Beverly Hills Dead – Stuart Woods

1426558._SX318_Beverly Hills Dead (Rick Barron, #2)
by Stuart Woods

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Edmond Gagnon‘s review

Jan 05, 2020


I’m glad I only borrowed this book from someone else’s shelf, it came nowhere near to living up to it’s promise of a fast-past sexy thriller full of nail biting twists and turns. The pace was okay but it took 3oo pages before anything really happened.
The story is an old Hollywood tale about the business side of things and how easy it was to get accidentally discovered and become a successful movie star. The only real jeopardy was pressure from the U.S. government who were pursuing communists in Hollywood at the time.
The was one clue as to who done it so there was no mystery involved. I came across no twists or turns and thought the plot fell flat.
The subject matter kept me interested enough to finish the book but I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone unless you’re keenly interested in how a movie was produced in the 1950’s.

The Brass Verdict – Michael Connelly

2761626._SY475_The Brass Verdict (Harry Bosch, #14; Mickey Haller, #2; Harry Bosch Universe, #18)
by Michael Connelly (Goodreads Author)

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Edmond Gagnon‘s review

Jan 03, 2020


I love Harry Bosch. I’ve watched the five seasons of the TV show twice now and have read many of Michael Connelly’s books with Bosch as his main protagonist. I’ve also come to like the Lincoln Lawyer character, Michael (Mickey) Haller. The Brass Verdict finally made it clear to me how the two characters are related. The two men are actually step-brothers who never associated before the case involved in this book.
The Brass Verdict is a lot more than courtroom drama, with insights into the characters, murders, and bits of the police investigation from Bosch’s end. It’s great cross-over story. Connelly nails the action from all sides of the law, probably why he’s become one of my favorite authors.

The Detroit Shipping Company

downloadIt seems Cathryn and I don’t get out for dinner as much these days, mostly because we like to cook, and that we expect good food and service for the price we pay. We’ve also been slacking in visits across the border to Detroit, where exciting things have been happening in the restaurant and entertainment scene.

Take the Detroit Shipping Company for example. Some enterprising entrepreneurs took a vacant lot near the Cass Corridor, stacked metal shipping containers in the shape of a square, and added a handful of specialty restaurants to a revitalized neighborhood. The is plenty of room for inside and outside drinking and dining and hanging out.

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Rants, Raves, and Reviews – Ford v Ferrari

ford-v-ferrari-onesheet-1-1559568904First off, let me make it clear that I’m not a motorhead or even a car buff. I rarely watch car racing events on television. Having said that I have to admit I’ve enjoyed some movies that have covered the sport in the past. Leery of the mixed reviews for the Mr. Rogers movie, Cathryn and I took a chance on Ford v Ferrari. I say that because the trailers made the movie look goofy.

They say not to judge a book by it’s cover and the same holds true for movie titles. “They” were definitely right in this case. The story was easy to fall into with catchy tunes and upbeat music that brought more to life than roaring engines and squealing tires. The characters did seem a bit odd, but they were real people that had a profound impact on the production and racing of automobiles.

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Rants, Raves & Reviews – In Defense of Offensive

imagesAre you confused by the above diagram, depicting and labelling the players on two opposing football teams? Most are. Actually, it’s not as complicated as it looks…an offensive position starts with an O and defense with a D. The numbers on jerseys give you further clues and so do the players names on the back.

If only it was that simple in real life. A friend just posted on Twitter, apologizing for using a racial slur, after using the word Eskimo in a song that was written that way. Call me ignorant, stupid, or a racist, but that’s a new one on me. Am I the only one having a hard time with this? Are blacks now people of color after being Negro, brown, African-American and black?

Does everyone know what LGBTQQIP2SAA stands for? I lost track after the first five letters. Can’t we just call each other they or them? Don’t ask Don Cherry. At 82 years of age, Billy D. Williams publicly announced he was gender fluid. Two days later he said he wasn’t sure what exactly that meant. Where does all this stop?

