C.J. Box’s New Joe Pickett Novel, “Open Range” — My Book Review

In Open Season, the 20th novel in C.J. Box’s series featuring Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett, Joe comes to the rescue when his old pal Nate Romanowski is accused of a series of sniper shootings.

The result is a fast-paced, tightly written crime novel that includes, among other things, an arrogant but incompetent local sheriff, a fatal grizzly bear attack, a famous movie director, an illegal prescription drugs racket, planted evidence, a love triangle, a renegade falconer, a kidnapping, several more shootings and a jail break.

The main plot, along with several subplots, is filled with so many twists and red herrings that Box keeps readers guessing almost to the end.

For the full text of my review for The Associated Press, please click here.




Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Review: P.I. Leonid McGill returns in `Trouble Is What I Do’

Many years ago, a Mississippi bluesman named Catfish Worry had an affair with the daughter of a wealthy white banker. Their dalliance produced a son who could pass for white.

That son is now a wealthy banker himself. He is also a vicious racist. When he learns that Worry plans to expose the family’s history, he hires a hit team to take the old man out. Worry counters with Leonard McGill, a private eye whose  network of underworld acquaintances are a match for anyone Charles’ money can buy.

The threat of violence looms over every page of Walter Mosley’s Trouble is What I Do, but action fans may be disappointed that the gun-play occurs offstage. The charms of this short novel lie in Mosley’s memorable characters, his portrayal of the world McGill inhabits and the author’s uniquely lyrical writing style.

For the full text of my review for the Associated Press, please click here.


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Review of “Salt River,” the New Doc Ford Crime Novel by Randy Wayne White

Thirty years have zipped by since Randy Wayne White first introduced readers to Doc Ford and his pals in Sanibel Flats, and from time to time the mostly solid crime fiction series seems to falter. Salt River, the 26th Ford novel, is one of those times.

White’s prose is better than OK, of course, and Doc’s fans will be pleased that old friends, including the protagonist’s love interest, Hannah Smith, and his aging hippie pal, Tomlinson, are part of the action. But the book’s twin plots are far-fetched, even for a Doc Ford novel, and readers who aren’t already familiar with the relationships between the characters might feel a bit lost.

For the full text of my review for The Associated Press, please click here.


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Audio of a Poem By, and an Interview With, Award-Winning Poet Patricia Smith

The Brooklyn Poets website features a poem by–AND a great interview with– Patricia Smith, one of the world’s most honored poets.

She is the author of eight books of poetry, including Incendiary Art, winner of the 2018 Kingsley Tufts Award, the 2017 LA Times Book Prize and the 2018 NAACP Image Award and a finalist for the 2018 Pulitzer Prize

The poem appears in both text and audio.

By the way, the greatest honor of MY life is that Patricia is my wife. You can find the poem and interview here.


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Review of Joanna Schaffhausen’s “All the Best Lies”

In All the Best Lies, Joanna Schaffhausen’s third crime novel featuring police woman Ellery Hathaway and FBI agent Reed Markham, the writing is crisp, the suspense is intense and the tale ends with a twist no one is likely to see coming. Even so, the most appealing thing about this fine series is the complex, evolving relationship between the protagonists.

As a teenager, Ellery was kidnapped and tortured by a serial killer. Her dramatic rescue by an FBI agent was big national news. That agent was Reed. Now, Ellery is a damaged young woman who understandably shuns romantic entanglements. Reed, a divorced father, is protective of the girl he once saved but is increasingly drawn to her courage and beauty.

With each novel, they circle each other, drawing ever closer before partially pulling back. The author handles their emotional dance with keen insight and sensitivity.

For the full text of my review for The Associate Press, please click here.


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

“The Prized Girl” — A Debut Mystery with Shocking Twists and a Surprise Ending

The Prized Girl of Amy K. Green’s title just wanted to know what it would be like to shed her beauty queen image and be a normal eighth-grade student. She never got the chance.

As this debut mystery opens, Jenny is already dead — raped, stabbed and discarded in the woods not far from her family home in a small New England town. Police promptly arrest a simple-minded, middle-age man who had been obsessed with the girl. To Virginia, Jenny’s alcohol-addicted, 20-something half-sister, the police investigation looks superficial, the suspect too convenient. So she worms her way into the case.

