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Basketball, Books, Reviews, Sports

Back To The Books

05.30.06 | Comment?

After not reading much for the past couple of months, I read three books over the memorial day weekend:

Nicotine Kiss, Loren Estelman. This is Estelman’s newest Amos Walker novel. It’s a pretty typical outing – Walker’s on the lookout for a deadbeat husband when he runs into an old friend in a bar. The husband turns up not long after, and plugs Walker and then himself. Complications ensue. I felt that this series peaked in A SMILE ON THE FACE OF THE TIGER and has been going downhill since, with the notable exception of RETRO. This book isn’t bad, it’s just sort of… typical. I feel kind of bad saying that, because I’ve found his books to be reliably entertaining in the past.

Petrella At Q, Michael Gilbert. Q Division is a fictional district of the London Metropolitan Police, with Patrick Petrella as its Detective Inspector (i.e., chief of detectives). The short stories in this collection are police procedurals, and pretty nifty ones, at that. I have enjoyed Gilbert’s “Mr. Behrens and Mr. Calder” spy stories in the past – I may need to pick up a copy of that collection, GAME WITHOUT RULES.

Assassins Have Starry Eyes, Donald Hamilton. This was probably the best of the three, and ended up as a dry run for Hamilton’s Matt Helm series, the first of which was published four years later (1960). The hero of this book is Jim Gregory, essentially Helm with a PhD and without the espionage background. Pretty snappy story – it definitely moves right along.

Mavericks Update. I have a theory that coach Avery Johnson plays possum in the first game of a series. He doesn’t play to lose, exactly – he just doesn’t show all his cards. As a result the Mavericks have played better as each round has progressed, and that’s been true agains the Suns as well.

The Mavs have done a good job of defending Phoenix’s pick-and-roll, mostly by switching on every pick, which can leave Dirk Nowitzki guarding Steve Nash or Jason Terry guarding Boris Diaw. If the Suns had Amare Stoudamire available, there’s no way Dallas could get away with this – he absolutely murders them, every time – but without him they don’t have anyone who scares the Mavs in close.

Speaking of Stoudamire, I hope he’s able to make a full recovery. He has such great potential, it would be a shame if he flamed out after only a couple of years.

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