Cathryn and I just completed Route 66 from Chicago to L.A. and a return trip across the United States on a more northerly route, racking up over 6,000 miles on mostly forgotten roads that were once the main arteries in America. As much as possible, we traveled the old U.S. Highway system that is still in use but often replaced by Interstate super highways.
Following Route 66 was like a cross-country scavenger hunt. We used a guidebook to seek out the old road or what’s left of it and eroding memorabilia from a time past and almost forgotten. Millennial’s have no concept of the road, and as folks our age travel to never-never land the sites and stories will disappear forever.
Continue reading “Road Less Traveled – Crossing America”
The New Centurions
by Joseph Wambaugh (Goodreads Author)
I first read this book back in the late seventies, when I was a rookie cop. Wambaugh’s books and movie were all the rage way back then. The New Centurions was his first book, which he wrote while he still worked as a Los Angeles Police Detective. Wambaugh pioneered the crime fiction genre, taking readers where they’d never been before, inside the police car, to learn about the men and women behind the badge.
We see how the job affects cops as opposed to how they affect their job. The New Centurions in this story are three new recruits. The story follows them from the police academy to the streets of L.A. in 1960, where they learn the hard realities about life on the street.
I found the prose a bit mundane about half way through the book, but that is how police work is most of the time…95% boring and the other 5% running around with your hair on fire. This story takes you to the dark side when one of the cops gets shot, and later, during the race riots.
If you want the real story on what lies behind the badge, this book is a must read. The forward was done my Michael Connelly.
On a personal note, Joseph Wambaugh was my inspiration, and has given me some personal advice for my own writing.
Guilt (Alex Delaware, #28)
by Jonathan Kellerman
It wasn’t until I was introduced to the protagonists that I remembered reading one of Jonathan Kellerman’s Alex Delaware novels before. If I remember correctly, I like the last one better. I like the combination of L.A. Detective and Psychologist partner, but I felt the plot stalled about two thirds of the way through the book.
I found myself skimming to get through the painfully slow progression of the case at hand. In fairness, having been a criminal investigator, I understand how that can be in real life. Having said that, I think Kellerman stalled just a wee bit too long, waiting for the investigators to get a break in the combination of cold and fresh cases.
The story was interesting and the characters played well off each other with excellent dialogue. I think I’d give the author another shot to wow me.