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Tag: book

November 26th,2014- Book: ‘Black Site’ by “Dalton Fury”

by on Nov.26, 2014, under Books

Black Site (Delta Force, #1)Black Site by Dalton Fury

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

‘Black Site’ strives to cover every aspect of the military mission(s) that the main character endeavors upon and does so impressively. Seems little there is left out, despite the knowledge that not all can be revealed without veering into the reality of American military operations that the author claims to know. Despite the complexity of all that happens int the book, it is written in a clear fashion making so much easier to digest.

This is still another entry in the overflowing literary area of espionage by former military-turned authors. This one is much like the others, especially the recent variety that deal with middle east issues. In fact, the writing is much like many of them.Possible too many of them. Turns out Mark Greaney was involved with writing this. Greaney is also writing his own series along with continuing Clancy’s Jack Ryan series. Is Greaney also writing this series? It’s known that Dalton Fury is a pen name and this book reminds me of Greaney’s The Gray Man.

However, ‘Black Site’ reminds me of many of the other new espionage novels being spit out today. All written well and full of action. I’m not finding a real writing style in the majority of these books. So many read as if all were written by the same person. If not for different publishers, I’d wonder if this genre wasn’t the opposite of the William Johnstone Clan set of books all being handled by ghost writers. In this case are many being handle by a few writers using different names and lots of assistants? I’ll stop these ponderings.

Despite all the above, this is a very good book, though it also lacks style. Very readable, exciting and well worth the expense.

Bottom line: I recommend this book.



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November 23rd, 2014 – Book: ‘Sixkiller, U.S. Marshall- Day of Rage’ by William W. Johnstone

by on Nov.24, 2014, under Books

Day of Rage (Sixkiller: U.S. Marshal, #2)Day of Rage by William W. Johnstone

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a good western tale of John Henry Sixkiller by the Johnstone Clan. It’s a bit more complicated than most Johnstone Clan books with far more developed side characters. This is second in this series and both have far more plot development and far more attention to setting. Overall this story of gold, bad guys and banks is one of the better entries in the entire Johnstone Clan library.

Seems to me the dialogue, though other wise written well for reading was a bit dogged with a lack of authenticity to the times.

Bottom line: I recommend this book.



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November 20th, 2014 – Book: ‘Morse’s Greatest Mystery and Other Stories’ by Colin Dexter.

by on Nov.20, 2014, under Books

Morse's Greatest Mystery and Other StoriesMorse’s Greatest Mystery and Other Stories by Colin Dexter

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’m not usually a fan of a short story collection, but this one is outstanding. I also don’t give five stars lightly. I feel the overall book deserves them. I’ll add that not all may love this set of stories. Those who love real mysteries will love these. Those who love James Patterson or Sandra Brown are likely not to like them.

Dexter really has a flair for crafting a short mystery. No easy task. Sorry there is only one collection of short stories. Still hope for more from Dexter.

The tales in the book are all mysteries with great characters, stories and terrific writing.

Bottom line: I recommend the book!

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November 16th, 2014 – Book’ The Case of the Lame Canary’ by Erle Stanley Gardner.

by on Nov.19, 2014, under Books

The Case of the Lame CanaryThe Case of the Lame Canary by Erle Stanley Gardner

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

What stands out as the best parts of ‘The Case of the Lame Canary is the interaction between the Perry Mason, Della Street and Paul Drake characters. Gardcner is at the top of his writing skills with consistency and character development.

This is also true of the rest of the cast of this novel. Distinct characters developed throughout the book. This all helps wading through a very convoluted and overly concocted story by Gardner.

This book revels Gardeners ability to write great characterized and his ability to work too hard to use elements to create a book.

As I read the book I could see how Gardner had a set of distinct parts he worked real hard to fit together. This makes the book feel very forced to a conclusion. You know there is a conclusion at the end, but keep seeing many pages ahead as Gardner tries to weave in some nonsense leads that,in any other of his books, Mason would have been written to figure out.

Though I don’t care for the overall story, the writing is top notch and,again, just reading character interaction is outstanding.

Bottom line: I recommend this book. 6 of 10 points.



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October 8th, 2014 – Happy World Octopus Day! #Inktober

by on Oct.08, 2014, under Cartooning

2014-1008-Happy-OctopusDay

Here’s the inked art for #Inktober today!

Here’s part of the Swampy’s Florida post:
Swampy says Happy World Octopus Day!
More about the legend of the St Augustine Monster:  http://swampysflorida.com/?p=11318

2014-1008-Happy-OctopusDay

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October 2nd, 2014 – Book: ‘Riddle of the Third Mile’ by Colin Dexter.

by on Oct.02, 2014, under Books

The Riddle of the Third Mile (Inspector Morse, #6)The Riddle of the Third Mile by Colin Dexter

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I really like Dexter’s writing style and the characters he creates. This selection of the adventures of Inspector Morse provides more background of Morse’s origins and, for me , that’s the best part of the book.

The rest is a convoluted mess. Body parts, various people who are part of the college and not part of the college and are the body parts and aren’t the body parts and I just wanted to part with the whole thing.

