Saturday, 14 March 2015

EYES OF THE DEAD by Adam Netherlund

Eyes of the Dead: A Crime and Suspense Thriller (The Gardens Book 1)Eyes of the Dead: A Crime and Suspense Thriller by Adam Netherlund
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

BOOK DESCRIPTION: Detective Joseph Berlin’s life is a mess. He drinks too much, he dreams of his dead wife, and he’s been off the job for the last three months. After receiving a transfer to the Gardens Police Department, they waste no time in assigning his first case: the murder of one of their own, Undercover officer Tim Scott.

There's just one problem. No one in the department is talking. Not even Tim Scott's so-called "buddies" in the department are willing to help out. When Berlin and his new partner are nearly run off the road, and a number of strange occurrences start developing, he knows he's getting closer to the truth.

But how far can one man go before he breaks? Before he loses control and begins to lose sight of what he was meant to do?

Someone is desperately trying to keep their secret buried and Berlin is a man with nothing to lose.

The clock is ticking and time is running out...

In a city fueled by greed, corruption and deceit, Berlin will come to face face with his greatest fear in this exhilarating first book in the police procedural series, The Gardens. -- GOODREADS

MY REVIEW: This is the first book in a crime series by Adam Netherlund which I probably won't continue to read. The writing is uneven. In some places I felt a degree of tension and the ending is a great cliffhanger. But, overall, it feels rather amateurish with the attempt at stream of conscious writing (every so often, we have italicised thoughts from the characters) is distracting and redundant. I found the occasional colloquialisms of language (eg, nothin', what yah doing?) to be unnecessary and inconsistent (not sure why they were used in some places and not others). It may be that a good editor is required to do something with this book (and subsequent books in the series) to meet its/their potential. The plot is pretty basic and, when compared to the best crime writing available, falls short in my opinion.

View all my reviews

Innovations in NLP for Challenging Times by L Michael Hall & Shelle Rose Carvet (eds)

Innovations in NLP for Challenging TimesInnovations in NLP for Challenging Times by L. Michael Hall
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

BOOK DESCRIPTION: This long awaited book brings together some of the most recent innovations and applications of the traditional NLP model. Each chapter describes a new model or application and contains step by step instructions or a case study on how and when to apply it. For NLP practitioners it provides an outstanding collection of new tools and ideas to take their practice forward.

The book also includes chapters on some of the most innovative IT projects and communities where developments and advances continue to be made, including the Clean Language community and the NLP Research and Recognition Project. More than anything, this book represents a collaboration of some of the best innovators in the field of NLP to push the boundaries of the traditional NLP model and create some solutions for the problems created by the increasingly troubled world in which we live.

MY REVIEW: Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) has been around since the '70s and has had its fair share of critics and supporters. One of its weaknesses has been the lack of peer reviewed research supporting its claims along with increasing factions developing (which is ironic given how focused the approach is on understanding others' maps of reality). This book is a welcome addition to the literature on NLP with its call to the NLP community to genuinely collaborate, more robust research and the description of some of the contemporary adaptations and applications of NLP to today's global problems. It is probably not suitable for those who are not familiar with NLP. But for those with a reasonable knowledge of the approach, it will be of great interest.

View all my reviews

Monday, 9 March 2015


Radical Integrity: The Story of Dietrich BonhoefferRadical Integrity: The Story of Dietrich Bonhoeffer by Michael Van Dyke
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

BOOK DESCRIPTION: You’ll be inspired by this story of a German pastor and theologian who gave his life to oppose Adolf Hitler and his Nazi regime. Born into a prominent German family, Dietrich Bonhoeffer died in a Nazi prison camp, hanged for his plot against the man who’d plunged the world into war. Find out what made Dietrich Bonhoeffer the man he was—compassionate minister, brilliant thinker, opponent of the heresies of Nazism and Aryan superiority. This easy-to-read biography details both Bonhoeffer’s life and his powerful theology—of “cheap” versus “costly” grace.

MY REVIEW: Dietrich Bonhoeffer is one of my heroes. Perhaps most famously known as a man of deep Christian faith involved in a plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler, he is also well known for the letters he wrote from prison until he was finally hung for his alleged role in undermining the Nazi regime. Van Dyke's book is brief and to the point mostly in a style of a novel. It's a great introduction to the man, his thought, his faith and his commitments that ended in his death. He left a great legacy worthy of consideration by anyone. An inspirational read.

View all my reviews