Sunday, October 30, 2016

Guy Fieri: The Tim Tebow of Cooking

Guy Fieri Family Food: 125 Real-Deal Recipes – Kitchen Tested, Home Approved – Guy Fieri and Marah Stets (William Morrow Cookbooks)

What is it about spikey haired chef Guy Fieri? For some unknown (to me) reason, people feel the need to go out of their way to look for things to dislike about this guy. He has been the subject of ongoing ridicule and derision from the dopes on Twitter and other online outposts. For me he is almost the cooking world’s equivalent of Tim Tebow; a guy people love to hate.

And like Tebow, Fieri just continues to do what he does, go out and be successful! His latest endeavor is Guy Fieri Family Food: 125 Real-Deal Recipes – Kitchen Tested, Home Approved. Just like the title says, the book is chock full of flavor focused recipes, many of which seem to gravitate towards the family joining into the cooking process.

As a confirmed member of the Triple D club (Fieri’s Food Network Hit Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives) I am a fan of simple, tasty food that does take a degree from the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) to bang out. Fieri draws a simple road map that will get you to his fabled “flavor town.”

Flipping through the pages I found my mouth watering, my head nodding and my feet gravitating towards the kitchen. Hey Thanksgiving is right around the corner, Bacon Roasted Turkey? Yes! Please. Grilled Asparagus with bacon, brie and crunchy quinoa? I’m in! Bacon mac and cheese burger; Am I noticing a trend here? Bacon rules!

While some home cooks may complain that many of the recipes here call for a pretty long list of ingredients; for me the journey to get there is worth the destination. Fieri also lays out the basics when it comes to the sauces, stocks and building blocks not only for the recipes in this book but stuff you can use to improve your own book of food favorites.

A Fish Out of Water Serves Up Cold Plate of Revenge

A Soldier’s Revenge: A Will Cochrane Novel – Matthew Dunn (William Morrow)

Take one chilled plate of revenge add a pinch of fish out of water and the chase is on! That is the best single line I can muster to describe the latest installment in the ongoing Will Cochrane series by former MI6 spy master Matthew Dunn, A Soldier’s Revenge.

Cochrane thinks he turn the page on his career as a spy/killer and is looking forward to the next chapter; adopting a pair of little boys, the sons of a former mate who was brutally murdered and whos Mother was caught in the crossfire of his last mission. As idyllic as that sounds, it all comes to a screeching halt when Cochrane wakes up covered in the blood of a mysterious dead women in his New York hotel room.

Then the chase is on; Cochrane’s skills are put to the test in the strange environments, moving from urban to rural settings in quick order. A pair of New York’s finest detectives are on his tail along with a cadre of local police officers and some mysterious players from Federal law enforcement and the unseen hand of someone from Cochrane’s past hell bent on revenge.

Dunn is a man possessed of a particular set of skills from his hands on experience in the field that he puts to use in driving the action sequences of the story. You’ll find yourself muttering, “I did not see that coming,” as Dunn mixes things up with just the right amount of twists and turns along the way. The Cochrane series gets better with each installment.

Sherlock For Millennials

Sherlock: The Essential Arthur Conan Doyle Adventures – Selected and Introduced by Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat (Pegasus Crime)

For an entire generation Sherlock Holmes never existed outside of Benedict Cumberbatch and Netflix. The great portrayals by Basil Rathbone and the writings of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle generated nary a thought from the millennial generation that latched onto the modern day incarnation brought to the small screen by the BBC.

Now the show’s producers Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat have made a run at trying to breathe life into Doyle’s classic renderings of Sherlock Holmes by collecting their favorite Sherlockian tales between the covers of the new book, Sherlock: The Essential Arthur Conan Doyle. The pair billed the book as their favorite selections with a brief introduction to each of the choices. Brief being the optimum word here with each treated with a single line synopsis of what follows.

This was a missed opportunity for the duo to offer up deeper insight into why they made the selection, along with if/how it impacted on their rendering of Holmes. This may struck some as just another opportunity to cash in on Doyle’s creation.

With so many writers/publishers trying to latch onto Holmes and Doyle’s other characters, there is at least a purity to Gatiss and Moffat’s version; given their brilliant and varied selctions. As a fan of Sherlock Holmes in the original written form and as the father of a millennial how is a diehard fan of the TV show, it gives me the opportunity to share Doyle’s masterful storytelling with my son and give him of dose of Homes in the purist form.

