Books & Flicks: Owen Laukkanen/A.J. Hartley

Posted by on April 3, 2012

ARC of The Professionals by Owen Laukkanen

Disclaimer: I am not a movie or book reviewer and would never attempt to call myself such a thing. I have utmost respect for those who do that. I am just a bookworm and movie lover who wants to share my thoughts on what I read and watch.



I’ve already ripped through THE PROFESSIONALS  and gave it to my husband to read. Gripping story. Great writing. What I like so much about the writing is that it draws you deep into the story and the character’s lives, but is not overwritten. The writing does not draw attention to itself. That is truly great writing. And the characters were so well drawn. I think one of the reviewers said it best when he said that Laukkanen’s skillful characterization makes you care for both the cops and the crooks equally. THE PROFESSIONALS is one of those books where you think about the characters when you aren’t actually reading the book and continue thinking about them long after you’ve finished it. I also like (SPOILER ALERT) that it was NOT a feel good happy ending … Anyway, the book most definitely lived up to the hype!! Bravo.

Now that I finished THE PROFESSIONALS, I’m burning through Jess Lourey’s NOVEMBER HUNT.  Look for my interview with Jess Lourey on Wednesday (tomorrow)! She’s awesome. (Sorry, no pic. The book is in my bag right now.)

Here’s what else is in the hopper/on my nightstand/up to bat to be read:



(On my nightstand)


My literary agent, Stacey Glick, represents Hartley and Shirley Damsgaard (below).

I look forward to digging into Hartley’s book. It is a gorgeous book and from the reviews, I know the writing will live up to the stunning exterior.

THE BOMBER by Liza Marklund

I’ve waited forever to read this book. Hoping to get it done before Marklund comes to town as part of the Atria’s Great Mystery bus tour, that includes John Connolly, William Kent Krueger and MJ Rose.

GEEK LOVE by Katherine Dunn

Another agent at Dystel & Goderich recommended this book. I picked it up at the thrift store last weekend.

Carol O’Connell’s THE CHALK GIRL. Sigh. Must read. I love O’Connell’s protagonist in this series.

THE PASSAGE by Justin Cronin. This puppy has sat on my nightstand for about a year. I really do want to read it, but other books keep getting in the way. Do you ever have that problem?

On the right, I have WITCH WAY TO MURDER by Shirley Damsgaard. I just started this book last night. As I mentioned above, my agent also represents Damsgaard and so I look forward to reading more.

REVISION & SELF-EDITING by my hero, James Scott Bell. Enough said.

ULYSSES by James Joyce. One day.



 Note: As the mother with two small children, the vast majority of my movie viewing takes place in my living room.


I was in the mood for Black Butterflies, but since my husband and I give each other veto power, we settled on Tower Heist instead. I was pleasantly surprised. I didn’t think after giggling over Eddie Murphy saying “Goonie Goo Goo” as a teen, that so many years later he would still have it. He does. Laugh-out-loud funny.

Ben Stiller and Matthew Broderick were also hilarious, but my hands down favorite character was Gabourney Sidibe who played Odessa. You might recall that Sidibe was nominated for an Academy Award for best actress after her performance in the film Precious. IN Tower Heist, she plays a sweet housekeeper from Jamaica who turns into a badass who can crack a safe in the blink of an eye and who has no problem pointing a gun in someone’s face.

Alan Alda does a great job as the seemingly nice billionaire who is a scumbag at heart (as viewers always suspected.)


I just put this here because I’m still ticked off that I didn’t see episode 1, season 2, on Sunday. I don’t have HBO. I don’t even have cable. I don’t think I can wait until it gets on Netflix. I’m not happy.


When I ordered this on Netflix for family movie night, I ordered it because my former coworker and friend MaryAnne recommended it. But I didn’t know it was by Francis Ford Coppola. Happy, happy, joy, joy. Beautiful story. Outstanding cinematography. Lovely eye candy. Moody shots without dialogue even kept my highly energetic kids raptly watching the screen.

Toward the end, when it looked like it was all going to end well, my 8 yo asked if she thought something bad would happen before the end. I told her, of course. (Mama mia, I’ve turned into a cynic.) To my surprise, it did have a happy ending.



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2 Responses to Books & Flicks: Owen Laukkanen/A.J. Hartley

  1. Susan

    Revision and Self Editing caught my eye!