Monday, September 15, 2014

Book Review - Blind Spot

I will file this under "What were they thinking"? This is the latest of the ghost written books in the Jesse Stone series by the estate of Robert Parker. I think people who love Parker love him for his writing style as much as his characters. The previous books that were written by Michael Brandman were true to Parker's writing style. This book by Reed Farrel Coleman is not.

Except for the name of the main character, everything about this book is different from the ones by  Parker and Brandman. Coleman has deviated from Parker's gritty, simple style. He has used the third person to get into Jesse's brain and spends paragraph after paragraph telling us what Jesse was thinking and feeling. He also spends a lot of ink telling us about Jesse's sex life. In addition, he turned Jesse into a heavy drinker. We all know he was a recovering alcoholic but we also know he limited his drinks. Coleman takes him way out of sobriety. And finally, he overuses baseball analogies and the fact that Jesse is an ex player.

As for the other characters, Suitcase Simpson is now a blundering idiot and Molly is an over sexed cougar who trades double entendres with Jesse. It was also disturbing to me that Coleman set up the ending for a sequel, almost as if he was looking for job security.

The story line is good and there is enough action to keep up your interest, but, other than the name of the characters, it bears little resemblance to the Jesse Stone novels Robert Parker fans know and love. Read it if you want, but don't look for anything resembling Robert Parker.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Classical Music

Saint Chapelle is a church that was built in the 13th century in Paris to house relics of Christ. It is somethimes used as a venue for classical concerts. My wife and I went there recently to listen to this violinist.

Book Review - Personal

This is the latest in the Jack Reacher series by Lee Child. I wanted to take my time reading this novel but it was not possible to do so.

Reacher finds a personal ad in the Army Times that leads him to contact some old Army intelligence acquaintances. They want him to hunt down a sniper that he had once jailed but who was not out and thought to have taken a shot at the president of France. This leads Reacher on an international man hunt to Paris and London. The shooter, however, has personal reasons to want to kill Reacher. There is plenty of tension as Reacher deals with some unsavory characters who are protecting the sniper while he avoids being a target himself.

This book will not be easy to put down and I think is one of the best of the series.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Lagavulin - 16 year old

Lagavulin is an Islay single malt. The distillery is another one that is now owned by Diageo(see earlier review of Oban) and is marketed as one of their "Classic Malts". The distillery has been around since 1816.

The whisky has an amber color and a strong peaty/iodine nose. It's taste, hosever, is round and smooth with a lingering finish. Some people may find it too strong. For example, Lisbeth Salander referred to it as something that could be used to tar a boat.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Aviation History

The Bleriot XI was the plane that Louis Bleriot used to fly across the English Channel in 1909. This model was then produced in several variations. Several survive today in museums around the world but this one is the one that he actually flew across the channel.


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Customized Harley D

To me, this is sorta like hitching a race horse to a plow......

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Steampunk Airplane

Meet the Avion III, a steam powered airplane built by Clement Ader between 1892 and 1897 for the French War Office. The plane never flew although Ader claims it did manage to get off the ground for 100 yards.

Clement's name is not well known as an aviation pioneer but he is considered to have predicted the use of aircraft in war and aircraft carriers.