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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Corporate Retreats - AIG Comes to Mind

When I think about all the ways the corporate elite collect the many perks of their position, it is mind-boggling. Sure, GM finally agreed to cut back on two of their corporate jets after all the bad PR at the first auto bailout hearings. Then we learn that they have five more that they were planning to continue using. Then their is the myth of the $1 annual salary - meaningless given 5 to 30 million in stock benefits.

I remember the first story out after the big AIG bailout -- that AIG would continue with plans for a lavish executive level retreat in California including massage and spa treatment and a lot more. Again, after the publicity, they changed the location to something less plush. I wonder.

So I am looking forward to reading Power Play by Joe Finder this month. I understand the gist of the plot is that high level executives from Hammond Aeronautics go to an off-site retreat in a secluded house in the woods. Cut off from normal business communication links, they suddenly find themselves under siege from unknown terrorists.

Truly a thriller for a day in which corporate ethics - if they ever existed - are blurred by the pressures of competition and internal political positioning. Finder has written several other books that focus on this theme, including Paranoia.

Not only am I looking forward to reading the book for our Mystery Book Club, but I am looking forward to discussing the book with the author, Joe Finder, live at our Mystery Book Club meeting on January 30!! Awesome!!

Manchester Public Library, 15 Union Street, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts, USA\
Friday January 30, 10:30 am (to discuss the book)
11:30 am to meet the author if you did not come for the book discussion

Tell No One - Great Film based on Coben's Book

Our Mystery Book Club had a great discussion in the end of October concerning Harlan Coben's book, Hold Tight.

During the discussion I mentioned the film that came out in USA theaters in July based on his 2002 novel, Tell No One. I read the book several years back. It was a strong, well written, gripping thriller. The story centers on Dr. David Beck, a New York pediatrician whose wife was murdered eight years before. Now there is an email that purports to come from her and it ends with, "Tell no one."

I saw the movie last July when it came out - the only movie I saw in 2008. I have to say that it captured the mood, the characters, and the plot of the book extremely well. What makes the film adaptation of Tell No One so amazing is that it was produced in France, it is in the French language, and the setting is changed to France. There is a minor plot change to make the story believable in a French setting. Other than that, it is accurate to the book.

The film will be out in DVD format on March 9, 2009.

See the film trailer by clicking here.

To me, the fact that the film was so well done is nothing short of amazing. It is way beyond the norm of mystery books rewritten for the silver screen. Among the many terrible mystery book adaptations for film was "V. I Warshawski" - particularly annoying to me because I love Paretsky's character.

Yeah - Still reading mystery books

I realize I have not been posting and I am truly repentant - well, sorry anyway. But I have been reading plenty of mysteries, nevertheless. Of course each month I have read our book club (MBC) selection. You can see my score (out of 100) listed. Here is what I have been reading:

December 2008
->Sara Paretsky, Indemnity Only (MBC Selection - My Score = 88 The book club members average score was decidedly lower than mine.)
->John Sandford, Dark of the Moon

November, 2008
->John C. Mortimer, Rumpole & the Penge Bungalow Murders (MBC Selection - My Score = 45 The book club members score was decidedly higher than mine)

October, 2008
->Harlan Coben, Hold Tight (MBC Selection - My Score = 95)
->Harlan Coben, The Inncoent, Deal Breaker
->David Morrell, Extreme Denial, Testament NOTE: I gotta read more of Morrell's books.

September, 2008
->Steve Martini, Undue Influence (MBC Selection - My Score = 93)
->Steve Martini, Shadow of Power [I'm a big Paul Madriani character fan but this book was the weakest in the series in my view], Compelling Evidence, (first in the series and good)

August, 2008
->Ed McBain, Fiddlers (MBC Selection - My Score = 64), Fat Ollie's Book.
->Jeffrey Deaver, The Cold Moon

July, 2008
->Richard North Patterson, Degree of Guilt (MBC Selection - My Score = 87.5)
->Elmore Leonard, Killshot

2009 POLL #2--Do Mystery Stories and Political Bias Mix? What is closest to your view?