Gone Tomorrow by Lee Child

I have also recently bought Gone Tomorrow, another exciting thriller by Lee Child. It is thirteenth book in the Jack Reacher series written by Lee Child and was published in 2009. It features former military Policeman turned Private Investigator/drifter Jack Reacher. The novel begins with Jack Reacher noticing a suspicious looking passenger while traveling on the New York Subway. This person is acting suspiciously and matches many of the specifications for a potential suicide bomber. When he approaches her with an offer of assistance she shoots herself.

New York Police Department are eager to close the file without investigating the tragedy, but Reacher has other ideas. He wants to know what happened that night, and why and begins to suspect that not everyone is being honest and that many seem to be avoiding the issue. Reacher is repeatedly and emphatically warned off the case, but his guilt over possibly triggering the poor woman’s suicide won’t let him rest until he has pursued the mystery all the way to the very end.

So despite being repeatedly fobbed off Jack Reacher stubbornly sticks to his guns and decides to investigate further no matter what the personal cost. So he investigates With the help of agent Theresa Lee. His investigations lead him to big politician, John Sansom who was in Afghanistan with Osama Bin Laden, the tail leads to an FBI agent named Susan Mark, and a pair of terrorists named Lila and Svetlana Hoth who had already massacred people among whom was Peter Molina – Susan’s adopted son. Reacher then discovers that they are in fact terrorists belonging to Al Qaeda,

No Middle Name by Lee Child

Being a big fan of Lee Child I have recently bought No Middle Name by Lee Child. This book is described as a pulse-pounding collection of Short stories and includes eleven previously published stories and a thrilling new novella featuring Former Military Policeman and Investigator Jack Reacher who having left the Army is a now a drifter No suitcase, No destination, No middle name, unfortunately No matter how far Reacher travels off the beaten path, trouble always seems to find him. No Middle Name marks the first time that all of Lee Child’s short stories starring Jack Reacher have been available in the same place at the same time.

No Middle Name begins with the story Too Much Time, a brand-new work of short fiction that finds Reacher in a hollowed-out town in Maine, where he witnesses a random bag-snatching which turns into much more than a simple crime and could prove fatal. The next story Small Wars takes readers back to 1989, when Reacher is an Military Policeman aassigned to solve the brutal murder of a young officer found along an isolated forest road in Georgia—and whose killer may be hiding in plain sight. In The third story Not a Drill, Reacher tries to take some down time, but a pleasant Hike in Maine turns into a walk on the wild side and becomes something far more sinister. The fourth story High Heat takes place in 1977, during Reachers teenage years in sweltering New York City during a sudden blackout. This unexpected turn-of-events awakens the dark side of the city that never sleeps and Reacher finds himself involved in some decidedly dodgy goings on.

The next story Setting Sun takes place in Okinawa and reveals the pivotal moment when young Reacher’s sharp “lizard brain” becomes just as important as his muscle. In the next story In Deep Down, Reacher tracks down a spy by matching wits with four formidable females—three of which are clean, but the fourth may prove fatal. Rounding out the collection are Guy Walks into a Bar, James Penney’s New Identity, Everyone Talks, The Picture of the Lonely Diner, Maybe They Have a Tradition, and No Room at the Motel.

Camino Island by John Grisham

I have recently bought Camino Island the latest gripping thriller novel by John Grisham. It is somewhat of a departure from his usual novels and is set in the murky black market underworld of rare and Valuable stolen books. It starts with one of The most audacious, daring and devastating heists in literary history during which five priceless manuscripts of F Scott Fitzgerald’s only novels are stolen. These are amongst the most valuable in the world and are valued at $25 million. They are taken from a high security vault located deep beneath Princeton Firestone University Library.

So The Federal Bureau of Investigation and an “underground agency” of investigators working for Princeton’s insurance are soon put on the case. However After an initial flurry of arrests, both they and the ruthless gang of thieves who took them mysteriously vanish without trace. However Dealing in stolen books is a specialised business, and few are initiated to its arts, one such person is an infamous book-seller named Bruce Kable, which puts him right on the FBI’s Rare Asset Recovery Unit’s watch list. So the FBI decided to pay him a visit.

