In 2005 the French put together a crime series known over there as Engrenages. Here, on Netflix, it goes by the name Spiral, and it is Magnifique! I watched 3 seasons immediately after sending off the first half of my thesis … it was a cool-down relax period for me and this show kept me intrigued from start to finish (including waking up at 3:00 a.m. to watch the last two episodes of season three before going to work). Wonderful stuff … and here’s the cast:
Caroline Proust: Police Captain Laure Berthaud (TOUGH AS NAILS AND CAN CURSE WITH KNUCKS!). A skilled Paris criminal police officer who leads an investigation group from a territorial division (2nd DPJ), she is known for her energy and tenacity but also for her tough and sometimes borderline methods. Devoted to her work, she is very attached to her men and would do anything to protect them when they make a mistake. While she is quite successful with men, her private life is a mess and she seems unable to build a lasting relationship.
Grégory Fitoussi: Assistant Prosecutor Pierre Clément. A young magistrate (AN EXCELLENT CHARACTER; THE DO-GOODER IN A BAD WORLD) with a promising career, he believes in his profession and in the integrity of justice. But his success and his righteousness provoke the hostility of his superior, the powerful Republic Prosecutor of Paris. He is close friends with Captain Berthaud and Judge Roban but also, more surprisingly, with Joséphine Karlsson.
Philippe Duclos: Judge François Roban (JAVERT WITH A TWIST). An experienced investigating magistrate (juge d'instruction), solitary and hardworking, he knows all the tricks of his trade. Often reproached for his coldness and even cruelty with suspects and witnesses, he attaches a lot of importance to his independence from the executive powers. But he is aware that his job has nearly destroyed his life and the people he loved.
Thierry Godard: Police Lieutenant Gilles "Gilou" Escoffier (GREAT CHARACTER). Berthaud's long-time team member, they are practically family. With methods as borderline as his captain's, they often cover each other to escape disciplinary inquiries. Having difficulties enduring the toughness of his work, he has a long history of drug abuse.
Fred Bianconi: Police Lieutenant Frédéric "Tintin" Fromentin (PERFECT CHARACTER FOR THE TEAM DYNAMICS). Responsible and reasonable, good in proceedings, he is the stable element of Berthaud's group. He generally disapproves of his colleagues' methods and therefore is often torn between straying into illegality and betraying his friends.
Audrey Fleurot: Lawyer Joséphine Karlsson. A clever, beautiful (amici, she’s friggin’ GORGEOUS) and highly cynical young lawyer, she is extremely ambitious and always looking for cases that will earn her a maximum of fame and money. She finds it exciting to defend monsters and does not hesitate to cross or double-cross to get what she wants. However, her shady dealings and her hate for police eventually get her into trouble. Freckles galore!
The Silent Wall, by Peter Rabe ... what happens here stays here? Never mind Las Vegas, try the town of Forza d’Aguil in Sicilia … Matty Matthews revisits Forza d’Aguil in Sicilia where he was stationed during World War II. He goes in search of a former lover and winds up in a Mafioso abyss. He wants out, but out isn’t so easy … not after he offends a local Mafioso by paying for a bottle of wine … crazy is as crazy does, but Rabe does a magnificent job of building the tension … written is a kind of stream of consciousness that will lead the reader in this absolutely intriguing read to its finish.
And, hey, the forward to this book is not too shabby either. This guy over at Stark House Press, Rick Ollerman (who I had the pleasure of having dinner with twice in the White Mountains of New Hampshire) does a great job of making readers want what they’re about to engage. And it’s no surprise to this author how even more debts of gratitude are owed Mr. Ed Gorman (who saved me from crime writing oblivion a few years back). Starkhouse Press rocks!
Join Stark House Press today, amici … and check out the Peter Rabe page here.
The Women on the 6th Floor … a wonderful feel good movie that takes place in France … the aristocracy vs. the workers? Close enough for jazz … wonderful stuff, start to finish. You wanna feel good, watch this flick. My favorite character, of course, was the communist maid ... hilarious.
Remember this fella? Well, you should. A graduate of the Southern New Hampshire University MFA program, Darren Rome Leo (DRL) is getting some notice. Check out this wonderful short of his at Atticus Review, The Big John River Bridge
Above picture by Shane Remer, another very talented good guy from the SNHU MFA program.
Finalmentamia! Bruno in the Hall of Fame ... you might have to be at least 50 to appreciate this, but Bruno Sammartino was a hero when I was a kid (40 years ago, when wrestling was REAL ... okay, so maybe not real, but it didn’t look as dopey as it does today) ... My grandfather used to translate the Italian Bruno spoke each Saturday morning after he was jumped by one of the bad guys while being interviewed by Ray Morgan ... and if George “the Animal” Steele says Bruno was the best ever ... than Bruno was (God damn it)! Never mind Jurassic Park (when dinosaurs ruled the world) ... this was back when eye-talians ruled the world ... Bruno! Bruno! Bruno!
The wife was upset when she learned that Joe Cocker didn’t have some form of MS … not because she’s mean, but because she felt extra love for him thinking he had the disease all hese years (40+ now) … when I told her it was Joe playing the “air guitar” (his form of coming up with a shtick) … she became very angry at him … not me. Uncle Joe Cocker … with a little help from Me Friends (remember it) …