The Kill Artist: Daniel Silva

I’ve decided to go back and re-read the initial offering in some of my favourite mystery/thrillers to see if what attracted me still does.

There is no denying the skill, but I’m currently in the mood for Downing and Furst’s “little man” style.

This one has the scaffolding of the long-running series, but is a bit off-footed in tone and writing, leaving huge holes in Intelligence operational details and the forward-story of the books to come.

What struck me most — negatively; it is jarringly disturbing — is how often cavalierly Silva puts his female characters into situations where they spit out, used and often killed simply to gain inches or points in “the game.” Worse, how willingly they are complicit in the abuse.

I can see how this would happen occasionally in real life, but it seems it is one of the most common, enduring scenarios in the entire series.

I wish it would end.

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The President is Missing: James Patterson/Bill Clinton

I’ve never been a big fan of Patterson. The problem when you churn out novels like Fritos corn chips is that … well … you get Fritos corn chips: bland, empty and indistinguishable from each other.

But at least it didn’t suck.

The Diplomat’s Daughter: Karin Tanabe

I was really ready to like this book from the cover blurb.

My optimism was misplaced. The word usage is extremely pedestrian. I can almost never read a book without making a note of some interesting idea or clever word use. I made not a single notation from the entire novel.

Worst of all is the extremely unrealistic portrayal of a young Japanese woman of that social station and age and time period. Even if her parents allowed her to behave in the manner the book describes, Japanese society never would have.

As an illustration, do some quick research on the current Crown Princess of Japan, who had a similar upbringing, except she is a present-day version of Emiko, when contemporary social conventions are a little more unencumbered. Princess Masako has endured such societal pressure to bend to the social norms of her station, she has suffered extreme emotional distress, to the point where she has seldom even appeared in public since 2002.

Emiko fighting and rising above such tribulations would have been a good story. Instead, Tanabe pretends the real-world societal strictures of Japan barely existed.

Kids Playing With Guns….Canadian Style

A better way for cops to deal with young men holding guns….

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http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/nb/news-nouvelles/releases-communiques/14-12-22-121516-eng.htm
9-1-1 call about firearm confirmed as replica gun, Moncton, N.B.

2014/12/22

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Codiac Regional RCMP is reminding the public of the importance of the proper handling of replica firearms after an incident at a public park in Moncton on Sunday.

Police officers responded to a complaint on December 21, 2014 at approximately 4:30 p.m. of two males with a handgun in a public park. The 9-1-1 call also reported that the firearm was being pointed towards a person.

When police arrived on the scene, one of the males pointed the weapon towards a police officer. The officers took cover and pulled out their service pistols. The officers ordered the two boys, ages 14 and 15, to drop the weapon and lay on the ground with their arms outstretched which they did.

No one was hurt and it was determined that the firearm the youths were handling was a type of airsoft gun, made to look like a legitimate firearm.

“The public is quick to call police when they see someone holding a firearm in public,” states Staff Sergeant Mark Janes of the Codiac RCMP. “These types of guns are not toys. As police officers, we have to assume that the weapon is real and take necessary action to protect ourselves and the public. This is a potential life and death situation and it is fortunate in this case that no one was hurt. ”

Police met with the youths’ parents and destroyed the replica firearm. The police are also asking parents to be aware of what their children may have and ensure they are using such items in a responsible and safe manner.

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http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2014/12/23/joe-oconnor-tragic-police-shooting-of-armed-teens-that-didnt-happen-says-a-lot-about-canadian-city/

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http://xl96.com/news.asp?mn=14&id=478&cc=35&pg=1

Mounties Draw Guns At Moncton Park

Codiac RCMP say pellet guns that look like real firearms are not toys and need to be properly handled. The warning comes after a potentially deadly situation on Sunday at a Moncton park. Responding to a 911 call at a park off West Street, Mounties had to seek cover behind a car and pull their service pistols on a couple of teen aged boys, after one of them pointed an air soft-type gun at them. The boys, aged 14 and 15, were ordered to drop the weapon and lie flat on the ground. Staff-Sgt Mark Janes says the members had no idea the gun was a fake and acted appropriately. Janes says officers spoke to the parents of the boys and have decided not to lay charges. The gun, however, has been destroyed. Janes says the message they want to send to parents is that these weapons are not toys and they should not be used in a public place where people can mistake them for real guns.