Meanwhile A struggling writer named Mercer Mann who is burdened by debts, visits Camino Isalnd after having spent many enjoyable summers at this idyllic Florida resort as a kid, is being made an offer she can’t refuse: to return to the peace of the island, to write her novel. Whilst on Camino Island she encounters a certain infamous bookseller, and a rather interesting collection of manuscripts and he makes her a very tempting offer. Then The FBI also turn up in Camino island in search of clues about the heist and any information concerning he black market perpetrators.

Thomas Hardy

English novelist and poet Thomas Hardy, OM tragically died 11 January 1928. He was born 2 June 1840 in Higher Bockhampton (then Upper Bockhampton). His Mother Jemima was well-read, and she educated Thomas until he went to his first school at Bockhampton at the age of eight. For several years he attended Mr. Last’s Academy for Young Gentlemen in Dorchester, where he learned Latin and demonstrated academic potential., his formal education ended at the age of sixteen, when he became apprenticed to James Hicks, a local architect.

Hardy trained as an architect in Dorchester before moving to London in 1862; there he enrolled as a student at King’s College London. He won prizes from the Royal Institute of British Architects and the Architectural Association. He joined Arthur Blomfield’s practice as assistant architect in April 1862 and worked with Blomfield on All Saints’ parish church in Windsor, Berkshire in 1862–64. A reredos, possibly designed by Hardy, was discovered behind panelling at All Saints’ in August 2016. In the mid-1860s, Hardy was in charge of the excavation of part of the graveyard of St Pancras Old Church prior to its destruction when the Midland Railway was extended to a new terminus at St Pancras.

Hardy was A Victorian realist who was influenced both in his novels and in his poetry by Romanticism, especially William Wordsworth. He was highly critical of much in Victorian society, especially on the declining status of rural people in Britain, such as those from his native South West England. He was also acutely conscious of class divisions and his social inferiority. During this time he became interested in social reform and the works of John Stuart Mill. He was also introduced by his Dorset friend Horace Moule to the works of Charles Fourier and Auguste Comte. After five years, he returned to Dorset, settling in Weymouth, and dedicated himself to writing.

In 1870, while on an architectural mission to restore the parish church of St Juliot in Cornwall, Hardy met and fell in love with Emma Gifford, whom he married in Kensington in 1874 In 1885 Thomas and his wife moved into Max Gate. Emma’s subsequent death in 1912 had a traumatic effect on him and after her death, Hardy made a trip to Cornwall to revisit places linked with their courtship; his Poems 1912–13 reflect upon her death. In 1914, Hardy married his secretary Florence Emily Dugdale, 39 years his junior. He was so traumatised by his first wife’s death that he tried to overcome his remorse by writing poetry. In 1910, Hardy had been awarded the Order of Merit and was also for the first time nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature. He would be nominated for the prize eleven years later.

While Hardy wrote poetry throughout his life and regarded himself primarily as a poet, his first collection was not published until 1898. Initially, therefore, he gained fame as the author of such novels as Far from the Madding Crowd (1874), The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886), Tess of the d’Urbervilles (1891), and Jude the Obscure (1895. Many of his novels concern tragic characters struggling against their passions and social circumstances, and they are often set in the semi-fictional region of Wessex; initially based on the medieval Anglo-Saxon kingdom, Hardy’s Wessex eventually came to include the counties of Dorset, Wiltshire, Somerset, Devon, Hampshire and much of Berkshire, in southwest and south central England

Sadly Hardy became ill with pleurisy in December 1927 and unfortunately died at Max Gate just after 9 pm on 11 January 1928, having dictated his final poem to his wife on his deathbed; the cause of death was cited on his death certificate, as “cardiac syncope”, with “old age” given as a contributory factor. His funeral was on 16 January at Westminster Abbey. During his lifetime, Hardy’s poetry was acclaimed by younger poets (particularly the Georgians) who viewed him as a mentor. After his death his poems were lauded by Ezra Pound, W. H. Auden and Philip Larkin. Two of his novels, Tess of the d’Urbervilles and Far from the Madding Crowd, were listed in the top 50 on the BBC’s survey The Big Read.

