Cross Fire – James Patterson

crossfireCross Fire (Alex Cross, #17) 
byJames Patterson (Goodreads Author)

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Edmond Gagnon‘s review

May 19, 2019  
This was not my favorite Alex Cross story by any means…I’d have to go with Kiss the Girls or Along came a spider. Not to say Cross Fire is not a good novel. It was a good rainy weekend read. Maybe I like the other stories because Cross’ family wasn’t dragged into the plot so much…too familiar of a psych-thriller tale, where the protagonists family is targeted or threatened.
As far as this story goes, it moved well with lots of action to keep me turning pages and even chapters, since Patterson likes to keep them to two or three pages. The plot revolves around one particular serial killer but subplots and other serial killers make the read a bit more complicated, but fun.

The New Old Elora Mill

IMG_2932 (2)Cathryn had dropped a few hints that we were over due for a mystery date (an overnight at an undisclosed destination), the comments directed in my direction for her birthday month. It had been a whole two months since our return from Egypt and Africa so I almost felt sorry for her and decided to surf the web for an idea to satisfy her wanderlust itch.

One of my cousins posted on Facebook that she was at the spa in the Elora Mill. The last time Cathryn and I dropped by the village of Elora the Mill was closed, fenced in and under construction. We tried to peek through the fence but couldn’t see what was in the works. I messaged my cousin who said the Mill was newly renovated and open for business.

I browsed the internet and checked the web site, balking at the listed price for spending one night in a hotel room. Reading on I was able to get into the last night of an off-season promotion that made the cost more palatable. Just because I thought my wife deserved a treat I shelled out $350 banana peels for a room in the mill. The clincher for me was a complimentary bottle of premium wine in the room and a hundred bucks off our food and beverage bill in either the lounge or restaurant.

Continue reading “The New Old Elora Mill”

Destination Kingsville

kingsvilleAfter retiring I worked for Niagara Wine Tours, a company who was trying to expand into the Lake Erie North Shore region. They were already tapped into the Toronto market and thought the wine industry in Essex County was ripe for the picking. Unfortunately the company couldn’t garner enough interest to keep them afloat. The main complaint from out-of-town tourists was our lack of places to stay.

Fast-forward about ten years and we have fifteen wineries and almost as many breweries or brew-pubs. Existing estates expanded to accommodate tour buses and gatherings such as wedding receptions. Bars and restaurants got in on the action by offering local vintages and brews.

Continue reading “Destination Kingsville”

Norm is Back! Border City Chronicles

Layout 1Maybe you’ve heard the rumors on Entertainment Tonight, Ellen, or WKRP in Cincinatti. Perhaps you only dreamed and hoped it was true. You’ve probably been wondering what Edmond Gagnon has been up to (besides travelling) and where the heck has Norm Strom been.

Let me make it clear…they are not rumors, you haven’t been dreaming, and Ed has finally finished his latest book, Border City Chronicles. Some of you were test-readers, others voted for the title, and a few may find their names used as characters. The book is three short crime fiction stories from the Norm Strom archives.

News of this upcoming book is receiving a positive buzz on the street. Here’s a few comments about Norm’s new stories:

Baby Shay – “The challenges told in this story are heartbreaking and can make strong experienced officers unable to function. This is one story you will not be able to put down.”

Designated Hitters – “This story provides the reader with a unique insight into police work and the thoughts and emotions cops work through every day. Norm doesn’t regret retirement. After reading his story, you will understand why.”

Knock-Out – “Norm introduces Abigail Brown, a Detroit Homicide Detective. He’s her friend and confidant and relies on his expertise to provide her with a little extra help. This is an excellent story and I’m hoping to read more of her exploits in the future.”

Border City Chronicles is coming to book stores and internet sites across the world very very soon! Feel free to reserve a copy with the author now.

The Guardian -Nicholas Sparks

the guardianThe Guardian 
by Nicholas Sparks (Goodreads Author)

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Edmond Gagnon‘s reviewMar 07, 2019

 

First of all, this is not the type of book I normally read, but it was either this novel or choosing one written in Russian or German. My choices were limited while on the island of Zanzibar.
I recognized the authors name and his award-winning novel The Notebook. Maybe it was the movie that won all the awards, either way I knew it as what I call a ‘chick flick.’
I sucked it up and started flipping pages, literally, right off the bat I found the plot sappy and the characters predictable. But I carried on, thinking I needed to broaden my genre horizons.
It may have been a bit painful at times, but one of the characters was a Great Dane who captured my attention. I guess the story was okay, but the interaction between characters and the resulting relationships reminded me of high school. Are there really that many simple-minded and gullible people out there?
I trudged on and managed to finish the book, but wasn’t happy with the ending. Without spoiling it I’ll leave it at that.
I’m sure many women readers will love the book. What can I say, I’m a guy.

