Desperado's wife (a Memoir) by Amy Friedman
This is a tale of the unexpected. Stereotypically, women who contact murderers in prison and fall in love with them.. be honest the first thing that springs to mind is a list of clichés: liberal, naive, daft, soft, unrealistic, deluded, but that is not the case here.
Amy sets the rules before you read this book, in letters as big as the Hollywood sign : READ WITHOUT PREJUDICE it's a book that screams thou shall not be judgemental, or if you are.. why are you?
Take one case in the book, this guy kills another man in a bar fight with one punch. that's all it takes. The lawyers get out their label gun, and tattoo "murderer" not only on your arm… but your soul and all Canadian state records. Amy is asking us to think about this… does mass incarceration change society in unexpected ways?.
This manic labelling jailing and refusing parole to the one punch guys or to people who kill but are unlikely to ever kill again. Is this policy rational ? And what damage is done to the millions of friends and families of all these imprisoned people? OK Amy is no ordinary sheep farmer, this is a big question.
So here is the paradox: Our Amy is intelligent sophisticated educated. resourceful, worldly wise, tough, resilient, and men find her attractive (I fell for her after reading two lines of the book's product description) and she is a very good writer.., you will get that point about ten pages into the book..
It's 1992, We find our Amy, working as a journalist, at "The Whig" a Canadian newspaper. Amy's partner (a professor) at that time.. they had a sheep farm, they had a nice home, they travelled the world and the seven seas. BUT, that relationship was not quite right. (our Amy like most of us, has had a few flings). Then fate opens a door : the doorman is Harry Windsor a member of a prison visitor group, who suggests to Amy : Hey there is a story in them there hills. Well sort of…
Note : Dear female readers: If you are thinking of using local prisons as a dating agency start with an open prisons first, then work your way up to the super max. our Harry recommends the "Maynard" medium security prison
to Amy, rather like a waiter recommends a suitable wine to go with the fish in a restaurant.
Then Amy meets WILL a man a who killed another man in a drug related dispute. Amy once inside, sets about de-constructing the prison system, she shines light on the hypocrisy. The rats (informers) get better cells and better parole outcomes. She confesses (to us the reader) how step by step she is drawn deeper and deeper into the belly of the beast. (thanks Harry). This love creates a boiling frog dilemma and Stockholm syndrome rolled into one.
As a Journalist Amy is objective at first, But then Amy crosses line after line, as she is unable to resist the tendency to take sides. She falls for a prisoner (Will) she loses her status of "official visitor" working for a newspaper and becomes an invited visitor of an inmate. To the horror of her colleges back at the paper. (Brave).
Then Amy explores the relationships. Prisoners have with their families, wives girlfriends mothers and most important of all the millions of children's that are affected by a parent being imprisoned.
This was a great aspect of the book, Big question does the stigma, the anxiety, the guilt of imprisoning parents of young children change these children's lives detrimentally? The shocking answer seems to be.. yes.
Last word: judge not less you be judged, and If I ever throw a punch in a bar fight and someone accidentally dies, I hope Amy is the judge at my trial. And anyone who is without sin go build the first super max jail.
Cain in the Bible the first recorded murder in human history. God gave Cain an instant suspended sentence, no punishment at all for killing his brother Able "Cain went off to build cities". No mug shot God did not even take his prints. Are extremist victim support groups saying God is soft on crime?
"If we take an eye for an eye the whole world will end up blind" : Gandhi.
We must end the madness that leads to millions of people being jailed, destroying million more lives in the process and costing billions of dollars. Spend the money helping people… not locking them in boxes.. a message in this great book.
Some people have to be locked up,, yes accepted.. like the criminally insane.. but millions of people could be set FREE tomorrow. Then why not set them free?
This is a fascinating story, This is a review of the kindle edition.
