Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Afterlife, by Marcus Sakey

I enjoyed this book. Author Marcus Sakey has a wonderful ability to create new worlds within worlds. A sniper has killed 17 innocent, unconnected people in Chicago. FBI agent Will Brody has the sniper’s DNA, but little else, and is tracking him using skills honed in his military service in Afghanistan. Sent by his boss, and lover, Claire McCoy, to investigate an anonymous tip about an abandoned church, Brody dies when an improvised explosive device blows up. Despite his gruesome death, he awakens in a grey Chicago with no life and no warmth. He is in an afterlife called the Echo because it mirrors life, but like an echo, it fades over time.

Joined by a large group of new friends who have fought for years against seductive evil tendencies in the Echo, Brody uncovers dangerous dark secrets that mankind has not even guessed at. Forced to fight this evil while protecting Claire McCoy, Brody must travel through darker and darker worlds, worlds that echo the despair of Dante’s Inferno.

Although most of the novel is well written with richly developed characters and plot lines, several parts of the book seemed to be hastily put together. Notwithstanding, this is a superb book and I highly recommend it.

* Print Length: 320 pages
* Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (July 18, 2017)
* Publication Date: July 18, 2017
* Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Happy Birthday Harold Pinter

When I was 20 years old, I worked for a season as an assistant director at the Soho Poly Theatre in London (now called the Soho Theatre). For its time, it was a cutting edge fringe theatre, made even more vivid and relevant by Verity Bargate, one of its founders. Nobel Prize winner, Harold Pinter was one of the playwrights who, at Verity’s invitation, tried out his new material in her little stuffy but charming basement theatre.

I assisted directors, primarily the magnificent Donald Sumpter (yes, Maester Luwin in the Game of Thrones). I also, on occasion, served Verity’s liver pate in the tiny cafe, and I helped with props and sound effects. (My mother remembers visiting me at the theatre on the day I had to cry like a baby off stage.) I proudly earned enough money to pay the weekly rent for my room.

I remember Harold Pinter as a blur of energy with large eyeglasses, and as someone who never spoke unimportant words. Unfortunately, he passed away in 2008. I wish I had known him better, but I doubt he would have wanted to know me better. I was a very naive 20 year old. I am honored, however, to have worked with this great playwright so, so many years ago.

Happy Birthday Mr. Pinter!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Come Sundown, by Nora Roberts

For grittiness, Nora Roberts gives Patricia Cornwell a run for her money in this novel. The brutal kidnapping of a young woman in 1991, and the horrible abuse she was subjected to for 25 years, are the book’s undercurrents. Juxtaposed to the wealth and love her estranged family enjoys during these years, her life seems even more brutal. The characters of family, victims, and victimizers, leap to life, as they do in every Roberts’ story. I could not put this book down.

Print Length: 477 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1250123070
Publisher: St. Martin's Press (May 30, 2017)
Publication Date: May 30, 2017
Sold by: Macmillan