Reading outdoors

Review: One of Each

I got two new books in this last week, and I managed to read them both. One fiction, and one non-fiction. Being sick helped with the reading, for a little silver lining in a cloud.

april 6I read book #6 in the Ongoing April series by Mackey Chandler. I have enjoyed this series from the first jewel-in-the-rough titled April. Very rough… but he’s been improving with every book, and I understand the original has been released in a new, clean edition. I haven’t had time to re-read, and I didn’t need to with this one. And What Goes Around picks up where the last book left off, with the central characters growing older and wiser. I think one of the things I really enjoy about this book, beyond the hard science he slips in without bludgeoning you with the knowledge, is the way the characters mature. April is a self-assured young lady with her fingers in many pies, one who isn’t quite sure about the deference of others, something I find endearing. Jeff is remote, as always, but his tenderness toward April is sweet. Barak is off on a deep-space adventure which provides some of the best tension in the book.

If I had to point out a flaw, it would be this: there isn’t a lot of tension. Yes, there are conflicts, but they resolve smoothly and as expected. This book reads like a long transition. I was satisfied, because I know there will be more, but I am hoping to see more conflict and better defined tension, or the series is in danger of simply becoming too comfortable to hold reader attention. Like an old married couple reading together and not really talking anymore. It’s a lovely feeling, but outside viewers are left bored and will wander off to other more exciting forms of entertainment.

crime scene photographyThe non-fiction book was brought to my attention by a facebook friend who was boasting about her son’s latest accomplishment. I was pleased to see she had parented another author (and initially somewhat confused about his age. Do all mothers make their sons sound like they may be about 12 to their friends when talking about them? It was sweet to realize that no, he was all grown up and just well-loved), but it was the title that really caught my eye.

Digital Photography for the Crime Scene Investigator by Jon Freivald addresses the specific photographic needs of those who are documenting a crime scene for evidentiary and courtroom use. It is also a basic manual on using a DSLR for those who would otherwise set the dial to ‘auto’ and shoot away. Freivald points out that this is a bad idea, and he sets out the ‘why’ very clearly, along with directions on how to use the camera as a tool in recording clearly without the need to manipulate (with potential for accusations of falsifying) the photos after they have been taken. While this is a short book, I think it is well done, being clear with the occasional bit of humor to prevent it from being terminally dry, as most of these books are. Much of the basics I already knew, but there were a great deal of good tips in the section on shooting crime scenes. I don’t know that I will need this in my coming career, but I’m glad I found this book and added it to my library. If for no other reason than having it as research when I begin to write a mystery story!

And somewhat off topic, yes, I know the photography book has a really bad cover. I think that’s de rigeur for non-fiction, and anyway, it’s the typography, the art is suitable. Sigh… my designer hat just pops onto my head without me even trying!


2 responses to “Review: One of Each”

  1. The lag time on your page has gotten so much better! I can read your posts now without having to do ironing between clicks!
    And &^%$ the $%&(*ing ironing anyway.

    1. I’m glad it has reduced for you! I am not getting any problems with it, so hopefully this will continue. And who irons? I just hang up right out of the dryer 😀