Monday, May 16, 2016

And Then All Hell Broke Loose: Two Decades in the Middle East by Richard Engel ( My Review)

And Then All Hell Broke Loose: Two Decades in the Middle EastAnd Then All Hell Broke Loose: Two Decades in the Middle East by Richard Engel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have seen Richard Engel's reporting from the Middle East as he is the Chief Foreign Correspondent for NBC news. He can be found in the hot and dangerous spots of the Middle East including Syria, Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan usually at personal risk. Engel provides two perspectives in this book. First, he opines about the events, people and diplomacy that have created the terrorism, violence and mayhem currently taking place in many Middle Eastern countries. Engel is not a fan of either George W. Bush's or Barack Obama's diplomacy as it relates to the Middle East. Basically, he thinks that we have made a bad situation much much worse.

Second, Engel provides an interesting narrative of his adventures covering the Middle East. He describes his kidnapping by terrorists and his near misses of various bombings and mob violence. He takes enormous risks in getting the story. He describes the perils of covering the initial days of the Iraq-US war.

While this is an informative and entertaining book for general readership, those who are interested in journalism would be wise to read this.

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Saturday, May 14, 2016

Family Jewels by Stuart Woods (My Review)

Family Jewels (Stone Barrington #37)Family Jewels by Stuart Woods
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I guess that I have read about 10 or more books in the Stone Barrington series. This may be the last one I read. I have opined that this series is junk food for the reading palate. I did not find this book interesting at all. Disappointing.

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Sunday, May 8, 2016

Slow Burn by Ace Atkins (My Review)

Robert B. Parker's Slow Burn (Spenser, #44)Robert B. Parker's Slow Burn by Ace Atkins
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

 I have been reading Spencer books for quite a while. I don't think that I can distinguish the plot lines or stories among the 20 or more books that I have read in the series. If a reader picked up this book without having read the previous Spenser novels, they would not be at a significant disadvantage as far as understanding the characters. I really am looking for some type of change in the Spenser novels.

In this book, Spencer searches for arsonists responsible for the deaths of three firemen as a result of a church fire. In the course of his investigation, Spencer spits out one-liners and literary references. Of course, he engages with customary fisticuffs with various heavies. Hawk is there to cover his back. Susan continues to be his soulmate, lover and confidant.


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Thursday, May 5, 2016

House of Cards by Michael Dobbs (My Review)

House of Cards (Francis Urquhart, #1)House of Cards by Michael Dobbs
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am a huge fan of the current Netflix series House of Cards starring Kevin Spacey. This book is part of a series written by Dobbs witch sparked the Netflix show. The big difference between the book version and the film version is that the book version takes place in England. Francis Urquhart is the Chief Whip of the majority party. Like Frank Underwood (his US variation), who was the House Whip for the Democratic Party, his ambitions and plans were thwarted at the highest levels. Urquhart matches Underwood for evil deeds and manipulation of people for his own ambitious ends. The reader keeps expecting Urquhart to get tripped up. Urquhart screws over his Prime Minister and other candidates who run against him for party leadership. The reader of this book who is also a viewer of the Netflix series will notice a number of similarities in terms of plot and characters. This book was a great joy to read – – highly recommended. I look forward to reading the other books in this series.

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