Welcome to my Blog - Ruud Leeuw

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Welcome to my Blog!The lion roars!!!
I hope to share here my irrepressible thoughts on news, music, books, arts and such like. In general these will be items, events and issues which I feel have no place on my website (which focusses on aviation history and my travel photography).

The item immediately below this would be the latest posting.

Anybody, providing he knows how to be amusing, has the right to talk about himself. - Charles Baudelaire
Esse est percipi (To be is to be perceived) ¬Bishop George Berkeley

Not even I understand everything I am ¬Aurelius Augustinus of Hippo

In 2013 I started a series of photo albums on Blurb.com, named '36Exp' (a subject adressed in 36 exposures, a reference to the exposures on most common rolls of 35 mm film: 12, 24 & 36.).
The books can be ordered directly from the Blurb.com website or Amazon.




Beck, season 8

Based on the crime novels and characters created by the Swedish writing couple Maj Sjöwall & Per Wahlöö, the popular Beck series stars Peter Haber as the Stockholm-based, crime-fighter Police Inspector Martin Beck.
Initially his sidekick was Mikael Persbrand (as Gunvald Larsson), later followed by Steinar Hovland(a tole by xxxx) and in Season 8 we see Alex Beijer firmly leading the crime unit.
We see less and less of Peter Haber, in Season 8 he looks death in the eye for a tumor has been discoveren in his brain. We learn (a little) more about Alex, what happened to her in the Middle East.
In S8 we get a glimpse of Steinar, who has returned to Norway for his child, but he misses the police work in Stockholm. Will we see him return?

The conniving police boss Klas Fredén continues to play his intrigues, trying to oust Martin Beck, even tries to convince Alex Beijer to make him a scapegoat in a mired investigation.
Meanwhile, Alex has taken on a new detective in her team (to replace Steinar), but Josef is a bit of a loose canon.

Series 8 (2020-2021)
#1 "Undercover"
#2 "Beyond Reasonable Doubt"
#3 "Death in Samarra"
#4 "The Prodigal Son"

In Undercover, the murder of a boy leads Beck's team to a drug network.
Klas Fredén has been working on an undercover operation in this network for a long time.While he doesn't want to jeopardize his investigation, he gives team Beck (led by Alex Beijer) permission to continue their murder investigation.As a result, Beijer and Fredén constantly clash with each other.
Martin Beck hovers in the background, still in his supervisory capacity, but more and mor epreoccupied with serious health issues.

In The Fall Guy, a macabre discovery in the trunk of a car appears to lead to a cold-blooded killer.But is that really true?

In Death In Samarra, a Nobel Peace Prize candidate is brutally stabbed to death in central Stockholm.One of the witnesses worked with Alex when she was in the Middle East. This is the episode that we get to understand more about Alex, when we see the burn scars while she looks in the mirror.
"Why are you so cold, so distant?", asks Josef.

In The Prodigal Son, a jawbone is found in the middle of a forest. If the rest of the body is found, it turns out it belongs to Viktor Eklund, who has been missing for five years. Incest plays a role here.

Will we see Martin Beck return? The closing scene of the series shows Beck being wheeled into the operating theatre for a life threatening brain surgery...
I found surprisingly few reviews of Beck's season 8 in English, IMDb wasn't even up to date for this 8th series!

www.scandinavischleven.nl/zweedse-serie-beck/ (NL)



A Sonf For The Dark Times

This is the 24th Rebus novel (or the 26th in the 'franchise' if one includes the two standalone novels featuring Malcolm Fox). I've read them all and am indeed a fan of Mr Rankin's writing, so forgive me when I am not entirely objective.

I am glad that after the two standalone Malcolm Fox novels, Rebus was reintroduced again as his 'rogue qualities' are so much more appealing than the rather civil servant characteristics of Malcolm Fox.
We also meet with Siobhan Clarke again, in a sort of stand off coöperation with Malcolm Fox, and 'Big Ger' Cafferty who conspires to compromise Fox.

'A Song For The Dark Times' is a very good novel, but the inevitable seems ever closer for John Rebus.
He has now moved into a ground floor flat because his lung problems (COPD) preclude climbing flights of stairs.There are still a lot of boxes to unpack, including the ones for the uncolved crimes. While this may hint on future Rebus novels, there are other signs of a generation coming to an end: Rebus’s loyal Saab begins to pack it in and Cafferty sees his 'Realm of Crime' under threat by ambitious others.

There are two crime stories here, one with Clarke and Fox in the main naarative and one with Rebus on a murder inquiry up north, where his daughter Samantha is the main suspect of the murder of her parner Keith.

Obviously, the question arises: are these cases in any way connected, and if so, how? Rankin sets multiple hares running, and the various suspects and causes zig-zag just like a hare on the hill.

I particularly like how Rankin details the relationships between all involved, the weary coöperation between Clarke and Fox, Rebus chasing the investigating DS Robin Creasey from Inverness, the difficult relationship Rebus versus his daughter Samantha, Rebus and the pub owner May Collins, et cetera.
A rusty pistol on display in the pub plays an import part, a link to the WW2 prison Camp 1033 near (also fictional, area round Tongue) Naver where Samantha and her daughter lives.
Keith was obsessed with research into the POW's there and the murder then for which the wrong person may have been convicted. His research was uncomfortable for those who lived through the camp's existence and continued to live in the area.

I did find the narrative of Rebus' investigation and the plot of those involved in the days of Camp 1033 (fictional, though such POW camps did exist in Scotland) rather blurry and unclear.
But Rebus acting in his usual mischievous and roguish ways was again a great joy, getting entries and answers by hinting at still being a policeman, thus rustling many feathers here and there.
We hope for more!

Btw, nice to see Canadian singer/songwriter R. Dean Taylor mentioned...

www.scotsman.com/arts-and-culture/b- - -song-dark-times




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Created: 08-APR-2021