The Real Deal

Rich Man – Doyle Bramhall II (Concord Records)

Doyle Bramhall II first came on my radar with the release of his band the Arc Angels debut album in 1992. Paired with fellow Austin-ite Charlie Sexton and the Double Trouble rhythm section I was immediately drawn to the raw, sonic intensity of their sound.

It is that sonic intensity that has carried through all of his music moving forward from that point; this is a guy who truly leans into his music. His latest, Rich Man, features a broad based blend of musical styles that may be a bit jarring for Bramhall purists, I think these songs truly hand well together.

Lots of people try to lay claim to being soul singers, but for me, there is a quality to not only the voice, but the musical approach that truly separates real soul singers from those who don’t quite make the cut. Doyle Bramhall II is one of those true soulful singers. Right from the first listen I picked up on real Lenny Kravitz vibe in the grooves of Rich Man, a driving rock power topped with Bramhall’s soulful croon. By the third or fourth spin, I was reaching for Kravitz’s, 5 CD.

Right from the opening riffs of The Veil, I was hooked by the cascading production, vocal driven feel, topped with classic Hammond B3 and layers of guitar. Your Mama Can’t Help, brings a modern feel to a classic blues meter. There is a mystical, Indian feel to My People which features the interesting opening pairing of a Harmonium pump organ and a saranji, which is a traditional stringed, bowed instrument and the chanted salutation refrain, “namaskar, inshallah, pranamasana.” Bramhall displays just the right of reverence to his roots on his cover of Jimi Hendrix, Hear My Train A Comin.

Rich Man, makes it easy to understand why such a diverse array of artists ranging from Eric Clapton to Roger Waters and Treseshi Trucks to Sheryl Crow have tapped Bramhall for studio, writing, live and production gigs. In an era chock full of forgettable, Auto-Tuned pabulum puke, passed off as important music, it’s nice to be served up an occasional dose of the real deal. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Jump The Shark

David Bowie – Retrospective and Coloring Book – Mel Elliott (Watson-Guptill Publications)

The season five premiere of Happy Days featured a scene that would become a cultural icon as the always hip Fonzi, decked out in swim trunks and his trademark leather jacket water skis and in an effort to prove his manhood jumps over a confined shark. Forever enshrined in the lexicon, “jump the shark” became synonymous with something coming to a fateful end or signifying a downhill slide that something will not recover from.

So why tell that story here you ask? Well it appears to me that David Bowie – Retrospective and Coloring Book by Mel Elliott may be the jump the shark moment for the whole adult coloring book phenomenon. Described as a retrospective of Bowie’s career…and a coloring book; this fails to deliver on either front. The fact that a drawing of a pair of platform shoes is included to mark a significant point in Bowie’s career arc should be all you need to know about this one.

While Bowie was easily one of rock music’s most significant innovators and most colorful showman, this should not be considered a significant milepost in remembering his greatness.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

A Guitar Hero’s, Guitar Hero

Michael Bloomfield: the Rise and Fall of an American Guitar Hero – Ed Ward (Chicago Review Press)

If you’ve paid even passing attention to bluesy rock then you’ve likely heard the late guitarist Michael Bloomfield’s masterful licks; if not directly than via the legion of legendary players that he spawned, influenced or inspired.

Originally published in 1982, Michael Bloomfield: the Rise and Fall of an American Guitar Hero, by Ed Ward has been remixed and remastered for a completely updated publication featuring a foreword by ZZ Top guitar slinger Billy Gibbons. Ward, the longtime contributor and rock ‘n’ roll historian for NPR’s Fresh Air program and numerous print publications writes lovingly of Bloomfield’s guitar virtuosity without slipping too far into fanboy status.

Bloomfield’s is a cautionary tale that is so familiar to so many in the rock realm because it’s been repeated so many times. A young guy flashes on the scene and scores early success only to fall prey to the temptation of chemical abuse and his shining star flashes out too soon; Bloomfield succumbed to a drug overdose at the age of 38, almost ancient by rock standards, but still too young.