Tony kaye (Yes)

Tony Kaye, British piano and organ player with Progressive Rock Band Yes was born 11th January 1946. Yes achieved worldwide success with their progressive music, mystical lyrics, elaborate album art, live stage sets and symphonic style of rock music. They are regarded as one of the pioneers of the progressive genre. They were Formed in 1968 by Jon Anderson and Bill Bruford and released two albums together but began to enjoy success after the release of The Yes Album and Fragile,which featured new arrivals Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman. They achieved further success with the albums Close to the Edge and Tales from Topographic Oceans. Wakeman was replaced by Patrick Moraz, who played on Relayer (1974). Wakeman returned on Going for the One (1977) and Tormato (1978). Anderson and Wakeman left the group due to musical differences amongst the band in 1980, and both went on to pursue solo careers. Their replacements, Trevor Horn and Steve Downes, featured on Drama (1980) and its supporting tour before disbanding in 1981. Howe and Downes went to form Asia.

Yes reformed in 1982 after Squire and White were joined by the returning Jon Anderson and T0ny Kaye, with the addition of guitarist Trevor Rabin. They adopted a pop rock sound and released the number one single “Owner of a Lonely Heart” and 90125 (1983), their best-selling album to date, followed by Big Generator (1987). Anderson left and co-formed the side project Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe with the named members in 1989. Following a legal battle amongst both Yes groups, they formed an eight-man band to perform on Union (1991) and its supporting tour. Rabin and Kaye featured on Talk (1994) before leaving, while Wakeman and Howe returned with Keys to Ascension (1996) and Keys to Ascension 2 (1997). Wakeman wasthen replaced by Igor Khoroshev, who was featured on Open Your Eyes (1997) and The Ladder (1999) along with guitarist Billy Sherwood. The release of Magnification (2001) marked the first album since 1970 to feature an orchestra.

In 2002, Wakeman returned for the band’s 35th anniversary tour. The band ceased to tour in 2004, partly due to health concerns regarding Anderson and Wakeman. Following a hiatus, Yes restarted in 2008 with keyboardist Oliver Wakeman and singer Benoît David. After the release of Fly from Here (2011), which saw Downes returning on keyboards, David was replaced by Jon Davison, lead singer of progressive rock band Glass Hammer, on vocals. The band’s current line-up consists of singer Jon Davison, bassist Chris Squire, guitarist Steve Howe, drummer Alan White, and keyboardist Geoff Downes, and they continue to perform to this day, more than 40 years since their formation.

Fast Eddie Clarke (motörhead, Fastway)

Fastway and Motörhead guitarist “Fast” Eddie Clarke, sadly died 10 January 2018. He was born 5 October 1950. Clarke began playing guitar and by the time he was aged fifteen had been through many local bands, one of which was called The Bitter End. He continued playing local gigs until 1973, when he turned professional by joining Curtis Knight’s blues prog rock band, Zeus, as lead guitarist. In 1974, the band recorded an album called The Second Coming at Olympic Studios. Clarke wrote the music to Knight’s lyrics, on a track entitled “The Confession”. Clarke also recorded the album Sea of Time with Zeus. Later with guitarist friend Allan Callan, keyboard player Nicky Hogarth, and drummer Chris Perry, Clarke attended a recorded jam session at Command Studios in Piccadilly. As a result of the tracks from this session, the quartet secured a deal with Anchor Records, and called the band Blue Goose. With a recording contract secured, Clarke, Hogarth and Perry left Zeus to focus on their own project with Callan.

An argument soon erupted between Clarke and Callan, concerning amplifiers. Clarke had allowed him to share his during rehearsals, but Clarke then found he could not hear his solos because Callan was drowning him out. The argument ended with Clarke being sacked. Still short of amps, the band asked him to re-join a few days later. Clarke refused, feeling that they were doing Anchor Records an injustice because they had been paid an advance to record an album, but had done nothing productive towards making it. Blue Goose finally released their eponymous album through Anchor in 1974, crediting an instrumental track, entitled “Over The Top”, to Clarke-Hogarth-Perry. Clarke soon formed another band with Be-Bop Deluxe bassist, Charlie Tumahai, vocalist Ann McCluskie and Jim Thompson on drums. Called Continuous Performance, this line up lasted until early 1975, when their demo tracks failed to secure them a record deal and then band split up. Still out to secure a record deal, Clarke then formed a group with Nicky Hogarth from Blue Goose, bass player Tony Cussons and drummer Terry Slater. Their efforts to get a deal were also unsuccessful, and Clarke temporarily gave up the music industry.

