Skip to main content

The Evil That Men Do - Review

The Hungry Detective (THD) has spent the last few days picking away at a post that would encompass a few books that we have read in the past couple weeks. Unfortunately it was taking forever to write. THD read a couple of James Lee Burke novels and writing the notes for both books has been problematic. I loved both books. Heck we read them back to back. In the Moon of the Red Ponies and Crusaders Cross reminded me why James Lee Burke is the best that Crime Fiction has to offer..... bar none. It made us excited to read James Lee Burke again. But that is not the purpose of this post.

The Evil That Men Do - Dave White
THD thinks the casting of Charles Bronson as Jackson Donne is inspired! With CGI I am sure they can shed a few years from the Bronson's craggy mug. Rarely does Hollywood get 'it' right, but Hollywood got it right. I must have missed this in the theaters, but this will.... hmmmm... what now? Sorry, the Film Desk is in the office trying tell me that this has nothing to do with Mr. White's book.

What the hell is an 'IMDB'?!

THD is not a cover to cover reader. Most of my reading is done in the tub or in the fifteen to twenty minutes before I go to bed. The reading that gets done during the day is done before the wife gets home or while she is napping on the weekend. However, I was in a car for about 5 and half hours recently and was able to read Mr. White's book with only one interruption to use one of New York's finer rest stops.

This is the second in the continuing story of New Jersey's favorite son, ex-cop/ex-p.i. Jackson Donne. The story is best described by the adage that you maybe through with the past but the past may not be through with you. What I like in particular about this book was that the seeds of this story lay in another story that take place well before most of the character in this book are born. Told in flashback, Jackson's grandfather sees something he shouldn't and because he stands up and does the right thing he nearly costs his family their lives. The ripple effect of his action's effect Jackson nearly 70 years later, in the end, it does not tear Jackson's family apart it brings them together in the way that families should be drawn together in crisis. This is really good writing. Flashbacks can be tricky things, but here it is used to maximum effect. Choosing to focus the readers attention on a different time and different set of characters causes two distinct stories to become one impressive narrative. The insight into the Donne family was reminiscent of The Big Blowdown by George Pelecanos. I would be fascinated to see Mr. White explore the Donne family across generations in further books or as a stand alone to the Jackson Donne series.

Comments

Brian said…
I dig the redesign, whenever that happened. Nice photo. Now I just need you to condense each entry and post it on Twitter, and we'll be all set.
Dan Wagner said…
What the hell is a 'Twitter'?!

Popular posts from this blog

The Very Best of Mr. Dennis Lehane

I thought this post would appear in October. Ya, know when SHUTTER ISLAND: THE MOVIE was supposed to be released. And then it wasn't. Something about Leo not being able to do 'press' for the movie. Doesn't really matter the reason, a February release date has one of those fancy Hollywood meanings: Not Good.

Look I'll be honest, I didn't connect with SHUTTER ISLAND. I loved the fifties setting, the haunted house atmosphere, and impending doom of the Hurricane. Even the set-up of the story was intriguing but how it played out just didn't work for me. Some interesting characters, a bunch of great set pieces, but the ending announces itself with an expected, thud that went nowhere.

Am I still going to the movie? Its Lehane, Scorsese, Leo, and Ruffalo of course I am. Anyway the list.

8. Prayers for Rain - 1999
The last Kenzie-Gennaro book follows our heroes as they investigate a guy who is terrorizing women into committing suicide. The book played like an episode o…

The Very Best of Mr. Michael Connelly - Part I

I was about 50 pages into the latest Michael Connelly book, THE SCARECROW, when I flipped to the front. This is the 20th novel. I decided that rather than write a review of the novel, pretty good by the way, I would write a think piece about the relationship between a highly regarded crime novelist and how reader's take for granted the author if the high standard to which they have become accustomed to is not maintained over a lengthy run of books.

This idea was quickly abandoned out of laziness. Instead, I decided to take a cue from my friend, Peter, who recently ranked all of the James Bond films. I didn't feel I could tackle all 20 novels so the list below is just the non-Harry Bosch books. Mr. Connelly's next book 9 DRAGONS releases in October so don't be surprised to see a Bosch only list then.

I wrote this list up a couple weeks ago. I have given it some time to marinate. I did make any changes but I do want to say that there is a definite break between ranking 5…

Live By Night: First Image

First image from Live By Night the latest Dennis Lehane novel to be directed by Ben Affleck has appeared. Here is the accompanying article from Indiewire.
What can you say about one singular image from a film that will include a hundred thousand or so? It looks good. I'm a sucker for big fields of grass, what can I say? I have enjoyed all of Ben Affleck's directing efforts to date, even if I wasn't wowed by any of them. I don't mean to damn him with faint praise. He is a solid, unpretentious director of capital m 'Movies'. And even if he wasn't making the best thing Dennis Lehane has written in the last ten years I would still go see his next effort.
The movie is slated for a 2017 release which I'm not certain should be believed. In spite of the film already vacating a Fall 2016 date, if the movie is even kind of  good, dollars to donuts it sneaks into a late 2016 release for Award show consideration. A 2017 release date seems more accurate, if early t…