Ward details Bloomfield’s career in a way that he makes the case for his stature and legacy among the most influential guitarists of not only his era, but of all time. His flight path through the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, playing with Bob Dylan, founding Electric Flag and recording the seminal Super Session album are among his many transcendent credits the Ward uses to make a case that is pretty hard to argue against.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Science! and Other Stories

The Speed of Sound: Breaking the Barriers Between Music and Technology: A Memoir – Thomas Dolby (Flatiron Books)

Imagine a long narrow nightclub that on a good night might comfortably hold 450 people. Now imagine the fire marshal is looking the other way and pack an additional 400 people like sardines into that same night club and that is my “personal” interaction with Thomas Dolby, hit maker. Granted I was lucky enough to be one somebody’s list and was able to lock down a spot while Dolby was doing sound check before the doors opened, so the experience was better than most folks.

It is from that perspective that I approached Dolby’s very self-confessional autobiography, The Speed of Sound: Breaking the Barriers Between Music and Technology: A Memoir. Dolby’s story really is pretty amazing as he careens from place to place, essentially building a career literally piece by piece or in his case chip by chip. His is a very personal rendering of his story, which may sound absurd, because it is his story; but Dolby doesn’t hold back or gloss over the nicks and scrapes he has encountered along the way.

Having spent time in and around the music industry early in my career, I always chuckle when people assume that because you had hits, record sales, and successful tours that you were automatically a millionaire and worry free. It doesn’t take Dolby long to dispel that myth and to see how his interactions with “the Business” sowed the seeds of his discontent and eventual departure from the music industry.

The Speed of Sound, is a great evolutionary story, as Dolby, like a cat, has had nine lives transitioning from fledgling musician, to hitmaker/video star, to scoring movies and becoming a tech guru. Dolby marches through the highs and the lows; the celebrations and the retreats with an evenhandedness that is rare among celebrities who always like to put their best face/foot forward.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Inside the Tortured Mind of True Genius

I Am Brian Wilson: A Memoir – Brian Wilson – (DaCapo Press)

Whether it is the world of sports or the creative world the term genius has been tossed around so liberally, that it has had its value so reduced that it has become almost meaningless and at times it can become backhanded slap. One place where the term is neither misplaced nor misused is when it is utilized to describe legendary Beach Boys tunesmith Brian Wilson.

Wilson is the musical equivalent of a Beautiful Mind; a savant who walks the knife edge between genius and insanity. As I read his autobiography, I Am Brain Wilson, I wondered if this man who has become a poster child for mental illness, may have been misdiagnosed and actually has a high functioning form of autism, like Aspergers’s Syndrome, that gives him a sparring, tenuous grip on a reality but, allows him to create sounds and songs that have become timeless classics.

The book alternates between being a sad portrait of a troubled man, who is clearly the victim of emotional trauma and abuse, and hopeful tale of a survivor who escaped to lead a life doing what he loves. While over the course of time I have literally strung together millions of words in a coherent fashion, I will admit that I don’t know how the creative process works for musicians like Wilson, who seem to have an amazing and innate facility to craft notes and words into song. Wilson details the many interactions he has had over the course of his career that have led to varying degrees of success.

I Am Brain Wilson, is a must read for anyone who is a fan of the Beach Boys, Wilson’s solo work or anyone who appreciates the impact that he has had on popular music as a whole. While the later, touring groupings dubbed the Beach Boys have become a musical punch line or footnote, this offers great insight into what remains one of the few truly unique and impactful music groups of our time and Wilson was the undeclared leader of the band.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

The Complete Beatles

Tune In: The Beatles: All These Years – Mark Lewisohn – (Three Rivers Press)

A little housekeeping up front; I have never been a huge Beatles fan and wasn’t a huge collector of their music. After reading what I considered to be one of the most interesting Beatles books, Mark Lewisohn’s The Beatles the Recordings, which was a truly fascinating look into the studio process and recording sessions of the band, I did collect a number of the bootleg recordings that had made the rounds for years because it was interesting to tie them back to the various takes that Lewisohn described in the book.

Now many years later, and literally hundreds of Beatles books later, Lewisohn has set out the first installment of what is supposed to be a trilogy of Beatles books chronicling the band’s history. Tune In:The Beatles: All These Years, is exactly what you would expect from Lewisohn; comprehensive, intimate, and utterly intriguing. He does a remarkable job of tracking down the band’s history and offers a real insider’s perspective.

