Broken Promise by Linwood Barclay

imageI am a big fan of Linwood Barclay and I would like to read Broken Promise The first in a new series by Linwood Barclay. It features widowed journalist David Harwood, a single Father who is going through a tough time, and is forced through circumstance to live with his ageing parents, after giving up a good job with the Boston Globe to spend quality time with his young son. This means moving in, at least temporarily, from the city to his sleepy, faded hometown of Promise Falls. He secures a job at the small local newspaper only to have it fold on his first day.

Meanwhile Marla his mentally disturbed cousin is also going through more than a few personal tragedies, she recently lost her baby, and decided to head to the hospital to grab a handy replacement. Fortunately, her mother runs the hospital, and quietly managed to sweep that little incident under the rug. David’s mother asks him to look in on her and drop off some food as part of a Care Package. However he makes an alarming discovery when he finds her there with a baby in hand, which she says was dropped off by an angel. However there appears to be blood on the door and Marla has a previous conviction for trying to steal a baby from the Hospital.

Naturally David is concerned, so after a little bit of digging he finds that the real mother, Rosemary Gaynor, was stabbed to death across town and the current whereabouts of her baby unknown and Marla finds herself in a world of trouble, despite this overwhelming evidence David just can’t believe that his cousin is a Murderer. Elsewhere an obese, doughnut noshing cop is alerted to a bizarre sight by the ousted mayor of the town. Seemingly unrelated, these two separate events portend more strange and lethal happenings. A virtual Pandora’s box is opened and the price of closing it is blood.

BRIT Awards 2016

This years Brit Awards took place at the O2 arena in London Wednesday 24 February and was hosted by Ant McPartlin and Declen Donelly. Adele swept the board with four awards and was crowned queen of the Brits she also gave a live performance. There was also a spectacular performances from Rihanna and an “understated” tribute to David Bowie, by Lorde, featuring the late star’s touring band. Actor Gary Oldman also payed tribute to David Bowie. Coldplay, James Bay and Justin Bieber also received Brit Awards.

However criticism was leveled at the organizers over the distinct lack of diversity at this yearsBrit Awards.As no black artists were nominated or recognized in any major categories. soul singer Laura Mvula decline to attend the event, saying the mainstream music industry failed to reflect the aspirations of young, black artists. Although The Brit Awards demonstrated that guitar-based indie rock is not dead With the resurgence of indie-rock band Catfish and the Bottlemen, the Welsh band led by Van McCann, which has built a devoted following through relentless gigging, won the Breakthrough category. The group, a festivals favourite, beat pop chart-topper Jess Glynne and James Bay in a public vote. Meanwhile Tame Impala, the Australian psychedelic rock band which incorporated electro and R&B influences into its latest album Lonerism, took the International Group prize, beating Eagles of Death Metal, the band targeted in the Paris terrorist shootings. Coldplay became the most successful band in Brits history, taking their career wins to nine when the quartet accepted the British Group award which they first won in 2001.

Adele’s album 25, which has sold 15m copies worldwide since its November release, was judged the year’s best. Adele also won Best British Female award , and the award for Best Single for “Hello”. Adele’s album 25 also wonThe Global Success award For achieving the most international sales, having sold 8m copies in the US alone. For the 27 year-old, it was a poignant return to the O2 Arena. It was Adele’s emotional performance of Someone Like You at the 2011 Brit Awards which propelled the singer to international chart dominance. No artist had taken four Brits in one night since Blur at the height of Britpop in 1995. Last year’s Critics’ Choice winner James Bay also won Best Male thanks to the platinum-selling success of the singer-songwriter’s debut album Chaos and the Calm.

Justin Bieber performed at this years BritAwards Ceremony and also won Best International Male category, over Kendrick Lamar and The Weeknd, following the release of his Purpose album, featuring collaborations with dubstep producers Diplo and Skrillex. Bjork won best International Female for the fourth time following a traumatic year for the Icelandic singer, who poured the emotional upheaval from her breakup with artist Matthew Barney into a highly personal album, Vulnicura. Bowie’s farewell album Blackstar will be eligible for next year’s awards. The singer was represented by his friend Kate Moss when he won at the 2014 awards.

  • British female solo artist: – Adele
  • British male solo artist: – James Bay
  • International group – Tame Impala
  • British Single – Adele – Hello
  • Best British Group – Coldplay
  • Best InternationalMale Solo Artist – Justine Beiber
  • Best British Breakthrough Act – Catfish and the Bottlemen
  • Global Success – Adele
  • Best International Female Solo Artist – Bjork
  • Best British video of the year – One Direction
  • MasterCard British album of the year – Adele 25
  • British producer – Charlie Andrew
  • Critic’s Choice – Jack Garratt

George Harrison

English musician, singer and songwriter George Harrison, was born 25 February 1943. He chieved international fame as the lead guitarist of the Beatles. Although John Lennon and Paul McCartney were the band’s primary songwriters, most of their albums included at least one Harrison composition, including “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”, “Here Comes the Sun” and “Something”, which became the Beatles’ second-most-covered song.

