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Love Moments September 12, 2009

Posted by Bill in Audio Books, Books, Memories, Mystery Books, Personal.
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I’m listening to Step on a Crack by James Patterson on audio. I’m enjoying the book- I almost always enjoy James Patterson. It’s a pretty good thriller about a group of celebrities that are taken hostage and held for ransom in a New York church a couple of days before Christmas. The main character is New York City Detective Michael Bennett, who unwittingly finds himself cast as the Hostage Negotiator at a time when he is dealing with his own personal tragedy- his wife and the mother of his ten children is in the hospital dying of cancer.

It is the scenes of Bennett with his wife and children that I find the most compelling as he tries to grasp the reality that his wife is dying and that he will soon have to face life without her. Her death is not some distant specter in the future- it is here. It is now, and any time he leaves her it is entirely too possible that he may never see her again.

As he is thinking about his life with her, his memory returns not to the milestone moments such as their wedding or when he proposed to her, but to the memories of times they spent together doing what were, to them ordinary things, but were done in such a way as to define their relationship with each other.

(Oh man, I started this blog intending to write about one thing, but I see it is heading somewhere else. Okay, Guess I’ll see what happens with it- but I’ll probably have to change the title.)

Bennett remembers how, in the early days of their marriage, he and Maeve would go on junk food runs to the grocery store and would come home and watch old movies and eat junk food. He reminds his wife of this when he smuggles a cheeseburger into her hospital room and they sit and watch an old movie.

When Bill and I were first married, I was still in school and we had no money. (Of course, we have no money now, even though we’ve been married almost 30 years, however I’m not in school anymore. ) Since we only had one car, he would run home at lunch, pick me up and drop me off at my workplace, then come back at the end of the day and hang around waiting for me to get off work so we could ride home together.  On the way home we would stop at McDonald’s and go through the drive through and buy ice cream cones. At the time, McDonald’s sold them for five cents each so for ten cents, Bill and I would have our dessert– and depending how close to payday it was, our evening meal.

Those are love moments– times that a couple shares together that are special to them and that would not have the same meaning for anybody else.  Most couples have lots of love moments because those are what build the framework of the relationship. When we were dating, Bill and I used to go to the Denny’s by my apartment and order french fries and a chocolate shake. We had the same waitress every time, and she always thought that was the weirdest thing to order, but it made perfect sense to us (and still does actually!)

So I can really identify with the Bennett character in Patterson’s book because I can see that Patterson, too, understands the concept of love moments. Occasionally Bill and I relive those love moments by running through the drive through at McDonald’s and ordering ice cream cones. Although they cost more than a nickel now, they are still a pretty good bargain– and nowadays they come dipped in chocolate too!


The First Law by John Lescoart August 31, 2009

Posted by Bill in Audio Books, Books, Mystery Books.
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Right now I’m listening to The First Law by John Lescoart on audio. If I’m listening to something on audio, it needs to be REALLY riveting to keep my attention. I’m finally getting into this one, but it took me about 2 hours of listening to get to the riveting part, which is too long. And I find the reader to be a distraction- he sounds like Barney Rubble with a cold. But now that I’m into it, I’m enjoying the book enough that I would read another one of the Dismas Hardy/Abe Glitzky series. Don’t know if I would LISTEN to it though.

Later: I’m really getting into the book now– I’ve gotten to the stage where I carry my audio player around and listen to the book whenever I get a chance. It’s very intricately plotted and frustrating as hell. The question it asks is how do you trust the system when the system doesn’t work?


It takes place in San Francisco where a private security agency has started a protection racket, in the course of which they kill somebody and frame someone else for the murder. They then guide the police investigation into the murder, so the police unwittingly end up protecting the killers. Attorney Dismas Hardy and his friend, Police Lieutenant Abe Glitzky try to find the real killers but are hampered by the police department, the district attorney- in fact, by the system that is supposed to make sure justice is served. So far, they’ve been playing by the book, but what do you do when your opponent tosses the book out the window?

Right now they are in hiding because the baddies have threatened their families. I’m betting they are going to step outside the law as their only recourse, since staying within the law hasn’t done much for them. It’s very exciting at this point, so much so that I almost don’t notice the annoying reader any more. I’ll definitely read another book in this series– but I’ll probably get the print version.

Still Later: Okay, I’ve finished the book. I found the ending to be disappointing, and sad. Some characters that I liked died and the situation was not resolved into a neat little package. I know that it is a more realistic ending, but I wanted the satisfaction of seeing all the people within the police department and the DA’s office who refused to listen to Glitzky and Hardy admit that they were wrong and that they should have listened to the two of them. The families are still in danger because the big bad guy is still loose and is madder than ever.

I’d still read another book by Lescoart. He says in his notes at the end that this is different from the type of book he normally writes. I liked this one okay so I have hopes that I will like the other books in the series even more.