Charlie's Books

Charlie's Books
Buon Giorno, Amici!

Our motto ...

Leave the (political) party. Take the cannoli.

"It always seems impossible until it's done." Nelson Mandela

Right now 6 Stella crime novels are available on Kindle for just $.99 ... Eddie's World has been reprinted and is also available from Stark House Press (Gat Books).

Thursday, July 3, 2014

A Book Review (Unexploded) … Charlie Mantle at The Long Island Film Expo … Rangers no more (Callahan and Company) …


Unexploded … Alison MacLeod’s wonderful novel about a Brighton couple’s marital deterioration during World War II. The disaster that was Dunkirk has recently occurred. All of England is on alert for an invasion by Hitler’s Wehrmacht. German propaganda broadcasts warn the Brits daily, heightening the tension of those in Brighton. Evelyn and Geoffrey are a solid couple with a single son, Philip. Geoffrey is loyal to his banking job, but has also been assigned as head of an internment camp. Evelyn longs to do something other than wait for what everyone suspect is the worse. In the course of their trying times, Evelyn learns things about her husband she never knew before; his anti-Semitism for one thing; his willingness to abandon his family for the sake of his bank for another. She was from money with similar prejudices, except she hasn’t any, and had been anxious to marry Geoffrey just to get away from such nonsense.

Geoffrey has hid two cyanide capsules in a tin with money for his wife and child should the German’s invade and he’s already gone … but of course Evelyn finds them and their marriage deteriorates at great speed as

Upset at Geoffrey’s decision to save the bank and not his family leads Evelyn to discover the cyanide pills and their marriage begins a tailspin. She is forced to rethink everything … including some memories she once thought harmless. When she begins to read to patients at the camp for a sense of purpose, well, things change even more rapidly. She meets a German born artist, Otto, at the camp who has recently attempted to kill himself by swimming into the channel. Meantime, Geoffrey has developed an issue in the marital bed and he seeks comfort elsewhere.

There’s a wonderful subplot involving the 8 year old son, Philip and his friends, the anti-Semitism in the country and even Virginia Wolf makes an appearance and later disappears against the backdrop of the hell England suffered during the war.

The book is written in changing perspectives, which creates constant suspense for what comes next. Those two cyanide pills leave the reader dangling (and racing) to an ending that will surprise, yet fulfill expectations.

A wonderful read and VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Next books up are crime fiction … A small Sacrifice, by Dana King (review next week) and All the Young Warriors, by Anthony Neil Smith (review the week after) …

Long Island International Film Expo will be held at the Bellmore Movies from July 9 - 27, 2014 … a dear friend, Paul Vario, plays Detective Burns in a new Fred Carpenter film, called Charlie Mantle. It premieres July 12 in at the Bellmore film festival on Long Island. Armand Assante and Robert Funaro star. And for Howard Stern fans from the past, Jackie Martling is also in the film.

Check out the movie here:

and here ...

Read about the festival here.

Rangers no more …

Anton Stralman

Brian Boyle

Callahan and Company … the big hockey news this week had to do with July 1st Unrestricted Free Agency … and guess who’s coming to dinner in Tampa Bay? Defenseman, Anton Stralman (who was marvelous during his playoff performance this year) and one of my favorite Rangers, Brian Boyle … like Callahan, Boyle is a selfless player who throws himself in front of pucks and can hit with the best of them. This year in the finals, he tied for the Ranger lead in goals scored vs. the Kings with 2 in 5 games. Not too shabby. Tampa Bay gets two very seasoned veterans with playoffs experience who aren’t afraid to get down and dirty along the boards. The Bolts are making all the right moves … they have a wealth of young talent, a super-duper star in Stamkos, our main man, Callahan, and now three of the toughest and seasoned Rangers. 100 days to hockey season … I can’t wait!

Stralman on Clifford …

Boyle’s shorthanded magic …


The Doors Roadhouse Blues …

The Allman BrothersOne Way Out