Paul Kendall (UK)
Amazon link > http://www.amazon.com/Desperados-Wife-A-Memoir-ebook/dp/B00AFZGG5S/ref=sr_1_1_bnp_1_kin?ie=UTF8&qid=1365694957&sr=8-1&keywords=desperados+wife
This is a very entertaining British crime novel. (This is the first I have read in the Detective sergeant Mackinnon series). DS Mackinnon is on the case. The book uses the : "a woman has disappeared opening", like an opening in chess the missing woman opening is quite common... so I was a bit concerned at first.
The prologue tells us that this disappearance is an abduction . The elements are, Anya, our missing woman is Polish and is in working in London. The second key element is she is obsessed with fame, the third element is Anya's obsession makes her especially attractive to this particular serial killer.. Fame is both the bait and the name of the demon that feeds all delusions in this book. Many serial killers seek fame..? Anya seeks fame and even the cops that detect crime and bring the evil doers to justice seek fame.. The story is a swirling tornado of delusion and obsession. With a dark theatrical twist.
Anya is a foreigner and we realise this makes her vulnerable. Her brother Henryk understands why this is so when he attempts to report his sister missing at a London police station. The anxiety and the distress build as the POV shifts from the killer, to the brother, to the police, despite the complex POV, I found the book very easy to read.
The statistics are chilling.. there could be a 1000 serial killers at work at any one time in the UK and America add to that thousands of prostitution gangs all are abducting young girls and attractive women or inveigling young girls in one way or another day in day out. With this in mind read on...
Over the years there have been literally hundreds of cases of missing women. Many are never seen again.. cell phones go dead, their bank accounts go stone cold. They leave for work one morning and they just vanish into thin air. The resulting misery and despair that falls on the hearts of the victim's friends and relatives is partly what this book is all about.
Getting the British police to take any crime report seriously is not easy... even for British people. So imagine how hard it must be for a foreigner. So I liked this aspect in the book.. the victim being a foreigner working in the London. Henryk is Anya's brother, he goes to the police. The Police asked Henryk a lot of questions about the missing girl, questions like.. does she take drugs? does she have a lot of boyfriends?
I was very quickly gripped with Henryk's plight his sister was missing and he wanted the police to act right away. The problem is.. 250,000 people go missing in the UK every year. For one police detective to spend say 2 hours checking each disappearance... at a cost of say £1,000. To check all 250k reports it would cost £250 million pounds.
That is why serial killer get away with it for so long. This is a brilliant book and very well written. This book is like a British version of silence of the lambs.. if anything its better. It's highly recommended. It's very entertaining.
This was a review of the kindle edition.
Paul Kendall UK
April (A Rollie Kemp novel April)
By William Byron Hillman http://www.williamhillman.com/
OK, this is a thriller, I am new to the Rollie Kemp series. However, I am a fan of Bill Hillman's style of writing (for those who don't know Bill's other Job is Hollywood film director). Bill is a prolific script writer and film producer… so I thought I would give it a try. Incidentally in 1969, Bill stared in the cold war classic: Ice Station Zebra. Thin ice.. thin ice...
Meanwhile back at the ranch:
Rollie Kemp and his partner are larger than life characters, literally. Rollie is six foot five and his partner Drake Fargo is six foot eight. As a team they have quiet a range of skills. Drake Fargo gained his reputation from his past military experience and his work for the CIA Rollie's background; he used to work for the Los Angeles police department. Rollie is independent and wealthy, some good investments set him up for life. Drake Fargo seems to be motivated by a desire to get the bad guys without all the paperwork and red tape..
Both men are impatient and unpredictable. They find what they are looking for by deploying a combination of brains.. brute force.. then more brains.. then some brut force to finish off with… just for good measure. This book is quite funny in places in others quite dark. Our Rollie makes good use of his extensive list of contacts in the police and security services.
Rollie is the kind of guy who does not like people poking him in the chest and telling him what is what. If people push Rollie too far, he has been known to throw a punch or two. Drake Fargo is more pragmatic but not a guy to play games with.
