01/10/23 Biking & Listening

Biking is something else I both love and hate. It takes a lot of effort but does provide good exercise and most days over an hour to listen to a good book or podcast. I especially like having ridden.

Here’s my bike, a Rockhopper by Specialized. I purchased it November 2021 from Venture Out in Guntersville; Mike is top notch! So is the bike, and the ‘old’ man seat I salvaged from an old Walmart bike.

Here’s a link to today’s bike ride. It’s what I call my pistol route, which is my goal every day. But, sometimes cold weather says otherwise.

Here’s what I’m currently listening to: The First Deadly Sin, by Lawrence Sanders

Sanders was a tremendously talented writer.

Amazon abstract:

The #1 New York Times–bestselling author introduces readers to “a great detective, a detective’s detective,” New York cop Edward X. Delaney (Kirkus Reviews).

New York Police Department Captain Edward Delaney is called to the scene of a brutal murder. A Brooklyn councilman was struck from behind, the back of his skull punctured and crushed with an unknown weapon. The victim wasn’t robbed, and there’s no known motive. The commissioner appoints Delaney to head up a clandestine task force, but soon this effort ignites an internecine war of departmental backstabbing.   Distracted by the serious illness of his wife, Barbara, Delaney begins his secret investigation. Then the killer claims another victim—slain in the exact same way, leaving the strange puncture wound. As more young men are found murdered, Delaney starts putting the pieces together. Soon, he’s faced with a cop’s dilemma: He knows who the killer is, but the man is untouchable. That’s when Delaney lays a trap to bring a monster to justice . . .

Learn more–read this great review on Amazon by Pennydreadful

I feel I may have cheated when reading this book because I read it in gosh, too many years ago to count. However, Sanders’s Deadly Sin series were the first stories that put my heart to pounding and made me wish I could write. Recently, I wanted to see if that belief was still true, and darned if it isn’t.

Lawrence Sanders quite simply is a master. Of characterization, of research, of police procedure, of getting inside the characters’ (and readers’ heads). His set up might indeed be frowned upon today. He starts the book with several chapters surrounding the antagonist, and then we meet Captain Edward X. Delaney and several chapters pertain to him and the politics surrounding a police captain with a critically ill wife.

But a killer is on the streets of New York City, and soon Captain Delaney is torn. Torn between sitting by his wife’s bedside and putting a madman away. Naturally it’s not as simple as that because politics and a power struggle are afoot, and a new kind of police reorganization affects the department all the way to the mayors’ office.

Edward X Delaney’s wife takes a turn for the worse, and he tries to resign. A police commissioner persuades him to take a leave of absence. But in the midst of all the politics and turmoil affecting the police department, the commissioner convinces Delaney to work in secret and independently while using his years of detective experience to find the killer who is walking the streets of New York and murdering unsuspecting men with an ice ax.

To accomplish this private investigation, Captain Delaney must do much of the leg work and research himself. To do this he recruits civilians to aid him in this quest, including a bedridden mountain climber, a 70+ retired curator dying to be of assistance and the widow of one of Blank’s victims [Blank is the suspect]. Much of the case is done thanks to these people when the city is in a full-blown panic because of the new administrations’ blunders and inability to catch the killer.

Captain Delaney is called back to work. And with police resources given him, he makes every effort to stop a killer from killing again.

A masterpiece of writing.

Author: Richard L. Fricks

Former CPA, attorney, and lifelong wanderer. I'm now a full-time skeptic and part-time novelist. The rest of my time I spend biking, gardening, meditating, photographing, reading, writing, and encouraging others to adopt The Pencil Driven Life.

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