Fallen Angels by Marvin J. Wolf and Katherine Mader is described in its subtitle as a chronicle of L.A. (Los Angeles) crime and mystery. Yep, I know that “everybody” knows L.A. stands for Los Angeles but there are those unfamiliar with the United States that might think L.A. is a genre of crime and mystery that involves the use of leather articles (LA) so I wanted to clear that up. This novel fulfills the requirements of a chronicle as it presents true crime accounts from 1847 to 1983. There is a fascinating addendum at the end dated 1987 which provides updates to the earlier reported Thelma Todd mystery. This is crime reporting with many irrefutable facts referenced in an approximately 11-page bibliography. Some may argue this is not a novel due to the reporting of so much factual information. But there are also a lot of unsolved mysteries and possibilities presented. The idea that studios staged crime scenes to protect contract actors may have a basis in truth. The reader will probably question why there was so much time between a death and the report of the death to the police. Because of conjectures, no one knew what really went on in the “missing time” sequences, I call this work a novel.
Three thoughts on this one. First, it is sad to hear that what started out as a lovely morning stroll provoked such a sense of sadness (see Kat’s comments as you scroll down). Second, those of us who live in the developing world are many times fortunate. We may not have all the conveniences of developed societies but I like my weekly visits to my nearby home village. The word “pristine” fits well as a description of my “desa.”. This is a bit of an alert to the “developing” world. Take it slow. Third, an alert (and a question) to my English as a Foreign Language students: Why is the last line of this poem so clever? There is more than one answer and I look forward to a discussion.
‘I would that we were, my beloved, white birds on the foam of the sea!’
Land-Locked, City Dweller’s Lament
I mourn at dawn with ashen doves
rustling in nests of refuse
faggot butts and paper scrapping
littered amidst the fading leaves
roses singed by acid dewdrops
choke from mist infused with poison
vines erupting from concrete tombs
now cling to rain-swelled guttered eaves
may we rise from heavy slumber
remedy our careless keeping
see past gray horizons blighted
sprawling towers of brick and steel
beautiful dawn would I know you
wild, pristine, unobstructed
left untouched, nurtured, protected
would then, the mourning doves still grieve
What started as a lovely morning stroll, serenaded by doves coo-cooing took an unfortunate turn. I hadn’t set out to write this poem, but the muse insisted. For Jane Dougherty’s ‘A Month With Yeats’ – Day Twenty-Six with the verse above from…
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In 13: A Baker’s Dozen of Suspense and Horror Tales by David Six, I will comment on each story, but they do have one common factor that I think will be good to look out for before you read. This struck me about three stories in. Watch this author’s talent for description. Do that and these stories will capture your attention. In some stories, the plot moves slowly but the talent the author displays with description makes all the stories worth reading.
The Man Behind the Bar by Chris Sarantopoulos is a short story (locations 201) which I received from Instafreebie, a platform for free giveaways and book promotions.
The bar sign said Ben Stingler’s place but when the hitman entered the bar, the bartender knew that he, the bartender, was entering a life and death situation. Either he or the hitman would soon be dead. The bartender, real name Phil Harisson, had a shotgun on a swivel just under the bar. Phil might be able to come out of this alive. The hitman was straightforward about his mission. He laid his Baretta pistol on the bar and asked Phil what had gone wrong; what had he done to anger boss Bocca so much that today it had come to this? Phil was himself a hitman with quite a tally of successes. Phil knew, thought it was logical, that one day he might occupy the same position as those he had dispatched. Phil was not resigned to it; he had changed his name, moved to a new city, and opened a bar. Obviously, that had not worked.
Detective Pauls was a bored cop with nothing to do around the house. It was an involuntary vacation forced on him by the boss while Internal Affairs was investigating him for the shooting (not accidental) of a 14-year-old juvenile entrepreneur who had been repairing a neighbor’s window at 1:00 AM in the dark without any light source to aid him. Civil libertarians were screaming for his blood while ignoring his claims of a justified shooting. While resting, Pauls had performed every household chore possible which would have made his wife proud if he had a wife. Pauls almost welcomed a call for his expertise in the investigation of a suspicious suicide at a nearby shooting range. Immediate identification of the victim was almost impossible due to an atomized, thus missing, head but Pauls would try to work with what he had. One piece of evidence Pauls would eventually find is in the title, The Girl on the Videotape by Ruth Parker.
This looks like a fun thing to do.
Twittering Tales #59 – 21 November 2017
is a project from the awesomely prolific Kat Myrman. This week’s photo prompt
Hands by Pexels at Pixabay.com
led me to write the following within the new limits of 280 characters.
Old together but the sound is still sweet. Lady Clairol matches hair to your black keys. New teeth match your white keys. Couldn’t do much about the hands but it’s the sound that’s important. The sound is as ever. Piano rolls never go out of style.
Go check out her site. There is a new activity daily.
From the title, we can guess that A Perfect Society is a series prequel. This short story sets the scene for an ideal world community. It is proposed that money will no longer be used. The currency for everyday transactions will be the worth of the individual to society. A person’s potential lifetime worth will be measured at birth and a value assigned by the government to everyone. The individual then will trade on his/her assigned worth to obtain daily necessities. But not everybody will have the same potential worth. As this story begins, it seems people of color are valued less.
Starting out as a YA novel, Persephone (Pepper) is in the fifth grade. At home, there is a barn where a friend of her father, Dr. Terry, works. Dr. Terry is black, the son of a man who was a soldier with Pepper’s father. Cort and Tuck had served together in Iraq where Cort had contracted a disabling disease due to chemical weapons. Tuck permitted Cort’s son, Dr. Terry, to conduct research in a barn behind his home. Dr. Terry, an MIT graduate, was doing genetic research, the kind of stuff that might affect values of social worth assigned by the government at birth.
The year is 2020. The government has finally passed a law institutionalizing the digital society, the perfect society based on a person’s predicted worth. Pepper’s personal life is terrible. She has no friends as all previous ones shunned her as the daughter of a family harboring and supporting a man whose research will disturb the new proposed society. Her only friends are two boys, one black and one white, who are in a romantic relationship. At school, the three sit at a table for the rejected as they suffer taunts based on racism and sexist intolerance. At home, Pepper’s mom has separated from the family. There are no friends or visitors other than Government representatives who visit to enlist Dr. Terry with Tuck’s help.
This short story ends with an unexpected event, a tragedy, and a surprise ending. It is followed by an excerpt from Skin Trials. I don’t usually read follow-on excerpts out of some contrarian reaction to being manipulated into buying a novel by the cliffhanger from the prequel. In this case, I am glad I read it. It carries forward but does not really explain, what happened in the prequel. I was quite happy, surprised, and intrigued by the unusual and well worked out premise to these stories. I will read further books by this author as they become available.