Chapter 1 is short, it deals with an assassination. Diamond dealer William Bradberry is gunned down as he answers his front door. The hit crew, spin his apartment looking for "something"... But what? Then enter industrial chemist April. who is William Bradberry's daughter.
Our April, stricken with grief…has to sort out her father's affairs, she clears out his apartment and deals with the funeral and then she goes missing.
Rollie and Co are hired by Lenny an old friend of William Bradberry'. This Lenny.. a wealthy architect puts up the cash to find out what has happened to APRIL... However :The police, Rollie and Drake are puzzled. Not all is as it seems.
And then the adventure begins. I really enjoyed reading the book and I look forward to reading the first two Rollie Kemp novels. . This book was very entertaining and I recommend it. This was a review of the kindle edition.
Paul Kendall (UK)
Here is the link to Amazon USA > http://www.amazon.com/APRIL-Rollie-novel-April-ebook/dp/B008G50NLM/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1350606615&sr=8-2&keywords=april+a+rollie+kempHere is the link Amazon UK > http://www.amazon.co.uk/APRIL-Rollie-novel-April-ebook/dp/B008G50NLM/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?_encoding=UTF8&al_rs=&qid=1350606699&sr=8-1-fkmr0#al_rp
White Heaven Women
By Jessie B Tyson
Let's go all paranormal. I love the author Jessie (who I met on twitter), she is the paranormal version of Agatha Christie. Jessie has this wonderful writing style which combines English eccentricity with a frantic grab hold of your arm type urgency. You feel the author is desperate to tell this story and you as reader feel you must find out about what all the fuss is about. Brilliant. .
Sally is our main character in the book.. let's face it, everything she does, everything she thinks or even looks at has blue ectoplasmic manifestations hovering over it and her life is so paranormal that to her the paranormal is in fact normal.
Sally's life is all strange dreams and odd encounters with the hidden worlds beyond the mysterious curtain of sleep and death. Sally has one foot in this world and another in the spirit world. But has no idea what it all means...
We need some help here so,,, Sally calls the all seeing psychic Mrs Harris who for a consideration will tell you half of the story.. Put even more cash on the table she will tell you a bit more. Only when Mrs Harris has empted your bank account will she spill the beans.
Sally there is a message coming in… two children, a woman who lived in the past are contacting you .. But why?.. That will be another £200 luv…I loved the Mrs Harris character. Winter is the time to read about such paranormal goings on.
I read this book with sound of the autumn wind blowing in the trees outside ,very late at night. This book is well written and highly entertaining. It's set in White Haven in Cumbria, which or witch is on the coast. looking out across the water is Ireland. If you drive over the North Yorkshire moors from where I live.. head North west. There is Cumbria, one of the most beautiful landscapes in Europe.. the English lake district.
The women are mostly witches, and the men are all taxi drivers as there are few buses in this part of the world. They still have those wicker man human sacrifices in spring up in the hills so if they invite you to a "May poll" dance… run…. Anyway a brilliant book, by a brilliant writer (our Jessie), Moreover, the story is set in a wonderful part of the world…
I hope people will buy the book as Jessie is a great character in her own right, her paranormal writing really has style .This was a review of the kindle edition and the book is highly recommended.
Paul Kendall (UK)Amazon USA >>> http://www.amazon.com/White-Heaven-Women-ebook/dp/B008SDDGV6/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1350679991&sr=8-2&keywords=the+white+heaven+womenAmazon UK >>>> http://www.amazon.co.uk/White-Heaven-Women-ebook/dp/B008SDDGV6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1350680098&sr=8-1Find out more about Our Jessie >>> http://jessiebtyson.blogspot.co.uk/
Lighter Shades of Grey A (very) critical reader's guide to 50 Shades of GreyBy Cassandra Parkin
A few clicks on twitter the other day.. and I came across this book. LIGHTER SHADES OF GREY advertised as an hilariously critical "reader's guide" to the inexplicably popular 50 Shades of Grey….. So I got the free Amazon sample.