Clarke was working on re-fitting a houseboat, when he met drummer Phil Taylor. Taylor had recently joined Motörhead and introduced Clarke to Lemmy; it was not long before he was playing with them. In the early days Eddie rehearsed with Motörhead at Snobs Rehearsal Studios, part of a converted brewery on the corner of Kings Road and Lots Road, Chelsea, known as the “Furniture Cave” before going on the road. Motörhead became more popular and produced more and more UK chart successes. The threesome (Lemmy, Clarke, Taylor) are considered the classic Motörhead line-up and have the Motörhead, Overkill, Ace of Spades, Bomber, No Sleep ’til Hammersmith and Iron Fist albums plus a string of hit singles to their credit. He performed a lead vocal on five Motörhead songs: “Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers” (on which he traded vocals with Lemmy), “I’m Your Witchdoctor” (on which he duets vocals with Lemmy), “Step Down” and an alternative version of “Stone Dead Forever” (which later appeared on the Bomber Deluxe Edition), and “Emergency” one of the B-side tracks on The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre EP, upon which they performed “Please Don’t Touch”, with Girlschool, under the combined band names of HeadGirl.

Clarke left Motörhead in 1982, whilst on tour of the United States. Becoming unhappy at the results of the Iron Fist album, the recording sessions with the Plasmatics were the final straw. For the B-side of the Stand By Your Man EP the bands took turns in covering each other’s songs, Clarke felt that this compromised the band’s principles and resigned, Clarke was replaced by former Thin Lizzy and Wild Horses lead guitarist Brian Robertson after Anvil frontman Steve “Lips” Kudlow turned down the offer to play with Motörhead. Clarke’s last gig with Motörhead took place at the New York Palladium on 14 May 1982. Another cameo from Clarke on a later Motörhead album was on 2000s Live at Brixton Academy, released in 2003, on which the band featured many guest appearances from other guitarists, of which he was one, playing on the songs “No Class”, “The Chase Is Better Than the Catch” and “Overkill”.

Hearing that UFO bassist Pete Way was keen to leave that band, the two met and decided their new band’s name would be an amalgamation of their own two names, resulting in Fastway. They advertised in the music press for a drummer and a vocalist. Meanwhile, a rehearsal was organised for which The Clash drummer, Topper Headon, filled in on drums. Headon was doing this as a favour so that Clarke and Way could rehearse. The ads began showing positive results, cassettes from potential band members arrived; one of these was from a young, Dublin-based singer by the name of Dave King. Clarke was impressed with his voice and financed a trip to London for King and, after an audition together, he became the Fastway vocalist. Ex-Humble Pie member, Jerry Shirley, became the drummer.

The band sent out demo tapes and were approached by CBS Records for a recording deal. However Way departed and Touring proved strenuous for the band so upon returning to Britain, they split. Clarke stayed in London and soon received a call from King about giving Fastway another go. Clarke agreed and moved to Ireland. With another album for CBS in view, they rehearsed with three of King’s friends, guitarist and keyboard player Shane Carroll, drummer Alan Connor and Paul Reid on bass. The record label was happy with the sound and had them record at London’s Abbey Road Studios, releasing Waiting for the Roar in 1986. Clarke toured America with Fastway, supporting AC/DC, followed by a lengthy European tour, which produced 1992’s Say What You Will – Live album. Fastway were also engaged to provide music for the Trick Or Treat film soundtrack, for which they composed the title track and performed “Heft” and “If You Could See” from their albums.

After the band split up again, Clarke moved back to London and met up with Lea Hart, a solo artist in the Far East. Clarke’s record deals had now expired, so the pair took a demo tape to Douglas Smith (Clarke’s former Motörhead manager) at GWR Records, who willingly signed a deal. Still using the name Fastway, they recorded the On Target album. It featured Don Airey and Paul Airey on keyboards, Neil Murray on bass, plus Bram Tchaikovsky of The Motors and Christine Byford as backing vocalists.