While in many instances Beatles related books come off has shoddy and penned by shady characters, Lewisohn brings an almost historian-like approach to his writings about the band. There is no fan-boy awe in this at all; instead Lewisohn delivers the in depth, thoroughly researched goods that a true Beatles fan is seeking.

Like I said, there are hundreds of books on the Beatles, both as a group and its individual parts, not to mention those in the band’s orbit, but if you want to get a true full perspective on the band, Lewisohn has delivered a great first piece that will have you looking forward to the next two installments.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The Perfect Escape

Escape Clause (A Virgil Flowers Novel) – John Sandford (G P Putnam)

I became a John Sandford fan through the Prey series, featuring the character Lucas Davenport. Sandford is a master craftsman at weaving intricate stories chock full of twists and turns. As the Davenport stories progressed well into double digits I have to admit that I started to grow weary with the series. It took a while, but I find myself slowly warming to Sanford’s other mainstay character, Virgil Flowers.

With the latest entry in the Flowers series, Escape Clause, it struck why have evolved to liking this series so much; Flowers is a character who is the equivalent of a comfortable, well-worn, shoe. He is a laid back, easy going kind of guy who takes care of business. The light turned on for when I realized the similarity between Flowers and James Lee Burke’s, Dave Robicheaux.

In Escape Clause Flowers answers the call and is on case of trying to track down the folks who broke into the zoo and made off with a pair of rare tigers. Sandford lace’s the plot with a never ending parade of oddball characters ranging from animal rights activists and natural medicine practitioners to thugs imported from Armenia through California. I could see this one easily transplanted from the wilds of Minnesota to the below sea-level wilds of New Orleans.

Sandford always manages to keep things interesting by dabbling in the quirky and lacing just the right amounts of humor and plot twists. This one is Sandford and Flowers at their entertaining best. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Rigging the System

Guilty as Sin: Uncovering new Evidence of Corruption and How Hilary Clinton and the Democrats Derailed the FBI Investigation – Edward Klein – (Regnery)

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it,” - Joseph Goebbels – Reich Minister of Propaganda, Nazi Germany.

Hitler’s propagandist believed that statement and Hilary Clinton and her band of minions practice it on a daily basis. Longtime New York Times columnist William Safire got it right when he described Hilary Clinton as a “congenital liar.” This is a woman who chooses to lie even when she has the opportunity to tell the truth and more often than not she does it with absolute conviction.

It is that skillful ability to lie, aided and abetted by a legion of minions and enablers and a sycophantic media that is the centerpiece of bestselling author Edward Klein’s latest exploration of the corrupt world of Hilary Clinton, Guilty as Sin: Uncovering new Evidence of Corruption and How Hilary Clinton and the Democrats Derailed the FBI Investigation.

Klein, a deft journalist has always managed to pull on enough story threads to craft a compelling, detailed case loaded with an insider’s perspective of all of the comings and goings of his subject matter. In Guilty as Sin, Klein focused his attention on piecing together the details of the FBI’s multi-layered investigation into Hilary’s use of a “home brew” private email server that was CLEARLY outside the parameters of the law on a number of levels.

The Clinton and her evil minions defense is where the Goebbels-like lies come into play; bullshit like: “there was nothing illegal about it,” or “Colin Powell did the same thing,” or “Colin Powell advised me to do it,” “There was no classified email sent through the server,” and my personal favorite “I only deleted emails about my yoga classes.” Sorry, but the only thing twisting into knots was Hilary make believe stories and not her overstuffed backside!

Klein details the endless laundry list of Clinton scandals, the self-enriching, pay for play schemes that Hilary and company have cooked up. Imagine, this is when she was only the secretary of state; it boggles the mind to think what she would try to pull if she lands in the White House. This women comes with more baggage then O’Hare Airport! It’s scary to think of the gaggle of assholes, sycophants, clingers and criminals that she would bring with her to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Klein spells out a compelling story of way she must be stopped!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

A Walk On the Mild Side

Shaken – Tim Tebow – (WaterBrook Books)
In a day and age when the talentless and the marginally talented can amass huge followings on social media and make millions, Tim Tebow is a true anomaly. He is the genuine article; a guy who is supremely talented and walks the walk that he talks. Is he the best quarterback ever? No, but he did lead his team to two college football national championships, win the Heisman Trophy, get drafted in the first round of the NFL draft by the Denver Broncos.

