Dragged Across Concrete (a movie blurt)

The story is driven by main characters making decision that lead you to throw out the notion of good guys vs. bad guys. Two detectives, played by Mel Gibson and Vince Vaughn, are caught on a cellphone video arresting a drug dealer. The act of the arrest is perceived as overly aggressive by the media. As a result, they are suspended without pay for several weeks. Their unexpected furlough compounds financial concerns for Mel Gibson’s character who is forced to reconsider moving his wife — who has multiple sclerosis — and a daughter, who is being bullied – away from their rough neighborhood. His questionable plan to make ends meet somehow intersects with a smart, recently released neighborhood felon. He wants to begin living a straight life but is pulled back into crime. That’s because he is faced with having to take care of his mother, who has taken up hooking to subsist, and a wheelchair-bound younger brother, whose dream is to someday go to college and become a videogame creator.  As may be expected with any S. Craig Zahler film with such a graphic title, the movie is gritty and intense, leaving viewers to gasp just when they thought they could sit back and eat popcorn.

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From Burglar to Burger (a 50-word story)

Grady got grinded for grifting Godfather. Through guileful gimmicks, he burgled Godfather’s genuine gems gifted from His Graciousness. Granulated with ginger and grapes, Grady is now ground burger grade, ready for grilling to be served to Geppetto, Godfather’s German Shepherd. Gents and gals, gasp and grasp; learn this lesson well.

Double Entry by Don Sweeney (a book blurt)

The story immediately sets up to what will lead to a murder and a case of someone being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Toward the end, I didn’t want to put the book down because I had to know if the wrongly accused will be vindicated against the odds. This is a debut book by a lawyer who not only writes expertly on courtroom scenes, but in a very compelling way, too.  The main storyline, intriguing subplots, and R-rated sex scenes all come together into a cohesive and smooth read. Weaved in are some interesting facts about pearls, a quirky scientific cellular material, and a way to cheat using technology. Although this is the writer’s first novel, he has published a short story in a literary magazine. What’s even more inspirational to me is that several years back, the author and I were in a writing group together, along with four or five other aspiring scribes.  Today, three in our group have had at least one work published, so I am fortunate to have been in the company of talented writers.

Recommend the book to your local library. To read it immediately, go to Amazon.com:

https://www.amazon.com/Double-Entry-Donald-N-Sweeney/dp/1946731021/ref=sr_1_12?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1503930272&sr=1-12&keywords=double+entry

Blood Father (a movie blurt)

An action film with fairly developed characters and some decent dialogue. This story is about a father, played by Mel Gibson, riddled with guilt for not being there for his daughter as she was growing up because he spent most of his time in prison. Finally out of jail but on probation, he hears from his daughter, now 17 years old and who he hasn’t seen for years. She calls him out of desperation because she has nowhere else to turn for help. Living a life of petty crimes herself, the daughter gets in bigtime trouble when she gets involved in a murder and drugs, with the police and a drug cartel after her. The movie also stars Michael Parks (from the ‘60s TV series, “Then Came Bronson”) and William H. Macy.

Criminal Activities (a movie blurt)

This film has a story line that is not what it seems. A real twister about four former high school classmates reunited by attending the funeral of one of their old chums. After the funeral services, the four get together for coffee and somehow bring up a get-rich scheme that can only work if they are willing to capitalize on it together. One of the friends, played by Dan Stevens, offers to front the money, while another, played by Michael Pitt — who so happens to be in financial services — gives it the green light. The deal turns sour and they have to pay up to John Travolta’s mob character, Eddie, who gives the four friends an out if they do something for him. As the story gets better, the situation gets worse for the four.

The Watcher in the Wall by Owen Laukkanen (a book review)

This is the fifth of a book series that features FBI Agent, Carla Windermere, who earned the nickname, Super Cop, because of her arrest record, among other reasons. She’s teamed up with Kirk Stevens, a state investigator, who at one time sat in a Minneapolis precinct in the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) division. In this installment, he is now sharing an office with Carla at an FBI office based in the Twin Cities of Minnesota. Continue reading