Maybe we should adopt the football mentality and number everyone…or better yet, have everyone where name tags. If everyone wants to be treated as equals than why do they want to be labelled or classified as something specific or different? I consider myself informed, but I can’t keep up. Can you? Should we have to…what ever happened to our right to free speech or opinion?

Rants, Raves & Reviews – Getting Off (the Don Tait Story) by Veronique Mandal

38084558._SY475_The play on words in the title of this book, Getting Off, tells a lot more than the story of A Criminal Lawyer’s Road to Redemption. Windsor author Veronique Perrier Mandal not only shares the life story of our city’s most storied lawyer, Don Tait, but her personal interactions with the notorious legal eagle. This is a rags to riches roller coaster story that boldy tells all.

More than just a journalist, professor, RN, actor and playwright, Mandal examines her own spirituality while learning everything there was to know about a simple man whose demons came in all forms of addictions – power, money, sex, drugs, and booze to name a few. A local census would prove that Tait was loved and hated equally by friend and foe. They came in the form of reporters, cops, lawyers, judges, and even bikers and drug dealers.

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Rants, Raves & Reviews – The Irishman

imagesAt three and a half hours, I”m glad we watched this movie on Netflix at home and not at the movie theatre – I would have needed at least two bathroom breaks. Honestly, there’s no reason to see this flick on the big screen. There’s no special cinematography to gawk at, but if you’re into seeing blood spatter left by the guy who paints houses, then go for it.

Being a fan of gangster films, and hearing of the star-studded cast and special aging effects, I was a bit hyped and looked forward to seeing this movie. For me, it was a let-down. Granted, the cast and acting was top-notch but the plot steered us toward certain events in history and then left us hanging. Millennials and those unaware of politics and history will be totally lost.

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Rants, Raves & Reviews – ‘Having Faith’

Finding Hope Author Edmond GagnonThey say having faith keeps you positively motivated, with a great outlook on life. For me, ‘Having Faith’, means my next book, the sequel to ‘Finding Hope.’ Norm Strom fans and readers have pondered the open ending of Hope and asked what happens next, and if there would ever be a sequel.

Finding Hope has been my best-selling novel so far, with Border City Chronicles closing in fast for second place, catching quickly up to Rat. So, for all you murder, mystery, and serial killer fans out there, this next one’s for you. I’m happy to announce I’ve just cracked the 10,000 word mark and am on a roll.

In this story Norm will be joined by the hot black homicide detective from Detroit, Abigail Brown, who was the main character in ‘Knock-Out’, the last story in Border City Chronicles. She will take the reigns again, on her home turf, in the gritty bowels of downtown Detroit, hunting a serial killer. Who will it be this time?

 

Rants, Raves & Reviews – Midway

imagesBeing a lover of war movies, I had to see the new ‘Midway’ movie on the big screen. And since the genre’s not Cathryn’s favorite I brought a buddy. The previews looked amazing, especially with today’s CGI technology and special effects. I knew the battle scenes would be explosive, literally. I was also anxious to see how the new movie stacked up to the 1976 version.

Unlike many American-made war films this story is told and viewed from both sides, the United States and Japan. It’s about the battle of Midway, which turned the tide of war in the South Pacific during WWII. As in the earlier version, the movie starts with the attack on Pearl Harbour – the decisive blow that forced the U.S. into the war.

The story was a bit choppy. It covered a lot of material and tried to focus on the personal lives of certain soldiers, along with naval strategies behind the scenes. There was plenty of action and battle scenes to carry the movie past the two hour mark. It didn’t drag on but definitely outlasted my popcorn.

The acting was good but there were only a few recognizable faces in the cast – unlike the ’76 version with its star-studded ensemble. That version also used actual battle footage which brought a sense of realism to the movie. In this new installment viewers get a look at director John Ford on the island of Midway, while he films the 1942 publicity documentary of the same name.

Overall the movie was good, but it felt lacking and got a 7 out of 10 from both my bro-friend and I.