So why does this guy find himself on the receiving end of a seemingly endless stream of mean spirited snipping? It can only be one thing; Tim Tebow is a believer in Christ and he is not shy about sharing his faith. That fact alone puts him out of the mainstream and based on his latest book Shaken, Tebow is trying hard not to be affected by those who try to drag him down. God love him for it!

Not many folks can have their lifelong dreams dashed and then face a relentless pounding by the media, anonymous commenters and the Twit-iots on Twitter and come out the other side remaining steadfast in their beliefs and carry a positive outlook and message forward. In Shaken Tebow details the crushing blow of being cut by the New England Patriots and his struggle to continue on.

He perseveres through all of this tumult by keeping his faith at the forefront of not only his pursuits, but of his life. While those who can’t wrap their arms, let alone their hearts around Tebow’s choices and my chafe at his sighting of scripture throughout the book, it is the real life stories of people Tebow shares that demonstrate how he and many others feel that their faith has seen them through not only the highest of highs, but the lowest of lows.  

Sunday, October 2, 2016

We’re Mad as Hell…

Angry White Male: How the Donald Trump Phenomenon is Changing America – and What We Can Do to Save the Middle Class – Wayne Allyn Root – (Skyhorse Publishing)

The same mainstream press who thought that the color of Barack Obama’s skin was the only qualification that he needed to be the leader of the free world is now mystified, confused and frustrated trying to understand how Donald J. Trump could possibly be the viewed as qualified for that job, let alone be the Republican nominee. When these folks, who self identify as waaaay smarter than the average folks in flyover country can’t quite grasp what is going on, they respond in typical fashion, by going the attack and name calling.

The equally natural response from these liberal elitists is to extend their attack onto anyone who would dare to profess their support for Trump. Any Trump supporter is automatically a racist, homophobe, bigot, intolerant buffoon and likely an angry white male. Riding in on his (naturally) white horse to save the day and try to explain the Trump phenomenon is conservative and self-describe capitalist televangelist Wayne Allyn Root with his new book, Angry White Male: How the Donald Trump Phenomenon is Changing America – and What We Can Do to Save the Middle Class.

Root cuts to the chase and lays it out chapter and verse why so many folks are, to borrow a line from the movie Network “mad as hell and not going to take it anymore!” Root outlines, the time and time again process where the middle class has been used as a doormat by politicians of every stripe; promised the world on a platter during an election campaign only to be crapped on when the rubber meets the road.

So what’s behind the Trump phenomenon? FRUSTRATION! Root encapsulates all of the anger that has been building and why even if he may not be the perfect candidate or the most politically correct candidate, that is exactly when a HUGE (or if you prefer YUGE) portion of frustrated voters is looking for right here, right now. The main stream morons won’t ever get it, because they are part and parcel of the problem; they haven’t done a damn thing to hold politicians accountable, so now…the voters will!

A Spaceman and a Storyteller

Spaceman: An Astronaut’s Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe – Mike Massimino – (Crown Archetype)

Ever since July 20, 1969, when my parents woke me up to witness the first walk on the moon; Neil Armstrong took that fateful step at 10:56 PM and I was an early to bed early to rise 8 year old, astronauts and space flight have held a place of fascination for me. It’s not the kind of fascination that had me dreaming of going to space like so many kids, but more of a wonder and awe of these brave folks who hurtle their bodies into space because like author Tom Wolfe described it, they have “the right stuff.”

In the intervening years I have been lucky enough to interview some of the original NASA pioneers and astronauts and gain insight into what drove them to pursue this amazing endeavor. I have read a shelf full of biographies and I can say with certainty the Mike Massimino’s, Spaceman: An Astronaut’s Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe is my favorite of the bunch.
Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson’s blurb on the book’s jacket really nails things down; “Every generation of astronauts needs a storyteller.” Massimino is that storyteller! He writes with an easy, comfortable style, that gives the details of the engineering of space flight that even us non-engineers can grasp.

Here is a guy who counts himself among a very small number of folks who have done amazing things in space and he writes with an awe of a child about viewing the Earth from 350 miles up, while dangling outside the Hubble Space Telescope. I was moved by his descriptions and surprised by his expression of faith and who God gave us an amazing place to live known as Earth. Put that in your pipe and smoke Bill Nye!

