Saturday, April 11, 2020

Year 5 of an Indie Writer: Week 15 AKA Dublin Murders, John Prine, The Rockford Files, and Apollo 13

Scott D. Parker

I'm willing to bet my week went something close to yours. I spent every workday in my writing room doing the day job. I watched some news, but only about an hour a day. I watched a few TV shows. I spent lots of time with the family. And that was about it.


I thought so.

Without much variety and few exterior stimulation, there's not a lot of change day to day. Now don't get me wrong: I am not bored. I do not have cabin fever. I am content to do what I can to flatten the curve. And, as I'm not a medical professional or a grocery store employee, that means staying home. I'm doing my part, as are so many of us. Frankly, it's inspiring to see everyday folks doing what they can to combat this virus. It should be a moment of pride for all of us.

Give yourself a round of applause. But I also have some crime fiction-related material.

Dublin Murders

My wife read all the books by Tana French and loved them. When she heard a television series was being made, she got very excited. When she learned said series was going to be on STARZ, she sighed. We subscribe to a few streaming services, and she was willing to wait to see Dublin Murders at some future date.

Well, STARZ came through. The network offered it's content for free for about a week, and we eagerly jumped on the eight-episode series which combines the first two French novels: INTO THE WOODS and THE LIKENESS.

Taking place in 2006, Rob Riley (Killian Scott) and Cassie Maddox (Sarah Greene) pick up a case about a murdered teenaged girl. They don't want another child murder case but Rob's driven to solve this one. Turns out, the dead girl was found in the same set of woods a notorious 1985 crime also occurred. The 1985 case involved three younger teenagers who went into the forest but only one came out. This story line corresponds

Rob was that boy, but he's hidden his identity. Now, as the lead detective in 2006, he strives to find the 2006 killer at the same time as he digs into the events of 1985, most of which he can't remember.

Cassie has her own issues stemming from the deaths of her parents when she was a child. Her own demons haunt her, and play directly into the B Mystery, which is the subject of THE LIKENESS. This one involves her going undercover to find who killed a young lady...who looks just like Cassie.

Okay, so the A Mystery plot is pretty good and I found it quite compelling. I enjoyed the camaraderie between Rob and Cassie...until they both started acted in a manner that seemed unlike themselves. And it really put me off. The B Mystery plot I almost didn't care for. The deeper into the B Mystery we got, the more irritated I became. I would've preferred just doing INTO THE WOODS.

And then there was the ending...

Have you seen Dublin Murders? What did you think of it.

John Prine

Up until the singer/songwriter got sick with Coronavirus, I wouldn't have been able to pick him out of a lineup. I don't think I've ever consciously listened to any of Prine's songs.

Unfortunately, Prine died from Covid 19 this week. And then I started reading the remembrances from all over, including Jason Isbell's piece in the New York Times and that of James Taylor. Seth Godin listed lots of song lyrics on his blog, and that got me to YouTube. I started listening to Prince's songs. I listened and then I kept listening. My wife, who knows Prine and his music, had me listen to multiple versions of "Angel from Montgomery."

I loved everything I heard, and he had a great way with lyrics and spinning his tales. I'll be listening to more of his music in the weeks ahead.

Do you have a favorite Prine song?

The Rockford Files

Yesterday, I had a day off and, after lunch and my daily games of backgammon and Yahtzee with the wife, I pulled out my DVD set of the first season of The Rockford Files. I watched the first two episodes, and boy did I enjoy them. The clothes. The cars. The rumpled coolness of James Garner. The big heart. That theme song.

What I really liked and appreciated is how Rockford would think his way out of every situation. He reminded me of Donald Lam from the Erle Stanley Gardner Cool and Lam novels. And the humor was at times subtle and obvious. Really enjoyed both episodes.

I have memories of the show being on back in my childhood, but I don't remember ever sitting down and watching the show. I was probably too young for it. Cut to my adulthood and I never sought out the show. Now that I have the complete first season, I'll be watching it...and then finding future seasons.

Apollo 13 at 50

Today marks the fiftieth anniversary of Apollo 13's launch. Monday marks the anniversary of the accident in space while next Friday is the date of splashdown. If you haven't done it in awhile, you should check out the movie. If not, there will be likely be articles published.

Take a moment and remember what the expertise of all those involved fifty years ago did to get those astronauts back home safe. Remarkable.

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