Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Book Blast - Detective Lessons by Bill Larkin

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Detective Lessons

by Bill Larkin

Book Details:

Genre: Crime Fiction
Published by: Spyglass Press
Publication Date: 9/16/14
Number of Pages: 237
ISBN: 978-0-9894002-2-0
Purchase Links:


When a wealthy real estate developer convinces Orange County Sheriff’s Deputy Kevin Schmidt to search for his missing son, Schmitty senses trouble. It’s not the fact that it’s a prohibited side job, it’s the fact that he has to team up with Megan McCann, an attractive private investigator with her own set of rules.
Finding a body in the trunk of a BMW sends Schmitty and Megan on an adrenalized trail through Southern California unraveling a sophisticated real estate scam. A run-in with the LAPD and some hardcore gang members opens new perspectives on the case, and they begin to glimpse a shocking web of greed and corruption.
The situation suddenly becomes more complex - and personal – when the billionaire takes matters into his own hands and Schmitty’s own department gets involved. When Schmitty and Megan go to Catalina Island to track down the one man who may know everything, they uncover a secret that could make or break the billionaire. And when Schmitty miscalculates the man, it could get them killed. Before all this, Schmitty had been unfairly outcast in his department. Now he’s here to protect and serve. To make justice prevail and figure out who to bring down.

Read an excerpt:

I grabbed the door key from the envelope, but before I stuck it in the lock, I knocked. No answer. As I reached to insert the key, the door swung open.
The girl who filled the doorway was striking. My bet was she’d left behind a debris field of men, whoever she was. I guessed her age as early forties but it was always a little hard to tell in Newport Beach. Her long hair was the color of honey and her lips were glossy and just about perfect. She was dressed in jeans and a yellow blouse, and big hoop earrings dangled brightly. I couldn’t decide if she was more professional looking or playful looking. She held a cell phone in her hand and gave me an intent stare through pretty green eyes.
I said, “I’m looking for Jimmy Whelan. Is he here?”
“You’re Schmitty? Megan McCann. Pleased to meet you,” she said in a velvety voice.
She shook my hand then turned and left the door open as she walked inside with a purpose. She was making call on her cell and ignoring me as she poked around the kitchen drawers. Faint perfume lingered in the air and I liked the scent. She was too old be to Jimmy’s girlfriend.
She raised the phone to her ear and said, “We’re on it.”
She ended the call and gave me a look that seemed to say, what are you doing here? I was about to ask her who she was when my cell vibrated.
I recognized Mac Whelan’s voice. “Mr. Whelan. I’m at Jimmy’s.”
“I know. You just met Megan McCann, also known as M Squared. She’s going to work with you.”
“Doing what?”
“She’s a private investigator I know. Extremely good at what she does. You’re a cop who knows Jimmy. I have no doubt you’ll find him working together.”
So life had been mocking me for a while, and now I was wondering if Mac Whelan was too.
“Private investigator? You told me you didn’t have anybody else to help.”
“Be a team player, Schmitty. And I get to pick the team. Keep me posted.” He disconnected.
I stared at the phone a moment then slid it into my pocket and smiled at her. “M Squared? That’s cute.”
“Not as cute as a Harbor Patrol cop tagging along with me. Triple A on the water with a gun. Are you going to be useful or just full of bullshit?”
I spread my hands. “Resourceful is my middle name.”
She smiled. “So mostly bullshit. Don’t stand around. Let’s turn this place and find something. It would brighten my life considerably.”

Author Bio:

Bill Larkin is the author of Detective Lessons, and several crime thriller short stories, including The Highlands, OC Confidential, The Deep End, and Shadow Truth. In addition to working in commercial real estate, Bill previously served as a Reserve Deputy with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, then the Los Angeles Police Department where he last worked in a detective assignment. Bill is a member of the Mystery Writers of America and International Thriller Writers. He lives in Orange County, California.

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Friday, October 3, 2014

Review - The Silent Country by Di Morrissey

The Silent CountryThe Silent Country by Di Morrissey
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Paperback, 498 pages
Published January 1st 2009 by Pan Macmillan Australia Pty, Limited 
Source: Own copy
'The Silent Country is a vast and beautiful wilderness, a place which holds secrets and stories that are rarely spoken. TV producer, Veronica Anderson, travels to the Northern Territory to retrace the journey of an expedition that had set out fifty years earlier to film the outback, but which mysteriously ended in tragedy.

Of the group, led by the eccentric Maxim Topov, few are still alive and they are reluctant to talk about the intriguing events.

It is through the help of local NT Park Ranger, Jamie McIntosh, that Veronica begins to piece together the puzzle and discover the answers.

These answers break the silence and change her life.

My Thoughts:
The Silent Country is the first ever book I have read by Di Morrissey and I have to admit that it hasn't made me want to rush out and read more of her work.

I have just one word that pretty much sums up my entire experience with this book and that word is 'slow'.

In my opinion there were way too many slow winded explanations of certain events and the quality of writing was very basic, dry and totally unemotional.

As I was reading this book I felt like I was on the long and boring expedition along with them, but not in a good way.

I didn't warm to any of the characters and felt like they were all very forced, especially the character Maxim Topov. He just seemed to be too eccentric to the point where he wasn't at all believable and felt extremely fake to me.

The ending also contained a lot of flaws and left me asking many questions once I'd finished. This just led to me feeling completely annoyed after plodding along for what seemed like a lifetime to get this book finished.

The Silent Country does highlight a lot of issues on the treatment and life of Aborigines but the execution was very poor.

I've read that this definitely isn't one of Di Morrissey's best books but am not sure that I have the courage to try another one in the future.

ABB Link-Up - The Book or Movie?

This is a subject that I am usually very passionate about when talking with family and friends because due to the fact I am the only major reader amongst them, I am usually always the one arguing for the book while someone else is arguing for the movie.

I have pretty much always had a bit of an unwritten rule that I have to read the book before seeing the movie. If I happen to accidentally see a movie that was initially a book without knowing it, I then always have to go back and read the book to see how it compared.

Unfortunately, I think that movies very rarely do the book they are inspired by justice. There is just so much that can be described and built up in a book that I don't think can ever be duplicated on screen, especially those stories that have a huge amount of world building and character development in them, such as the Harry Potter series. These books had such a beautiful charm to them that somehow got lost in translation when the movies were made. Don't get me wrong, the movies were definitely great in their own right, but they weren't a patch on the books they came from.

Also, I think that as we are all individuals with very different imaginations, morals and interpretations of things, trying to create a movie that brings to life a book that duplicates the same images and feelings that someone has created in their head is an impossible task. I will get an image of a lead character in my head while I am reading a book and I'll imagine what they talk like and this helps me relate to the story and get immersed in the book itself. When this book is then created into a movie, no matter how awesome it might be, if the actor who was chosen to play a certain character doesn't represent in any way the one that I imagined in my head, the whole experience is ruined for me. Maybe this is just me, but it's something that has always bothered me.

A movie that makes me seriously cringe when I think about it in relation to the book it was inspired by is Clockwork Orange. The book was so dark and disturbing but when I eventually saw the movie I couldn't believe how theatrical it was and how ridiculous the whole story seemed to be portrayed.

But, on the other hand, I think The Hunger Games movies are great adaptations of the books and ones that I always recommend to others. Of course they were a little bit different in some plot areas, but overall they were pretty true to the mark. Also, I think The Book Thief was also done very well according to the original book.

I could seriously go on about this topic all day but will stop here. To see some other thoughts on this topic here is the original post where we are linking up our discussions.

I'd love to know what others prefer? The book or the movie?
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