.  These books after the 1st 1-1/2 books are all about Cassie.

The Lizard King killed her mentor and Cassie has killed the Lizard King twice.  Okay, maybe just once but now he is dead.  After being humiliated and then vindicated by lousy planning by a county DA, Cassie is fed up with being a cop and becomes a PI in North Dakota and Montana and now she is becoming successful.  Cassie is now being called in for a favor by a defense attorney.  

Blake Kleinsasser has been accused of rape and the evidence is pretty solid.  Defense attorney Rachel Mitchell is calling in a favor and just wants to make sure the D.A. in the county the crime committed did his job.  Cassie is set on the fact that Kleinsasser is guilty and goes to Lochsa County to meet with the Sherrif, the former attorney, the raped girl, and her family.  Starting with checking into her hotel room, Cassie feels resistance, and this resistance is coming from the founding fathers of the county, the Kleinsassers'.

For me, Cassie Dewell never was quite as good as the Joe Picket series, Boxes other series.  The Bitterroots is just as good as any of the Picket books written. I'm giving this a 9 of 10, but it could easily be a 10 of 10, it's just that good.

The Bitterroots, by C.J. Box, 
Cassie Dewell Series Book 4

Fatal Promise by Angela Marsons, DI Kim Stone Series Book 9

Fatal Promise starts with DI Kim Stone getting medically release after breaking her leg at the end of her last book, Dying Truth.  Now she has to go back to work and deal with the death and replacement of one of her teammates.  Her team, Bryant and Stace, had been temped out to other squads and under-used, but now it's time for a new case and a new team member.

Both the case and the team member are from previous books. One is a Doctor from the Spades, one of the graduates for the Heathcrest Acadamy, the private school for Dying Truth (Book 8) and the addition of Penn, a detective from the team that Kim had worked with a couple of books ago.  Penn is an excellent data miner, just like Stacey.  Penn's biggest problem is that Stacey and Kim look at him as replacing Dawson, not as what or who he is.

Stacey is on her first case running solo form a missing persons case from when she was on loan and things are not smelling right for her.  It's up to her to find a 15-year-old girl with medical problems, with friends and her father that don't really care that she is missing.

Going back to the Doctor, he is found dead in a wilderness area with very small clues.  More people are found dead and clues lead us to a father and son.  Now Kim has them all wrapped up but there is still doubt because everything is just too easy.

So do Stace and Penn put their differences aside?  Can Kim overcome her feeling that Dawson's death was her fault?  Can Kim justify making Penn leave her team?  Do Kim and Stace solve their cases?

After Dying Truth, Fatal Promises was not quite as good, but I think it's because Dying Truth was just that good.  I'm going to rate this 8 of 10.  It's still a great book.

Fatal Promise by Angela Marsons,
DI Kim Stone Series Book 9

Dying Truth by Angela Marsons, DI Kim Stone Series, Book 8

Angela Marsons likes to write on current social problems and includes them into her DI Kim Stone investigations.  This time Stone is called out to a private school to try to keep a suicide from happening, but she arrives too late.  As she prepares to leave the scene, it is now not her case, she gets a gut feeling and goes to check out where the girl had jumped off the roof of the school.  With Kim Stone, you have to check off every box and this case didn't add up. Following Keats' autopsy, she discovers that the girl's injuries do not match how she had supposedly died.  She had been murdered.

It turns out there's a secret in that school and people are willing to kill to keep it.  A couple of deaths later, an attempted murder, and investigating prior mishaps the team learns about secret societies and peer pressure at the school, not only with the students but with the teachers and parents.

Marsons supprises us with heroic death of a team member at the end of the book, and now the others have to learn how to cope with that death.

This is one of the best books in the series, I'll give this a 9.5 out of 10, with this being the first half point I've given.

Dying Truth by Angela Marsons, 
DI Kim Stone Series, Book 8

Time to Catch Up

I've read three books and a new distro, I just reloaded Manjaro XFCE, that I need to post here, but with working in the warehouse, where the temperature is 100 degrees in the afternoon and the only air movement is from swamp coolers adding humidity to an already 30% humidity.  It doesn't sound like much but when the outside temperature is 110 degrees it starts getting a little soupy.  This is the forecast for today;

Without getting into the specifics, which nothing has really changed, here's a view of my new desktop.

Either way, enjoy your labor day!

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

WWW Wednesday, 8/21/19

I haven't done this for a while only because I'm not in the habit and can't remember to do this.

I like to push this along to everybody, the WWW Wednesdays is a great idea.  I'm not much of a reviewer but I like to leave a little something so I can review what I've read and seen what other people are reading.

The Three W's are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you'll read next?

Just fill this in by either a comment from the link in the picture or put it your own blog and add a link to your blog in their comment section.

What are you currently reading?  I'm reading the 8th DI Kim Stone novel by Angela Marsons called Dying Truth.

What did you recently finish reading?  Fletch by Gregory McDonald.  It's an okay book with a few smart-aleck humor and it kept me entertained while I was reading it.  Isn't that what we want from a book?

