Apparently, the Canadian Defense Secretary announced the arrival of 26 Canadian SF troops in Iraq which might bring their total to around 100 SF soldiers.
And tertiary media is claiming that ISIS is an hour away from Baghdad. That could mean anything...but it certainly is not good news.
Last, the FT has a decent write up of the US's "race against time" to get the Iraqis back on their feet and fighting.
The following book review is a special for BlackFive readers provided by Elise Cooper. You can read all of our book reviews by clicking on the Books category link on the right side bar.
Notorious and Dead Heat by New York Times bestselling author Allison Brennan are captivating thrillers. While Notorious is the first novel in a new series featuring investigative crime reporter Max Revere, Dead Heat brings back FBI agent Lucy Kincaid. What is an obvious theme with both novels is the determination to bring justice for the victims.
Notorious and the novella, Maximum Exposure, explores how Revere decides to dedicate her life to investigating cold cases and bring closure to the victims’ family and friends. Brennan skillfully takes the reader on a journey by exposing lies, highlighting evil, and holding people accountable for their actions. With both plots the reader will feel invested in all of the characters. The novella’s plot has Max finding the truth behind a college students’ murder in Colorado, centering around the manipulation of bullies.
After reading this people will want to jump right into the plot of Notorious where nationally renowned author, reporter, and TV host Maxine Revere decides to investigate a case from her own past. As a high school senior, one of her best friends was strangled and another, Kevin O’Neal, accused of the crime. To the disgrace of her wealthy family, Max stood by her friend, until she found out he lied about his alibi. Though his guilt was never proven, their relationship crumbled from the strain of too many secrets. Fast-forward to the current day where Max has come home to attend Kevin’s funeral (who committed suicide.). She’s finally prepared to come to terms with the loss of his friendship, but she’s not prepared for Kevin’s sister to stubbornly insist that he didn’t kill himself. Intertwined with this case is a different cold case where another murder occurred at Max’s alma mater. Max is more interested in the cold case at her alma mater than in digging around Kevin’s troubled life, but she agrees to do both. Brennan does a great job in showing how the two cases are related.
The main character, Max, is seen as headstrong, tough, blunt, smart, and independent. For her, the truth is the most important aspect in solving a crime and she will stop at nothing to get answers. Because of her past demons Max is determined to find closure and peace for the victims’ loved ones. Brennan skillfully shows what makes Max tick, the open ended questions in her own life: what happened to her mother, who is her father, and where is the killer of her college best friend? These have fueled her to make sure the cold cases she investigates have a resolution, especially since so much of her life has no answers. This makes for a very riveting and interesting read.
Brennan commented to blackfive.net, “I have a kinship with Max. I also grew up without a dad. I tracked down my father when I was eighteen and found out sometimes fantasy is better than reality. My dad told me he wished my mom had an abortion. He was definitely not the white knight I pictured, but was instead a jerk. The prep school was modeled on my alma mater. It is essentially my school. I knew people like Max and some of the other characters in the book. I used the Silicon Valley setting to have Max rich so that she would be financially independent. I was more like Kevin, not very financially rich. Whether writing about Max or my other character Lucy I put an emphasis on the bad have to be punished. The books I like to read and write seek justice and will have happy endings.”
The other series character, Lucy Kincaid, is not at all like Max. While Max is a loner Lucy is part of a team in San Antonio's Violent Crime unit. She is a survivor of a rape that has forced her at times to think of herself as a victim. The quote in Dead Heat best shows how Lucy views herself, which is a much different personality than Max, “She’d grown to depend on him, not just for comfort and sex and companionship, but to complete her. She was happier when he was around, more relaxed, safe.”
In Dead Heat the male characters, Sean and Kane Rogan are front and center in solving the crime. The plot has the brothers working closely with Lucy to find and capture the head of a vicious drug cartel who are also involved in child abduction and trafficking. With this series the male characters do the heavy lifting both intellectually and physically. While in Notorious the male leads, FBI agent Marco Lopez and police detective Nick Santini, are more of a supporting cast to Max.
Interestingly Nick, Sean, and Kane are all former US military personnel. Because Brennan feels the military is a training ground for a law enforcement career she has dedicated her characters to those people. Her respect for them can be seen by her willingness to participate in the Military Book Fair (www.militarybookfair.org) on November 8th in San Diego, California.