Harrison’s earliest musical influences included Big Bill Broonzy, George Formby and Django Reinhardt; Chet Atkins, Chuck Berry and Ry Cooder were significant later influences. By 1965 he had begun to lead the Beatles into folk rock through his interest in the Byrds andBob Dylan, and towards Indian classical music through his use of the sitar on “Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)”. He developed an interest in the Hare Krishna movement and became an admirer of Indian culture and mysticism, introducing them to the other members of the Beatles and their Western audience by incorporating Indian instrumentation in their music.

After the band’s break-up in 1970, Harrison released the triple album All Things Must Pass, from which two hit singles originated. He also organized the 1971 Concert for Bangladesh with Ravi Shankar, a precursor for later benefit concerts such as Live Aid. Harrison was a music and film producer as well as a musician; he founded Dark Horse Records in 1974 and co-founded HandMade Films in 1978. If you watch carefully he has got a cameo in a few Monty Python films. Harrison released several best-selling singles and albums as a solo performer, and in 1988 co-founded the platinum-selling supergroup the Traveling Wilburys. A prolific recording artist, he was featured as a guest guitarist on tracks by Badfinger, Ronnie Wood and Billy Preston, and collaborated on songs and music with Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton and Tom Petty, among others. Rolling Stone magazine ranked him number 11 in their list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”. Harrison’s first marriage, to Pattie Boyd, ended in divorce in 1977. The following year he married Olivia Trinidad Arias, with whom he had one son, Dhani. Sadly though George Harrison tragically died on 29 November 2001, aged 58, from lung cancer. He was cremated and his ashes were scattered in the Gangesand Yamuna rivers in India, in a private ceremony according to Hindu tradition. He left almost £100 million in his will. GEORGE HARRISON – BEST OF DARK HORSE

Anthony Burgess

clockwork-orangeEnglish Writer and Composer John Anthony Burgess Wilson, FRSL (Anthony Burgess) was Born 25 February 1917 in Harpurhey, Manchester. Burgess was predominantly seen as a comic writer, and although this was how his works were read, he claimed that his works weren’t intended to be humorous. The dystopian satire A Clockwork Orange is Burgess’s most famous novel, though he dismissed it as one of his lesser works, and it is in many ways an atypical Burgess work. It was adapted into a highly controversial 1971 film by Stanley Kubrick, which Burgess said was chiefly responsible for the popularity of the book. A Clockwork Orange is a 1962 dystopian satire portraying a future and dystopian Western society with—based on contemporary trends—a culture of extreme youth rebellion and violence: it explores the violent nature of humans, human free will to choose between good or evil, and the desolation of free will as a solution to evil. Burgess experiments with language, writing in a Russian-influenced argot called “Nadsat” used by the younger characters and the anti-hero in his first-person narration. According to Burgess, the novel was a jeu d’esprit written in just three weeks. He bemoaned the fact that the book had been taken as the source material for a 1971 film that was perceived to glorify sex and violence. In 2005, A Clockwork Orange was included on Time magazine’s list of the 100 best English-language novels written since 1923, and it was named by Modern Library and its readers as one of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century. The original transcipt of the book is at McMaster University. Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Clockwork Orange is the story of Alex, a teenager living in near-future England, who leads his gang on nightly orgies of opportunistic, random “ultra-violence”. Alex’s friends (“droogs” in the novel’s Anglo-Russian slang, Nadsat) are: Dim, a slow-witted bruiser who is the gang’s muscle; Georgie, an ambitious second-in-command; and Pete, who mostly plays along as the droogs indulge their taste for ultra-violence. Characterised as a sociopath and a hardened juvenile delinquent, Alex is also intelligent and quick-witted, with sophisticated taste in music, being particularly fond of Beethoven.

The novel begins with the droogs sitting in their favorite hangout before indulging in a night’s mayhem. They assault a scholar walking home from the public library, rob a store leaving the owner and his wife bloodied and unconscious, stomp a panhandling derelict, then scuffle with a rival gang. Joyriding through the countryside in a stolen car, they break into an isolated cottage and maul the young couple living there, beating the husband and raping his wife. Georgie later challenges Alex for leadership of the gang, demanding that they pull a “man-sized” job. So Alex insists on following through on Georgie’s idea to burgle the home of a wealthy old woman. however this ends in tragedy, as Alex kills the elderly woman. He is prevented from escaping by Dim, who leaves him incapacitated on the front step as the police arrive and arrest him for murder.

Sentenced to prison for murder, Alex gets a job at the Wing chapel playing religious music, and he agrees to undergo an controversial experimental behaviour-modification treatment called the Ludovico Technique, which is a form of aversion therapy in which Alex receives an injection that makes him feel sick while watching graphically violent films, eventually conditioning him to suffer crippling bouts of nausea at the mere thought of violence. Although the prison chaplain accuses the state of stripping Alex of free will, the government officials on the scene are pleased with the results and Alex is released into society.

