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Posts Tagged ‘psychopaths’

bone_tree_cvr

Ah yes, another one of those books that “whispered” to me. A cry for help, or perhaps the need to get out more? Oui? Non? Time will tell. This is my first book by Greg Iles and an 800-plus page to boot at that. Yes, quite the risk of my time … which turned out quite well (thank goodness … I’d hate to add this bloke to the list authors that owe me the life of their firstborn for my time wasted on their books). Well, enough of the bollocks, and let’s start with the bleedy book review. Shall we?

It starts with the murder of an Afro-American nurse, named Viola, in Louisiana. A murder that turns Dr. Tom cage into a fugitive and creates a rift with his son, Penn. Penn Cage, on the other hand, has a pile of steaming bollocks to deal with: he has started a war with a KKK fringe group called the Double Eagles. Penn’s fiancée, Caitlin Masters (yeah, I know thanks to a certain reality star that name creates a lot of neural twitching) is a journalist (that is probably part bloodhound) is on the scent of one of the biggest stories, of her career where Tom Cage is key to it all. In the center of it all, is the Bone Tree (hence the title of the book), a legendary killing site, somewhere amidst the tons of roving marshes and bayous, that was used to by the Double Eagles to conceal more than the remains of the forgotten. And just when you think it couldn’t get any worse we get to encounter the Knox clan. An A-class racist, misogynistic, psychopathic clan that literally has this stuff interwoven into their DNA and has ties to (no surprise here) the Double Eagles. The murderous ringmaster that leads this mayhem is a crafty, vicious little bugger named Forrest Knox, that is beguiling and calculating as serpent, and exceedingly vicious with probably just as equal a venomous bite to match. He also owns a “hunting lodge” that has been known to provide its members with occasional carnal delights from the local trough and the opportunity to hunt a bit more (allegedly) than exotic animals (hint: the ones that walk on two legs). And somewhere in there, is a connection to the JFK assassination, which dominates the book and Iles does a fascinating job on this that debunks the grassy knoll bollocks and offers another interesting possibility. And yes this is a linked with the Double Eagles.
Bone Tree waste little effort in grabbing readers by the throat and keep them riveted. The book reads like one big Machiavellian chess board, except some of the pieces aren’t really what they may seem and there is a lot of blood. Blood that flows hot and thick like humidity in Louisiana during hurricane season. Vendettas, revenge and murder are exacted with the stealthy and calculating viciousness of pissed off, silent, slithering water moccasin (on steroids). And this is not even half-way through the book. It is the South like you’ve never seen or read it. None of that hat-tipping, curtsying, mint dew lip drinking bollocks. Oh no, no, NO. And if you’re expecting happy endings … well … it is all merely perspective. Huh, you ask? Aye. There are little conflicts both internal and external. There are different quests: the quest for truth, the quest for revenge, the quest for power. And all paths converge on the enigmatic Bone Tree.
Iles uses a hybrid format, which apparently, is becoming rather common in most novels: first person narratives (Penn Cage) combined with third person narratives (everyone else). And at first it may throw folks off … for about a few chapters … but it is only matter of time before you find yourself wrapped up in the story and binge-reading your way through bodily functions, feeding times and possibly sensible sleeping hours. Caution to most readers: don’t become attached to characters. Trust me. You will love me for this. Or not.The good news is that this is part of a … (wait for it) … TRILOGY. The really good news is that this is the second book, and now I’ve got to go read the first book (bloody hell, what’s a bloke to do … decisions, decisions).

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liars

Running title: The Body Language of Liars – From Little White Lies To Pathological Deception.

I know we’re more than half way through the month of January, but since this is my first posting for the year. Happy (very belated) New Year. I missed you all. Well that’s out of the way. Let’s move on … shall we?
Something about me: I am a fan of behavioural sciences. The wonderful world of psychology. It is a powerful tool, something I learned as teen in high school (in my former country) when dealing with bullies. No, there was no time out and other such bollocks when dealing with bullies. And forget about even “talking” things out. For the most it only enraged bullies. So the best way, for me, to deal with these wanks was with fists and getting inside their heads. Most of the times fists did the talking, though I can honestly say that I have had my share of defeats and bruises, but there was always that occasion where I felt the need to psychoanalyze the poor bastard and mentally deconstruct them in front of his entourage. Sure I was probably no where close on profiling the poor sod, but when it was spoken with confidence and authority, you could see the mental shakeups happening amongst the entourage … and yes, gave me quite a bit of glee. Evil genius … hardly … but close enough.
Alas I have, once again, detoured and bared a bit of my soul to you poor unsuspecting reader. I do apologize, however, if this did give you a bit of glee then I say … carry on.
Now we have all, at some time in our lives, been lied to or deceived. Happens to the best of us. Whether it was that girl that told you, at high school graduation, that she needed to “focus on her studies and didn’t have time for a relationship” only to run off with your swim team buddy that was stupid enough to confess to you that he was now dating her. Or maybe it is that bloke, on the corner, that is begging for a few bucks to buy formula for his “child”. Or the library patron that is always bringing back items late and spins more yarns than an acre of looms in order to avoid paying their fines. Yes, we’ve all dealt lies and deception in one form or the other. Little white lies, big dark malevolent lies, and even saucy lies. Working in a public library, I deal with lies on a regular basis and with an alarming frequency that I would dare not quantify. And sadly, over the years I’ve become quite good at reading people. Truth is … living in NYC most people develop a very tuned crap and BS detector. Working with the public, in an environment such as library, over the years merely tunes that detector to scary levels. I’m talking near-Sherlockian levels. Lillian Glass is well-known among many in the news media and is often used as a consultant in analyzing the body language of celebrities that are outright lying about some misdeed or in denial about some aspect of their lives. The Body Language Of Liars, is a no-frills, straight-forward book that basically spells out in layman terms, with a clinical terms in measurable tolerances, how most people can protect themselves against various forms of deception out there (catfishing, identity theft, murder, etc.). To illustrate her theory, there are pictures of famous liars(OJ Simpson, Lindsay “gasp” Lohan, Lance Armstrong, etc.) caught in their various liar poses. The good news, is that as most read this book some of the detection methods described will be vary familiar, especially if you have kids. Others are not so subtle, but as you read about them, you’ll find your mind switching back to some instance in your life when you may have observed this but you were too caught up in whatever to even realize that you were being deceived. Had I read this book fifteen years ago, it would have made Cinderella’s “Don’t Know What You Got” and Bruce Hornsby “Mandolin Rain” a little less sadder for me. Yeah, I missed the prom … short, sad story. Let’s move along, nothing to look at there. There are tons shady bollocks out there and even those at the most elementary level of life are not isolated from these things. Body Language is a quick read, but very informative and is probably something you’d want to include in those Stranger-Danger talks. Lillian Glass isn’t too clinical and when she does it is measured and in tolerant doses. Translation: you don’t have to be a lover of psychology to really, truly appreciate this book, and for the most it will be a sobering eye-opener. Possibly one of the few books that you should have on your shelf as personal reference that would probably save you from a world of hurt … or even worse. Six words, mates: Mandolin Rain on a rainy day.

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