Pennywise’s Cousin

The Outsider by Stephen King; 2018; $30.00; 560 pages; Scribner, New York, NY; 978-1-5011-098-9; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Belmont; 6/9/18-6/14-18

Why did I read this? Because I think Stephen King is a great storyteller and I like reading his stories.

A young boy is found molested and murdered in a small town in Oklahoma and all signs point to the beloved little league coach. The lead detective and assistant DA march right over and arrest him in the middle of a game in front of the entire town. On the day of his arraignment he is killed. Shortly evidence comes to light that the coach wasn’t even in town at the time of the murder. As the investigation continues there seems to be a supernatural element forcing its way into the investigation. As the things proceed Holly Gibney from the Finders Keepers agency becomes a part of the investigative team and gradually convinces the other members of the team to embrace the supernatural part of the investigation.


i’ve been to her restaurant

Calamity Jane, The Life and Legend of Martha Jane Cannary by D.J. Herda; 2018; $17.95; 201 pages; Twodot, Guilford, CT; 978-1-4930-3194-8; checked out from Multnomah County Library, LOS; 6/3/18-6/9/18

Why did I read this? I am always intrigued by stories of the Old West.

Calamity Jane (or someone ghostwrote) an autobiography and the author took portions of that autobiography and tried to separate fact from fiction. Martha Jane Cannary lived a colorful life, but much of her legend is just that, legend. The author did a good job tracking down primary sources.


suspension of disbelief only goes so far

Reaper, Ghost Target, A Sniper Novel by Nicholas Irving with A.J. Tata; 2018; $26.99; 324 pages; St. Martin’s Press; New York, NY; 978-1-250-12734-1; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Woodstock; 6/1/18-6/3/18

Why did I read this? I had read a good review of this at The Book Spy so I thought I would give a new author a chance.

Reaper, the title character, is a sniper better than American Sniper, Chris Kyle. On a mission in Afghanistan he and his spotter are hit by a mortar and Reaper, ended up in Walter Reed hospital and the spotter disappeared. Soon many generals were being assassinated and all signs point to the Reaper. There are conspiracies at several levels and fingers pointing in several directions.


short term

West Like Lighting, The Brief Legendary Ride of the Pony Express by Jim DeFelice; 2018; $27.99; 357 pages; William Morrow, New York, NY; 978-0-06-249676-8; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Fairview; 8/27/18-6/1/18

Why did I ride this?  Because the old west intrigues me and the Pony Express is an almost mythological part of the history of the frontier of the United States.

The author takes us on an intriguing ride along the route of the Pony Express from St. Joseph, Missouri to San Francisco, California as the results of the 1860 Presidential election are being spread across the country.  We are introduced to riders, station managers, the Express owners, politicians, Native Americans, the countryside the ride traversed and a  sense of what the context of the times was.  This is so much more than just a history of the pony express, the author does a great job of putting the times in a context that makes sense.  I would recommend this who anyone is interested in the frontier history of the United States.

Grade 11/10

What is with the title of the review? The Pony Express only lasted for eighteen months and was only supposed to last until the transcontinental telegraph system was completed.  Its mythological footprint in the history of the United States is much  bigger than its actual impact on the United States.

a changed man

The Fallen by David Baldacci; 2018; $29.00; 417 pages; Grand Central Publishing, New York, NY; 978-1-5387-6139-7; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Kenton; 5/18/18-5/20/18

Why did I read this?  I have been trying to read through as many of David Baldacci’s series as I can and this is the last book in the Amos Decker series.

Amos Decker and Alex Jamison are on vacation in the rust belt of Pennsylvania when murders happen too close to home.  The unemployment mess, the opioid epidemic, fulfillment centers and robotic works all take center stage in this story.  Amos sees a dead body in the home behind Alex’s sisters home and the story is off and running.  The local police at first are resistant and then welcoming, but still reluctant.  The DEA becomes involved and jurisdictional things become part of the story.  This story has everything from buried treasure to life long animosity and everything in become.  Amos and Alex are a wonderful team.


What is with the title of the review?  Amos suffered a brain injury at the beginning of the series that gave him a photographic memory and causes him to associate colors with death and other sensations.  At one point in this story he is hit in the head and his injury again causes some things to change in his brain.