As promised…..

As promised here’s a review I prepared earlier.

I’ve been reading and collecting Robert Crais’s novels since the only way to get them was on import from the USA. Met him too a few times. Young, handsome, thick black hair, tanned, living in Los Angeles with a beautiful wife and a great car, Not exactly broke either from what I can gather. Why don’t I hate the man? It must be beacaue I love his books so much. And that goes double for his latest: The First Rule published by Orion next week (Hardback £12.99).

The First Rule is another Elvis Cole & Joe Pike adventure, but this time Pike takes the centre stage. Elvis seems to have stepped down as Crais’s main character. Maybe the author is bored with all the wisecracks and wants to cut straight to the violent chase. And violent it certainly is as, Pike takes revenge on a gang of European mafia who invade the home of one of his old friends and mercenary buddies from the past, and slaughter him and his entire family. Pike takes the hump as you would, and dishes out his own brand of justice to anyone who gets in his way.

The book is an easy read, but never knock that. It usually means that the author has gone through a lengthy series of rewrites to get everything just right.

Take my word, this is a hit from page one. Superb.

And what is the first rule? Buy the book and find out for yourself.

Still reading the New Roy Grace novel from Peter James. He just gets better. ER on DVD and back to back Bill and Casualty on Watch + 1. How sad is that?

Almost as sad as When The Boat Comes In on Yesterday, A channel so far up the nether regions of Sky as to be almost invisible.

Listening wise, a bundle of LP’s arrived in the post yesterday. Check out these beauties. A sweet copy of Top TV Themes on Marble Arch Records which includes Theme From The Saint by Cyril Stapleton & The Eliminators (Never saw Cyril as an eliminator myself) and The Crossroads Theme by The Tony Hatch Orchestra.

What bliss! Next a lived in copy of Midnight Special by Jimmy Smith featuring Stanley Turrentine, Kenny Burrell and Donald Bailey. Like I said, a bit battered, but an original US Blue Note copy made from vinyl thick enough tile roofs, a hard cardboard outer sleeve. and the original inner. Lovely.

And finally, a mint copy of the soundtrack of one of my top five films of all time, and certainly the best road movie ever: Vanishing Point starring Barry Newman as Kowalski, ex-cop, ex Vietnam vet and a delivery driver who takes off across America in a supercharged, pure white Dodge Charger on a bet that he can make it from Denver, Colorado to San Francisco in less than twenty-four hours with deadly results. The LP features Mountain starring Leslie West and Felix Pappalardi, who sadly got gunned down like a dog by a lady friend, Delaney & Bonnie & Friends, Big Mama Thornton and the late Jerry Reid. Superb stuff.

I almost wrote a book about road movies once, but it never happened. However, there is one called not surprisingly Road Movies The Complete Guide To Cinema On Wheels by Mark Williams, published by Proteus Publishing Ltd in 1982. Well worth seeking out, especially as he calls Vanishing Point a masterpiece. Right on Brother, as Super Soul the blind DJ who features large in the film would say. Catch them if you can. The book , and the movie both.

So that sort of covers my obsessions. Books, films & music. It’s easy to get carried away, especially collecting old records. I’ll get into that particular addiction a bit deeper soon.

More in a few days.

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