Review: One Bullet Away

A very good military memoir written by Nathaniel Fick, former Captain, First Recon. USMC. Also it is a good companion piece to Generation Kill as Fick is the platoon leader of the US Marines that Evan Wright rode with during the Invasion of Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

However Fick’s time in Iraq only makes up the second half of the book first comes the story of how he became a Marine officer and the account of his first battlefield command in Afghanistan.

In addition we get at the end after First Recon.’s mission is done little moments that Evan Wright didn’t get to witness such as when Fick takes the platoon to the ancient city of Babylon for a bit of historical sightseeing. They meet a distinguished older gentleman who had been an archaeologist who gives them a guided tour of the site. The man’s first words to Fick which make him laugh are “Call me Ishmael”.

Colbert remarks that in only two years they’ve followed two of the campaigns of Alexander the Great – across Afghanistan and Iraq – but that he doubts they themselves will be remembered in the same way. Ishmael gets tipped probably what is to him a years wages by the platoon for his excellent tour.

Review: Dead Run

Dead Run

An accident occurs in an isolated small town in Wisconsin and someone wants to keep it secret at all cost.

Another taut thriller from the mother and daughter writing team that make up P.J. Tracy. I’m continually amazed at how they manage to retain the characters from their brilliant debut Want to Play? and use them in the sequels without it feeling unnatural.

Grace MacBride and Leo Magozzi are a wonderful unconventional couple and their relationship is at the core of this novel.

Review: Homicide – A Year on the Killing Streets

David Simon’s book Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets is where it all started, it is the book that directly spawned two of the best TV shows of the past 15 years and influenced many others.

A brilliant piece of non-fiction following one of the shifts of the city of Baltimore’s homicide detectives for a whole year. A compelling year of stories of tragedy which paradoxically was unremarkable for all the detectives but for the rookie Tom Pellegrini, whose first case as primary was a the rape and murder of an 11-year old girl that was never solved and probably still haunts him to this day.

Simon takes what could be a quite dry subject because real life is nothing like as dramatic as like on TV, even in the cases of The Wire and Homicide: Life on the Streets, and creates an enormously readable book because he understands that at its core each and every murder is a story of human beings.

Review: Identity Theft: What it is, How to Prevent it, and What to Do if it Happens to You

Cory Doctorow of BoingBoing reviews the book Identity Theft: What it is, How to Prevent it, and What to Do if it Happens to You

Hamadi assembles dozens of identity-theft cases in short narrative form, like little cautionary tales, and then strings them together with some interconnecting material to show you who commits identity theft, who falls victim to it, how identity thieves work, and what steps are most likely to mitigate the threats. link