Monday, September 24, 2012

The Cut - by George Pelecanos

Spero Lucas is a young veteran (ex-Marine) of the Iraq war who now works as a freelance investigator.  He is good at finding things and his standard fee is a 40% cut of the recovered property.  After doing some good work to help Washington, DC, lawyer Tom Petersen get car theft charges dismissed against a good kid who made a bad decision, he meets with the boy's father, Anwan Hawkins, who is currently in prison on drug charges.  Hawkins explains to Spero the FedEx scheme he uses to smuggle his marijuana.  Recent losses of two shipments, however, have been costly and he wants Lucas to find them for him.

In my opinion, this is a very good book.  Pelecanos spins an origanal and suspenseful tale, set in the neighborhoods surrounding our nation's capital with a cast of interesting and well-developed characters.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Buried Prey - by John Sandford

Buried Prey represents the 21st volume of Sandford's Lucas Davenport series.  The bodies of two young girls who were killed back in the 1980's are unexpectedly unearthed when a house is demolished.  Back then, as a young uniformed patrolman, Lucas's involvement with the case launched his career as an investigator.  He considers the mistake he made on it, however, the worst in his career.  Now he must find out the truth.

While I have only read a handful of the "Prey" series, I really appreciated the background provided by young Lucas's "temporary assignment as a plainclothes homicide detective.  This was also the beginning of his relationships with supporting characters we have grown to know and love such as: Sloan and Del Capslock.  When he brings the murder mystery to the current day, John Sandford mixes some revenge motivation into the search for this sexual predator and killer that slipped through the system all those years ago.  The result is a murder mystery page-turner that I would definitely recommend.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Ahead of the Curve - by Philip Delves Broughton

After ten years as a journalist, as Paris Bureau Chief for the Daily Telegraph of London, the author decided to break from that career path and attend Harvard Business School (HBS).  He pursued a coveted Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from a venerable institution that produced some of America's greatest business leaders.  In this book, he shares this experience with his readers.

I have never really considered a formal business education.  I do not have the academic credentials to qualify me for graduate admission to an Ivy League school.  For me, then, this book provided me a glimpse into a world I would never experience on my own.  In a story-telling fashion that is both entertaining and insightful, Broughton shares his experiences and impressions.  He is very upfront about the fact that his writing reflects his experience, which may not necessarily mimic that of his peers.  For me personally, I really valued the chance to envision what it might be like to attend an elite MBA program like that at HBS.  This is not simply a clinical narration, however, but rather incorporates both his philosophical perspectives and his wit.  If the study of business is of interest to you, I would recommend this book.