Wednesday, July 16, 2014

My Philadelphia Inquirer Review Of "Brothers Forever"

You can read my review of Brothers Forever in the Philadelphia Inquirer via the below link:

Off Line And In the Hospital

I have not posted anything in a while, as I've been in the hospital.

I was laid up in bed thinking the pain came from my back injuries, but I later discovered that I had some serious kidney problems.

I was taken to the hospital where I learned from surgery that I had a kidney infection, a lodged kidney stone and other kidney problems.

I was released from the hospital this week, but I have to return for round two in the near future.

My posting here will be light in the near future.


Saturday, June 28, 2014

Raymond Chandler To Get A Star On The Hollywood Walk Of Fame

Carolyn Kellog at the Los Angeles Times offers a piece on the late great crime novelist Raymond Chandler, who will receive his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

One of Los Angeles' greatest noir writers will be getting a permanent place in the sun: on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Raymond Chandler is one of 30 people who will get such stars in 2015.

Most of the stars on the Walk of Fame honor people we see on the screen; others in the class of 2015 include Will Ferrell, Julianna Margulies and Daniel Radcliffe. There are also many stage actors, radio stars and film directors. When it comes to writers, there are few.

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:

You can also read my interview with Chandler biographer Tom Williams via the below link:

And you can read my Crime Beat column on Raymond Chandler's influence on crime novels and films via the below link:

Friday, June 27, 2014

From Sex In The City To Crime In The City: Sarah Jessica Parker To Star As Philly Crime Reporter

Molly Eichel at the Philadelphia Daily News offers the below piece:
Busted, the memoir from the Daily News' own Barbara Laker and Wendy Ruderman, based on their Pulitzer Prize-wining series, "Tainted Justice," has been optioned for a television series from Sidney Kimmel Entertainment, with Sarah Jessica Parker starring. The show will be co-producted by Anonymous Content, the company behind the much-buzzed-about "True Crime."  
You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:
You can also read my Washington Times review of Busted via the below link:
And you can read my interview with Wendy Ruderman and Barbara Laker via the below link:

Locked Down And Locked On

I've not posted anything in a while as I've been once again crippled and bedridden with great arthritis pain in my back and feet. The first few days were awful. I could not read, talk on the telephone, work on my Dell Notebook or watch TV.

I felt like a prisoner in my own bedroom.

Thankfully the medicine kicked in the first few days so I could at least read and listen to music. And thankfully I had on hand a paperback copy of Tom Clancy's Locked On.

Written with Mark Greaney, Locked On is a perfect thriller to make one forget his or her own pain.

The book has a great story, an amazing plot and a wild cast of characters, including one of my favorite's, John Clark, the former U.S. Navy SEAL and CIA officer.

Even though Tom Clancy, who recently died, sold enormous amounts of books over the years and made enormous amounts of money, he believed that he did not receive the critical acclaim he rightly deserved.

Of course, he had a very loyal fan base and they - and I - loved his books and will miss him.

Tom Clancy was a great storyteller and a great patriot and I'd like to thank him for helping me get through my week of being ill and "locked down" in my bedroom.

You can read an earlier post on Tom Clancy via the below link:

Sunday, June 22, 2014

The President's Most Blunt Instrument: Can Admiral McRaven's Special Ops Team Save Iraq?

Marc Ambinder at offers a piece on Admiral McRaven and Iraq.

Attempting to confront the sudden ripening threat of a transnational terrorist haven in Iraq, President Obama has once again turning to his most blunt instrument, the special operations forces commanded by Adm. William H. McRaven, to restore order.
No air strikes (yet). No new invasion. No headlines. Just a tiny contingent of America’s best, placed once again in harm’s way and tasked with singlehandedly defending the national interest.

Three hundred special operators will deploy, bringing with them efficient, advanced insurgent tracking technology and tactics that McRaven’s forces use in more than 70 countries today. Don’t let the “training” description of the mission fool you. These forces are intelligence enablers. They are, in the parlance of the military, effects multipliers.

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:

Friday, June 20, 2014

Another Great Day At Sea: Life Aboard An Aircraft Carrier

Having served aboard the aircraft carrier the USS Kitty Hawk during the Vietnam War, I was interested in what a Brit writer thinks of life aboard an American aircraft carrier.

Geoff Dyer wrote a book called Another Great Day at Sea: Life Aboard the USS George H.W. Bush about you can read an excerpt from the book in the Air & Space magazine.

I spent my time on the USS George H.W. Bush ducking and diving or, more exactly, ducking and stooping. I walked the walkways and stoop-ducked through hatches, always focused on a single ambition: not to smash my head even though there was an opportunity to do so every couple of seconds. It was like staying in a cottage in Wales that had been epically extended and converted to nuclear power.

Asked, nine months earlier, if there were “somewhere unusual and interesting” I’d like to be writer-in-residence, I didn’t hesitate: Sir, an American aircraft carrier, sir!

It had to be American: circumstantially, because these days we—the British—don’t even have a carrier; personally, because of the accents, the audible symptoms of the top-to-bottom, toff-to-prole hierarchy that is so clearly manifest in the British military. To have locked myself away on a British aircraft carrier—if one had existed—would have been to have condemned myself to being on a shrunken version of our island kingdom. Sitting in on a U.S. ship, on the other hand, would be like staying in a small town in America (albeit one organized along unusually clear hierarchical lines), surrounded by American voices, American friendliness, American politeness, American Americans.

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link: