Welcome to my Blog - Ruud Leeuw

2018 Q2
2018 Q1
2017 Q4
2017 Q3
2017 Q2
2017 Q1
2016 Q4
2016 Q3
2016 Q2
2016 Q1
2015 Q4
2015 Q3
2015 Q2
2015 Q1
2014 Q4
2014 Q3
2014 Q2
2014 Q1
2013 Q4
2013 Q3
2013 Q2
2013 Q1
2012 Q4
2012 Q3
2012 Q2
2012 Q1
2011 Q4
2011 Q3
2011 Q2
2011 Q1
2010 Q4
2010 Q3
2010 Q2
2010 Q1
2009 Q4

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.




Les Témoins, season 2

'Witnesses' (French: 'Les Témoins') is a French police procedural television series, first premiered in Belgium on 22Nov2014. In March 2016, France 2 announced a second series was in production.

Police detectives Sandra Winckler (Marie Dompnier) and Justin (Jan Hammenecker) investigate in this second series a bizar incident when men are found in an abandoned bus, dressed for a wedding but frozen and all very dead.
Sandra and Justin find themselves soon on the trail of a serial killer whose modus operandi is to murder all former lovers of his kidnap victims.
This series was broadcast on BBC Four from 25 November 2017.

Sometimes I thought the twisting plots served drama more than a logical storyline; there certainly is a good portion of long desperates gazes, but I guess that is the French Noir for you.
Sandra has two children by Eric, but they live seperated and never married; Eric has a new girlfriend. The care for their children is complicated because of Sandra's workhours end esspecially when it becomes clear Sandra is targetted by the killer as well.
The emotional way Sandra persues the serial killer makes her deviate from normal investigation procedures and creates a distance between Sandra and Justin (and the entire police workforce). The way she teams up with a surviving victim of the serial killer, Catherine Keemer, and runs her own investigation, is way beyond believe.

Not a bad series but too much drama and not enough 'police procedural' to my taste.




Alkenreeks luchtvaart boekjes jaren-60

Alkenreeks luchtvaart boekjes jaren-60

Alkenreeks luchtvaart boekjes jaren-60

Alkenreeks luchtvaart boekjes jaren-60

Alkenreeks luchtvaart boekjes jaren-60

Alkenreeks luchtvaart boekjes jaren-60

Beeld-Encyclopedie 'De Alkenreeks'.
'De Alkenreeks' later became 'De Kleine Alkenreeks' and 'De Grote Alkenreeks'; they were published by Arti (later De Alk B.V.) and had been started in 1951 in Alkmaar (N-H).
The books Ihave here are small, pocket-sized, 15x11cm.
This series became a reference for railway enthusiasts, cars, aviation, shipping, art and painting, music and ballet.

While these publications were added much later to my collection than their publication date, the
authors here, Bart van der Klaauw and Hugo Hooftman, were still the prominent journalists when I
took up an interest in aviation during the 1970s.
Aviationjournalist and author Bart van der Klaauw died in 2005, aged 84.
During almost his entire life he'd been involved in aviation: first with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, later in public relations for Lockheed and he became chief editor with prominent aviation magazine Avia.
He wrote and published over 50 aviation books; I still have a few in my bookcase.
Van der Klaauw co-wrote with Bart Reinhout a book in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of KLM. For decades, anyone in Holland with an interest in aviation came across publications by Bart van der Klaauw.

Journalist Hugo Hooftman (b.1927-d.1986) appealed to me more than Bart van der Klaauw. The latter was a respected member of the aviation establishment, while Hooftman was closer to the aviation enthusiasts and plane spotters and a bit of a rebel, controversial at times, in aviation journalism.
Of him too I still have several books in my bookcase; sentimental value.
He published the aviation magazine 'Cockpit', later 'Vliegtuigparade'.
He died of a brain tumor, during the 1980s; I believe on 20Nov1986, aged 59.
I did a write up on him, he was a great influence in my developing interest as a teenager: AVIATION REFERENCE BOOKS. Online there is very little on him, as a person, to be found.

nl.wikipedia.org:_Beeld-Encyclopedie_De_Alkenreeks (NL)
www.luchtvaartnieuws.nl/.../luchtvaartjournalist-bart-van-der-klaauw-overleden (NL)



Eugène Atget - humanist photographer (streetphotography)
Eugène Atget - humanist photographer (streetphotography)

Eugène Atget - humanist photographer (streetphotography)

Eugène Atget - humanist photographer (streetphotography)

Eugène Atget - humanist photographer (streetphotography)
The chapters are listed according to the 'Arrondisement' the photos were taken in.
In the process Atget documented many streethawkers, practising a profession now gone.

Eugène Atget - humanist photographer (streetphotography)
Working from the center, moving outward in a circling motion, the 20 Arrondisements are
detailed (each introduction is in French, English and German) plus a chapter 'Non Localisées'.

Eugène Atget - humanist photographer (streetphotography)

Eugène Atget (b.12Feb1857 - d.04Aug1927) was a French pioneer of documentary photography, noted
for his determination to document all of the architecture and street scenes of Paris before their disappearance to modernization.
Most of his photographs were first published by Berenice Abbott after his death.
An inspiration for the surrealists (e.g. Man Ray) and other artists, his genius was only recognized by a handful of young artists in the last two years of his life, and he did not live to see the wide acclaim his work would eventually receive.

His parents died when he was 5 years old and he was brought up by his maternal grandparents.
After finishing secondary education he joined the merchant navy; in 1878 Atget moved to Paris. He was admitted to acting class on a second attempt. Because he was drafted for military service he could attend class only part-time and thus he was expelled from drama school.
He became an actor with a travelling group, performing in the Paris suburbs and the provinces.
He met actress Valentine Delafosse Compagnon, who became his companion until her death, in 1926.
He gave up acting because of an infection of his vocal cords in 1887, moved to the provinces and took up painting without success.
His first photographs, of Amiens and Beauvais, date from 1888.
In 1890, Atget moved back to Paris. He had noticed how painters used sketches and photographs for
their pictoresque paintings and he started to provide them with photographs.
Thus Atget became a professional photographer, supplying documents for artists: studies for painters, architects, and stage designers.

His photographs show the city in its various facets: narrow lanes and courtyards in the historic city center with its old buildings, of which some were soon to be demolished, magnificent palaces from before World War II, bridges and quays on the banks of the Seine, and shops with their window displays.
I prefer his work where he photographed street-hawkers, small tradesmen, rag collectors and prostitutes, as well as fairs and popular amusements in the various districts.

Starting in 1898, institutions such as the Musée Carnavalet and the Bibliothèque historique de la ville de Paris bought his photographs. The latter commissioned him ca. 1906 to systematically photograph old buildings in Paris. In 1899 he moved to Montparnasse.
While being a photographer Atget still also called himself an actor, giving lectures and readings.
In 1920-21, he sold thousands of his negatives to institutions. Financially independent, he took up photographing the parks of Versailles, Saint-Cloud and Sceaux and produced a series of photographs of prostitutes.
Berenice Abbott, while working with Man Ray, visited Atget in 1925 she bought some of his photographs, and tried to interest other artists in his work. She continued to promote Atget through various articles, exhibitions and books. And sold her Atget collection to the Museum of Modern Art in 1968.
Atget's discovery by Man Ray and Abbott happened around 1925, just two years before his death.
Abbott took Atget's portrait in 1927.
Eugène Atget died 04Aug1927 in Paris.

Atget is considered to be one of the founding fathers of 'humanist photography', inspiring famous photographers such as Berenice Abbot, André Kertész, Brassaï and Henri Cartier-Bresson.
I am very pleased to have this retrospective book in my collection, a very nice edition published in Taschen's series of Bibliotheca Universalis.




Avoid software by SoftwareDirectOnline.nl

Beware of this software online seller (@softwaredirectonline.nl)!
I paid and downloaded Office for Mac 2011, was issued a key license, installation worked ok but the activation failed (online and by phone).
Three days I worked their helpdesk, was passed on endlessly, but no good.

Ended up with Microsoft and after lengthy talks (on hold twice) advised to report domain, software and license key to their piracy department.
Which I did yesterday, after initially going for another attempt through softwaredirectonline (received a link for another download but this time their Office Installer was blocked by Apple software).

A refund was refused as 'the software and settings on my Mac was the cause of a failed installation'...

They seem to have a warranty on their website (plus a friendly helpdesk), but that is probably to install confidence.
Money gone and nothing to show for it.



Doctor Blake Mysteries (Series One)

Dr Lucien Blake left Ballarat as a young man, but we find him after his return to take over not only his dead father's medical practice, but also his on-call role as the town's police surgeon - which expelains his involvements in the socalled mysteries.
The 'Doctor Blake Mysteries' is an Australian television series that premiered on ABC TV on 01Feb2013.
First series (2013) - 10 episodes

Doctor Lucien Blake left Australia in his 20s to study medicine in Scotland. Following a posting at a London hospital, he joined the British Army as a medical officer. During World War II, Blake's service included the Far East, where he fell in love with and married a Chinese woman, with whom he had a child.
However, at the fall of Singapore (Feb.1942), he lost sight of both of them. He searched for them all the time he was away and has a Mr Kim continue the search after Blake arrives in Ballarat.
Dr Blake also spent time in Thailand's Ban Pong POW camp, including a stint for 40 days in a confined solitary confinement.
After a 33-year absence, Blake returned home in 1959 to take over his late father's practice as a medical general practitioner and also becomes the Ballarat area police surgeon.

Jean Beazley is Blake's receptionist and housekeeper. Having previously served in the same capacity for his father, Jean has difficulty adjusting to Lucien's eccentric and sometimes oblivious behaviour; although considered old-fashioned in her ideas about womanhood, she occasionally challenges Blake's expectation that she wait on him hand and foot.
Her husband died in the war and she is aware that her living with the unattached Blake is a source of gossip. A keen observer, she guards her territory zealously, missing nothing and expertly sifting gossip for kernels of fact, which she dispenses when necessary.
She treats her nephew, young police constable Danny Parks, like a son. Danny divulges information from the police reports to Dr Blake.

There is also lodger Mattie O'Brien, who works shifts in care (but afaik isn't a fully qualified nurse?) and has a keen interest in forensics, to help Dr. Blake in his investigations.
Lucien Blake is traumatized by the uncertainties of the fate of his wife and daughter; as a result he holds a grudge against the Brits whom he accuses of abandoning Singapore which led to the disapearance of his family. He also has a standoff with local business tycoon Tyneman, a capitalist while Blake has more liberal (fate of migrants working in Tyneman's factory, modernization of health care, women rights, a.o.) attitudes.
And there is the interesting relation between Blake and Chief Superintendent Matthew Lawson, who welcomes Blake's brain in the investigations, but  finds Blake often a loose cannon for emotions or lack of tact with unsubstantiated accusations.

The series is set and mostly filmed in the gold rush city of Ballarat, in Victoria. It shows the attitudes of people during the 1950s and 1960s, the standing of women in society, men's clubs (here The Colonist Club) and such like.
Five series aired as of 2017.



Hidden tv-series (2018)

'Hidden' (initially broadcast in the Welsh language as 'Craith') is an 8 epsiodes Welsh television drama serial, first broadcast on the Welsh language channel S4C in January 2018, under the name Craith.
This series should not be confused with the 2011 crime drama television series, als named 'Hidden', starring Philip Glenister and Thekla Reuten.

The English-language sections of this series were dubbed into Welsh. The original bi-lingual version of the series was broadcast on BBC One Wales and BBC Four (which is what I watched) in June and July 2018 under the title of 'Hidden'.
The Welsh spoken parts and sceneries reminded me of another series, 'Hinterland', also an excellent crime drama series.

This series stars Sian Reese-Williams as DI Cadi John, an experienced investigator and ex/ Army. She moved to the little town to participate in the care of her father, a retired police officer with North Wales Police; Cadi John has two sisters and there is some disagreement about whether or when their father should move to a carehome.
Cadi and her partner, DS Owen Vaughan (Sion Alun Davies), are called to investigate when the body of a girl who disappeared 6 years ago is found in a stream. Graduallly other disappearances of similar young women, same looks and same age group, come to light. 
There are several plotlines or human stories: DS Owen Vaughan has a pregnant wife and has doubts about his whole life mapped out for him, Beth (sister of Cadi) is involved in a divorce, Student Megan is a tormented soul and is involved in self-harm while the instigator of the abductions is involved in a very strange family situation.

A very entertaining series, interesting stories and filmed on fascinating locations.



Deventer bookmarket 2018
Some 850+ bookstalls, thousands and thousands of books to browse...

Deventer bookmarket 2018
Over 6 kilometres of bookstalls lined up; the market opens at 09:30 but early birds start at 7 a.m.!

Deventer bookmarket 2018
Deventer is a nice historic town to wander; at the corner of Kleine Overstraat & Vleeshouwerstraat

Deventer- streetphotography
Streetartists at the Deventer Book Fair 2018
See also my gallery of streetphotography

The Deventer book fair, a yearly event, is a very large book market in Deventer; mainly secondhand books, some rare, but also recently published ones by an author offering his signature in the purchase.
It claims to be the biggest book market of Europe.
People in whole Europe come to Deventer for this yearly event.
If we manage a visit, we never come away empty-handed.




One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich

'One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich'  is a novel by Russian writer Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, first published in November 1962 in the Soviet literary magazine Novy Mir (New World).
The story is set in a Soviet labor camp in the 1950s and describes a single day in the life of ordinary prisoner, Ivan Denisovich Shukhov.
The edition I've read, is the fifth translation, by H.T. Willetts, and is the only one that is based on the canonical Russian text and the only one authorized by Solzhenitsyn.

The book's publication was an extraordinary event in Soviet literary history since never before had an account of Stalinist repression been openly distributed.

The books consists of a minute account of a day in camp.
Ivan Denisovich Shukhov has been sentenced to a camp in the Soviet gulag system. He was accused of becoming a spy after being captured briefly by the Germans as a prisoner of war during World War II. He is innocent, but is sentenced to 10 years in a forced labor camp.
This was quite common: Russians escaping the German prison camps were suspected to be in cahoots with the Germans and to spy for them, so they were either shot or sent to the Gulag...

The day begins with Shukhov waking up sick. For waking late, he is forced to clean the guardhouse, but this is a comparatively minor punishment. When Shukhov is finally able to leave the guardhouse, he goes to the dispensary to report his illness. It is relatively late in the morning by this time, however, so the orderly is unable to exempt any more workers and Shukhov must work.
The rest of the novel deals mainly with Shukhov's squad (the 104th, which has 24 members), their allegiance to the squad leader, and the work that the prisoners (zeks) do in hopes of getting extra food for their performance.
It is a constant search for (extra) food, hoarding, favors and avoiding the harsh treatment by the guards.

It was a strange experience for me to read about a brutal construction site where the cold freezes the mortar used for bricklaying if not applied quickly enough, while I suffered an unusual heatwave...

Solzhenitsyn also details the methods used by the prisoners to survive; the whole camp lives by the rule of survival of the fittest.
Sunday should be a day of rest, the only day of rest in the week, but they are often forced to forego on that rest day.

At the end of the day, Shukhov is able to provide a few special services for Tsezar (Caesar), an intellectual who does office work instead of manual labor. Tsezar is most notable, however, for receiving packages of food from his family. Shukhov is able to get a small share of Tsezar's packages by standing in lines for him.
Ivan Denisovich Shukhov reflects on his day, which was both productive and fortuitous for him.

During WW2, Solzhenitsyn served as the commander of a sound-ranging battery in the Red Army,
was involved in major action at the front, and was twice decorated. He was awarded the Order of the
Red Star on 8 July 1944 for sound-ranging two German artillery batteries and adjusting counterbattery fire onto them, resulting in their destruction.
A series of writings published late in his life, including the early uncompleted novel Love the Revolution!, chronicles his wartime experience and his growing doubts about the moral foundations of the Soviet regime.
In February 1945, while serving in East Prussia, Solzhenitsyn was arrested by SMERSH for writing derogatory comments in private letters to a friend. He was accused of anti-Soviet propaganda and on 07Jul1945, he was sentenced to an eight-year term in a labour camp.
During his imprisonment at the camp in the town of Ekibastuz in Kazakhstan, he worked as a miner, bricklayer, and foundry foreman.
His experiences at Ekibastuz formed the basis for the book One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich.



Bancroft mini series tv

A dark thriller mini series centering on Detective Superintendent Elizabeth Bancroft, a female detective with an explosive secret.
She is very ambitious and has Machiavellian qualities tuned to a high degree.

The formidable DS Bancroft (Sarah Parish) is leading the investigation against the violent Kamara gang.
Meanwhile, DS Katherine Stevens, young and ambitious, fresh from police training, is given a cold murder case to investigate. Initially she is disappointed she is not selected to join an arrest team, but she picks a cold case which she expects could deliver a high profile. If solved.
Katherine (a role by Faye Marsay) is seconded a forensic expert, one Dr Anya Karim (Amara Karan).

Quite soon we learn that Bancroft has been involved with the cold case Katherine is investigating, the vicious killing in her home of a young pregnant woman, Laura Fraser. The conclusion had been a drug addict went for a burglery and ended up killing Lauro, but the murderer was never found.
Bancroft offers help to Katherine and Anya with the Fraser case, but the investigation had been sloppy and forensic evidence is poor.
Katherine meets Bancroft's son, a fysiotherapist, and they develop a relationship.

The character of Bancroft has an interesting complexity. She obstructs the cold case investigation and plays Katherine both on the investigation as well as on the relationship with her son.

Bancroft had an informant in the Kamara family, but she is found dead, committed suicide. The suicide
is suspect: the family must have found out she was a snitch and killed her. Other family members feel threatened and decide to help the police to bring Athif Kamara to justice.
Bancroft is faced with a startling blast from the past, which brings the events from 1990 back to the surface. Meanwhile, Katherine wrestles with twists and turns of the new information she is uncovering.
Katherine and Anya make a determined push to get to the bottom of the Laura Fraser case once and for all. And Bancroft plans and executes a massive sting operation against Athif Kamara.

An intricate plot and fast paced, a very entertaining mini series.




Beck, series 7

Martin Beck is a fictional Swedish police detective who is the main character in a series of ten novels by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö. The stories are frequently referred to as the Martin Beck stories; the most popular ones is the series where Peter Haber plays the role of Martin Beck.
A truly excellent series.
I recently watched series 7, which I suspect could be the last series - but one never knows.

Series 7 consists of 4 episodes.
We see Martin Beck has retired from the police force and Steinar Hovland (Kristofer Hivju) temporarIly put in charge of the investigating team.
Beck is asked to lead the search for a new team leader. Steinar hesitates to apply but when he does he is disappointed and obstructive when he doen't get the job.
Alexandra 'Alex' Beijer (Jennie Silfverhjelm) becomes the new head of the team. Steinar struggles to perform within the team, trying to find fault in the new chief but also struggles with marital problems.
Immigration and racism plays a major role again in some of the plot lines.

After Alex Beijer has taken on the job, Beck stays on in a senior role, sometimes assisting with smaller details in the investigation, joining briefings and in the 4th episode Alex finds her brother Paul Beijer, a lawyer, involved in an investigation in organized crime - so Martin orders Steinar back in charge and
Alex to the sideline; their strained working relation continues.

Martin Beck still has a role to play in the police force, albeit a smaller one, and there are of course the daily meetings, a cognac in hand, with his meddling neighbour Grannen (Ingvar Hirdwall) ...

So we may wel hope for a chance of series 8...? Long may they continue! 




Ruud Leeuw, streetphotography
Amsterdam, Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal ¬26Jul2018



Amsterdam Stuff, photo exhibition

Amsterdam Stuff, photo exhibition

Amsterdam Stuff, photo exhibition

Amsterdam Stuff, photo exhibition

In Huis Marseille ('Museum for Photography') I found this exhibition 'AMSTERDAM STUFF' more appealing than the photography by Japanese photographers!
This is a photo presentation of archeological finds over a period of 9 years (coinciding with the construction of a new subway branch in Amsterdam).
Photography by Harold Strak & Willem van Zoetendaal; what a monumental job, documenting the 700,000 different, everyday objects, unearthed form Amsterdam's soggy soil.

The most important locations for the city’s archaeologists were the excavation sites at Damrak and Rokin, where the original bed of the river Amstel was found 12 metres below pavement level.
The Amstel had always been the city’s main artery and its central axis. The river bed here was thick with archaeological finds, because people have a habit of throwing their rubbish into the water, and once it has sunk into the mud it stays there for ever.
The enormous quantity of material that the city archaeologists found is marked both by its great
diversity and its everyday character, and this makes these relics a very special source of city history.

Yesterday I also had a short ride in the new 'Noord-Zuid' subway (NL:metro) branch.
On 22 july 2018, after 15 years (and a delay of 9 years!) of digging and construction, this new branch line ('Noord-Zuid') of the Amsterdam subway had been officially opened.
A job well done!
Amsterdam, metro Noord-Zijd lijn 26JUL2018



Beautiful Moment: photo exhibition

Amsterdam Stuff, photo exhibition
BLAST by Naoya Hatakeyama

Amsterdam Stuff, photo exhibition

Yesterday I went to Amsterdam's 'Huis Marseille, Museum for Photography', mainly for this exhibition
'A Beautiful Moment'.
This is presentation of Japanese photography by Naoya Hatakeyama, Syoin Kajii, Rinko Kawauchi, Toshiko Okanoue, Yuki Onodera, Chino Otsuka and Nao Tsuda.
Not all photography was in Japan, there was one photographer who emigrated to England at an early
age - but photography with something or other in common.
My favourite was Naoya Hatakeyama, with 'Blast' and windows marked with raindrops; not all of the photography appealed to me but that is to be expected.




Rebeck Martinasson, tv-series

This Stockholm lawyer Rebecka Martinsson, who returns to her home town in Sweden's far north after the death of somebody she knew as a child.
Initially it looks as though the woman, the local vicar, died in an accident but evidence soon suggests otherwise. Rebecka gets involved in the investigation, sometimes going beyond what is strictly legal. Various suspects arise but when the killer is identified it comes as a surprise and leads to a tragic conclusion to the first story.
Rebecka has a nervous breakdown and is even committed; she postpones a return to the lawfirm in Stockholm.
Dismiised from hospital but still metally recovering, Rebecka is offered a job working as a local prosecutor before her planned move back to Stockholm in the summer. Her reasearch into the background of a major mining company in the Kiruna area results in a her involvement of another murder inquiry.
Rebecka strikes up a relation with the investigating detective, Anna Maria Mella, a refreshing role by Eva Melander.
A 3rd episode involves the death of two divers and a WW2 wreck of the Luftwaffe and a dark past of betrayal.
The last episode is about a woman whose family has suffered a number of tragic 'accidents'.

Ida Engvoll does a fine job as our eponymous heroine making her believable even when she was breaking rules. Rebecka may be the title character but there are others who are almost as important; police woman Anna Maria Mella as has been noted and dog handler Krister Eriksson; Eva Melander and Jakob Öhrman impress in these roles.

Over the past few years I've read the superb books by Åsa Larsson, on which this series is based. I found the films sometimes struggling with the many plotlines and scenarios in the books and somewhat forced towards the ending in this series sometimes.
But I enjoyed them nevertheless.




The Bridge (Bron | Broen), season 4 & final

Upon the start of this last series we find Saga Norén in prison, after over a year awaiting a retrial due to new evidence; she is released for 'reasonable doubt' about her murdering her mother.
At the same time Henrik Sabroe investigates the murder of the director general of the Immigration Service, Margarethe Thormond, who has been stoned to death. During Saga's sentence he repeatedly visited her.
Because of a Swedish connection Saga gets involved in the Danish murder investigation and team up with Henrik again. She also moves in with him.

Saga starts therapy after having a panic attacks. During the various episodes and consults we get a more in depth view of Saga's emotion; or lack thereof.
Meanwhile Henrik has joined a group therapy, still struggling with the disappearance of his two young daughters (his wife ran off years ago, was later found killed but the ultimate fate of the two young girls remained a mystery). During these therapy sessions Henrik is befriended by a man in a wheelchair named Kevin.

Two more victims are discovered and Saga realizes that each victim is killed using one method of executing prisoners sentenced to death - suggesting a total of 7 victims, leaving 4 to come. She also notes that the victims are selected not because of their actions but because of something their loved ones have done. 

Besides the 'whodunnit' plotlines we see how Saga tries to implement new reasoning on advise of her therapist, how Henrik relapses in drugs use again, plus two young girls surviving on the streets by pickpocketing and influencing the investigation and how Henrik's police commissioner Lillian sees her position undermined by progressive leaking to the media.

Sara becomes pregnant by Henrik but she decides for an abortion, which has a devastating effect on their relation. Something Sara obviously fails to understand.

Since this 4th series of The Bridge  (Swedish: Bron, Danish: Broen) it is not surprsing we see some form of closure for the fate of Henrik's daughters and I thought it well written into this overall crime drama; a story in a story. Also, I was pleased it wasn't made into a They-Rode-Off-into-The-Sunset- and-Lived-Happily-Ever-After -type of ending. But we know 'Scandi noir' isn't like that, not al all! 

The Bridge 4 has no problem meeting the highest benchmarks for this type of tv series!

Spoiler alert! Don't read the Wikipedia text on series 4 per below link, for it has the entire plotlines written out...



Marcel van Roosmalen - Je moet opschrijven dat hier niets gebeurt

Marcel van Roosmalen is a journalist and writer. Besides his work writing columns for the daily NRC Handelsblad, he also composes extended reports and contributes to De Correspondent, Hard Gras, VARAgids and Nieuwe Revu
His dry wit is a key signature.
His sometimes cynical view on The Netherlands and the Dutch deflates many an ego and provides a mirror to many.
He wrote books about his favourite football team Vitesse, club icon Theo Bos and Marcel's place of birth, Arnhem.
His reports were first compiled in a book titled 'Het is nooit leuk als je tegen een boom rijdt' (2011; EN: it is never funny when you collide with a tree) and is now followed by ''Je moet opschrijven dat hier niets gebeurt' (EN: you have to write down that nothing ever happens here).

Amusing and entertaining.

lekkerlezen.net/.../je-moet-opschrijven-dat-hier-niets-gebeurt-marcel-van-roosmalen/ (NL)



The Lawyer - Scandi crime fiction

The Lawyer is based on a concept by bestselling author Jens Lapidus (e.g. Snabba Cash-trilogy), Hans Rosenfeldt (The Bridge) and bestelling author and film director Michael Hjorth (Sebastian Bergman).

This is a fast paced thriller, located in Malmö and Kopenhagen which follows a young and upcoming lawyer Frank Nordling (Alexander Karim).
He is quite happy with his life and career: working for a small law firm and involved in an affair with a married colleague.
But his past catches up with him when his sister Sara (Malin Buska) tells him about a fresh lead to those involved in their father's murder.

As a young boy Frank witnessed his parents being blown up in their car; his father was a police detective.
Frank had been adopted by his parents and a few years older than Sara, who had stayed behind in the restaurant after a row with her mother.
Frank and Sara were adopted by different families and do not share surnames anymore. She works for the police as a detective for the narcotics department. In her own time she tried to track down those responsible for the murder of her parents but the trauma led to a heroin addiction and a seperation from her husband Said and her child Liam.
Frank and Sara were in an on and off contact, Frank feeling guilty he isn't able do more to keep Sara on the straight and narrow.

The new lead Sara provides shows a name, Thomas Waldman (Thomas Bo Larsen, of Follow the Money), in whom the police has been interested in for a long time and coincides with a job offer of a law firm which represents that same person; Frank decides to accept the offer to get close to Waldman.
A process of infiltration starts where Frank has to prove himself fast, to gain confidence.
Meanwhile Sara runs her own investigation and they feed each other with updates.

Frank abhores the violence and is in constant doubt whether the danger, him breaking the codes of law, plus the safety of Sara, warrants further pursuit of their quest. But when his lover gets involved and is shot by Waldman's hired hand he is determined to continue. Just when Sara is waivering and seeks consolation in drugs again.
Besides the plotlines into the personal lives of Frank and Sara, we see sidelines developing from Thomas Waldman and his daughter Therese.

Plenty of drama and suspense over 10 episodes!








'I See a City: Todd Webb’s New York' focuses on the work of photographer Todd Webb produced in New York City in the 1940s and 1950s.
This book was published last year, edited by Betsy Evans Hunt (writing a closing note in the back of the book, inclusing her relationship with the Webbs) and includes two nice essays by Sean Corcoran and Daniel Okrent.

Webb photographed the city of New York day and night, in all seasons and in all weather. Buildings, signage, vehicles, the passing throngs, isolated figures, curious eccentrics, odd corners, windows, doorways, alleyways, squares, avenues, storefronts, uptown and downtown, from the Brooklyn Bridge to Harlem.
He created a richly textured portrait of the everyday life and architecture of New York. Webb’s work is clear, direct, focused, layered with light and shadow, and captures the soul of these places shaped by the friction and frisson of humanity.

A native of Detroit, Webb studied photography in the 1930s under the guidance of Ansel Adams at the Detroit Camera Club, served as a navy photographer during World War II, and then went on to become
a successful postwar photographer.
His work is in many museum collections, including The Museum of Modern Art in New York and the National Gallery of Art in Washington.

Published on the occasion of the exhibition ‘Todd Webb’s New York’ at the Museum of the City of New York, where Webb had his first solo exhibition in 1946, this book helps restore the reputation and legacy of a forgotten American artist.
Webb went for commitment rather than shining for fame and fortune. He was 40 years old when he moved to New York and married late in life. Prior to his 3 years of enlistment during WW2, Webb had been a stockbroker until the crash of 1929 and the subsequent Great Depression.; he prospected for goldseveral times in California, Mexico and Panama; he was a surveyor for the US Forest Service and he worked for the Chrysler Corporation in his hometown of Detroit.
In Detroit, in 1940, he joined the Detroit Camera Club and became good friends with Harry Callahan and Art Siegel; both taught him a great deal and ignited an everlasting enthusiasm for photography.
In his work we see passion and commitment coming together!

Todd Webb (b.05Sep1905 – 15.Apr2000) was an American photographer notable for documenting everyday life and architecture in cities such as New York City, Paris as well as from the American west.
H is photography has been compared with Harry Callahan, Berenice Abbott, Walker Evans, and the French photographer Eugène Atget.
He traveled extensively during his long life and had important friendships with artists such as Georgia O'Keeffe, Ansel Adams and Harry Callahan.




Never End by Ake Edwardson, crime fiction book

On my bookshelf is still a pile of unread books by Scandinavian authors, bought when my interest in 'Scandi Noir' was at its peak a few years ago. Came across this paperback in a secondhand bookshop in Little Walsingham. I decided to buy it inspite of my backlog because I had not yet read anything by Åke Edwardson and liked the InspectorWinter tv-series a few years ago.
I found it a comfortable read during the holidays. Nice to note that the book has Inspector Winter and his team suffering in 30+ Celsius temperatures while I spent my days in unusual warm weather too!

A young woman, 19 year old Jeannette Bielke, who recently graduated, is raped but not killed
Chief Inspector Erik Winter is immediately reminded of an unsolved rape and murder case, now 5
years old. Jeanette was raped in exactly the same spot as Beatrice Wagner.

Detectives Fredrik Halders and Aneta Djanali interview Jeannette Bielke, but she is not being completely honest with them, she is holding back something.
Shortly after Jeannette is raped, two other girls are killed in the same spot.
All the victims have something in common: they are all around the same age when they are victimized.
And there is something in their past that is kept from the detectives by Jeanette and the friends of the murder victims.

Winter and his team of detectives are working diligently and methodically to solve the crime and they need a breakthrough. But appeals for known witnesses to come forward see no result.

Halders receives a phonecal that his ex-wife has been killed during a hit-and-run accident. There is also a romantic tension between Halders and his colleague Djanali.
Aneta Djanali is black, and her parents are from Africa. One of the victims is also black and adopted. Racism is adressed as a sideline by Edwardson, its presence clearly noted though.

The pace is a bit slow, which is not a bad thing. It follows the investigations and the plotlines precise and has the unusually hot weather mentioned quite often and Erik Winter's deliberations (his addiction to Corpe cigarillos, hints by his mother that his wife Angela is longing to move out of the apartment for a house and a garden).
I would think the pace and detailed narrative is rather representative for Scandinavian (crime) writing, but I hate to generalize. I like it anyway, I like details; other people may prefer broader strokes in their life and reading.

Åke Edwardson (b.10Mar1953 in Eksjö, Småland) is a Swedish author of detective fiction, and was previously a lecturer in journalism at Gothenburg University, the city where many of his Inspector Winter novels are set.
Edwardson held various jobs, a.o. journalist and also press officer for the United Nations.
His crime novels have made him a three-time winner of the Swedish Crime Writers' Academy Award for best crime novel.
Edwardson's 1st novel to be translated into English, in 2005, was 'Sun and Shadow'. The 2nd, 'Never End', followed in 2006.

No doubt I will read more by him in the future.

theinvisiblementor.com/never-end-ake-edwardson (Avil Beckford, 16Dec2013)



Waiting for Wednesday - Nicci French

I had 'Blue Monday' long on my 'to buy'-list for a while, but when I'd bought and read it I wasn't immediately convinced. 'Tuesday's Gone' (blog-2018q1) rectified this and 'Waiting for Wednesday' has confirmed it: I am hooked on the Frieda Klein novels!

The murder of an inoffensive home health visitor is only the tip of the iceberg in London psychotherapist Frieda Klein’s 3rd case...
Her previous behaviour left her not many friends in the police department, though DCI Karlsson still thinks highly of Frieda. But she has been declared persona non grata and for quite a while we 'see' Frieda struggling with the recovery of her wounds a psychopath had inflicted on her in the previous thriller, while Karlsson and his sidekick Yvette Long concentrate in solving this murder.
It seems like a burglary gone wrong.
Dr Bradshaw is the profiler of choice of the Police Commissioner and he holds a grudge against Dr Klein.

Karlsson can't stand the conceited Bradshaw. He seeks an excuse for consulting Frieda and he gets it.
So by the time Frieda finally enters the case—not as a consultant, but as the aunt of a friend of Ted Lennox, Ruth’s 18-year-old son— she opens Mal's eyes on what is not there in Ruth Lennox' house. She is
far too perfect: "look for her secrets", Frieda says.
Upon closer examination the police do find secrets, in fact an entire secret life! New scenarios are developed and new suspects are put on the board.

Josef the builder is involved again, failed mother Olivia and her daughter Chloë, Sandy in New York, friend Sasha, her boss Reuben.
While Karlsson is agonizing over the last stays of his young children who are about to move to Spain with his ex-wife and her new partner.
Dean Reeve is an ominous shadow in the background,

There is a 3rd plotline: aging reporter Jim Fearby, who was instumental in an appeal to free George Conley 10 years after he was convicted of strangling Hazel Barton, now wonders who killed Hazel if it wasn’t Conley!
Since the police seem convinced they got the right man the first time, Fearby goes hunting on his own and soon links Hazel to half a dozen other young women who vanished under similar circumstances.

Meanwhile, Frieda has become obsessed with tracking down the source of an anecdote one of her patients presented as his own memory. She can't explain why she is obsessed with this and it confirms to many
her mental unstability.
Her inquiries will eventually connect with Fearby’s and Karlsson’s but not before more dead ends, false confessions and another murder connected to the Ruth Lennox case have been put to the reader.

It is a book that is difficult to put down, one you long for during the day to pick up again ASAP!





back to top...






Created: 02-JUL-2018