Clarke Ahlers Reading List – Summer to Fall 2022

The New Iberia Blues
James Lee Burke

A dark novel with an aging protagonist.

Long Road to Mercy
David Baldacci

Atlee Pine is a strong, female FBI agent.

The 6:20 Man
David Baldacci

A novel that makes you wonder whether our military conducts secret missions in the United States.

Good Will Hunting
Matt Damon & Ben Affleck

Just trying to understand what makes a script great.

Too Famous – The Rich, The Powerful, The Wishful, The Notorious, the Damned
Michael Wolff

Media whores and the vainglorious skewed by a celebrity writer in his own right.

The Premonition – A Pandemic Story
Michael Lewis

I think the government screwed up Covid, but I would have screwed it up to if I read Michael Lewis’s book and was put in charge. Interesting lessons from history.

The Hustler
Walter Tevis

>A great easy read that I am embarrassed to say I didn’t know existed. The novel which gave rise to the movie.

We Own This City
Justin Fenton

A great account of the infamous Baltimore PD Gun Trace Task Force but stops short of proving what I suspect – the payoffs went up the chain of command.

Dark Objects
Simon Toyne

An English novelist in a police procedural and I guarantee you that you will NOT see the ending coming. Good read. Recommended by Barnes & Noble.

Why the Innocent Plead Guilty and the Guilty Go Free (and other paradoxes of our broken legal system)
Hon. Jed S. Rakoff, United States District Judge (Sr. status), Southern District of New York

I read it but I didn’t have to: I live it. Still, good to see a federal judge call out the system.

The Bomber Mafia
Malcolm Gladwell

Read anything that Gladwell writes and don’t leave out this great book.

The Boys From Biloxi
John Grisham

Couldn’t put it down!

Hunting LeRoux—The Inside Story of the DEA Takedown of a Criminal Genius and His Empire.
Elaine Shannon

This true story features DEA Agent Thomas Cindric, ret. If I do say so myself, I am partly responsible for Tommy not being in jail so he could be a cop. (An inside story.) His wife Gena worked with me for years!

Animal Farm
George Orwell

I just needed to remember the line about everybody being equal and some being more equal than others…because it reminds me of our government, our system of justice, and our cultural norms.

To Have and Have Not
Ernest Hemingway

As depressing as a Hemingway novel, which rich descriptions of old Cuba and Key West. A reminder of how prevalent the use of the N word is in classic literature.

Scott Turow

The most interesting character is Pinky, a police academy dropout who makes her living as a private investigator between bi-sexual affairs.

Currently Reading:

The Philosophy of Modern Song
Bob Dylan

Writers I really miss:

Elmore Leonard – every novel a guilty pleasure that I could not resist.

Joseph Wambaugh – still with us, but not writing books. Every cop should read the Hollywood Station series. And, The Choir Boys is a law enforcement classic.

Tom Wolfe – Bonfire of the Vanities is still relevant.

Hunter Thompson – I wish the king of Gonzo journalism was taking on the Biden Administration.

Sue Grafton – The alphabet series of the female private investigator: Kinsey Millhone.

Places to read that I miss:

Sitting on the beach anywhere. The summer of 2022 was the first summer of my adult life that I didn’t spend a single day at the beach—reading (or anything else).

When the courts reopened after Covid, the scheduling, and rescheduling, and incessant rescheduling of cases (because the state or the government “isn’t ready”) consumed all of my time.

I am committed to changing this 7-day-a-week work schedule to a 4-day-a-week work schedule by spring 2023. There – my New Year Resolution six weeks early.

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