Sunday, August 12, 2012

How I Spent My Summer Vacation - Part One

Hi Everybody,

It's been a while since I've checked in here. There were some personal things going on in my life over the last few months which I'm going to keep personal, but things are looking up of late. Needless to say that with all the turmoil going on, I kind of left my writing by the wayside a little bit. I recently turned back to it, and cleaned up what I've got a bit, but I can't seem to get any new words on the page.

Now, I'm still working at The Job Which Supports My Writing Habit. But my inner writer decided that since he wasn't producing anyway, he'd officially take the rest of the summer off, with the understanding that as soon as September starts, I'm going to hit the pad again. Hard.

So I fired up my Nook (I LOVE my Nook) and I've spent the last couple of months reading. I've read more books in the couple of months I've had this thing than I've read in a looooong time. And I'm reading... you guessed it... CRIME BOOKS! (Because man cannot live by sci-fi alone, my friends)

I actually started off with a sci-fi book called Blood Oath, which was a Babylon 5 novel. It was written by Michael Straczynski, who created B5, so it flows just like an episode of the series. If you've ever watched the show, you can almost picture Jerry Doyle as Garibaldi and Claudia Christian as Ivanova having the conversations that he writes in the book, so he did a good job of staying true to his characters. It was an enjoyable read, and a good start for my little reading adventure. Then like I said, I moved on to murder books.

James Patterson writes a character names Alex Cross, who is a Washington DC homicide cop who is also a psychologist. He's bought in on all sorts of specialized murder and kidnapping cases where there is a strong psychological element to the crimes. He's written 18 of these books to date, and I read them all, so I won't break them all down. But I'll say this much: I like Morgan Freeman, and he did a great job with the scripts they gave him to work with in Along Came a Spider and Kiss the Girls, but the movies didn't do the books justice. They changed the whole dynamic of the character, left out some great supporting characters (He had a partner in the books, but not in the movies. They also gave him a wife, who was dead in the books, and left out his kids and his grandmother). I think the movies would have been a lot better if they'd done their stories the way Patterson wrote the books. But that's just me.

Another book I checked out was David Baldacci's True Blue. I liked his main character, Mace Perry. She's a Washington DC cop (a great source of crime stories, apparently) who was sent to prison for a crime she was coerced into committing (she was kidnapped, drugged and forced to help in a robbery) and is just getting out of prison. She wants to solve one big case so that she can redeem herself in the eyes of her peers and get back on the force. The best ally she has (and also her fiercest opponent) is her sister Beth, who just happens to be the Chief of Police. Mace spends just as much time fighting with her over-protective sibling as she does trying to solve the case. The ending is one where no one gets quite what they were expecting, and it takes a long time to get there (over 400 pages of gangs, feds, and mayhem). But it's a great starter story if the author wanted to turn it into a series.

That's just a sampling of the books I've read so far, and there's still a little bit of summer left. So next time, I'll have a few more off-the-cuff reviews for you.

Read on!

- B -

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