odds and ends: the intercept, holidays rule

I’m currently reading The Intercept, the new novel by Law & Order creator Dick Wolf.

I snagged an advanced readers’ copy from GoodReads in one of their giveaways.

I suppose GoodReads expects me to write a review of this book, which is sort of unfortunate because it’s not all that good. Presumably the first in a series of novels featuring NYPD Intelligence officer Jeremy Fisk, The Intercept is a pretty flat potboiler. Fisk is another in a long line of authority figures who don’t play by the rules but he has very little characterization to make him appealing. I suppose I’m supposed to care about him because of little details like his love of playing basketball but those small nods to character didn’t quite take hold.

To make a sweeping generalization, this reads like an episode of Law & Order, all plot and very little depth of character. I am positive there are millions of readers in the world for which this is EXACTLY what they are looking for… but I like a bit more to my protagonists than “He’s good at his job and likes basketball.” I’m reminded of Michael Connelly, who writes very similar plot-driven mystery and thriller stories but still manages to make Detective Harry Bosch a wonderfully complex and conflicted character.

At any rate… The Intercept. Comes out December 26th, according to Amazon.


As we’re beginning to get into the swing of the holiday season, I picked up a copy of Holidays Rule, a collection of new versions of familiar yuletide songs from a diverse number of contributors including The Shins, Andrew Bird, and Paul McCartney.

In truth I picked this up for the McCartney cover of The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire) but my favorite in the collection is Black Prairie‘s take on (Everybody’s Waitin’ For) The Man with the Bag. They manage to make the song sound poppy, mournful, and childlike all in three minutes. It’s pretty fun stuff.

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