Seems to me Dexter stretched hard to get this book to work. There were many other ways to get to solving the main mystery of who a body is. Yet, Morse and all go gallivanting off into all kinds of directions that really make little sense. A prelude to the main story is to help the reader follow some of the mechanization of the crime. But, it seems to me, that Dexter then went about trying to fit a story to the prelude. Along the way trying to make very confusing who did what and why. There should always be confusion to a reader and it’s what I love with the previous novels I’ve read. In this case, I think Dexter was being a bit too cute in his switchbacks in the story. Keeping the reader guessing is imperative, but so is clarity in the end.

In the end, I still didn’t understand the motives of all the characters in their actions. It was tricky writing to wrap up so many loose ends. All too convenient. I just don’t think the conclusions are plausible.

Bottom line: I don’t recommend this book.



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September 28th, 2014 – Book: ‘The Dead of Jericho’ by Colin Dexter.

by on Sep.29, 2014, under Books

The Dead of Jericho (Inspector Morse, #5)The Dead of Jericho by Colin Dexter

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the third in the Inspector Morse series I’ve read and continue to like the series more and more. It was just a couple of months ago that I happened to come across most of the Morse series at a used book store and took a gamble and picked them up. I’m so glad I did.

This one has the many layers that the other books do of what seems like a simple story. As Inspector Morse gets on the trail, and soon to be many trails, to solve the mystery he finds deadends, misdirections and so much more that makes this book so much fun. Really like how Morse and all make mistakes.

It’s all also so well written. Author Colin Dexter lays out the story that leaves the reader hanging on from chapter to chapter. At times, it seemed the book was wrapping up and I was disappointed. The deadends and the like are far better than explosions and mass gun fire found in so many other books.

Bottom line: I recommend this book.

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September 6th, 2014 – Signing Books in Homosassa Springs State Park.

by on Sep.07, 2014, under What's New?

2014-0906-HomosassaSignings

On the #drawing board today: Signed and drew in lots and lots of Swampy’s Florida books today at Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park for “Speak Up Homosassa Springs”. Here are a couple photos from teh event.

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The young fellow was funny. I asked him about what he likes and found him very articulate. So as he spoke of how he would like to wash things, I asked what he would like to wash. A car. How will you be sure the cars get washed? Will you be a manager? Yes. And on it went. He’s a thinking youngster and hope he stays that way!

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August 19th, 2014 – Book: ‘The Neon Flamingo’ by W.R. Philbrick

by on Aug.24, 2014, under Books

The Neon FlamingoThe Neon Flamingo by W.R. Philbrick

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The biggest plus to this book by Philbrick is his ability to capture the feel and look of the Keys with words. This is the second of the Stash series I’ve read and I’d say he captured the location better than other books set in the area, including James Hall’s Thorn series.

Otherwise the story is pretty straightforward with a mystery lingering of the main character, Stash, in search of a kid. Lots of layabouts in the story. Everyone was portrayed as having no ambition to do much of anything. Even a couple rich central characters were stripped of any future. It all gets a bit depressing and the story stumbles from layabout to layabout. Soon, it’s hard to care about what happened to the kid as even the Stash character seems to lose interest.

Again it’s the narrative of the location that is the highlight. Philbrick accurately describes natural areas, fishing docks, boats, seedy areas of the Keys, etc.

The story is of little energy, but the setting is great. Therefore…

Bottom line: i recommend the book.

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August 14th, 2014 – Book: ‘The Garner Files’ by James Garner.

by on Aug.14, 2014, under Books

The Garner Files: A MemoirThe Garner Files: A Memoir by James Garner

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

You can hear James Garner’s voice as you read this book. As he relates stories of film and TV it’s clear that the stories are coming from him.

The book is well written obviously thanks to the co-writer. Parts of Garner’s life as broken into bits that have a logical order. Maybe a bit too organized. Though I like the last few pages where Garner comments through a specific list of his film career, it does also feel a bit micro-manages, too. I am glad the golfing and racing parts are delineated. That way, i can write here, if you don’t care for racing and golf, avoid these chapter. Garner gets into a lot of detail about each. Especially in the racing section about cars and tracks and all. I would alert any racing fan you know to pick up the book for just that chapter, in that it has a lot of trivia they are bound to enjoy.

There are quite a number of admissions in the book. These days such confessions don’t mean much in a coarse world, but would’ve made headlines twenty years ago.

Any movie buff will love many details revealed here. Unlike some more recent celebrity volumes, this one has only short trivial mentions as compared to lengthy stories.

Leaving the book, you will have a very complete view of Garner’s life. i knew it so well going into the book, that it’s a bit hard what to write and not write about parts of this book.

Bottom line: I recommend this book.

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July 31st, 2014 – Book: ‘Invasion U.S.A.: Border War’ by William Johnstone.

by on Jul.31, 2014, under Books

Border War (Invasion USA, #2)Border War by William W. Johnstone

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

‘Invasion U.S.A.: Border War” is the second book of, so far, a two book series. This second book is far superior to the first, that is also very good. This one is far better written with a much more involved plot.

Whereas teh first was chock full of gun play and explosions, this one is handled very differently. There’s more setup to explain the gun play and explosions. With the more involved plot there are more involved characters. Something the Johnstone Clan excels at is characterization. That occurs here even better than the first book.

This one does have less tension with the first. i was literally on teh edge of my seat with the first. This one I had to read much more carefully as the plot unfolded in more intricate and well written detail.

Wondered about giving it five stars, but the writing isn’t up to the par of a Faulkner or Slaughter.

Bottom line: i recommend this book.

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