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So I was recently perusing Match.com with a friend who was in the market for a date and I came across the following listings that I thought you guys might like.

Lawrence: I like long walks on the beach, beheading people, and piano wire. I am able to perform my own eye surgery and enjoy that human connection…..like the kind I get when they take their last breath.

Lawrence

Jack: I’m fiercely loyal but I have mommy issues. I will come to your aid at the drop of a hat and believe in hanging on to mementos with a personal connection. I’m gutsy, but can be a bit too trusting. I have been told I remind people of Jason Bourne.

Jack

Angela: I love boating and limos. I work in management and deal with high stakes exchanges. I have trouble letting go of past relationships, but I am adept at getting out of sticky situations.

Angela

Great meeting last month. I have to admit that I was wondering what everyone would think about the book and if it had held up to the praise we gave Ghostman. Or maybe I just remembered us liking Ghostman more than we did. Jeff looked up the ratings we gave it, but I forget what they were.

We met to discuss Vanishing Games, the second book to feature Jack, criminal extraordinaire. In Ghostman, Jack was called in to help with a bank heist in Kuala Lumpur and things went horribly wrong. To make matters worse, Angela, his mentor, and possible love interest/mother figure (I think it’s safe to say the guy’s got issues) disappeared after the heist. Poor Jack didn’t know if she was alive or dead.

In Vanishing Games, Angela calls him in to help her when a sapphire theft goes wrong (I think it’s also safe to say that perhaps Miss Angela should look into another career). The sapphires in question weren’t the only cargo on the ship, and there is a mysterious additional item that was found. Cue the music: dun, dun...dun. What could it be? Many of us had a guess—nuclear weapon, crown jewels, more precious stones—but it seems that we were incorrect. It was money, counterfeit money, but like the best counterfeit money ever. Apparently it was so good it was more real than real money.

So this leads me into some of the comments about the book. One of the negative comments was that the main bad guy, Lawrence, who was a HUGE fan of beheading people (see his match.com ad above), was trying to get his counterfeit money back, and we were all in suspense as to who he was working for. The answer to our question was simply Myanmar. It appeared to be just mentioned as an afterthought, and the author didn’t delve into it at all. It went something like this:

Roger Hobbs: “Lawrence worked for Myanmar, bam” (mic drop).
Us: “Heeeelllll, no.”

Other negatives were: the how-to parts of the book got to be a little too much. The “have you ever...” as in “have you ever tried to rob a casino in broad daylight?” These comments brought some people out of the book and were a bit extensive. Many people just didn’t get Angela’s hold over Jack and why he was so attached to her. We think Mommy issues, but who can be sure. There were a few inconsistencies that we didn’t like, such as Angela needing Jack to get off the boat because she couldn’t dock it….then she did just that. Jack was supposed to be this great criminal but then fell for a few really stupid tricks—like the non-moving head on the back of the chair trick. Some believed the eyeball surgery was gratuitous, but then some loved it. I guess you can’t please everyone’s gore level. Am I right? Dennis missed the mystery/whodunit part and commented that it was more of a James Bond story.

There were plenty of positive comments too. Lots of people couldn’t put the book down and were drawn into the story. Pat liked reading about Macau because she never plans to go there and now she feels like she has. After reading this book, I have officially crossed it off my travel list, I have to say. It was fast paced. Some were reminded of the Lincoln Lawyer because of Angela working out of the back of the limo.

Our scores were as follows: two people gave it a 9 and a whopping ten gave it an 8. It got three 7.5 and two 7 scores. Jeff was our lowest at a 6. He felt Jack was a bit too trusting and kept waiting for Angela to stab him in the back. Maybe if she had, the book would have received a higher score from Jeff.

We weren’t so much Daisy’d as we were Lazy Daisy’d. There were a few things that I think the author threw in just because he needed the plot to move forward. We’ll let him slide, though.

The third book in the series will be out soon. I mistakenly said it came out in February of 2016, but that was when the cover art was released. Here’s a description:

City of Sirens
A priceless work of art.
A revolution in the streets.
Just another night in Bangkok.

Casting for the Move:

We think Ryan Phillippe should play Jack. I had to look him up, but when I saw the photo I completely agreed.

Jack movie

We had votes for Lena Headey for Angela. I think she’s perfect.

Angela movie

I don’t know how old Lawrence was, but I just love Alexander Skarsgard for the bad guy.

Lawrence movie

The word of the day: Megalomaniac - a person who is obsessed with their own power.

Bird of the day: Cormorant (and this one is about to do just what the old guy said). I was unable to find an actual fable online, so Hobbs may have made it up. [They are used for fishing. -Ed.]

Cormorant

Thanks to Amy who really went all out on the snacks. We had eyeball cupcakes, complete with a shard of glass in each. She also sprinkled in some eyeball candy amongst the cupcakes. Well done!

We had a guest appearance from Kryss Bryant, one of our longtime Crime & Beyond members who moved to California. It was great to see her and a few of us went out for drinks afterward at the Baker Street Pub.

NEXT MONTH WE ARE MEETING AT KIM’S. Everyone should bring wine, a snack, dessert or appetizer. We are starting EARLY, at 6:00pm so we have more time to hang out and mingle.

Kim’s address is: XXXX XXXXXXXXXX XXXXXX, XXXXXXXXX XXXXX, XX XXXXX. My Cell: XXX.XXX.XXXX if you get lost

We will discuss Lee Child’s Make Me and I will lead the discussion.

Kerry

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