!: Lock In – John Scalzi: a standalone SF novel. Not too long from today, a new, highly contagious virus makes its way across the globe. Most who get sick experience nothing worse than flu, fever and headaches. But for the unlucky one percent – and nearly five million souls in the United States alone – the disease causes “Lock In”: Victims fully awake and aware, but unable to move or respond to stimulus. The disease affects young, old, rich, poor, people of every color and creed. The world changes to meet the challenge.
2: The Equalizer Michael Sloan: a novel based on the Edward Woodward TV series by it’s creator.
3: The Will of The Dead – George Mann
4: The Spirit Box – George Mann: Richard Robinson clued me in to these Holmes pastiches. Sounded interesting. Now If I can find the time…
5: Featuring The Saint(review copy) – Leslie Charteris: from the Amazon imprint.
and the ebooks:
6: The Harlot – Ernie Lindsey: a crime novella from a good author.
7: The Sons of Daniel Shaye: Leaving Epitaph – Robert J. Randisi
8: The Sons of Daniel Shaye: Vengeance Creek – Robert J. Randisi: these two westerns by a fine author looked interesting.
9: Storm – Bernard Lee DeLeo: The FBI blackmailed Storm Crandall; but only after Storm hacked their database. At sixteen, she’s under cover at a high school, looking for clues involving five missing girls. Besides computer skills, Storm has game in the magic department. A sect of the Temple of Set soon finds out power comes in many guises.
10: Duke City Split – Max Austion: a pen name of Steve Brewer. A cool, calm, and collected bank robber—with two kids at home—heads a fascinating cast of characters in Duke City Split, the first in a trilogy of white-knuckle thrillers from Max Austin.
CHALLENGE OF McKENNA is a low budget film filled with stock characters, yet manages to rise above all that because of a well written script. Four writing credits are listed on IMDb post: Pedro Gil Paradela, León Klimovsky, Edoardo Mulargia, and Antonio Viader(story). Kilmovsky, a journeyman director, turns in his best work here.
The film opens with a hanging. A young man in white is being wrestled up to a tree by three young bucks while an older man watches from the back of a horse. A young woman tries to stop the hanging, but is roughly shoved aside. We learn later the older man is Don Diego(Roberto Camardiel) and the three young men are his son Chris(Robert Woods) and two hands. The young woman is Barbara(Daniela Giordano), Don Diego’s daughter. The hanging victim is her lover. His crime, though educated and planning to start a school in Laredo, he is poor.
The old man seems to have a mad on at everybody. He resent’s his son Chris(the feelings are returned), a psychotic young fellow that has unnatural feelings for his sister and laughs maniacally. Barbara is virtually a prisoner in her home.
After the hanging, the four ride off leaving Barbara lying on the ground.
One thing I spotted immediately. As the body swung back and forth with the sun behind it, The tree resembled nothing more than a cross.
A drifter(John Ireland) comes along and buries the young man, speaking some angry verse over the body, then tossing the bible into the grave. Barbara he returns home, taking a job with Don Diego, identifying himself only as Jones. I’d wondered where the name in the title came from. It’s never mentioned in the English dubbed version I saw. On the post at the Spahetti Western Database they list the character name, in addition to Jones, as Jonas McKenna. It’s obvious from his actions at the burial, Jones has his own internal problems.
It doesn’t take him long to get on the boss’s wrong side when he refuses to dig the body up and move it. Don diego doesn’t want “that animal under my land!”
Some of the other stock characters are the whore with a heart of gold. Maggie(Annabella Incontrera) owns the local bar/bawdy huse. She liked the young hanging victim and takes to Jones. Another is the rancher that wants to marry Barbara and allies with Chris to take out Jones.
Jones’ story comes to light as he’s about to have sex with Maggie and a flashback reminds him of a past incident that derailed a twenty year career.
Nicely staged finale and a better than average western.
From 1930, THE SAINT CLOSES THE CASE would be in modern parlance a fix-up novel. It was initially two separate stories published in THRILLER magazine in 1929. Charteris took a chunk out of the first story and dropped the second in the middle, of course doing some re-writing to smooth things over.
The tale concerns Simon Templar and his lady Patricia stumbling upon a demonstration of a new weapon of mass destruction. The Saint is appalled and determines to stop this weapon. The world is still getting over the Great War and the millions sacrificed to then new weapons of tanks and machine guns.
Opposing him is Dr. Rayt Marius in this, the first of a loose trilogy with the villain. He grabs Patricia in a bid to get the scientist and his device, necessitating a rescue.
The Simon Templar of this early story is not the genteel fellow of later stories. He’s perfectly willing to kill the scientist if he can’t be persuaded to abandon development of his super weapon.
The first title it was published under was THE LAST HERO and occasional editions over the years have used it. One of Amazob’s publishing arms, Thomas & Mercer, is putting out uniform cover editions with introductions by prominent authors in the mystery field.
Sony Pictures Entertainment announced today Shane Black will direct the film adaptation of the popular adventure book series The Destroyer by Warren Murphy. Penning the screenplay are Jim Uhls (Fight Club) and James Mullaney. Mullaney co-authored and became the sole writer of The Destroyer until the series’ end in 2008. Charles Roven, Steve Chasman, and Andy Horwitz will produce. Michael De Luca and Lauren Abrahams will oversee for Sony Pictures Entertainment.
