I can't read the first half, but the 2nd says "200 jobs created for Angelenos."
Sunday, February 21, 2010
by Noah Boyd
As I mentioned when I posted the recent contest, I was contacted and asked if I would review a new novel called The Bricklayer, by Noah Boyd. I've never officially reviewed a book before, but since the book promised an in-depth look at the workings of the FBI (and a couple of free copies to share around) I thought it would be a great way to fill in some of the hiatus time here on the blog.
I finished the novel in about 3 days as my son crawled around me exploring, gnawed toys on the couch next to me, or attempted (once successfully) to rip pages out of the book. Excuse me, page 53, but you did look rather tasty. If you have the time for one straight sitting you could easily finish the nearly 400 page book in one lazy afternoon.
When it comes to introducing characters, Noah Boyd reminds me of Mary Higgins Clark. Actually, the entire book reminds me of her style in some ways. Many characters are starkly introduced at the beginnings of chapters. You get his or her name and then you jump right into the action. The characters themselves are all very snappy in dialog and not given to emotional depth. It is a macho book, with macho interactions. That is actually one of my dislikes, to a point. It sometimes feels like every character, male or female, is being played by a guy.
But I don't want to be too hard on Mr. Boyd for that because characterization is not the point of the book. This is an action book, written by an FBI agent. Mooshy ewwy-gooey is not why you've picked it up. The only character that matters is the hero, Steve Vail, and I find he has plenty of depth and interesting layers. He is the solid American hero who's flaws are more admirable than detrimental. He's the smartest man, the biggest man, the most attractive man, the manliest man. He's not the most successful man, by societal standards, but he has good reasons for everything he does.
Vail is matched only by the main female of the book, Kate Bannon. She is as strong as Steve, even though she doesn't always believe the strength exists within herself. It is not surprising to see attraction spring up between them, though I find the dialog a bit too 'smart', to perfect, too masculine. I wonder, however, if that is the writing or the FBI/law enforcement culture. I honestly don't know.
When it comes to the main aspect of The Bricklayer I was interested in - the FBI insights - I was not at all disappointed! Mr. Boyd has taken his knowledge and crafted a story that lays countless procedures, patterns, protocols, and cultural norms within the FBI bare. He picks apart each, exposing weaknesses that cost the bureau, and individuals, dearly. You get to see the lingo and acronyms. You learn about the hierarchy and chain of command. You see how operations are conducted in the field. You get a bit of tech and a whole lot of muscle. You learn about the thinking of the organization vs. the reasoning of the individual. Every new plot point is not just an advancement of the story, it is a new opportunity to show you something you didn't know before. The book and the story within have a singular purpose: to make what is within the FBI known, to lay it bear, to show why (in some ways) it should be torn down and rebuilt.
It is a great ride. If you love non-stop action, love macho heroes, love a good who-dun-it puzzle... then you will love this book. Just don't expect a lot of emotional interludes. There are none. It's a straight forward action movie in 390 pages... with a bright orange and gray cover guaranteed to attract any baby in the room :)
On both the Men and Women's sides of the "Battle of the Network Hotties" Bones needs some help! They are losing all 4 polls. (Why is T.J. not on the man side?!)
Women (Cam, Angela, Temperance)
Edit: moving this back to the top because I know how much everyone wants the Bones cast to win!
Currently, David Boreanaz is winning by a huge margin but it never hurts to add your vote!
Poll: Who is TV's Best Actor-Director?
From the website nominee page:
Every year, The Genesis Awards pays tribute to the major news and entertainment media for producing outstanding works that raise public awareness of animal issues. The 24This year, Bones has been nominated for "The Tough Man in the Tender Chicken."
thannual Genesis Awards will be Saturday, March 20, 2010 at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Last year, Bones was nominated for "The Finger in the Nest." In 2007 the show won their category with "The Woman in Limbo."
DRAMATIC SERIESBONES The Tough Man in the Tender Chicken – Fox
THE CLOSER multiple episodes - TNT
I wouldn't be surprised to see them win this year. Tough Man was pretty hard to watch at times!
PS: Emily will be presenting.
Craig Ferguson will mention Bones even without a show guest star. Watch this video for some of his crazy style. He gets to the related bits around 1:30, and actually mentions Bones just after 2:30.
Fox stars are asked about their favorite Fox shows. Emily Deschanel and T.J. Thyne appear. Unfortunately, Bones isn't mentioned that much!
Is Bones the relative that everyone loves, yet no one remembers when it's time to take pictures or share important news?
Bones stars (and a few other celebs) share their favorite Olympic sports - Tamara, Emily, David included.