Letters

Letters 05-02-2016

Facts About Trails I would like to correct some misinformation provided in Kristi Kates’ article about the Shore-to-Shore Trail in your April 18 issue. The Shore-to-Shore Trail is not the longest continuous trail in the Lower Peninsula. That honor belongs to the North Country Trail (NCT), which stretches for over 400 miles in the Lower Peninsula. In fact, 100 miles of the NCT is within a 30-minute drive of Traverse City, and is maintained by the Grand Traverse Hiking Club...

North Korea Is Bluffing I eagerly read Jack Segal’s columns and attend his lectures whenever possible. However, I think his April 24th column falls into an all too common trap. He casually refers to a nuclear-armed North Korea when there is no proof whatever that North Korea has any such weapons. Sure, they have set off some underground explosions but so what? Tonga could do that. Every nuclear-armed country on Earth has carried out at least one aboveground test, just to prove they could do it if for no other reason. All we have is North Korea’s word for their supposed capabilities, which is no proof at all...

Double Dipping? In Greg Shy’s recent letter, he indicated that his Social Security benefit was being unfairly reduced simply due to the fact that he worked for the government. Somehow I think something is missing here. As I read it this law is only for those who worked for the government and are getting a pension from us generous taxpayers. Now Greg wants his pension and he also wants a full measure of Social Security benefits even though he did not pay into Social Security...

Critical Thinking Needed Our media gives ample coverage to some presidential candidates calling each other a liar and a sleaze bag. While entertaining to some, this certainly should lower one’s respect for either candidate. This race to the bottom comes as no surprise given their lack of respect for the rigors of critical thinking. The world’s esteemed scientists take great steps to preserve the integrity of their findings. Not only are their findings peer reviewed by fellow experts in their specialty, whenever possible the findings are cross-checked by independent studies...

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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