She noted to blackfive.net, “I am very excited about raising money to help our veterans. Many of my male characters are military background based. I have my characters going into law enforcement since about 1/3 are former military. I think it is a natural progression. I am very close to someone who I met while she was stationed in Iraq. She emailed me that after lending one of my books to someone they were transferred. While she was over there, over a period of eighteen months, I sent her a bunch of books. Her husband who also served in the military also became a fan of mine. We all became pen pals with books unifying everyone. I admire those serving and who have served for making the sacrifices to support our country.”
Whether the military related characters or her female heroines these two novels and the novella have brilliant characters with very intriguing storylines. Throughout the plots the reader understands how each character must make a moral decision, in the end deciding justice should be served. All of these stories are a perfect balance of action, suspense, and character relationships.
I sat down with former Congressman and US Army Bn. Cdr Allen West on Monday to talk about how we should confront our Islamist enemies. His ideas will not surprise you.
What is it about media people, especially the Sports Media, who have suddenly decided that the social issues of the day matter among those that listen to sports talk radio?
I know that when I tune in to Sports Talk Radio, I am there to hear about sports, and things that have to do with sports (which may cross over into the social) but I don't want to hear the host's opinions on the state of poverty, what you think about the latest Supreme Court case involving voting rights, or if you think ISIS is dangerous or not.
I have regular talk radio for that. Sports is my diversion from all that. Which brings me to another douchebag of note; Colin Cowherd of ESPN. You can go here for all of his douchetastic-ness if you want.
“We know most people that go into the military in this country — they need the military often to pay bills. That is is almost a federal safety net financially, and by the way you’ll take shots. You’ll be sent two or three times to a raging inferno in the Middle East. That stuff scares me. That stuff I’m worried about. There’s loss of life there.”
I would like to posit a theory in order to test that Colin may be right, I want to know the answer to one question about which you may have an answer.
The day started with a screening of Dinesh D'Souza's powerful movie America- Imagine the World Without Her. I spoke with Dinesh before the screening about how America is equipped to deal with an existential threat like Islamism, both abroad and also in a clash of cultures her at home. He believes that although we have been weakened by the depradations of progressive politics and multiculturalism we can still rise to the challenge.
So now, we don't have "boots on the ground" fighting in Iraq. Instead, we have "advisors" being deployed to Iraq in order to be "embedded" with Iraqi units.
So, when Steve Kroft from CBS actually finds a hardball in the bucket of questions he is lobbing at Barack the Teleprompter Reader, it is interesting to see how he qualifies and hedges his statement regarding exactly what their mission is.
Steve Kroft: You know, you’ve said no American boots on the ground. No combat troops on the ground. We’ve got 1,600 troops there.
President Obama: We do.
Steve Kroft: Some of them are going to be out, embedded with Iraqi units.
President Obama: Well, they’re in harm’s way in the sense that any time they’re in war, it’s dangerous. So I don’t want to downplay the fact that they’re in a war environment and there are hostile forces on the other side. But…
Steve Kroft: And they participated in combat operations.
President Obama: Well, there’s a difference between them advising and assisting Iraqis who are fighting versus a situation in which we got our Marines and our soldiers out there taking shots and shooting back.
As someone who has done this job, let me clear up any misconceptions that the President, or any of his camp followers have regarding what my role as an embedded trainer was; there is just as much or more combat as there is advising.
Maybe you're getting the hang of this, Mr. President.
President Barack Obama wants everyone to know "how we roll": The US always takes the lead in international crises.
...Obama was asked why the US is contributing such a significant portion of the military coalition against the jihadist group known as the Islamic State or ISIS. Obama responded by arguing that other countries were not stepping up.
"When trouble comes up anywhere in the world, they don't call Beijing, they don't call Moscow. They call us. That's the deal," he quipped....
"That's always the case. That's always the case. America leads. We are the indispensable nation," he said. "We have capacity no one else has. Our military is the best in the history of the world."
Your people should reach out to us. We can help you with this one. After all, a lot of us are the ones who did it last time. We're the ones who know the right people by name, and have sat on their couches and eaten oranges or drunk boiled coffee.
Apparently he wanted to do this at the D-Day Memorial but was unable to gain entry. Instead, with his dad, he went to Omaha Beach. The story can be found here. Project Vigil
Bumping. This is Saturday with what looks to be a good lineup of music and more, and the proceeds go to benefit a good cause. Stop by and say hi if you make it!
Spreading the word on this, as Mission: VALOR will be there in support of this cause. Note that Madison Rising is also going to be there, along with a number of other good groups and interesting speakers. Come on by, sit a spell at our table, and enjoy what promises to be an amazing time.