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January 25 2020

Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts Jonathan wants to read Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
Long Way Home by Cameron Douglas Jonathan is on page 200 of 387 of <a href="/book/show/44139380-long-way-home">Long Way Home</a>.
Jonathan wrote: Against all odds, this story of a "poor rich boy who gets into trouble" is pretty fascinating.
Jonathan shared a quote
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That's my business."
"Not if it involves breaking the law. Not if you don't want me to cloud up and rain all over you.
Bill Pronzini
Jonathan shared a quote
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Kline felt his limbs grow suddenly heavy, the missing limb most of all.Brian Evenson
Last Days by Brian Evenson Jonathan gave 4 stars to Last Days (Paperback) by Brian Evenson
Wow, what a bizarre tale this book, which contains 2 connected novellas, tells! I think the title of the first one will give you a hint - *The Brotherhood of Mutilation*. It tells the story of Kline, who recently left the police force after a criminal forced him to chop off his own hand, which he then "self cauterized" it and proceeded to shoot the villain with his left hand. This makes him a bit of a legend in the brotherhood, so they call him, reluctantly, in to investigate a murder.

But is it really a murder? And what does the Brotherhood really want with him? And although it seems like he can checkout whenever he wants, but can he actually leave?

The Brotherhood story ends with a cliffhanger and then begins the slightly longer story, *Last Days*. This describes his escape attempts, Pauls, and oh so very much violence. And it ends in a, well, orgasm of violence, with Kline carrying around a severed head, using it as a kind of talisman against the Brotherhood. Yowza!

At first, I didn't think I would get very far into this book. But the more I read, the morbid fascination of just where these stories was leading me kept me glued to the pages. For the first time in a while, I stayed up late reading, as I would say just one more chapter. There's not much of a mystery, but it certainly is, as one blurb writer calls it, "a darker shade of noir". There may be a few too many escapes, but in the end, that's kind of what the story is about. Kline begins to think of himself as unkillable and you can see why.

I really enjoyed this after all. I am not sure what it was trying to say, but it sure was an interesting way to say it. Stay far far away if you are at all squeamish, as there are plenty of gruesome scenes. But there are also lots of morbid dark humor and Kline never really figures everything out, so I suppose if I didn't either, it should be expected.

January 23 2020

The Sins of the Fathers by Lawrence Block Jonathan wants to read The Sins of the Fathers by Lawrence Block
Jonathan liked that Jeff Pettorino wants to read 101 books in the 2020 Reading Challenge
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He has read 9 books toward his goal of 101 books.
 
Create your own 2020 Reading Challenge »
Jonathan made a comment on Debbie’s status

Be sure you check out his podcast. Chilling and infuriating

January 22 2020

The Distance Between Us by Reyna Grande Jonathan wants to read The Distance Between Us by Reyna Grande
Wolf of Wessex by Matthew Harffy Jonathan wants to read Wolf of Wessex by Matthew Harffy
The Peaceful Valley Crime Wave by Bill Pronzini Jonathan gave 4 stars to The Peaceful Valley Crime Wave (Hardcover) by Bill Pronzini
This standalone mystery by the author of the long running *Nameless Detective* series (40+ books but I haven't read a one!) is set in 1914's Montana, at the end of the Wild West. The sheriff drives around in a hard to handle Model T but little else has changed. Suddenly, there is a spurt of violence in the Peaceful Valley and Sheriff Lucas Monk is trying to solve these crimes, while also battling the local gossip and prejudices.

An interesting time indeed. It still feels like the edge of lawless West yet modernization is slowly happening, from cars to electric lights. The Indians are forced into squalid conditions and the women gossip mightily about any woman who might want to stand on her own two feet. Sheriff Monk tries to walk the narrow line to keep everyone placated, but sometimes events just push him too far.

It was a fun quick read. My biggest complaint is one that I just can't stand in my first person mysteries, my preferred point of view. And that's where the narrator thinks he may have solved the puzzle (or puzzles) but doesn't let the reader in on the secret. You know, "Oh, I think I know what happened but first I need some more information" without telling us their suspicions. It just seems a cheap way to generate drama. Maybe the author thinks I should have figured it out by now, but I still don't like it. And it happens in two of the mysteries here. Grrr.

And I also think that Sheriff Monk is just a little too open minded for the sheriff in a small town in the middle of nowhere Montana. You know, all too "live and let live", whether it is attitudes towards women or Indians. Seems like projecting some 21st century morals on him.

But don't let that stop you from giving it a read. There are some funny scenes and the mysteries (at least 3 of them) are interesting and fun to play along. I recommend it and wouldn't mind hearing more from Sheriff Monk. And I will get started on the Nameless Detective series pronto!
The Snatch by Bill Pronzini Jonathan wants to read The Snatch by Bill Pronzini

January 21 2020

Last Days by Brian Evenson Jonathan started reading Last Days by Brian Evenson

January 20 2020

The Peaceful Valley Crime Wave by Bill Pronzini Jonathan is currently reading The Peaceful Valley Crime Wave by Bill Pronzini

January 18 2020

January 14 2020

When the Lion Feeds by Wilbur Smith Jonathan wants to read When the Lion Feeds by Wilbur Smith
Kill Zone by Kevin J. Anderson Jonathan wants to read Kill Zone by Kevin J. Anderson
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