The Destroyer is based on the series of paperback novels in which Newark cop Remo Williams is framed, sentenced to death, then resurrected following a botched execution. The reason? To serve as enforcement arm for CURE, a top-secret, extra-Constitutional arm of the U.S. government. Along with a seemingly ageless – and often hilarious – Asian assassin known only as Chiun, Williams sets out to “clean up” and take out those who oppose America’s interests. The surprisingly-heartfelt stories combine edgy old-school suspense with Eastern mysticism to produce unique, rapid-fire capers full of slick banter, social satire, and sudden violence.
Here’s what producer Charles Roven of Atlas Entertainment had to say in a statement.
“Shane has been a fan of the original Destroyer book series since its inception and he has an incredible vision for this film. Atlas couldn’t be more fortunate to be working with this talented director on this material. The narrative Jim and James have created is incredibly rich and while it’s a story rooted in adventure, it is also very much character driven.”
Michael De Luca, president of Production for Columbia Pictures, had this to say in his statement.
“The Destroyer is a two-fisted classic and deserves no less than the genius of Shane Black. We couldn’t be more excited about his vision for this character.”
Shane Black is currently attached to co-write and direct Doc Savage, based on the hero of pulp novels, films, and comic books, for Columbia Pictures. Black most recently wrote and directed Iron Man 3, which became the fifth highest grossing film of all time worldwide. He began his career in screenwriting, making his mark with Lethal Weapon and collaborating on its sequel. Black’s directorial debut came in 2005 with his critically acclaimed Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang starring Robert Downey Jr. and Val Kilmer.
Jim Uhls is best known for having written the screenplay for the classic film Fight Club directed by David Fincher. Subsequently he has written a number of films and television shows, having worked with the likes of Steven Spielberg, Doug Liman, and Shane Black, to name a few. Jim began his career as an original member of The Actors Gang when it was founded at UCLA.
James Mullaney is a Shamus Award-nominated novelist who has written 37 books, as well as comics and short stories. He is author of the Red Menace series of spy thrillers and the comic-fantasy-noir Crag Banyon Mysteries detective series.
I’ve had this movie sitting in my DVR queue since I recorded it back in May off Turner Classic Films. Host Robert Osborne introduced it along with the guest programmer at the time, Mother Dolores(Hart). In the discussions before and after the film, we learn Dolores Hart was all of eighteen in her first role opposite Elvis Presley for LOVING YOU, 1957. She did another with Elvis as well as Montgomery Cliff, George Hamilton, Robert Wagner, and Stephen Boyd. At the height of her career, Hart gave it all up to enter a convent. She is now Prioress of the Benedictine Abbey of Regina Laudis in Connecticut.
LISA is based on a 1960 novel The Inspector by Jan de Hartog, the original title of the film. LISA was for the American release.
Stephen Boyd is Inspector Peter Jongman, a Dutch policeman, to Hart’s Lisa Held, a Dutch-Jew who survived Auschwitz concentration camp even as her parents went to the gas chambers. She had experiments performed on her in the Medical wing.
Jongman and his partner Sgt, Wolters)Donald Pleasance) are after a man named Thorens (Marius Goring), an ex-Nazi has taken her. He’s a white slaver in 1946, tricking young Jewish women with promises to get them into Palestine, but sending them to South America instead for the whore houses. Lisa wants to get to the early building of Israel to work in mental hospitals helping other camp survivors.
Jongmaan follows them onto a boat headed to England where he contacts a friend in Scotland Yard, only to learn there’s nothing that can be done. There’s no proof Thorens is a former Nazi. That doesn’t stop the Inspector though. He visits Thoren, getting into a fight, then learns Lisa has slipped out a window.
They meet later and he agrees to get her into Palestine. The borders have been sealed so she’ll have to be smuggled in. We also learn Scotland Yard wants them. Thorens has been murdered, stabbed, and both Jongman and Lisa believe the other did it.
Jongman deals with a colorful assortment of characters along the way. Leo Mckern is Brandt, a gruff smuggler that is more decent than he likes to let on. He sends them to Van der Pink(Van der Pink) in Tangiers, a fellow swatting at bats with a tennis racket. An American named Browne (Neil McCallum) is on their list, known to smuggle people into Palestine. He turns out to be an agent and will only get her to Nuremberg for the trials. Dickens(Robert Stephens) is a British agent that wants them back in London. Scotland Yard has determined Thorns fell on his knife in the fight with Jongman(Lisa had been seen fleeing down the fire escape) and they want him for manslaughter.
Both Lisa and Jongman are tormented souls, she because of her experieces at the hands of Nazi doctors, he because of what happened to his fiancee Rachel at the hands of Nazis as their world was crumbling.
Pretty good film.
There doesn’t seem to be a trailer on Youtube, so the theme will have to do.
In reading Richard’s stories, it always feel like one is there with old friends. Young Jo Harper and her pal Frog from WAITING FOR A COMET are back getting into all sorts of mischief. We know these folks, or people like them, and have all gotten into the same sort of hijinks when we were kids.
Jo and Frog take a ride on a “borrowed” Model T and head right into a mystery and danger, ultimately helped out of it by Abbie Drake, Willowby’s Constable.