Sunday, October 30, 2016

Book Review - The Girl from Venice

I usually enjoy Martin Cruz Smith, especially his Arkady Renko series. This book was the exception.

The story takes place in Venice near the end of WW II. Cenzo, a fisherman who seems to be too well educated for his occupation, discovers a girl floating in the lagoon. It seems she's a Jew and is escaping from the SS. The plot was developing too slowly and neither of the characters were interesting to me so I gave up after reading about 60 pages of a 240 page book.

My advice is to give this one a pass.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Book Review - Escape Clause

"Escape Clause" is John Sandfords latest Virgil Flowers novel. Someone has kidnapped a mating pair of rare Amur tigers from the zoo and Virgil is assigned the case. He has very few clues to go on and is grabbing at any lead he can find. He surmises that the tigers have been taken so that their body pats can be used for Asian medicinal concoctions. The story alternates between Virgil's point of view and the point of view of the perp. Tension builds slowly as Virgil chases clues and then gets distracted by an attack on his latest gal friend.  Things escalate and the perp murders his accomplices. As the murders start to stack up Virgil has a strong suspicion who is responsible but can't get any proof.

The only weak part of the plot is that the ending is predictable but, that said, it was difficult to put this book down. It's a good read.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Voices of the RER

When I was working in Paris I commuted to an office in the suburbs on RER B. I became well aquanted with the voices of the women on this video and I learned proper pronunciation from them.

Subway Work

I am interested in large infrastructure projects and construction techniques. I also love Paris. The video below is a summary of some repair work on one of Paris' subway lines. It's in French but you can see what they are doing and the machines they use.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Head Count

Saudi Arabia added 8 more heads to their tally last month. One of these was a female convicted of murder. She was an Ethiopian house maid who slit the throat of the 6 year old daughter of her employer. Year to date head count is 118.