What do you think you'll read next?  I love C.J. Box and will be starting the 4th book in the Cassie Dewell series, The Bitterroots.  This is the 5th book in the Highway Quartet, the 1st book featured Cody Hoyt, but I guess Box wanted to start a series with a female lead, like so many other writers are doing.  If you go through my blogger site you see I read a lot of female protagonists books, like Atlee Pine and as of late DI Kim Stone.  Sometimes just reading all-male macho books gets to be too much, like Mitch Rapp and Scot Harvath, which I will always read.

Make sure to follow the link by clicking on the picture above and leave your reply.

Feel Good Wednesday

I needed this and thought I would share it here on my blog.  I shot this at work so don't tell the boss!

EDIT: I've always questioned people about not making videos with their phone in a landscape mode, you know, holding your phone sideways so it fits your computer better.  So how did I film this?

Monday, August 19, 2019

Fletch by Gregory McDonald, Book 1 in the Fletch Series

I've gotten behind here, with my computer Linux hobbies and paint preparation for the house interior, and haven't done much reading or posting my readings at BookLikes, Goodreads and here on Blogger so this will catch me up.  It won't be a long review, it's an old book and Irresponsible Reader gave it a good review a few months ago.  I want to read this series because it sort of reminds me of the old M.A.S.H. series with the second book being M.A.S.H. Goes to Maine, by Richard Hooker with the light-hearted banter.

Fletch is Irving (I.V.) call me Fletch Fletcher (not Jane Doe like the movie).  Fletch is on a story trying to solve the mystery of where are the drugs coming from on the Beach and is under a lot of pressure to turn in his book from his editor's assistant, a woman that hates Fletch and the feeling is mutually returned.  While looking like a strung-out druggie (he does  smoke a little pot, heck it's the 70's in California) he is approached by Alan Stanwyck, a man that married his bosses daughter and then started running the father's aviation parts company so the father could put all his efforts into running his tennis club and setting up tournaments.  Stanwyck wants Fletch to murder him.

Fletch the book is a light read, 254 pages, about the investigation of the drugs on the Beach and also into Alan Stanwyck.  There are humor, murder and mayhem and all in all it's a decent book.  Like IR, I also did the audiobook, narrated by Dan John Miller and it really made the book better.

I'm rating this 6 out of 10.  Even though it's written in the 70's it's not really dated and enjoyable to read.

Fletch by Gregory McDonald,
Book 1 in the Fletch Series

The Body in the Marsh by Nick Louth, Book 1 in the DCI Craig Gillard Series

This is the first in a series about DCI Craig Gillard, a good detective that has led a clean life, seems to be fit and the subject of a lot of water-cooler talk by the ladies.  Without getting into the sub-plots of the story DCI Gillard is called in to find a missing person, which turns out to be his first love ever, the now married Elizabeth Knight.  Liz Knight gave up her education and promising future career to marry Martin Knight, a Professor that would become a pain in the police department's butt by doing reports on how the police department was lax in their work, and how criminals were not trained to return to society and become contributing members to their community.  Liz turned down an education at Harvard so she could concentrate on her romance with her future husband and become a mother of two.

The beginning of the hunt for Liz is not helped by Liz's husband, Professor Martin Knight's denial that Liz is missing by not really co-operating with the police, and Professor Knight simply justs vanishes off the face of the earth.  DNA evidence is later found proofing that Liz is now dead, but no body is ever found.  With Professor Knight missing, a multi-country manhunt for Martin Knight goes into effect.  Evidence of affairs are found against the Professor even hurts his case even more.  After months of investigation, neither Knight is found and with the pressure of the public and press, Gillard is removed from the case.

The Body in the Marsh is well written, even though sometimes you want to scream at your book or ebook reader for the police to open their eyes to the obvious.  The sub-plots of the story work well with the investigation and Louth did his homework to make the read as real as an investigation can get.  Although DCI Gillard is a smart detective, he sort of fumbles his way to solve the case. This being his diligence to work the case from his insight and gut feelings. Eventually, he is put back on the case and works his way to the point to where he can solve the case. 

I like this series.  For me, I'm rating this 7 out of 10 and in no means does that mean this book is mediocre.  Louth didn't just go through the paces but pieced together a really good book and I look forward to reading the next book in this series.

The Body in the Marsh by Nick Louth,
Book 1 in the DCI Craig Gillard Series

MKBHD Interviews Bill Gates

I'm not familiar with Marques Brownlee, or MKBHD and his YouTube channel, but I must be a minority in that because he has over 9 million followers of his channel,  I watch Linux Tech Tips and he sometimes makes comments about MKBHD so I went over to MKBHD channel  to see if he does videos that I would like.  Cruising his home page I see a lot of phone reviews, tech accessory reviews, and some opinion pieces about various tech issues.  What sells me on his channel is his interviews.  In February 2019 he does a great interview with Bill Gates, coming up with smart and intelligent questions, well maybe not jumping over a chair, but that was fun to hear Bill Gates talk about.

Click over to Marques' channel and check it out.  Now I'm going back to see his interviews with Elon Musk and Neil deGrasse Tyson.

I like to watch videos on Linux and FOSS, but I don't think any of the people I follow would ever do interviews with people of the caliber that Marques has done.  This is why he deserves over 9 million subscribers.  He just got one more today.