Burgess produced numerous other novels, including the Enderby quartet, and Earthly Powers, regarded by most critics as his greatest novel.Burgess was also an accomplished musician and linguist. He composed over 250 musical works, including a first symphony around age 18, wrote a number of libretti, and translated, among other works, Cyrano de Bergerac, Oedipus the King and Carmen And 2was a well known literary critic. sadly though Burgess passed away 22 November 1993 St John’s Wood, London, England at the age of 76.2008. However The Times newspaper placed Burgess at number 17 on their list of the top 50 greatest British writers along side William Shakespeare, James Joyce, D. H. Lawrence and Ernest Hemingway

Pierre Auguste Renoir

French artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir was born 25 February1841. He was a leading painter in the development of the Impressionist style. As a celebrator of beauty, and especially feminine sensuality, it has been said that “Renoir is the final representative of a tradition which runs directly from Rubens to Watteau.”Pierre-Auguste was the father of actor Pierre Renoir (1885–1952), filmmaker Jean Renoir (1894–1979) and ceramic artist Claude Renoir (1901–69). He was the grandfather of the filmmaker Claude Renoir (1913–1993), son of Pierre. born in Limoges, Haute-Vienne, France. As a boy, he worked in a porcelain factory where his drawing talents led to his being chosen to paint designs on fine china Before he enrolled in art school, he also painted hangings for overseas missionaries and decorations on fans and often visited the Louvre to study the French master painters.

In 1862, he began studying art under Charles Gleyre in Paris. There he met Alfred Sisley, Frédéric Bazille, and Claude Monet. At times, during the 1860s, he did not have enough money to buy paint. Although Renoir first started exhibiting paintings at the Paris Salon in 1864, recognition did not come for another ten years, due, in part, to the turmoil of the Franco-Prussian War. During the Paris Commune in 1871, while Renoir painted on the banks of the Seine River, some Communards thought he was a spy and were about to throw him into the river when a leader of the Commune, Raoul Rigault, recognized Renoir as the man who had protected him on an earlier occasion.

Six of Renoir’s paintings were hung in the first Impressionist exhibition in 1874 and two of his works were also shown with Durand-Ruel in London. In 1881, he traveled to Algeria, a country he associated with Eugène Delacroix, then to Madrid, to see the work of Diego Velázquez. Following that, he traveled to Italy to see Titian’s masterpieces in Florence and the paintings of Raphael in Rome. On 15 January 1882 Renoir met the composer Richard Wagner at his home in Palermo, Sicily. Renoir painted Wagner’s portrait in just thirty-five minutes. Sadly Renoir contracted pneumonia which permanently damaged his respiratory system, And convalesced in Algeria. In 1883, Renoir spent the summer in Guernsey, creating fifteen paintings in little over a month. Most of these feature Moulin Huet, a bay in Saint Martin’s, Guernsey. These paintings were the subject of a set of commemorative postage stamps issued by the Bailiwick of Guernsey in 1983.

While living and working in Montmartre, Renoir employed Suzanne Valadon as a model, who eventually became a leading painter herself and In 1887, during Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee, Renoir donated several paintings to the “French Impressionist Paintings” catalog as a token of his loyalty. In 1890, he married Aline Victorine Charigot, who, had already served as a model for Le Déjeuner des canotiers (Luncheon of the Boating Party, 1881), and with whom he had already had a child, Pierre, in 1885. Renoir painted many scenes of his wife and daily family life including their children and their nurse, Aline’s cousin Gabrielle Renard. The Renoirs had three sons, Jean Renoir became a filmmaker and Pierre Renoir, became a stage and film actor.

Around 1892, Renoir developed rheumatoid arthritis. So In 1907, he moved to the warmer climate of “Les Collettes,” a farm at Cagnes-sur-Mer, close to the Mediterranean coast. Renoir painted during the last twenty years of his life even when he was wheelchair-bound and arthritis severely limited his movement. He developed progressive deformities in his hands and ankylosis of his right shoulder, requiring him to change his painting technique. Renoir remained able to grasp a brush, although he required an assistant to place it in his hand.The wrapping of his hands with bandages, apparent in late photographs of the artist, served to prevent skin irritation. During this period, he created sculptures by cooperating with a young artist, Richard Guino, who worked the clay. Due to his limited joint mobility, Renoir also used a moving canvas, or picture roll, to facilitate painting large works. Renoir’s portrait of Austrian actress Tilla Durieux (1914) contains playful flecks of vibrant color on her shawl that offset the classical pose of the actress and highlight Renoir’s skill just 5 years before his death. In 1919, Renoir visited the Louvre to see his paintings hanging with those of the old masters. He died in the village of Cagnes-sur-Mer, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, on 3 December 1919