The characters — especially the two sisters, their parents, Jenny’s boyfriend and the detective — are complex and well-drawn. And Virginia’s relentless search for the real killer is filled with intriguing flashbacks, stunning twists and a shocking ending.

For the full text of my Associated Press review, please click here.


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Raymond Fleischmann’s Debut Thriller — My Review

Raymond Fleischmann’s new thriller, How Quickly She Disappears, is  a high-stakes cat-and-mouse game that will remind readers of the menacing dance between Hannibal Lecter and FBI agent Clarice Starling in The Silence of the Lambs.

Fleischmann tells his story with such skill that it is hard to believe this is a debut novel. The characters are well-developed and memorable, the rural Alaska setting is vividly portrayed, the plot is loaded with unexpected turns and the unrelenting suspense creates a growing sense of dread.

Best of all, the author tells the tale with the musical prose of a literary novelist at the top of his game.

To read the entire text of my Associated Press review, please click here.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thomas Perry’s “A Small Town.” — My Review

A Small Town, the 26th crime novel by Thomas Perry, begins with a violent prison break in the little town of Weldon, Colorado. More than 1,000 hardened criminals kill the warden and most of the guards, raid the prison arsenal and burst out to pillage the community. Overwhelming the local police, they break into houses, kill and rape families, set fire to buildings, and try to escape in stolen cars.

Most were promptly rounded up by state and federal authorities, but two years later, the 12 inmates who planned the prison break are still on the loose. The FBI has made no progress tracking them down, so the mayor of Weldon takes matters into his own hands.

The result is a slick, well written, but somewhat predictable revenge fantasy that combines the grim ambiance of Fox TV’s “Prison Break” with the vigilante violence of the John Wick movie franchise.

You can read the full text of my review for The Associated Press here.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

As Congress Considers 2 Impeachment Articles, I Suggest They Consider My List of 100

The two Articles of Impeachment being debated by Congress hardly cover reasons why Trump is unfit to remain in office. I suggest they consider  my list.  It includes only 100 articles because I tried to keep it short.

Resolution to Impeach Donald J. Trump, President of the United States, for high crimes and misdemeanors:

Article 1.  Cheats at golf.

Article 2.  “There are good people on both sides.”

Article 3.  Putin’s bitch.

Article 4.  “We need you to do us a favor, though.”

Article 5.  Rudy Giuliani.

Article 6.  Lies like the rest of us breathe.

Article 7.  Gutted clean air and water regulations.

Article 8.  Doesn’t like dogs.

Article 9.  Don Jr.

Article 10.  Global laughingstock

Article 11.  Megalomania.

Article 12.  “Grab ‘em by the pussy.”

Article 13.  Preschooler’s knowledge of American history.

Article 14.  Abandoned the Kurds.

Article 15.   Ben Carson

Article 16.  Kidnapped children and put them in cages.

Article 17.  Atrocious spelling and grammar.

Article 18.  Xenophobia.

Article 19.  Bill Barr.

Article 20:  Takes policy advice from Sean Hannity and the idiots at Fox & Friends

Article 21   Climate change denier.

Article 22.  Witness tampering.

Article 23.  Scott Pruitt.

Article 24.  Treats justice department as his personal law firm.

Article 25.  Shifted money from important programs for his fucking border wall.

Article 26.  Obstructing the Muller investigation.

Article 27.  Betsy DeVos

Article 28.  Maligned John McCain even after his death.

Article 29.  Branded our free press “the enemy of the people.”

Article 30.  Opened public land to despoliation by private interests.

Article 31.  Stephen Miller.

Article 32.  Rolled over for the gun lobby.

Article 33.  Trump University.

Article 34.  Serial violator of the emoluments clause.

Article 35.  That hideous orange makeup.

Article 36.  Mocked a handicapped reporter.

Article 37.  All those Nazi-style rallies.

Article 38.  Kissing up to Kim Jong-un and Erdoğan.

Article 39.  Brett “I like beer” Kavanaugh.

Article 40.  Gutting and undermining our diplomatic corps.