I didn't want to laugh, (it was one of those days).. but after reading a few pages.. I was in pain laughing (sorry in ecstasy laughing). First off the author, Cassandra Parkin who I now officially love…makes us understand with the first lash across the buttocks that 50 Shades of Grey and the ridiculous premise behind the book …is comedy gold.
The author sets up the punch lines by reading us a little bit from the book. You feel yourself wanting to laugh even as she does this… but you force yourself to hold it in... trying not to let it go…then bam the laugher just bursts out .. I can't explain it Cassandra has this very special talent for comedy writing. You will have to read the book… for me it was "sandstone" just that word and it got me in giggles.. This book pushes all my buttons just loved reading it.
Lash the sandstone lobby, lash the sandstone desk, 21 year old Ana is this
implausibly daft virgin, who admires sandstone …Ana falls head chained to heels for the plausibly sadistic billionaire Christian Grey. It was not the not money that attracted her to her captor. It was his well slung pants and "oh my" his holy smoke Batmen wavy hair,,, oh my, she was drugged and abducted so this is no ordinary love story..
OK you're a 21 year old masochist (sorry Virgin) and a rich guy asks you "would you like to spend the night in my dungeon? And how would you feel about signing a contract that would in effect make imprisonment err well legal … may be beat her with a leather belt, and oh err how would you feel about a bit of ''''''''''''' ?… gulp more tea vicar? That is more abusive than the average mobile phone contract.
So what does our Ana do ? She agrees of course... where do I sign…because she is in LOVE you see … One reason why the feminists are outraged. The excuse for the drugging and the rape and the abduction, is mitigated by this fantastic reason he wanted to save his upholstery from getting her vomit on it… so he kidnapped her?
50 Shades of Grey is is so daft.. The question is why have so many women bought it… why ? Well suppose Christian Grey had George Clooney, level 10 magnitude gorgeousness and now ask if BDSM would be a show stopper.? See life is complex…
OK 50 Shades is winning and the sisters are a point behind. The E L James book is setting feminism back 50 years and is selling millions… ENTER : Cassandra Parkin
"the assassin" she uses a deadly combination of witty banter and a Sherlock Holmes style deductive reasoning to burst the BDSM delusion apart, her amazing technique at the same time illuminates the darker side of this book. She is good.
The truth is 50 shades of Grey and BDSM is about the degradation of humanity, not just women. I can see how it would be fun up to a point,, if I myself every try BDSM my safe word would be "sandstone" lash… sandstone… lash ((( sandstone )))…..
The reality is BDSM is a risky and dangerous fantasy to harbour in your heart… fantasies should stay in your head.... If the firewall breaks down … start the cold showers and re-humanisation immediately.
Only a mentally ill and vulnerable person would consent to the Christian Grey contract. . Verdict… Ana is off her trolley and 50 Shades of Grey is not a love story… it's a story about a mentally ill girl being abused by a rich man.. not his first victim and not the last… I am glad I did not buy that book… but bought this book. Lighter shades of Grey.
This was a review of the Kindle edition, this book is an officially brilliant and hilarious and very well written and fabulous in every way.. I will be hunting down and buying all of the author's other work.
Paul Kendall UK .
. Please get the free Amazon sample and if you agree with my review buy this book...
Amazon USA > http://www.amazon.com/Lighter-Shades-Grey-Critical-ebook/dp/B009KBL1DA/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1349586209&sr=1-3&keywords=lighter+shades+of+greyAmazon UK > http://www.amazon.co.uk/Lighter-Shades-Grey-Critical-ebook/dp/B009KBL1DA/ref=sr_1_4?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1349586368&sr=1-4
Cracks in the Pavement
By Martin Hopkins
I really liked this book. But, First things first, warning this book contains adult material. So if you are offended by explicit sex scenes look away now.
This is dark.. A Dickensian novel that follows an ordinary man Dan. He works in an ordinary job. The story starts off following Dan's life, a kind of hamster wheel like existence. To work, back home, the pub, sleep, to work, back home, Pub, sleep.