Clarke’s group now consisted of Riff Raff on drums, keyboards and bass, plus assorted friends including; Biff Byford and Nigel Glockler of Saxon, Don Airey, and Kim McAuliffe and Cris Bonacci of Girlschool. After two albums, Clarke and Hart split up. Sadly the excesses he had indulged in with Motörhead had taken their toll, and led to Clarke being admitted to hospital, having recovered, Clarke released a solo album, It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over, which blends Motörhead and Fastway styles. Lemmy also helped out on the album by writing and singing the track “Laugh at the Devil”. Clarke released The double CD release, Fast Eddie Clarke Anthology, which featured a collection of Clarke’s music spanning his career before and after Motörhead. It also marked a return to live performances with a re-formed Fastway, including an appearance at the UK’s Download Festival in summer 2007. In 2014, Clark Released a blues album entitled Make My Day – Back To Blues’ which a collaboration between Clarke and the keyboardist from Shakatak, Bill Sharpe Clarke reunited with Lemmy on 6 November 2014 at National Indoor Arena in Birmingham to play Motörhead classic “Ace of Spades”.

Terry Willaims (Dire straits)

Terry Williams, the second drummer with Rock group Dire Straits was born 11 January 1948. Formed in 1977 by Brothers Mark (lead vocals and lead guitar)and David Knopfler (rhythm guitar and backing vocals), and friends John Illsley (bass guitar and backing vocals, and Pick Withers (drums and percussion), they recorded a five-song demo tape which included their future hit single, “Sultans of Swing”, as well as “Water of Love”, “Down to the Waterline”, “Wild West End” and David Knopfler’s “Sacred Loving”.

The group released their first album, “Dire Straits” and toured with Talking heads. The first song “Sultans of Swing” became one of Dire Straits biggest hit. The group’s second album, Communiqué, was released in 1979 And featured the single “Lady Writer”, and Once Upon a Time in the West”. In 1980, Dire Straits were nominated for two Grammy Awards for Best New Artist and Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group for “Sultans Of Swing. Their third album. Making Movies featured longer songs with more complex arrangements, as well as many of Mark Knopfler’s most personal compositions including “Romeo and Juliet. Dire Straits’ fourth studio album Love Over Gold, was also filled with lengthy, experimental arrangements like “Private Investigations” and “Industrial Disease. Dire Straits also released a four-song EP titled ExtendedancEPlay featuring “Twisting By the Pool” and embarked on a world tour resulting in The double album Alchemy Live, a recording of two live concerts of the group at London’s Hammersmith Odeon.

Dire Straits next album was the classic Brothers in Arms, which was released in 1985 and contained the songs “Money for Nothing”, “Walk of Life”, “So Far Away”, “Your Latest Trick” and “Brothers in Arms” And become the best-selling album of 1985 in the UK, “Money for Nothing” was also among the first videos ever to be played on MTV in Britain and featured guest vocals by Sting, who is credited with co-writing the song with Mark Knopfler, although in fact, it was just the inclusion of the melody line from “Don’t Stand So Close To Me”. Brothers in Arms was among the first albums recorded on digital equipment due to Knopfler pushing for improved sound quality The album’s title track is reported to be the world’s first CD single. The album is also listed in the Guinness Book of World Records

The Dire Straits sound Was influenced by jazz, folk, blues, beat music and Rock’n’Roll which contrasted with punk and they have became one of the world’s most commercially successful bands, with worldwide album sales of over 120 million. making them One of the world’s best selling music artists. their fifth album, Brothers in Arms, has won many accolades. In November 2009, Dire Straits were honoured by the new PRS for Music Heritage Award. A blue plaque was erected at Farrer House, Church Street, Deptford in south London, where the original group, Mark Knopfler, David Knopfler, John Illsley and Pick Withers once shared a council flat. Dire Straits have also won numerous music awards during their career, including four Grammy Awards, three Brit Awards—winning Best British Group twice, and two MTV Video Music Awards. The band’ most popular songs include “Sultans of Swing”, Walk ofLife, Money for NothingRomeo and Juliet”, “Tunnel of Love”, “Private Investigations” . Sadly Dire Straits disbanded in 1995 when Mark Knopfler launched his career full time as a solo artist. His album Privateering is described as “Delta Blues meets the Tyne”.