Moonlight Mile by Dennis Lehane read by Jonathan Davis (with a limping Boston accent)

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First create a pattern. A pattern creates an expectation. Then, disappoint the expectation.  So Lehane gives us a prostitute who turns into a decoy who turns into a very pretty woman who wants to take her detective-investigator boss to a hotel room, and does. But  she is his wife.

Lehane’s title is from a Rolling Stones song, and his investigator is aging. He does piecemeal work for a 100 year old security firm that doesn’t advertise and into which he doesn’t fit. The investigator has a chip on his shoulder called   class struggle.

The investigator used to be bad and rich; now  he and his wife are good, but in debt. They miss being bad. They have a daughter.

6/1:23  “After my daughter was born I considered buying a shotgun to ward off suitors 14 years or so up the road. Now a I listen to these girls babble and imagined Gabby one day talking with the same banality and ignorance of the English language I considered buying a shot gun to blow my own fuckin head off.”

The Bull Hunter by Dan Denning

Within the first minute and 34 seconds you know you are going to understand this book because Denning quotes James Dyson:

“Of the world’s ten largest corporations by revenue, 9 make big, heavy things, like cars.”

This is easy to follow, sensible stuff – and just the kind of obviousness that industrial strength money market manuals pass over.

Give him time, and Denning will explain a lot of “obvious” things. For example, that you can’t automatically grow rich by buying stocks. Or that you can’t automatically stay rich by being an American. Or that just because you live in America doesn’t mean you can’t invest in anything but fictional (paper) assets. Or that a bear is called a bear because once upon a time when traders were also hunters, bear skin jobbers sold skins from bears they had not yet caught. By entering into these early futures contracts, the hunters were guaranteed a fixed price. By “selling short” they lost out on the possibility of getting a higher price for their bear skins in the future. The practice came to describe those who sold short on a stock or commodity.

In fact, within the first 13 minutes, the ‘obvious’ no longer is.

Home ownership, Denning writes in 2005, is “the new serfdom” and paints a picture of a housing bubble where no equity is built and no real ownership is achieved. Combine falling home prices with increases in monthly payments AND a flat income, writes Denning, and you get trouble. In other words, you get 2008.

The Bull Hunter