Dan's mundane and eventless life, is short circuited when he throws some spare change to a street beggar. GUILT is ever-present. The book transports us to an underworld of beggars, prostitutes deviants and cops. I love the dark humour that is sprinkled around the story, it's like a shaft of sunlight bursting through the clouds, then it's back to business as usual. This book is implacably dark. This book is rare in that it is an honest mirror reflecting real life. Statutory rape is hard to read but it's even braver to write about it. You won't read many books like this because few authors dare delve this deep into the cesspit of Britain's underworld.
Emily, is not a woman feminist will be comfortable with. Women with the histrionics personality disorder are fascinating. The movie The Getaway with Steve McQueen in the 1970's implied some women enjoy being sexually masochistic enjoying thing we dare not mention. it's all taboo. This book kicks down this door. So be warned its not easy to read. But it's essential to tell the story. The sex scenes in the beggar's doss house are grim, the characters are Dickensian again brilliantly drawn and well observed.
This book was interesting to me this is a world police find hard to penetrate. To a few globalisation is a great idea. Factories in the UK have closed down in large numbers, millions have no home, no job, no pension and no future. When they fall through the cracks in the pavement what becomes of our children? The drugs dealers, the Fagin like characters and porn movie makers are waiting for them with open arms. Look out for the mad professor the string puller a 3D chess player.
There is this friends reunited aspect to the book, where a girl a porn (a porn is whore in Latin) is caught up in the underworld, She is in this reduced dehumanised state and may be as readers we are supposed to despise her?
But the books asks us to flash back a few short years to her school days. Look Look the book asks .. It's shocking because this is REAL life in the UK in 2012. The villains live off society by providing "services" drugs, porn, prostitutes, they have recruiters, safe houses and cash. Not all beggars are poor, This is a really dark story... all the more shocking because it's rooted in reality.
This was a review of the kindle edition the book is adult material but it's highly recommended
Paul Kendall Leeds UKBuy it now Amazon UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/Cracks-in-the-Pavement-ebook/dp/B006PUFPG8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1339425407&sr=8-1Buy It Now Amazon USA http://www.amazon.com/Cracks-in-the-Pavement-ebook/dp/B006PUFPG8/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1339425612&sr=8-4
Veronique and Murray
By William Byron Hillman
We are lost in France, the pastel colours on the cover suggest the mood. A rich girl in a large house with soft jazz music drifting in from hidden speakers by the swimming pool ..Ok.. you are there. Wealth, the sun, carrots, flowers and horses. No No don’t employ a stable boy with rippling… oh no too late… the stage is set, the props are all in place. Now let those crazy hot summer days write the script. Enter Veronique age 15.. more women than young woman.. she is the flame. Then enter Anton age 18 (the stable boy) he is the moth. Guess what happens when the moth sees the flame? This early encounter with Anton is like a rock thrown into the pool of her life. The ripples from this brief encounter reverberate throughout the rest of the book.
This is a bath and bed type book. The interesting thing for me was the development of Veronique's relationship with Murray. (OK I know.. that's what the book's all about) The life lessons, the romance with Murray, seemed like a kind of "love me love my dog" type story. You see…Murray is not a very good looking chap, he is not rich.. yet he gets the girl. A very beautiful girl I might add. OK rich girl should (in real life) find rich boy.. a banker and get married. For these reasons, we are drawn (as readers) into a story that goes against the grain. It's an anti cliché time, a tale that gets even deeper when the story gets wrapped up in a sinister plot of which I can not speak. Her family are odd. Then there is this sinister twisting and turning and that loveable dog. In all.. a very good read. Is it interesting? yes, thought provoking? yes. well written? yes. All of the things that we have come to expect from a Bill Hillman book.
The book is highly recommended this review was of the kindle edition.
