Recent Read: Fear: Trump in the White House

FFBE3047-F521-43C5-8658-F29B7D1C1668Whether or not Donald Trump supporters like it, Bob Woodward is a well-respected investigative reporter, the author of 18 books, and has won two Pulitzer Prizes. His deals in fact and they have never been in dispute. Subsequently, his new book cannot be easily ignored. Fear: Trump in the White House tells the story of a president, who starts many of his days at 11AM, feasts on hot dogs and diet coke and more importantly lacks even a teenager’s view of world events.

 Woodward does not take sides, he is an even handed observer, listening and reporting. He expresses no personal opinion on Trump or others.  He just flat out reports. These days when there is so many one sided attacks by the news media Woodward’s style is refreshing.

For Trump everything boils down to money. He  questions over and over why are we spending billions of dollars on military resources in South Korea and we get nothing in return. When his team attempts to explain the military, and financial, advantages, he still doesn’t get it. Finally, Defense Secretary James Mattis blurts out we are preventing World War III!

What makes Fear most enticing and believable is it is based not just on the recollections of a variety of eyewitnesses but is supported by transcripts of conversations and exact dates

Less reliable books like Fire and Fury by Michael Wolff who relied mostly on Steve Bannon as his main source, and Unhinged by former White House aide and fired Apprentice star Omarosa Manigault Newman, both of whom had axes to grind  and present views that are most likely slanted. Woodward’s book is straightforward and provides a complex and frightening take at the inside workings of the Trump White House.

Fear: Trump in the White House is a riveting, page turning look at an ill-equipped, unpredictable, childish, cruel, compulsive liar with a short attention span who has no respect for anyone including his generals, staff and himself.

Recent Read: Baltimore Blues


Baltimore Blues is the  first in author Laura Lippmann’s Tess Monaghan series. Tess is an out of work journalist after her newspaper shut its doors. Unemployed and skimping by on money, she accepts an offer from her good rowing buddy Rock to tail his fiancé Ava, a lawyer, who has been acting strangely. It turns dark when Rock is accused of murdering shady legal beagle Michael Aromowitz, who  Tess recently uncovered as Ava’s lover. They have been spending some special lunch time at a local hotel. Tess now finds herself trying to prove Rock’s innocent without getting herself caught in the crosshairs and getting killed herself.

Tess Monaghan is a great character  and Lippman surrounds her with a great cast of characters who are quirky and funny. From the get go you know that the city of Baltimore is as much a character in the book as the  people. Lippmann knows the city and you can feel its feel and taste throughout the book.

Baltimore Blues is a fine introduction to the series.



Fall Season 2018

fallThe unofficial end of summer and the beginning the fall season traditionally is the Labor Day Weekend.  Kids are back in school or soon will be, and the various arts begin to  release their upcoming films, music, and books. This all means it’s time again for my take on some of the books I most look forward to reading during these final months of the year. There are most likely some other releases that I am unaware of at this point that I would add to this list.  I hope so, I always like my ‘to read’ list to be high. Let’s hear what books you are looking forward to reading.


The latest Jesse Stone novel from Reed Farrel Coleman who has done an amazing job in keeping the spirit and style, and adding just a bit o his own, of Robert B. Parker alive. Available in September.


From Hard Case Crime, a 1946 art heist from a Boston Museum turns into a twisty ride for the thieves, the police and some former college students. Coming in October.


This sounds fascinating. A collection of short crime fiction inspired by the songs of the late Lou Reed. Available in early September.


My thanks to Facebook friends, James Thane and Erin Mitchell for bringing this book, and author, to my attention.  The story is set against the assassination o JFK  which spiked my interest. Coming in October.


Author/Sportswriter Mike Lupica bring’s Robert B. Parker’s P.I. Sunny Randall back. Parker introduced Randall back in 1999 with Family Honor. Five more books in the series followed before Parker passed away in 2010. Parker’s other long running series Spenser, Jesse Stone, and Virgil and Everett have all continued  with commissioned authors Ace Atkins, Reed Farrel Coleman and Robert Knott respectively carrying on the torch. Now Sunny is back.  On bookshelves this coming November.


Harry Bosch meets Renee Ballard in master Michael Connelly’s latest. Due October 30th.


Crime ridden dark tales from the Sunshine State with John D. MacDonald, Lawrence Block, Tim Dorsey, Reed Farrel Coleman, Craig Pittman and others. Available in September.


My guilty pleasure of the season. Coming in October.



Another dig into the crime archives brings Oakley Hall’s  So Many Doors back into print after almost 60 years. Coming from Hard Case in November.



From the man who brought you All the President’s Men now brings his sharp focus and reporting skills exposing the chaos of the first years of Trump’s White House. Due in September.



Lisa Brennan-Jobs memoir of growing up the daughter of Steve Jobs and artist ChrisAnn Brennan.  Due early September.