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Review of the Audio book – Man of Iron: The Turbulent Life and Improbable Presidency of Grover Cleveland

A Man of Iron by Troy Senik Image from Amazon.com

In his early adult years, Grover Cleveland became a lawyer and it was not expected he would go much further than that.  However, in a short time, he felt the pull of politics. Within fifteen years, Cleveland would become a sheriff, mayor, governor and then President of the United States.  In all these positions, he held firm to doing what he told the people he would do and holding himself and others to being honest and act principled toward the people. 

 As a politician, Cleveland felt government must be limited, yet an economic depression, labor unrest, and the forces of American imperialism would force him to push his presidential powers to the limit.   As he did, he alienated many in government, including his own Democratic party.   Cleveland would go on to lose his second nomination for the presidency but would capture it in his third.   He is the only president to accomplish this. 

Cleveland reshaped the civil service in government, turning it from patronage to one that was earned by merit, reshaped monetary policy, regulated the railroad, and attempted to reduce tariffs.  The chapters on this are easy to understand and do not bog down the reader in technical words or terms. Overall, the book is enjoyable and can easily be heard or read in a day or less.

Review of A Man of Iron by Troy Senik
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Review of Surrender New York by Caleb Carr

Surrender New York by Caleb Carr image from Amazon.com

In Burgoyne County, New York, abandoned and homeless adolescents are found hanging in horrible fashion. Law enforcement decide a serial killer is on the loose but they can’t narrow the suspect pool.   Nearby in the county’s small town of Surrender, Drs. Trajan Jones and Michael Li teach online profiling and forensics courses from the Jones family farm.  They used to work in Albany but were fired for shaming officials in too many cases. In which the officials got them wrong but the doctors got them right.

If they get any police work, it is through the sheriff’s department but never in an official capacity, only as consultants.   However, with the teenage deaths growing, the upper ranks of the police department secretly ask the doctors to help investigate the deaths.  At first they face skepticism about their insights, but it does not take long before it becomes apparent that the doctors may be targets to die for their accuracy.

Surrender New York, by Caleb Carr, draws on New York and Civil War history and draws from his book The Alienist.   I usually enjoy his books. However, the heavy use of curse words, even by minor children, and in front of adults who do not chastise them.  I realize an author makes his or her own choices and apparently Carr felt cure words fit with the setting of this book.  I do wish the audio book had a warning on it at the library that stated it has curse words, but alas, not.    Maybe you the reader can look past the curse words and like this book better than I did.

Review of Surrender New York by Caleb Carr
Ruminate Central – Blog Central
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Review of the audio book Killing Commendatore

Book cover image from Amazon.com The novel Killing Commendatore is about an unnamed portrait artist whose marriage comes to an abrupt end.  He drives across Japan aimlessly until finally he reaches out to a longtime friend, Masahiko Amada, to see if he can help.  His friend says he can reside in his father’s empty home….

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Review of the Audio book Hologram for a King

54 year old Allen Clay is in Saudi Arabia hoping he and three computer software experts can sell hologram technology to the King.  If this happens, it would mean the world to Allen.  He’d pay off his debt, pay off his ex-wife and pay for his kid’s college tuition with enough money left for himself.  The only thing is that they are stuck in a tent with no wifi, food and air conditioning.  If only the business people who act as a conduit to the King could give better information on when the issues would get solved and presentation time.  

Yet here Clay is, a sales agent who long ago had lots of success until the Schwinn Bike Company account he handled nose dived, along with his personal life.  He has tried many times to recover and be the sales agent he had been or better, but alas, it aludes him.  The hologram presentation is his last chance to recover.  Only as Clay’s stay gets longer and longer in Saudi Arabia does he end up re-evaluating his life, his choices, and learns that perhaps the hologram is not the key to mending his life but is in himself.  

It took me a while a while for the book to hook me, but when it did I found it to be a good audio book to listen to, which can be completed in an afternoon.

Review of the Audio Book Hologram for a King
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A Review of the Audio Book The October List

Image from Amazon.com An investor disappears and leaves his office  manager Gabriella Makenzie on the hook for his financial crimes that stretch across Europe and the Middle East.  Not only are the police after her, so is one of her boss’s clients.   In order to snag Gabriella first, the client kidnaps her daughter and…

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A Review of the Never Game by Jeffrey Deaver

The Never Game by Jeffrey Deaver Image from Amazon.com

Colton Shaw is a “reward seeker”, someone who travels across the country helping the police and private citizens locate missing people.  

His latest case has him aiding a father to locate his daughter who went missing while riding her bike. It feels like a simple case. However, before long, another person goes missing in similar circumstances.   Soon, Colton is drawn into a dangerous situation where the kidnappers force their victim into becoming a survivalist just like in a popular video game. Yet instead of their character being able to come back to life like they would in a game, they instead face the real chance of dying for good. Can Colton help the police stop the mad person or will they be able to succeed in their twisted game?

This new character by author Jeffrey Deaver intrigues me and I look forward to getting to know Colton Shaw more. He is different from Lincoln Rhyme, who is both scientific and able to solve complex puzzles.  Instead, Colton relies on survivalist training, training in fighting and weaponry, plus a strong education, to make him succeed in his work as a reward seeker. I like this mix when it comes to this main character and the story of this book.

Review of The Never Game by Jeffrey Deaver
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Review of Lockwood & Co: The Screaming Staircase by Jonathon Stroud

Lockwood & Co. The Screaming Staircase by Jonathon Stroud Image from Amazon.com Nasty ghosts and spirits terrorize London and, in the fifty years since, they have slowly spread across the country, terrorizing the masses.  The only ones who are sensitive enough to detect ghosts and spirits and who can fight back are children.  There are…

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Review of The World Is Murder

https://www.amazon.com/Word-Murder-Detective-Daniel-Hawthorne/dp/0062676806/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1674939334&sr=8-5 The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz – Image from Amazon.com I have seen loads of TV series and episodes written by Anthony Horowitz.  Some include( in no particular order) Collison, Foyle’s War, Midsomer Murders. Poirot, Injustice, and Magpie Murders.  In all that time, I did not consider him writing books.  Well, he has…

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Review of Louise Penny’s Still Life

https://www.amazon.com/Still-Life-Louise-Penny/dp/0312541538/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2CHZ8IXSDZ44P&keywords=still+life+louise+penny&qid=1674937327&sprefix=still+life+%2Caps%2C239&sr=8-1 Still Life: A Novel by Louise Penny – Image from Amazon.com Some books deserve to be read slowly and savored.  One such book is Still Life by Louise Penny.  I got softened up by the Amazon Primes series staring Alfred Molina as Armand Gamache and by the landlord at my work who praises Penny’s…

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2023 Netflix Movie JUNG_E Review

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCxnmfdxJ6s JUNG_E Official Trailer from Netflix’s YouTube Channel Terminally ill scientist Seo-hyun is determined to resurrect his  mother, a legendary mercenary, in the form of a combat robot.  Yet as great as her combat robot is, the heart of the robot, the brain cannot break an unknown barrier, so it wins her mother’s last battle….

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