Paul Kendall Leeds Yorkshire UK Buy the book now or get the free sample : here is the link to Amazon UK
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Veronique-and-Murray-ebook/dp/B0071F05MU/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1338428724&sr=8-1-spell Amazon.com US >> http://www.amazon.com/Veronique-and-Murray-ebook/dp/B0071F05MU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1338428984&sr=8-1
By Mike McNeff
The Guardians of The Universe (GOTU) is an action packed police drama. Which I thoroughly enjoyed reading. The opening few chapters of the book gripped me because two things became obvious. First the detail, the little things like the cops find an assault riffle. They draw a line in the sand around the gun. They remove the magazine, then remove the round in the gun, put the bullet that was in the gun... into the magazine and then put the magazine into a utility pocket in the uniform. See I love that kind of procedural detail. That's just one example. The story follows a specialist police unit in the war on drug trafficking. The second thing I noticed was the author Mike McNeff has been around the block a few times… Mike is a good writer and writes form a vast pool of experience. Overall books like this will always have guns, drugs, greed helicopters the women that hang around gangsters, but this book comes at the subject from a slightly different angle. The police in America have dangerous job to do. Day in day out… their families have no idea if they are coming home. This book makes you think and at the same time it is highly entertaining.
The book is highly recommended The review was of the kindle edition
Paul Kendall Leeds (UK)
Grabarchuck Puzzles interactive eBook on Kindle
OK so when I first came across this book …I was puzzled. How can you select the answers to multiple choice question on an ebook reader like Amazon kindle?
I emailed the author, first intelligence test, I failed. I could not figure out how to use it. Lol… Anyways… it easy there are four boxes, you use the kindle's five way controller, pan left or right and click your selected answer. Der der it works.
OK it's a puzzle book so how complex were the puzzles ? Interesting ? Fun or dull and boring ? I am happy to report good news. They were fun, but the great thing about this app, because that's what it is really.( It's not really a book)... Er What was I saying.. Yes the great thing about this book/app is that you dip in and "do" the puzzles. Note you read a book but do puzzles. I rest my case. So when would you open this up ? On a train… ? Yes… a plane …Yes. Training your kids to pass intelligence tests …yes… hang on IQ tests, Well the questions in IQ test are rotating shapes, realising and being aware that a shape, when rotated will or won't fit a hole. Keeping the brain active as you get older… YES. Oh and I tried it on my kindle smart phone app and it was in glorious colour… tablets and ipad, iPhone the user experience will be a fun genuine interactive puzzle game. Exercise for your grey matter… use it or lose. highly recommended… good value
Paul Kendall Leeds Yorkshire UK
By J M Winspear
I came across the author and this book on twitter. @WinspearJ . I read a few pages intending to read the whole book in one go latter on. Well I was immediately drawn into Aelfric's story. Aelfric is set up by his evil step father and sold into a kind of slavery. From there on you end up rooting for him. I loved the style of writing a combination of modern and old English with some rarely used words sprinkled around. American readers however may find this difficult to follow but it's worth it. (Get the free sample on kindle and that's that problem solved) The big attraction of the book for me was the haunting ghost like quality of Aelfric. The fantasy aside the book is bleak and realistic.
Have you ever wondered what your ancestors did 1,500 years ago? If you could follow their lives day to day what would you see? Not a heroic man like Aelfric? Well they were hunters. They had too fight or be made slaves. This book hints at how life was 1,500 years ago. The author is a good writer... I mean he is really good at transporting you back in time to this brutal world mixed with fantasy and reality. Cowards were slaves, most women were slaves and out of this Aelfric emerges as a hero. Women back then by occupation were (i) Strong women independent warriors a few (ii) witches, thousands (iii) whores slash single mothers, millions. Then throw in a goddess or two and that's the world described in this book. Not that different from the world today really. (only joking) My feminists sisters my find this book hard going for that reason..
That's how life was 1,500 years ago.The labels used to stereotype women are enduring. Not a book I would usually read, but I was surprised. I really found it interesting becaue it was thought provoking as well as entertaining. It has some great lines. Will I read the next book? Yes.. I already have it on my kindle.