Letters

Letters 08-29-2016

Religious Bigotry President Obama has been roundly criticized for his apparent unwillingness to use the term “radical Islamic terrorism.” His critics seem to suggest that through the mere use of that terminology, the defeat of ISIS would be assured...

TC DDA: Focus On Your Mission What on earth is the Traverse City DDA thinking? Purchasing land around (not within) its TIF boundaries and then offering it at a discount to developers? That is not its mission. Sadly enough, it is already falling down on the job regarding what is its mission. Crosswalks are deteriorating all around downtown, trees aren’t trimmed, sidewalks are uneven. Why can’t the DDA do a better job of maintaining what it already has? And still no public restrooms downtown, despite all the tax dollars captured since 1997. What a joke...

European-Americans Are Boring “20 Fascinating People” in northern Michigan -- and every single one is European-American? Sorry, but this is journalistically incorrect. It’s easy for editors to assign and reporters to write stories about people who are already within their personal and professional networks. It’s harder to dig up stuff about people you don’t know and have never met. Harder is better...

Be Aware Of Lawsuit While most non-Indians were sleep walking, local Odawa leaders filed a lawsuit seeking to potentially have most of Emmet County and part of Charlevoix County declared within their reservation and thus under their jurisdiction. This assertion of jurisdiction is embedded in their recently constructed constitution as documentation of their intent...

More Parking Headaches I have another comment to make about downtown TC parking following Pat Sullivan’s recent article. My hubby and I parked in a handicap spot (with a meter) behind Mackinaw Brew Pub for lunch. The handicap spot happens to be 8-10 spaces away from the payment center. Now isn’t that interesting...

Demand Change At Women’s Resource Center Change is needed for the Women’s Resource Center for the Grand Traverse Area (WRCGT). As Patrick Sullivan pointed out in his article, former employees and supporters don’t like the direction WRCGT has taken. As former employees, we are downright terrified at the direction Juliette Schultz and Ralph Soffredine have led the organization...

Home · Articles · News · Books · Howling Good Reads for Halloween
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Howling Good Reads for Halloween

Nancy Sundstrom - October 30th, 2003
It’s Halloween week and movie-goers have been flocking to the likes of the remake of the “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and “Kill Bill,” but readers, especially fans of the horror genre, have plenty of new options, as well.
For starters, there are hot-off-the-presses release from two of the best in the biz. Advance buzz has been strong for Peter Straub and Anne Rice’s latest ventures, his being “Lost Boy, Lost Girl,” and Rice’s a continuation of her infamous vampires series. Look for reviews of both in upcoming editions of Express.
Some other works of not include Ramsey Campbell’s “The Darkest Part of the Woods,” about an ancient English forest that provides a setting for murder, madness and mayhem, and “Season of the Witch,” the latest from Topinabee, MI-based writer and media personality Christopher Knight. A collection of short stories that pays more than a nod to Stephen King, Knight’s book is his strongest effort yet and he employs a number of clever storytelling twists that connect the tales to each other. Readers will also have fun with the Northern Michigan backdrops and bits of trivia that he stirs in for regional flavor.
But two very chilling, unforgettable and well-crafted books came out this past summer that are highly recommended if you don’t mind staying up late because you can’t stop turning the pages. William Brodrick’s “The 6th lamentation” and Stan Pottinger’s “The Last Nazi” have much in common, including the fact that they both deal with the scariest of all creatures to ever walk the earth - the Nazis. Truth be told, they’re would be more appropriately classified as thrillers rather than horror novels, but they’re nail-biters all the same and loaded with suspense that sometimes borders on terror.

The 6th Lamentation by William Brodrick
This debut novel begins with an uncommon act - that of a man seeking sanctuary at a monastery:
“Sanctuary.”
“My bottom!”
“Honestly.”
The Prior, Father Andrew, was fond of diluting harsher well-known expressions for monastic use, but the sentiment remained largely the same. He was an unconverted Glaswegian tamed by excessive education, but shades of the street fighter were apt to break out when grappling with the more unusual community problems.
“It was abolished ages ago. He can’t be serious.”
“Well, he is,” said Anselm.
“When did he come out with that one?”
“This morning, when Wilf asked him to leave.”
The Prior scowled. “I suppose he declined to oblige?”
“Yes. And he told Wilf there’s nowhere he can go.”

The man wanting sanctuary is Eduard Schwermann, a family man who has lived quietly for the past 50 years but is suspected of being a Nazi war criminal who destroyed a French underground movement who smuggled Jewish children to safety. As a result, men, women and children were sent off to death camps, but there’s a twist to the story as it unfolds - Schwermann claims that he actually risked his own life to save a young Jewish boy. Father Anselm, a barrister turned monk becomes involved with Schwermann’s trial and the more he learns, the more reason he has to believe that the church he has devoted himself to is an accomplice in the destruction of the Round Table. Plot twists abound nothing is what it seems, especially the past, which one character notes is “not a safe place while it touches on the living.”





The Last Nazi by Stan Pottinger
When I first began this taut thriller, I feared I was reading a rip-off of Ira Levin’s “The Boys From Brazil,” but it didn’t take long to discover that the book was completely original and equally unpredictable. The action kicks in from the opening paragraphs when we meet Melissa Gale, an attorney for the U.S. Justice Department who is hot on the trail of Adalwolf, a Nazi rumored to be the foster son of Dr. Josef Mengele, the “Angel of Death” from the Third Reich:
“The FBI agents climbed the grimy wooden stairwell smoothly, five sylphs in rubber-soled boots, black Ninja suits, Kevlar vests and helmets with visors lowered...Melissa Gale followed them up the steps at a short distance, her sneakers, turtleneck, and bulletproof vest suddenly feeling inadequate. But it didn’t matter. She wanted this guy so much it made her mouth dry. “Come on, Adalwolf,” she said in a soft whisper, “be inside that room.”...It was rare for a prosecutor to join the FBI on an arrest-in addition to the danger, it could make her a witness-but there were unusual circumstances in this case...Looking straight ahead, she saw the flickering blue light of a TV set coming through the crack at the bottom of the door. He was in there. Seventy-five-year old Adalwolf-Josef Mengele’s teenage lab assistant at Auschwitz, the last Nazi on her list-was watching television in a rooming house in Atlantic City’s run-down Inlet section.”

Gale and Adalwolf have had many close encounters in the past, but he has remained elusive. Now, he has decided to make Gale key in his unrealized plot to carry out Hitler’s final solution of extermination of the Jewish race. His plan is nearly flawless, but also has an unexpected moral dilemma attached to it, and Pottinger’s story races along with economy, almost to a fault because it’s so well told that you regret having it end. It’s provocative on a number of fronts - medical, political, criminal and social, to name a few - and the resolution is quite satisfying. I’d expect to see this land on the big screen soon, but do yourself a favor and read the book first.
 
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