The Girl Who Cried Wolf

[Amazon Link]

After his trilogy of books about a dystopic United States under Islamic rule, Robert Ferrigno returns to his previous genre of hard-boiled crime fiction. Apparently only available as an e-book, it's an insanely great deal, $2.99, at Amazon.

The bad guys here are eco-terrorists, hoping to save the world by various foul deeds, like blowing up a development on the orange bluffs above South Laguna Beach. Collateral damage: one real estate agent and her Mercedes, crashing in flames onto the beach below.

The bad guys are various mixtures of evil, stupid, and crazy. Behind them is the secretive beauty, Chloe, who is playing her own game. Their next gig is a complex one, involving (a) the kidnapping of a show-biz lawyer, Remy, whose daddy just happens to be a tycoon; (b) the hijacking of a truckload of anhydrous ammonia.

Things go off the rails pretty quickly. Remy is not a docile victim; when she regains post-snatch consciousness, her first words to her captors are: "Get me a triple-espresso. Two sugars. And a bottle of Advil." And her boyfriend, Mack, is an ex-cop, a maverick who didn't play by the rules, etc. Just the sort of guy to track Remy down.

It's all sorta predictable, by the numbers thriller, but you get to wonder about how many of the characters will survive until the last page, and who will do who in.

The Phony Campaign

2015-02-08 Update

[phony baloney]

Jeb's phony hit count from last week was (indeed) one of those Google Glitches. Not that he doesn't retain his firm hold on the number one spot:

Query String Hit Count Change Since
2015-02-01
"Jeb Bush" phony 806,000 -2,744,000
"Hillary Clinton" phony 397,000 +7,000
"Rand Paul" phony 174,000 +4,000
"Chris Christie" phony 140,000 +11,000
"Scott Walker" phony 110,000 +14,100
"Elizabeth Warren" phony 87,900 -1,200
"Marco Rubio" phony 84,500 -2,300

  • Boston Globe columnist Scott Lehigh uses Mitt Romney's exit from the race as a springboard to generalize about the problem of political authenticity: "Voters want political candidates to get real". No great insights here, but you might find his classifications either convincing or contestable. Phony: Romney, George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush, both Clintons, and Kerry. Authentic: Reagan, Ford, Carter, and Obama (!?)

  • Lehigh does not provide his assessment of Jeb Bush, but his paper did its part with a hit piece researching his time at Phillips Academy in Andover MA, the kind of research they never seem to do about Democrats. While some of the more scurrlious yarns are unconfimed, Jeb has admitted that he was a lousy student, partaking of both alcohol and pot.

    And yet, as many have pointed out, he went on to be an eager participant in the drug war, putting less fortunate people in the slammer for the same thing he got away with at Andover. For example, Rand Paul:

    “He was even opposed to medical marijuana,” Paul said of Bush, a potential rival in the 2016 Republican presidential primary. “This is a guy who now admits he smoked marijuana but he wants to put people in jail who do.

    Well, at least he wasn't in the Choom Gang.

  • One side effect of NBC News anchorman Brian Williams long-running fabrications has been for people to recall Hillary's equally fabulist yarn about coming under sniper fire during her visit to Bosnia in 1996. For example, Linda Stasi in the New York Daily News:

    The fact that Brian Williams and Clinton thought they’d get away with their outrageous war stories despite there being living, breathing witnesses, video and now social media, is bizarrely disturbing. The hubris of the famous in believing that they can get away with lying forever because they are above it all never fails to astound. And never fails to happen.

    It's the sort of thing that makes me doubt Scott Lehigh's belief that voters want authenticity in their political candidates. Dude, if that were even close to being true, Hillary would be baking cookies in Little Rock.