NYPD Red 3 – James Patterson & MarshallKarp

nypd redNYPD Red 3 (NYPD Red, #3) 
by

James Patterson (Goodreads Author),
Marshall Karp (Goodreads Author)

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Edmond Gagnon‘s review

Feb 26, 2019  
I can’t remember if it was 1 or 2 of the NYPD Red series that I read, but I enjoyed it more than this installment. Of Patterson’s stable of underwriters, I like Marshall Karp and his stories. As was the last, this one is fast paced with colorful and interesting characters. The police drama and content is believable, but like a Hollywood movie, a bit over the top and too familiar at times. The plot delivers an antagonist who is easy to hate from the first sentence written about him. The banter is fun between the cop partners, and references to their personal lives giving the story it’s sense of humanity. It was a good and easy read.

Die Trying – Lee Child

die tryingDie Trying (Jack Reacher, #2) 
by

Lee Child (Goodreads Author)

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Edmond Gagnon‘s review

Feb 23, 2019  

 

I’ve read several of Lee Child’s Jack Reacher novels now and I can easily say this was my least favorite. It wasn’t anything in particular that stopped me from a better review and adding a star to the rating. I guess it comes down to personal taste and this story didn’t have the right flavor for me. It’s only the 2nd book in the Reacher series so perhaps it didn’t contain the ingredients I usually find palatable in Child’s writing.
The story is descent, with good characters, but the plot seemed too familiar, maybe lacking enough spice to make a great dish. It was an entertaining read that I ripped through quickly, but only because I had nothing better to do.

Origin – Dan Brown

originOrigin (Robert Langdon, #5) 
by Dan Brown (Goodreads Author)

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Edmond Gagnon‘s review

Feb 21, 2019  

 

I generally liked this novel and was leaning toward a fourth star, but I think it fell short of the great stories that preceded this Robert Langdon novel. As usual, Dan Brown weaves an interesting tale of intrigue, but he added a bit too much fluff and back story for my liking. His detailed descriptions of religious sites and places in Spain gave me the impression I was reading from a Wikipedia post or even a travelogue.
The plot was good and the author keeps you guessing for more than half the novel. It didn’t move as quick as other Langdon stories, but as usual the story and characters were realistic, making for a good read.

Africa, One Continent, Many Cultures

IMG_2768 - CopyWe live in the center of the North American continent. It consists of two large countries, considered ‘westernized’ by the rest of the world. With the exception of some aboriginals in the far north, and perhaps a few other groups trying to cling to their heritage, I believe we share a similar culture. We are composed of different races, with different beliefs, but we share common goals like freedom and democracy.

In the last month and a half, Cathryn and I have experienced three distinctly different countries in the African continent. A drop in the bucket when you consider there are currently fifty-four countries. Planning this trip, I had three separate goals: to see something different for my sixtieth birthday and check off the pyramids of Giza on my bucket list. To break up the trip into three, using each location as a base for further exploration. And to work our way into a warmer climate to wile away the cold Canadian winter.

Continue reading “Africa, One Continent, Many Cultures”

The Narrows – Michael Connelly

the narrowsThe Narrows (Harry Bosch, #10; Harry Bosch Universe, #13) 
by

Michael Connelly (Goodreads Author)

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Edmond Gagnon‘s review

Feb 17, 2019  

 

What crime fiction reader doesn’t like Harry Bosch? He’s my kind of cop with an attitude similar to mine when I was on the job, but I surely didn’t take it home with me or let it keep me up at night.
Having read several books in the series I wish I’d stated from the beginning, but I stumble across them while I’m travelling and trade them up as I go.
Michael Connelly knows how to tell a good copy story, his characters and police procedures are spot on. He makes it easy to love the good guys and hate the bad ones.
In this novel Bosch teams up with FBI agent Rachel Walling, after they discover they’re both working the same case from different perspectives. I enjoyed the crossover with the Terry McCaleb story.
The plot builds speed quickly and it kept me flipping pages quick enough to act as a paper fan to keep me cool in the extreme heat here in Zanzibar, Tanzania.
What crime fiction reader doesn’t like Michael Connelly?