Book Review: The Guise of Another, by Allen Eskens

The Guise of Another is the second novel by Allen Eskens. I am just going to come right out of the gate to announce that I hope this novel is obtained for the action thriller movie. Just make sure that Matt Damon is not chosen to play Detective Alexander Rupert.

The Guise of AnotherIf you read, The Life We Bury, by Allen Eskens (if you haven’t you should – see my review The Life We Bury), police detective, Max Rupert is the older broker of detective, Alexander Rupert. The story as in the previous novel is set in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Little brother, Alex is trying to salvage his police career on the suspicion of police corruption while seeing the opportunity to rehabilitate his reputation in solving a case of identity theft.

Crime Mystery ripe for a movie thriller

The story is perfect for an action thriller movie with all the elements of a crime mystery involving big business, international intrigue, betrayal, soured marriage, and murder. This novel is a one-sitting read with short chapters that keep you wanting more and more right up to the ending. It is everything a reader wants in a crime mystery – it is chilling, filled with suspense, and loaded with surprises.

Besides Drago Basta a fascinating character, I found the women characters to be almost as villainous as Drago in their own right.

Favorite sentences can turn into favorite movie lines

My favorite sentence in the book is, “It fascinated Drago the way that people could believe the unbelievable. He had entered her home, pointed a gun at her face, tied up in a chair, and now straddled her lap. Yet she had stopped screaming because she believed him when he said he wouldn’t hurt her.”

And another sentence, “People about to die will bargain away the world for one more breath of life. They will lie and cheat and betray their own mothers in order to live.”

Questions begging to be asked

What is the chance of not being killed if she follows his demands?

Would I lie, cheat and betray even my own mother in order to live?

A must-read book!

Allen Eskens second novel, The Guise of Another cements Allen Eskens as one of my new favorite authors. Will his third book, The Heavens May Fall make this a lasting feeling?
The Blogging Owl gives, The Guise of Another by Allen Eskens a definite 5-Hoot Rating.

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Available on Amazon

Available at Barnes & Noble Bookstore


Book Review: Safe from the Sea, by Peter Geye

I was between books for about 15 minutes and I was desperately searching for a book in my personal library that I had not yet read. Nothing was appealing to me so off to the local Barnes Noble bookstore, I dashed to quickly find a new author.

When I arrived, I asked the sales associate for their list of new authors. With a dazed look, he said they didn’t have one, but pointed me to a section and one new author he had recently had read exclaiming it was excellent. I quickly reviewed the back cover and put it back as quickly as I had picked it up.

I knew better.

Safe from the SeaWhipping out my trusty iPhone and Googled first time authors, and lo and behold, what popped up? Barnes and Noble’s list of new authors. A few rows over on an endcap was the book from the new author list, Safe from the Sea by Peter Geye.

My attraction to the book.

Anything about the sea captivates my attention since I was a little girl and my love of the Great Lakes. I read the short paragraph about the author of the back cover and discovered a Michigan connection (Peter Geye received is PhD from Western Michigan University) and this was his first novel. I was intrigued by the brief description of the author and the story.

Perfect!  In and out of the bookstore in 15 minutes.

This cannot be a first novel!

The story of a son returning to his home in Minnesota to reconnect with this dying father after years of estrangement since marrying his wife is so beautifully written, I cannot believe this is his first novel.

The author’s ability to see his characters as people we may know in our own lives and to feel the same feelings as these characters is remarkable. If you have never literally been to Minnesota in the bitter cold, you don’t have to now because the author knows how to transport you there in his words.

“Against the dramatic Northern Minnesota lakeshore, a son and his father reconnect thirty-five years after the father has survived the tragic wreck of a Great Lakes boat.”

This story had me thinking of my own difficult family relationships from my relationship with my own father to my in-laws. In doing so, I found myself thrust into this story asking myself the same questions as Noah and his sister, Solveig. I even could relate to Noah’s annoyance with this wife, Natalie in the beginning of the story and then found myself identifying with her by the end of the story. I found myself sobbing as Noah’s father, Olaf finishes telling his story to Noah. Such excellent writing for this to be a first novel.

Five enthusiastic hoots!

I am following author, Peter Geye on Twitter as I anxiously await his second novel. I highly recommend his first novel, Safe from the Sea and The Blogging Owl enthusiastically gives it a 5-Hoot Rating.

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Amazon:  Safe from the Sea by Peter Geye

Barnes and Noble: Safe from the Sea by Peter Geye

Exercising 80’s Style – post 1

The good old days

Back in the early 1980’s, my friend, Mary and I, who were both single at the time would go to the local recreation center in Ann Arbor and take exercise classes. Our favorite instructor was Tomas. Not only did he have great workouts to the best R&B and Pop music at that time, he was a HOOT! After class, we would always go out to eat and drink beer. So much for the benefits of exercising, but we were both young and thin.

Tragically, Tomas passed away at an early age and his form of exercise class, similar to Jane Fonda’s workout of 1982 has gone the way of pumping iron at fitness centers, hot yoga, and Zumba. And quite frankly, I don’t want to join a fitness center. The classes I would like to attend are usually at times that are inconvenient for my schedule.

Over the years, I have also had a few personal trainers. They either killed me to where I couldn’t walk for days or were too kind, and I didn’t feel like I had worked out at all.

So what else?

A girlfriend and I signed up for a foot golf league. I thought it would be fun – flashbacks of kickball in elementary. Heck, yea! I’m on board! Unfortunately, the league was canceled due to lack of interest. So we have made a pact to go foot golfing when both our schedules allow.

Vinny Sal goes golfing every Sunday night. He is always begging me to go golfing, but that is not exercise. At least it isn’t the exercise I need to shed weight and get into better shape.

Walking the dogs

I like walking the dogs, or should I say they often walk me. Penny wants to run and Barkley wants to sniff and pizzle on everything. It’s not the best workout. If I walk without them, they meet me at the door.

“You went for a walk without us??”

Too much guilt, I can’t take it.

I do have a nice treadmill, and it’s nice for the winter time but not for Michigan summers. In Michigan, summer is fleeting and unless there are thunder and lightning, I am at a beach whenever possible usually with a book in my hands. Swimming is exercise but like I said, summer is fleeting in Michigan.

Back to the good old days

Over the winter months, I remembered seeing on one of the off cable channels on an infomercial or something that Jane Fonda had updated her workout from VHS to a DVD format.

Woo hoo! I thought.

Where would we be today without Google and Amazon?


There she was – Jane Fonda in all of her 1980’s big hair, leotard, and leg warmer glory!

“Her aerobics video “Jane Fonda’s Workout” sold 17 million copies, making it the best-selling home video ever and her an icon of this form of exercises (1982),” cites

I purchased her five DVD workout collection from Amazon, and two days later….. the DVDs arrived!

I sat (yes, I sat) and watched the entire original workout DVD. Jane and her class, all thin as a pencil with their leotards, leg warmers, and headbands!  What a HOOT!

Jane never broke a sweat while tossing her brunette, curly mane. She alluringly gazed into the camera giving commands and counting…. 1, 2, 3, 4…

The beginner’s workout

Tomorrow, I begin a total body aerobic, strength, and flexibility workout.  Unfortunately, the only thing that still fits is the headband.  No leotards or leg warmers, but who cares!

I’ll be working it out with Jane!