Black Light-Book Review

blacklightcoverI became a fan of author Stephen Hunter upon reading The 47th Samurai. Since then, I’ve yet to come across an author who can describe a violent scene the way he does, or dispel so much knowledge when it comes to guns and ammo.

According to the acknowledgments page, the book Black Light is the third novel of a Bob Lee Swagger trilogy which include the books; Point Of Impact (Which I’ve yet to read, because I saw the movie ‘Shooter’ which is based on the book, hey don’t judge—I got to get my money’s worth when it comes to Netflix you know) the other book is Dirty White Boys.

First a word of Warning: If you are offended by the N word stay away. That word is very popular in this novel…. you good to go? Let’s move on then.

The story takes place roughly five years after the events in Point Of Impact; Bob Lee is now the father of a four year old name Nikki product of his marriage to Julie Fenn (widow of the now dead sniper spotter Donnie Fenn) Two interconnected plots weave along this novel. One takes place in the present and the other in the 1950’s and it involves the investigation of a gruesome crime which saw the death of a young black girl and Bob Lee’s own father; State Trooper Earl Swagger, in the fictitious town of Blue Eye Arkansas. There is a good surprise for Bob Lee I did not see coming, involving a new family member, to say more will ruin things for those among you who’ve yet to read Black Light (which I believe refers to a type of sniper rifle scope technology?) I wasn’t too crazy about how the case gets resolved involving the rich dude at the shooting range near the end, that plot device came across as a bit of a cop-out, I was like wtf? Despite of this I still give it a five star rating, because at the heart of this tale, and amid the flying bullets, viscera, explosions and gunpowder lays a story about fathers and sons. About family, and the ties that bind us through time. Also, the book has one of the best satisfying endings (I mean the very end) I’ve come across in a Stephen Hunter novel.

Conmen—Book Review

51dbRDPZT+L._SY373_BO1,204,203,200_The art of the con operates on the simple premise that there’s a sucker born every minute. A successful conman can charm all four legs of a horse by simply telling people what they want to hear. If you enjoy the guilty pleasure of reading the true life stories of grafters and their ilk, then get your paws on The Ten Greatest Conmen written by a couple of  Englishmen by the name of Roger Cook and Tim Tate whom—according to their bio—have spent at least thirty years exposing crooks, cons and villains.

These are the fascinating true stories of men with extremely wonky moral compasses.

Take for instance the story of a Frenchman who tried to sell the Eifel Tower for scrap metal, then there’s the semi-literate ex-car salesman who made a mint convincing people that he was an agent of the British secret service. My personal favorite is about the guy who sold to none other than press titan Rupert Murdoch, a pair of shoes supposedly last worn by Jimmy Hoffa.

Did you ever take one of the many ‘lose weight’ supplements that invade the airwaves these days? Remember TRIMit? How about Bai Lin Tea? That’s the story of a chap hailing from Australia’s Gold Coast who made a fortune out of the gullibility and insecurity of people from Australia, England and America. Incredibly this scumbag celebrated his 40th birthday at 10 Downing Street.

From offshore banking buccaneers to real estate salesmen selling land that only exist in their imagination, these are fascinating stories. But the thing that boggles the mind though is the fact that some of these guys kept getting away with it simply because, for some bizarre reason, most governments see a con as a ‘lesser crime’ or because the victims of these conmen were too ashamed to admit that they’ve got taken.

I’ve been meaning to read this book for a while now, finished it in one sitting, and although the book is a good read, I got to say that it leans heavily on British slant, some slang—not too much, some inside jokes and whatnot. Overall the stories feel a bit dated as most took place in a pre-internet era, and they tend to be a bit convoluted especially the ones dealing with the banking industry, then again I’m not banker so…

My take -away? There’s a sucker born every minute indeed.

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I’m not a book reviewer nor am I hoping to become one. I’m only reviewing books that I choose to read so don’t ask me to review your book I DON’T DO THAT, sorry.

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