The Race – Clive Cussler – Isaac Bell Series

the raceThe Race (Isaac Bell, #4) 
by Clive CusslerJustin Scott (Goodreads Author)

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Edmond Gagnon‘s review

Mar 07, 2018  

 

This makes two Clive Cussler novels in a row that I’ve read, but this one was the last book left in the pile that was left here at the apartment in Mexico. I like the Isaac Bell Detective series, but found this book was a cookie cutter version of the last one I read. The good guy chases the bad guy, almost catches his two or three times, gets a little banged up on the way, then gets the girl and lives happily ever after. The names of the characters have been changed.
Need I say more? Okay, in fairness it is a good read and a bit different than all the other crime fiction stuff out there in that the story is about the birth of aviation and a race across America to see who has the best machine.

Clive Cussler – The Gangster

gangsterThe Gangster (Isaac Bell, #9) 
by Clive CusslerJustin Scott (Goodreads Author)

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Edmond Gagnon‘s review

Feb 28, 2018  

 

I’d lost interest in author Clive Cussler’s work some time ago, and can’t remember why, maybe it’s because he’s another of those successful authors who has underlings writing for him, using his name to sell books.
Regardless, I truly enjoyed The Gangster, an Isaac Bell Adventure. The plot was fresh, although the story is set just after the turn of the century, in and around New York City. Irish and Italian gangs were responsible for much of the city’s crime, but also for building its infrastructure, like the giant aqueduct that is being built to bring a thirsty city fresh water from two hundred miles away, in the Catskills.
Isaac Bell is a Van Horn Detective, a private investigation company in the east, like the Pinkerton’s were to the west. The book is a good read and I’m sure I’ll pick up another in the series if I see one.

The Black Widow – Daniel Silva

WidowThe Black Widow (Gabriel Allon, #16) 
by Daniel Silva

 

Edmond Gagnon‘s review

Jan 26, 2018  

 

Rarely do I rate a book with five stars, but there was nothing wrong with this novel and I enjoyed its 515 pages so much that I read it in about three days. I was a bit intimidated because it was the size of a telephone book, but the story moved quickly and kept my interest throughout.

The story is about terrorism throughout the world, and how different countries use different approaches to combat the problem with Islamic Jihadists. The story revolves around Israeli Intelligence operatives and one of their agents who infiltrates a terrorist cell.

If you like spy novels where the story jumps from one country to another, this book is for you. I highly recommend it.

Swan Peak – James Lee Burke

Swan peakSwan Peak (Dave Robicheaux, #17) 
by James Lee Burke

 

Edmond Gagnon‘s review

Dec 24, 2017  
Dave Robicheaux is one of my favorite characters, perhaps because I can relate to him so easily. James Lee Burke is master of metaphors and he can offer descriptions of the sky like no other. His story-telling is enjoyable and almost philosophical at times.
In this book Burke’s first hand knowledge of the pristine scenery in Northern Montana shines above his usual inside look at Louisiana bayou country. Robicheaux’s sidekick Clete Purcel is also a colorful and easily likable character.
The only reason I didn’t give this book a fifth star is that it wasn’t as exciting as other Burke novels I’ve read.

Only The Brave

Brave

If you see this movie you’ll never think of wildfires in the same way again. Ever. We hear about these disasters all the time, but I’m sure most of us have no idea what the firefighters or hotshots who deal with these raging infernos do for a living.

Only The Brave gives us a firsthand look at the job these men do and how it affects their personal lives at home. Like Navy Seals, Hotshots are elite specialty units with the expertise that allows them to be dropped into the middle of out-of-control wildfires in the hope they can save thousands of acres of forest or in some cases, whole towns full of private homes.

Continue reading “Only The Brave”

The Foreigner – Jackie Chan

JackieJackie Chan is no stranger to action films, but he is The Foreigner to serious thrillers. I’m not alone in thinking this is one of Chan’s best performances ever. Granted, many of his previous action films were serious, but they had a cheap feel to them, like the old martial arts movies where the voices didn’t match lip movements.

Although the story seems familiar – former military special forces guy seeks revenge for missing or murdered family member, it’s credibility is bolstered by Chan’s humble character. With the exception of one scene where he should have produced a few tears, Jackie’s acting was superb.

Former James Bond, Pierce Brosnan plays a believable bad guy who’s involved with the IRA. Jackie may be older and grayer, and his moves may have all been choreographed, but he’s still got the moves. Mr. Chan is still quick as lightning. The movie moves well and is loaded with lots of action. It’s great entertainment – Cathryn got so excited at one point she tried blocking the kung fu punches from her seat.

We both enjoyed the movie and give it a 9 out of 10.

 

Memory Man – David Baldacci

23153154Memory Man (Amos Decker, #1)
by David Baldacci (Goodreads Author)

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Edmond Gagnon‘s review

Apr 16, 2017  


If you like a crime drama that builds slowly, teasing you all the way, only giving you enough details to guess who done it, Memory Man by David Baldacci is a story you should read.
The elements of the plot were familiar, with cops and killers, but the characters were special, each in their own way. Amos Decker is not a super cop, but he has a super brain – from an injury, that makes him more of a super freak. His condition gives him an almost perfect memory, which is a help and hindrance to him in solving a mass murder case.
It took me a while to get into the story, but once I was hooked I enjoyed the ride and raced to the end. A great read!

Inferno is Hot

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Inferno twists and turns like the tentacles of flames in search of oxygen. Having read and loved Dan Brown‘s book of the same name, I was pleased the script followed suit. I’d forgotten about the biggest surprise in the story that blew me away again, seeing it on screen.

I read one review that said Ron Howard didn’t put his best effort into this installment of the adventures of Professor Robert Langdon. Nonsense! The action starts ten minutes into the film and doesn’t let up until the end.

Once again Langdon’s search for clues and his efforts to solve a complex puzzle (to save humanity this time), take him to the ancient cities of Europe, such as Florence, Venice, and Budapest.

Tom Hanks is strong in the role of Professor Langdon, as usual. The historic sites and cinematography made this film a treat to see on the big screen.

Cathryn and I both love the movie and each gave it 10 out of 10.

 

 

Going Back – Reacher 2

jackreacherposter.jpg

So I’m one of those Jack Reacher fans who always comments on how Tom Cruise doesn’t fit the main character in Lee Childs books of the same name. Having said that, I must admit that Cruise’s acting fills the void in his character’s size.

In Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, our hero adds two female sidekicks. That is very unusual for Reacher, who, at one point states, “I usually work alone.” His two female partners in crime fighting soften the story somewhat, adding both humor and sexual tension.

The depth of Cruise’s acting is shown in his subtle facial expressions, when he learns that his companions can actually help him catch the bad guys. Some critics say the movie lacked superhero action, but that’s the whole idea behind Jack Reacher-he’s not a superhero. He’s only one man.

The movie wasn’t really a sequel to the first, just Reacher’s continuing adventures while he travels around the country. Cathryn and I thought it did well on it’s own and we thoroughly enjoyed it. We both gave the movie a 9 out of 10.

 

 

A Devil is Waiting – Jack Higgins

12267651A Devil Is Waiting (Sean Dillon #19)
by Jack Higgins

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Edmond Gagnon‘s review

Oct 09, 2016  · 


I thought this book was mediocre at best. Although this is the first Jack Higgins novel I’ve read, I have seen movies made from his books.
In considering the high praise this author has received, I was disappointed with this book. I thought the action was a bit lackluster, or maybe too predictable.
Are other readers tiring, as I am, of characters who are independently wealthy, but choose to be superheros for something to do? Honestly, I expected more.