The sadness is palpable when Massimino writes about STS 107, the space shuttle Columbia 28th mission, that disintegrated upon re-entering Earth atmosphere. Massimino was part of the crew of STS 109 which would have been the Columbia’s 28th mission, but technical issues and scheduling bumped 109 ahead of 107 and by the luck of the draw he and his crew mates returned safely home. His insights into what the loss of his fellow Astronauts and friends will move you to tears.

In the end, it is often that raw emotion that Massimino expresses throughout the book, the things he experienced and felt during his time in space that really separate Spaceman from the rest of the pack of Astronaut bios.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

The Original Guerrilla Marketer

They Call Me Supermensch: A Backstage Pass to the Amazing Worlds of Film, Food, and Rock ‘n’ Roll – Shep Gordon – (Anthony Bourdain/Ecco)

What do Alice Cooper, Groucho Marx, Michael Douglas, Pink Floyd, Emeril Lagasse, and Wolfgang Puck all have in common? At one point or another in their wildly diverse careers they were managed by Shep Gordon. Many other celebrities, too numerous to detail in list form have crossed paths, shared food or been friends with Gordon.

For a guy who basically got his start dealing pot and acid, he built an amazing career for himself, all the while building the careers and fame of others. Now the spotlight has been turned back in Gordon’s direction; first in the Mike Myers film Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon (2013) and now in his autobiography, They Call Me Supermensch: A Backstage Pass to the Amazing Worlds of Film, Food, and Rock ‘n’ Roll.

Gordon’s story is truly amazing; he didn’t really set out to be a talent manager, he kind of stumbled into it while hanging around a bunch of rock stars that he was selling drugs to! His initial foray into handling talent came in the form of a band of misfits from Arizona, that would soon become Alice Cooper. Vince Furnier was the band’s flamboyant frontman and on Gordon’s advice he became its namesake, in the process creating the Alice Cooper persona that would become a legendary figure in rock ‘n’ roll.

What he lacked in experience as a manager, Gordon more than made up for in testicular fortitude. This guy had brass balls when it came to making stuff happen for the artists and talent he represented. He truly was the original guerrilla marketer and relates many stories of the creative and borderline illegal chances he took to put his talent on the proverbial map. While this book offers great inside stories from the entertainment world, it could easily become a business book to inspire creative risk taking in a day and age larded down with folks who think Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are cutting edge, creative, promotional tools.

Gordon would later focus is efforts on Hollywood and was part and parcel of the advent of the celebrity chef, well before the days of 24 hour cable food networks. They Call Me Supermensch, is truly one of the more entertaining entertainment biographies of the year.

Peeper’s Revenge

Robert B Parker’s Debt To Pay – Reed Farrel Coleman (G P Putnum)

Robert B. Parker was one of those rare authors that created characters and fiction the truly captured my imagination. The wise cracking, tough talking, smart crew that honored a personal code and finished things. I have read everyone of his books and after his passing I began a journey to re-collect all of his books in original hardcover. Along the way I have continued to read all of the books penned by the folks charged with the task of keeping Parker’s legacy of characters alive.

Some of those efforts have been strong, others have struggled to match Parker’s unique tone. Reed Farrel Coleman, a talented weaver of fiction in his own right has picked up the mantle of continuing the Jesse Stone series about a small town police chief battling not only crime, but his particular set of demons. In Robert B Parker’s Debt To Pay, Coleman re-visits the character, Mr. Peepers that he invited to the party in the book, Blind Spot.

Peepers was one of those bad penny characters that you just knew was not going to go away quietly and he returns with an eye towards settling a score with Stone and crew. Coleman sets things against the back drop of Stone’s ex-wife Jen, one of those aforementioned demons, getting re-married. While I can’t imagine many exes getting an invite to a former spouse’s wedding, the connection between Jen and Stone makes for strange wedding guests.

Peepers plays on that connection and utilizes to twist Stones into knots with a cat and mouse chase as he tries to exact his revenge. While the cat and mouse plot is a time-honored tradition in fiction, here it seems just over the line into convoluted. Coleman at times appears to be trying just a little too hard and things come off a little hokey. While a found Debt To Pay to be a quick easy read, the plot seemed to lead off to a few too many dead ends.