More classic crime

Not quite in Grisham and Child’s league, but still heavy hitters are Nelson DeMille and Michael Connelly. In The Deserter  by DeMille, a Delta Force posted to Afghanistan disappear from his base.  He resurfaces in a video that shows him as a prisoner of the Taliban.  When he is spotted a year in Caracas, his capture looks for like desertion. Scott Brodie and Maggie Taylor are tasked with bringing him in.

In The Night Fire by Connelly, Harry Bosch is given an old murder book at a former partners funeral; his widow asks him to try and resolve the case.  Bosch, no longer with LAPD, relies on detective Rene Ballard to feed him information about the case. As they dig deeper, Bosch begins to wonder if his partner took the murder book to solve the case, or to put a lid on it.

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Fall Classics!

Ok, so we just saw a great World Series, Washington vs Houston, that went 7 games before the Nationals* prevailed. Now, its time to get down with the fall suspense classics, Child vs Grisham. In Blue Moon by Lee Child, Jack Reacher comes to the aid of an elderly couple, which naturally puts him in the line off fire between 2 rival gangs. Nothing that Jack can’t handle, of course. In The Guardians by John Grisham, Guardian Ministries takes up the case of a man who claims his innocence in the death of a small-town lawyer. Naturally, pow’ful interests do not want the truth to out. and therein lies the rub.

Pres. Coolidge and Senator caucusing.

*Baseball in Washington has a twisted history. Two Washington teams, both played as the Nationals in 1884, one for the American and one for the Union Association. A National League club, also called the Nationals, was formed in 1886. All 3 franchises folded. Next up were the The Washington Statesmen (American Assoc, 1891), who jumped to the National League and changed their name to the Senators. That franchise folded in 1889, just in time for the new American League to found a Senators franchise. This one played until 1956, winning one world series along the way, before moving to Minneapolis and being dubbed the Twins. A second AL Senators franchise lasted for 10 years (1961-71), before becoming the Texas Rangers. The present Nats franchise were created by the relocation of the Montreal Mets, a National League team, in 2005. This franchise was the first of these various Senators and Statesmen to win a World Series since the AL club in 1924.

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Risky business

Into the Panet by Jill Heinerth transports readers deep into inner space. Author Heinerth has descended farther into the inner depths of our planet than any other woman. She brings to life the split-second decisions that determine life or death. When You Find my Body by Dee Dauphinee recounts the disappearance and eventual recovery of Geraldine Largay on the Appalachian Trail. Both stories are frank about both the joys and dangers of outdoor adventuring.  

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Notes on the human condition

Range by Daniel Epstein argues that we need generalists in our increasingly specialized world.  Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell looks into what we might want to know about the people we don’t know. Braving the Wilderness by Brené Brown talks about finding the balance between belonging and standing alone.  

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Fresh stories: the body politic

A Republic, if You can Keep It by Neil Gorsuch makes a case for constitutional “originalism”. Oliver Wendell Holmes by Stephen Budiansky profiles the pioneering jurist who “revolutionized our understanding of common law by showing how the law always evolved to meet the changing needs of society.”

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Fresh stories: history

Crusaders by Dan Jones (Templers, Magna Carta) tells how a plea from the Byzantine Empire for military aid in its border wars launched a mass movement that upset the co-existence of Christians and Muslims in Palestine. What followed was decades of mayhem and plunder (at various times, Crusaders attacked not only Muslims but Jews and Byzantium itself).  If cutthroat politics and battlefield fireworks catch your interest, this will be a must read.

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Fresh stories

Featured this week: stories with themes drawn fresh from recent headlines and current events. For crime readers, John Sandford plunks Virgil Flowers in the middle of campus culture wars in Bloody Genius. An academic disptue turns deadly when one of the more confrontational scholars is found dead. In The Girl who Lived Twice by David Lagercrantz, investigative reporter Mikael Blomkvist is digging dirt on a Russian troll factory that has been seeding the media with propaganda.  Lisbeth Slander is on the scene in Moscow to lend a hand.

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