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As of 28 February 2016, due to decline in my health and chronic illness

Thursday, February 9, 2017

THE PRICE FOR HARMONY by Jeffrey M. Thompson Jr._Review

The Price For Harmony (Duke Bradley Mysteries Book 2)The Price For Harmony by Jeffrey M. Thompson Jr.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review of THE PRICE FOR HARMONY
By Jeffrey M. Thompson Jr.
[Duke Bradley P.I. #2]
This series revolving protagonist John Marion (“call me Duke”) Bradley, former FBI Special Agent for 17 years, now a Private Investigator (“Private Eye-not Private Detective”) and his love interest and cold-case partner Special Agent Shriya Thakur constitutes what author Jeffrey M. Thompson calls “Gray Noir.” His vision of Akron, Ohio is just as bleak and desperate as the perspectives of Ross MacDonald, Dashiell Hammett, or Raymond Chandler, with the exception that even in the midst of poverty, economic depression, political mishaps, homelessness, and human greed and covetousness—hope still remains. There is light, somewhere, to be found.

In my review of THIRTEEN YEARS OF DUST, I admitted how much I like the protagonist, Duke Bradley (even if he is an unreconsituted “old school” male) and love the series. THE PRICE FOR HARMONY is every bit as intriguing. Author Thompson fearlessly takes on some big topics: transgenderness, Satanism, medical black market, homophobia, and again, alcoholism and alcohol recovery. He hits all the stops and keeps the reader entertained as well as fascinated. Don't miss this series—whether you are a fan of the usual Noir or not.

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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

THIRTEEN YEARS OF DUST by Jeffrey M. Thompson Jr._Review

Thirteen Years of DustThirteen Years of Dust by Jeffrey M. Thompson Jr.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review of THIRTEEN YEARS OF DUST by Jeffrey M. Thompson Jr.

THIRTEEN YEARS OF DUST is the debut installment in the Duke Bradley P.I. Series. Let me caution you, Constant Readers, that Duke is in a category all his own, and so is this mystery. Duke is not Lew Archer nor Philip Marlowe. He is an alcoholic, currently not practicing (nearly two years sober), who uses mantras (chanting) to cope with all the various triggers that formerly drove him to alcohol and still would if he gave in. He's also wry, dry, humorous; and considers himself the alpha male. Above all, never rag on his hat, or he'll never forgive you.
Duke is a former FBI Special Agent, and late in the book when he reveals why he is “former,” it will break your heart. Now as a “Private Eye,” Duke is broke, about to be evicted from his office/home, and desperate to solve a case cold thirteen years and claim the reward. But it's not just the cash; Duke somehow internalises a case, and has an unparallelled solve rate.
The mystery(ies) here are so twisty and convoluted that unless you are a psychic reader you will not see them unfolding until they do so. THIRTEEN YEARS OF DUST is heartwrenching, exciting, absorbing, and made me want more Duke Bradley adventures to read. Fortunately, his second, THE PRICE FOR HARMONY, is available.

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Friday, February 3, 2017

THE BLOOD OF EMMETT TILL_Review

The Blood of Emmett TillThe Blood of Emmett Till by Timothy B. Tyson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

THE BLOOD OF EMMETT TILL by Timothy B. Tyson

THE BLOOD OF EMMETT TILL is a tremendously important and terribly perturbing work of nonfiction. Intensifying the perturbation and pervasive grief, even now, 61 years in the future, is that the Emmett Till tragedy occurred. This is not a work of scary fiction; this is real.

In August 1955, a fourteen-year-old Chicago adolescent traveled with family to visit relatives in Mississippi. He eventually returned, but not alive. For shortly after his arrival, he was abducted from the home of his cousins, at night, and murdered. His “failing”? He may—or may not—have addressed a white woman.

The author, Timothy B. Tyson, is a Ph.D. In American History, who as a child experienced a public murder of a black male by a white male, in his own home town. In this book, his clear-eyed understanding of history, particularly pre-Civil Rights Movement history, not only in Mississippi and throughout the South, but also in segregationist Chicago, vividly portrays life as it existed for African-Americans, 90 years after the end of the Civil War. The political antics, white-supremacy interests, and fear above all of “miscegenation” or “mongrelization” during this era are revealed as historian Tyson turns over the rocks of deceit, betrayal, and race rage. Certainly contemporary conditions are far from ideal, but the Jim Crow Era here brought to life should sicken and dismay every reader. The murder of Emmett Till was wrong on all counts, but one of its consequences was to ignite the fires of Civil Rights and propel the Movement that has brought some changes.

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