Article 41.  Palling around with the likes of Alex Jones, Lev Parnas, and Jeffrey Epstein.

Article 42.  Hush money payments.

Article 43.  Steve Mnuchin.

Article 44. Picking fights with gold-star families.

Article 45.  Stupid tariffs.

Article 46.  Pardoning war criminals.

Article 47.  Attacking the independence of the Federal Reserve.

Article 48.  Telling three women members of Congress to go back where they came from.

Article 50.  Eric.

Article 51.  Peeping at teenage beauty contestants.

Article 52.  Obstructing the impeachment investigation.

Article 53.  Claiming the constitution says “I can do anything I want.”

Article 54.  Pardoning Joe Arpaio.

Article 55. Blaming California for wildfires because it doesn’t rake its forests.

Article 56.  Throwing paper towels at Puerto Rico hurricane survivors and thinking he had accomplishing something.

Article 57.  Weakening our alliances.

Article 58.  Taking Putin’s word over our intelligence agencies about foreign election interference

Article 59.  Using a sharpie to alter a hurricane weather map.

Article 60.  “Russia, if you are listening . . . “

Article 61.  Serving McDonalds and Burger King meals to athletes at White House.

Article 62.  Muslim travel ban.

Article 63.  Spygate conspiracy theory.

Article 64.   Demanding staff study feasibility of putting alligators and snakes in a moat at our southern border.

Article 65.  Stealing from his own charity.

Article 66.  Ryan Zinke

Article 67.  Gutting federal science programs.

Article 68.  Claiming the president is immune from being investigated for anything.

Article 69.  Michael Flynn.

Article 70.  Wasting millions of taxpayer dollars on weekend golf trips.

Article 71.  A decades-long trail of not paying his bills.

Article 72.   Cheating on his taxes.

Article 73.  Corey Lewandowski.

Article 74.  Proclaiming a “middle class tax cut” that was primarily a massive tax cut for the wealthy.

Article 75.  Praising a congressman for body-slamming a reporter.

Article 76.  Describing a sex party to an audience of Boy Scouts.

Article 77.  Roger Stone.

Article 78.  Firing people by tweet.

Article 79.  “Only I can fix it.”

Article 80.  Making presidential calls on unsecure cell phones.

Article 81.  Striping security clearances from his critics.

Article 82.  Calling Danish Prime Minister “nasty” because she wouldn’t sell him Greenland.

Article 83. Disseminating Soviet propaganda and loony conspiracy theories.

Article 84.  Trying to kick transgender people out of the military.

Article 85.  Helping the Saudis cover up the murder of a journalist.

Article 86.  Using the CIA’s honored dead as a TV prop.

Article 87.  “Shithole countries.”

Article 88.  Paul Manafort.

Article 89.  Claiming “an absolute right to pardon myself.”

Article 90.  Serial philanderer.

Article 91.  Skipping ceremony to honor war dead on the Anniversary of D-Day because of a little rain.

Article 92.  Bone spurs.

Article 93.  Attempting to repeal Obamacare without a plan to replace it.

Article 94.  Tom Price.

Article 95.  A ridiculous comb-over and dye job that fool nobody.

Article 96.  Voter suppression.

Article 97.  Civil rights rollbacks.

Article 98.  Falsely claiming that three million illegal immigrants voted in the 2016 election.

Article 99.  Filling administration with lobbyists after promising to do the opposite.

Article 100.  Demonstrating, on a daily basis, that he is a sociopath.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Review of “Just Watch Me” by Jeff Lindsay

Riley Wolfe, the anti-hero of Jeff Lindsay’s  Just Watch Me,  gets his kicks executing spectacular robberies that no one else would even contemplate. His victims are always the super-rich, whom he despises as “smug, do-nothing, self-loving leeches.”

The plot combines the intricacies of caper movies such as “The Thomas Crown Affair” and “To Catch a Thief” with the creepy sensibility of the hit TV show “Dexter.” Unlike Dexter, Wolfe takes no pleasure in murder, but he displays no qualms about dispassionately dispatching anyone who gets in his way.

For the full text of my review for The Associated Press, please click here.


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment