ORIGIN & CAUSE by Shelly Reuben

Let’s just say that murders happened in the middle of other things: a cop,  a lawyer, a fire investigator get up, they fight with their wives, they eat. Sometimes they think. The law is something they think about.  How it came to be what it is, where it came from, when it changed.  If you have a father who reads, who respects the history of things, who loves the Law, you think about what a lawyer should be, what the law should be, what an institution like the law allows human beings to be.

In Europe, rich people sometimes keep a modest apartment in a poor or marginal area of their city. They call it their “pied a terre”. Translated, this means “foot on the ground”. It is said that their purpose in maintaining these small apartments is to remind them of their roots and to keep them in touch with reality. And that’s exactly why I always keep my copy of Letters To A Young Lawyer in my briefcase. The words within, the philosophy, Harris’  love of simplicity and reverence for the law, this is my psychological pied a terre.

Sandra Nichols Found Dead by George Higgins::George Guidall

When a lawyer and a cop reconstruct the life of a pretty, jolly slut they recover hundreds of small, dishonourable wrongs, shameful and unpretty. Sandra Nichols loved to fuck, and she liked men, and she married them. And then she left them, and started again.

Her children are a sad disarray of nervous and neurotic plaintiffs in Kyle v Wade, the wrongful death case they bring against Sandra’s last husband. Peter Wade, who wasn’t meant for Williams College, nor perhaps for this planet, would not stand trial for the murder of Sandra Nichols. Instead, Peter would be compelled to give these demented children all the money he will have had to give Sandra, if he’d divorced her, according to the prenuptual agreement he had signed. A pretty good hat trick for a criminal lawyer, newly versed in Chapter 229 section 2 of the Massachusetts Criminal Code and the 1972 Compensatory Wrongful Death Act.

Robin Cook Marker read by George Guidall

Robin Cook Marker read by George Guidall

Most bestselling writers, like Hollywood waiters, are really something else. Shrinks, lawyers, opthamologists. Divorced ex-cops. Sometimes a reporter. A confused priest or two. We excuse such slippery behavior when it gives us access to technical knowledge: why kill? how do cops catch criminals? what can laws do? Which health insurance?

If one listens from cover to cover, one can learn incredible things:
Never get into a car with an armed felon. When a body dies, it is flooded with potassium; so if you want to kill someone, use a potassium derivative to cover your trail. In every bureaucratic health care administration sits a bored actuary who does nothing but dream up new ways to reduce insurance risks, to wit: eliminate individuals who are genetically marked to live long and die sick.

Cook does his “forensic pathologists have more fun” routine. It’s a good routine. But, god help us, its not technical enough. We want more long, unpronounceable medical terms. More ugly medically-specific showmanship and one-upsmanship. More perverse occupational fetishes. The rumors, the gossip, the news: what do forensic pathologists talk about, think, eat? What color lipstick do they wear? Where do they buy their CO2? their shoes? their condoms? How about those space suits? The reason Patricia Cornwall is so good is that she skulls the profession, shows us its brain, and makes it bleed. Robin Cook surveys the hospital as an institution, its political posture and position and positioning, its players, its life-cycle, its economics. At a distance. After all, he’s doing something else.

“What’s reasonable and what isn’t has little to do with decisions about health care in this country…. By a strange twist of fate, managed care companies and malpractice plaintiff attorneys suddenly found themselves in the same bed in their desire to keep any malpractice reform legislation from happening… Managed care companies didn’t want things changed so that they could be sued and the malpractice attorneys didn’t want changes that would cap pain and suffering awards or eliminate contingency fees… “

Archives: July 2004

Fri Jul 30, 2004
The Last Juror. Written by John Grisham

2004/04/13 @ 00:23:44 [ no comment – Edit – Delete ]
The Last Juror by John Grisham by audio qua audio (audio qua audio), in Now hearing
Miss Callie is Clinton’s first black juror, the mother of 7 PhDs, a huge, prodigious cook and a friend of the mild-mannered Grishamesque newspaper publisher who narrates this cut of Mississippi history.
Posted by: admin on Jul 30, 04 | 4:33 am | Profile

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The Great Divide. Read by Buck Schirner. Written by Bunn Davis

2004/04/19 @ 12:24:10 [ no comment – Edit – Delete ]
by audio qua audio (audio qua audio), in Editor’s Pick
Brilliance Corporation, 2000.

Unusually compelling tale of a mournful, failed, lawyer who has lost his family and is taken in by a neighborhood. . . A couple summon him to find their politico daughter, who may very well have been kidnapped by the Chinese affiliate of a big, bad, American multinational. Trusted by these parents to save a child, the lawyer who could not save his own is determined to succeed….

Posted by: admin on Jul 30, 04 | 4:32 am | Profile

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Double Image. Read by David Birney. Written by David Morrell

2004/04/27 @ 16:29:50 [ no comment – Edit – Delete ]
by audio qua audio (audio qua audio), in New
Performed by David Birney. 1998 Dove Audio

Deception. Simulation. Misrepresentation. Sexual Sorcery. The classic, irresistable, inaccessible 1930s female seductress, surfaces from the past and does it again…..

Posted by: admin on Jul 30, 04 | 4:30 am | Profile

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These High Green Hills. Written by Jan Karon

2004/04/13 @ 00:07:16 [ no comment – Edit – Delete ]
These High Green Hills by Jan Karon by audio qua audio (audio qua audio), in Weekly Recommendation
Luscious, lavishly heartwarming, unabashedly funny story of Episcopalian rector with new wife making the daily life of a small town a little holier, a little closer to God, a little more miraculous.

Posted by: on Jul 30, 04 | 4:29 am | Profile

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Die Dancing. Written by Jonathan Gash.

2004/05/01 @ 12:50:24 [ no comment – Edit – Delete ]
Jonathan Gash Die Dancing by audio qua audio (audio qua audio), in Weekly Recommendation
Remarkable how cruel the truth about a woman, about women can be… All it takes is an account of how women think about men, how women deceive themselves about men, how women consistently misrepresent, misrecognize, the situation of being with a man.

This is a huge book, a book that should sit next to a series of psychoanalytic works about women, self deception, and the problematic of the couple (ie Deleuze, Difference et Repetition)

Posted by: admin on Jul 30, 04 | 4:28 am | Profile

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The Last Dance. Read by Ed Mcbain. Written by Ed McBain.

2004/05/21 @ 13:48:25 [ no comment – Edit – Delete ]
Ed Mcbain The Last Dance by audio qua audio (audio qua audio), in Editor’s Pick
Hearing Ed Mcbain reading Ed Mcbain. The Last Dance.

Somewhere in between your father and Woody Allen comes the thick angry Brooklyn voice of Ed McBain. Incredible. After years of reading this Hemingway of police procedure, (Rain banged on the roof of the car, rain drilled Carella’s head as he fumbled the key into the lock on the driver’s side, rain smashed his eyes, rain soaked the shoulders of his coat and plastered his hair onto his forehead…) with his hand scrawled police reports and his fictional city of Isola and his deaf beautiful wives … comes another Brooklyn Jew!

So when Detective Carella finally opens the door of the car and they start “idly talking” “about de trouble Meya was having with his brother-in-law who neva had liked Meya and who kept tryin to sell him additional life insurance becuz he was in such a dangerous occupation…. ” its funny. Now, it may not read funny because you can’t hear the way this guy spits out these words, like he’s got a bit of gefilte fish stuck in his throat and he hates gefilte fish and he especially hates his mother’s gefilte fish that he has to eat every Friday night for the rest of his life.

Eating and talking are two very important activities in the life of a cop and especially the life of Ollie, who is especially fat, and especially angry. “What brings you up here?” he asks. “The murder yesterday,” Carella said. “What murder?” Here in Zimbabwe West, as he often referred to his beloved 88th Precinct, there were murders every day of the week, every hour of the day.

Posted by: admin on Jul 30, 04 | 4:26 am | Profile

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A Season for Murder. Read by Judith Boyd. Written by A. Granger

2004/05/27 @ 23:53:16 [ no comment – Edit – Delete ]
by audio qua audio (audio qua audio), in Now hearing
A Season for Murder: A Mitchell & Markby mystery by Ann Granger. Performed by Judith Boyd. Cliper Audio. CD c.2000

Meredith [Mitchell] is a witness. A pretty, youngish, positioned, opinionated, fickle, insecure twit who is, for no apparent reason, coupled with the decent, honest, competent, and divorced Chief Inspector Markby.

Murder after murder, Meredith pushes and nudges and buzzes about Markby, who, annoyed, horny, and hormonally bothered, wants to fuck Meredith, and all that that implies.

The murder is solved, through the series of contacts between M and M, through short bursts of frustrated sexuality, local sensibility, and superficial logic.

The couple survives, belligerently, peckishly, senselessly: the cop and the witness, the witness and the cop.

Posted by: admin on Jul 30, 04 | 4:24 am | Profile

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The Stonebreakers. Read by Steve Crossley. Written by Philip Hook

2004/06/22 @ 14:00:51 [ no comment – Edit – Delete ]
The Stonebreakers ready by Steven Crossley by audio qua audio (audio qua audio), in Now hearing
Author: Philip Hook. Clipper Audio, 1999. WF Howest LTD. Unabridged CD.

A remarkable, well crafted work with an undercurrent of Le Carre, revolving around a painting destroyed, or presumed destroyed in Dresdens’ fires. The rather dry regularity of the life of an unspectacular art dealer is broken up. In its stead come the whispers and violences of an old and long dead cold war ….

Posted by: admin on Jul 30, 04 | 4:19 am | Profile

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Fri Jul 23, 2004
Perri O’Shaughnessy

Limping along after a series of court case transcripts passing as novels are a string of stories written by lawyers, ex-lawyers, and legal applications ….

Here’s one of them. It could have been a story about a female lawyer with an obnoxious son and her love-hungry private investigator, unable to turn an unwritten casual agreement into a contract.

In other words, the new American woman’s stubborn insistence on the primacy of work, her mistrust of the social image of wife, the social position of husband, and –for the sake of audience sympathy — herself.

Imagine Robert Crais’s detective stories told by the female lawyer. Erase the humor. The subtle intelligence. Throw in a pissy bitch of a mother-lawyer, an aggressive, sexually frustrated dick in waiting, and disc after disc of useless, boring, repetitive court transcripts….
Posted by: admin on Jul 23, 04 | 10:35 am | Profile

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Dick Francis: The Handicap

Flying finish [sound recording] /
by Francis, Dick.
Recorded Books,
p1996.06/13/2004 07/12/2004

Wild horses [sound recording] /
by Francis, Dick.
Recorded Books,
p1995.06/21/2004 07/19/2004

Straight [sound recording] /
by Francis, Dick.
Recorded Books,
p1994.06/21/2004 07/19/2004

To the hilt [sound recording] /
by Francis, Dick.
Recorded Books,
p1997, c1996.06/25/2004 07/23/2004

Risk [sound recording] /
by Francis, Dick.
Recorded Books,
p1995.06/25/2004 07/23/2004

Bolt [sound recording] /
by Francis, Dick.
Recorded Books,
p1999.06/25/2004 07/23/2004

Smokescreen [sound recording] /
by Francis, Dick.
Harper & Row : Media Books,
p1990.07/01/2004 07/29/2004

Proof [sound recording] /
by Francis, Dick.
Chivers Audio Books ; Chivers North America,
p1993.
Posted by: admin on Jul 23, 04 | 2:07 am | Profile

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Reviews: March-July 2004

2004/06/22 @ 14:04:49 [ no comment – Edit – Delete ]
Russell Andrews Aphrodite by audio qua audio (audio qua audio), in Now hearing
Brilliance Audio. Read by Buck Schirner. Copyrite 2004. 8 cassettes.

What begins as an inglorious death in a small long island town ends in the revelation of a huge and scandalous experiment in genetic calculation and manipulation

2004/06/22 @ 14:00:51 [ no comment – Edit – Delete ]
The Stonebreakers ready by Steven Crossley by audio qua audio (audio qua audio), in Now hearing
Author: Philip Hook. Clipper Audio, 1999. WF Howest LTD. Unabridged CD.

A remarkable, well crafted work with an undercurrent of Le Carre, revolving around a painting destroyed, or presumed destroyed in Dresdens’ fires. The rather dry regularity of the life of an unspectacular art dealer is broken up. In its stead come the whispers and violences of an and old and long dead cold war ….

2004/06/22 @ 13:47:14 [ no comment – Edit – Delete ]
Black Maps read by David Aaron Baker by audio qua audio (audio qua audio), in Now hearing
Author: Peter Spiegelman

An in house look at the deterioration of the financial world and its morally desolate characters…

2004/05/19 @ 09:44:32 [ no comment – Edit – Delete ]
Still Life with Crows by audio qua audio (audio qua audio), in New

2004/05/19 @ 09:43:38 [ no comment – Edit – Delete ]
John Burdett by audio qua audio (audio qua audio), in Now hearing
bangkok; humorous mother/whore-son/cop chatter, esp. dialogue about the investment potential of Viagra in re. brothel industry….

2004/05/01 @ 12:50:24 [ no comment – Edit – Delete ]
Jonathan Gash Die Dancing by audio qua audio (audio qua audio), in Weekly Recommendation
Remarkable how cruel the truth about a woman, about women can be… All it takes is an account of how women think about men, how women deceive themselves about men, how women consistently misrepresent, misrecognize, the situation of being with a man.

This is a huge book, a book that should sit next to a series of psychoanalytic works about women, self deception, and the problematic of the couple (ie Deleuze, Difference et Repetition)

2004/05/01 @ 12:15:43 [ 2 comments – Edit – Delete ]
Dead at Daybreak by Deon Meyer by audio qua audio (audio qua audio), in Weekly Recommendation
Read by Saul Reichlin
Shocking, exhilarating, spellbinding narrative of a South African ex-cop (murder and robbery)…his inner life, his fall into faithlessness and his resurrection in the shadow of his mother’s grace….

…I have read almost nothing of the day to day life of this emotional ogre of history, this political and military shadow academy of a continent… Here, in this piercing narration of Saul Reichlin, are new sounds — the sounds men and women make when they speak to each other in this other part of the world, this very very different part of the world…. all these, heard once, make one hunger for more….more mundanity, more history, more language….

Remarkable, this sudden hunger for afrikaaner voices . . .But of course, as it turns out Dean Meyer is no unknown… Here is a summary of the public tribute to Meyer: His four Afrikaans novels have been translated into English, French, German, Dutch, Italian, Czech and Bulgarian, has won the French Le Grand Prix de Littérature Policière, the ATKV Literary prize (twice) and has been shortlisted for the Sunday Times Fiction Award and M-Net Literary Award. He is passionate about Mozart, motorcycles, cooking and Free State Cheetas and Springbok rugby.

There is, as well, a web site and a picture: http://www.uhambo.co.za/pg_books/index_books.html

Unfortunately, the narrator “Saul Reichlin” seems to have spoken once and only once for this battering performance….and the translator Madeline von Biljou, too, seems to have disappeared after this one work….

2004/04/27 @ 16:29:50 [ no comment – Edit – Delete ]
Double Image by David Morrell by audio qua audio (audio qua audio), in New
Performed by David Birney. 1998 Dove Audio

Deception. Simulation. Misrepresentation. Sexual Sorcery. The classic, irresistable, inaccessible 1930s female seductress, surfaces from the past and does it again…..

2004/04/19 @ 12:24:10 [ no comment – Edit – Delete ]
The great divide by Bunn Davis read by Buck Schirner by audio qua audio (audio qua audio), in Editor’s Pick
Brilliance Corporation, 2000.

Unusually compelling tale of a mournful, failed, lawyer who has lost his family and is taken in by a neighborhood. . . A couple summon him to find their politico daughter, who may very well have been kidnapped by the Chinese affiliate of a big, bad, American multinational. Trusted by these parents to save a child, the lawyer who could not save his own is determined to succeed….

2004/04/13 @ 00:23:44 [ no comment – Edit – Delete ]
The Last Juror by John Grisham by audio qua audio (audio qua audio), in Now hearing
Miss Callie is Clinton’s first black juror, the mother of 7 PhDs, a huge, prodigious cook and a friend of the mild-mannered Grishamesque newspaper publisher who narrates this cut of Mississippi history.

2004/04/13 @ 00:07:16 [ no comment – Edit – Delete ]
These High Green Hills by Jan Karon by audio qua audio (audio qua audio), in Weekly Recommendation
Luscious, lavishly heartwarming, unabashedly funny story of Episcopalian rector with new wife making the daily life of a small town a little holier, a little closer to God, a little more miraculous.

Posted by: admin on Jul 23, 04 | 1:56 am | Profile

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The Second Chair by John T. Lescroart

Fri Feb 20, 2004

Interesting how beauty and moral corruption are coupled in Lescroart’s typical female. Especially the typical female lawyer. Messaging sexuality, too rich, too smart, too independent, too competitive:: the wet dream bitch of every lawyer wearing panties underneath his three piece suit.

The black-oriental female associate working at Hardy Dismas’ law firm is in her drunk, irresponsible, promiscuous phase….

Occasionally, she gets a case. The bad little boy of a big rich father is accused of killing his girlfriend and his drama teacher….

The bitch milks daddy for money without even talking to the kid, fucks up in court, and is rescued, as are all good little bad little girls, by Dismas, saint of lockpicks and thieves. Herummph. More…
Posted by: admin on Feb 20, 04 | 9:24 pm | Profile

Read by David Colacci. Director, J.C. Howe ; Engineer, Mike Council. 10 sound cassettes (14 hrs.) : analog Unabridged Library ed. a formulaic and statistically safe legal cookie v. innocence, etc.