I finished “The Overlook” by Michael Connelly tonight. I don’t have too much to say about it other than that I recommend it, as I do all Michael Connelly books. If you’re not reading him, you should be.
I first mentioned it here, Sunday night, and my brother already bought it and read it. Who else will join us?
You can get the book here.
There is a “Chapter 23″ that I learned about at the book signing Sunday evening. You can read that here — but don’t read it before reading the book first. It contains spoilers.
The AP reports:
Wyoming Sen. Craig Thomas, a three-term conservative Republican who stayed clear of the Washington limelight and political catfights, died Monday. He was 74.
P.S. If you’re tempted to engage in talk of political calculation, don’t bother. It’s a natural enough question; the only reason his death is national news is because he was a U.S. Senator. But Blog P.I. credibly argues that the seat won’t be changing hands.
We must count every vote and make every vote count. Oh, and we also must jam traffic for the other guy’s voters.
[posted by Justin Levine]
The Second Circuit brings back some sanity to the broadcast biz with this [PDF] decision on FCC indecency rules. In addition to being a well articulated ruling on Administrative Law, it also offers a great legal history of the FCC/indecency controversy. Recommended reading for anyone who is interested in the topic. [Update: Alternative PDF link to the decision here.]
I’m trying to convince KFI management to simply have Bill Handel read the court decision aloud on the air (word for word) in order to educate the listeners about the current state of the law. They still think its too risky. Can’t say I blame them, but all we’d be doing is reading an official document issued by one of our great federal courts. What’s the harm in that? 😉
“Deport the Criminals First” — Part Four of an Ongoing Series: Danny Sims Killed By Illegal DUI Driver One Week After the Illegal’s Previous DUI Conviction
[“Deport the Criminals First” is a recurring feature on this blog, highlighting crimes committed by illegal immigrants — with a special focus on repeat offenders. I argue that, instead of arresting illegal immigrants who work hard for a living, we should use our limited immigration enforcement resources to target illegal immigrants who commit crimes in this country — especially violent crimes.]
Channel 9 news in Charlotte, North Carolina reports:
An illegal immigrant faces multiple charges after police say he hit and killed a pedestrian in east Charlotte and then left the scene.
Luciano Melendres, 30, is charged with felony hit-and-run, driving while impaired, driving with a revoked license, driving without liability insurance and driving with fictitious tags.
Officers say Melendres, a native of Mexico, hit and killed 32-year-old Danny Sims while he was crossing Albemarle Road near Farm Pond Lane around 10:30 p.m. Sunday. They say Melendres fled the scene in a green Ford Expedition, but a witness called 911 as she followed the sport utility vehicle and directed officers to a home on Jason’s Forest Drive, just two miles from the crash scene. Police arrested Melendres a short time later.
Melendres was just convicted last week on a DWI charge from a March 16, 2006, incident. He was sentenced to probation, alcohol assessment and treatment and community service and was ordered to pay court costs and have a breathalyzer device installed on his vehicle. Police said they didn’t find the device during an initial look inside.
N.C. Rep. Sue Myrick, a proponent of immigration reform, says the only thing that would keep such illegal immigrants off the streets after drinking is to deport them once they’re convicted of DWI.
Deporting illegals who commit crimes — that’s a good idea.
A video accompanying the linked story says that two months after Melendres’s previous DUI arrest, sheriffs in Mecklenberg County started questioning suspected illegal immigrants in jail concerning their immigration status. In 10 months, the report says, over 1600 illegals were identified in the jails.
But it was apparently two months too late to identify and deport Melendres. It’s too bad the program didn’t start two months earlier, when he was first arrested. Danny Sims would probably still be alive now.
This is my long-promised review of “L.A. Rex” by Will Beall. I highly recommend it, and it’s available for the ridiculous price of $5 at Amazon, if you click the link in the previous sentence. (I don’t get anything out of it, other than the satisfaction of referring readers to a good book.)
While I was about halfway through this book, I described it as “a thinly disguised over-the-top Suge Knight tale told in snap-crackling prose, filled with street references that probably go over the heads of 90 percent of the people who read it.”
Now that I have (long ago) finished the book, I think my characterization is a pretty decent thirty-word description of the whole book. Beall is a homicide detective with LAPD’s 77th Division, and his background lends his writing an authenticity that you can’t get any other way. His prose carries the authentic punch of street talk. If I have one criticism of the prose, it’s that it targets a relatively insular audience that will understand all the references; the only people likely to pick up every single one are probably Beall’s colleagues at 77th. The more familiar you are with L.A. in general, and with L.A. law enforcement in particular, the closer this book will hit home. But even if you aren’t a law enforcement insider, you’ll enjoy the book, and will pick up most of the references from context — and the ones you don’t, will be simply details that give an atmospheric sense of Really Being There (after all, we don’t understand everything we see in real life either).
The realism of the dialogue and the authentic feel of the characters helps you live with a sensational plot that appears to have been written with a movie deal in mind. (Beall apparently got one, so hey, whatever works, works.) But if you’re going to write an over-the-top plot, L.A. is the place to set it — because this place is crazy enough that any crazy-sounding plot just might be pulled from real life.
I don’t like to discuss plots in my reviews; I like approaching books and movies from a relatively clean slate. The Suge Knight reference I give you above is enough of a road map — with this twist: this Suge Knight is a bibliophile, which makes him more sympathetic than your standard cookie-cutter rap gangster thug.
Rather than plots, let me give you a sample of the writing. I picked two passages that really stood out for their descriptive power.