Category Archives: International Crime Writers

“When actions betray our loved ones, we also betray ourselves” …….from Judas Gate, a mystery novel of fiction

I read this sentence several times (Judas Gate is an excellent “read,” by the way) and thought the phrase, “You always hurt the one you love” seems to say the same thing in a different way.  What do you think?  Were the Mills Brothers on to something with their mega-hit Jazz song and title of the same name?

I kind of, sort of think so.  What threw me off, though, was the line in the song that justified the hurt by saying, “…it’s because I love you most of all.”

I got to thinking (digging deep; most of you know what I mean), because it’s has been said that “Love is a hurting thing.”  The late, great Lou Rawls added his two-cents to the truth of these words with his 1966 hit song with that same title.  And remember the recently departed Mr. Percy Sledge and his soulful lament; “When a man loves a woman!”  He is singing about some serious hurt, here folks.  He loves his mystical woman and there ain’t no amount of hurt too great that he won’t endure to be with her; to hear her voice, feel her soft caress, and know the love in his heart he has for this woman.  And he doesn’t give a “rat’s ass” what anybody thinks.  Then there is the time and time again heartbreaking story of betrayal offered up in Isaac Hayes classic version of “By the time I get to Phoenix.”  Hell, it broke my heart and hope to die!

So after much serious thought; and walking the walk – I am of the opinion that there can be no other truth; these guys were on to something. These are some of my cultural examples of love, hurt and betrayal; that to me, are following in the footsteps of eons of poets, writers, great minds – be they women or men; warning that love and happiness comes with a price tag – and it can cost dearly to play.

There are other kinds of betrayals that rise to the level of the “man/woman love triangle” that inflicts some serious hurt to a loved one.  Greed is a good one.  The love of the all-mighty dollar ( pick your local currency) has earned it a top spot right up there with you heart strings when it come to back- stabbing.  And let’s not forget jealousy; that green monster has a long and inglorious history of poking out the eyes of those too weak to get that damned demon off their back; all the while putting the hurt on the one’s they love.

What else, hatred?  Yes, yes – that’s a good one.  It has to be one of the “founding fathers (or mothers) of betrayal.  In fact, the “green-eyed devil” is probably its right arm.  Once hatred gets you in its bear hug, it crushes all the love in your heart to stone.  Unfortunately, not every Grinch or Scrooge gets the memo about how a hard heart betrays one’s self and their loved ones.

Let us not forget lies. Heavens no! They don’t need any help to define the betrayal borne by their words.

There are other names and ways betrayal pierces our hearts, messes with our minds, makes us crumple in a heap to the ground; curling us up into sorrow and tears – rending  our soul; and through it all we’re asking, “How could you?”

This bit of wisdom, such as it is, has many origins. Some say, “Adam & Eve” started this human foible; that Cain and Abel were destined to reap what was sown.  Perhaps that’s why there never seems to be an end to it.  We aren’t perfect anymore.

Copyright (c) 2015.  Roads, Paths, & Trails.  All rights reserved.

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Lisa’s Curtains

They floated silently and slowly from the wistful breeze slipping through the barely opened window.  Flower-yellow mixed with pristine whiteness; trimmed at the edges in sky blue.  They seemed to savor the sweetness of the honeysuckle roses rising on the trellis beneath the window…filtering the light from the sun’s summer day.

Teeny-tiny dusty things vibrated in the sheen of the sunshine like agitated life-forms; searching for dark shadows in which to hide.  There is not much fun at the window anymore.  They used to be the welcome in the morning – gave a warmth and feel of a loving hug.

Now they rustle up memories that ended with the midnight moonlight shadowed by a cloud.

Copyright (c) 2015.  Roads, Paths, & Trails. All rights reserved.

Say hello to more of my novel friends: an Aussie, a bunch of Brits, one Irish, Welsh, German, and a Scot. With an American hanging on their every word.

It all started some years ago with a book featuring the adventures of a character I fondly refer to as “Tom Builder.”  He sprang from the mind of Ken Follett in an epic tale of a family’s struggle to survive and thrive  in a world mirroring ( I think) 12th century England. The sequel was “jolly good!”  As were his many efforts before and after.

Next it was Lee Child – Mr. Jack Reacher himself.  I sent him a note about working faster.  I know it was a bit cheeky, but look at it from my point of view – I was on a roll and enjoying every word, sentence, and paragraph he was nailing down, and I didn’t want to miss a beat.  Reacher whips butt; catches the bad guys then walks into the sunset.  No, really – he “walks” away to another heart-pounding, how-in-the-hell-is-he-gonna-get-out-of-this-mess, adventure.

Then I went nuts over John Connolly and his cast of ne’er-do-well folk.  It was, book, cha-ching; book, cha-ching – and so it went until it became a waiting game; my money versus his flying fingers of fiction.  I was rather proud of myself: I didn’t go all “ugly American” on him like I did with the other dude.

In the meantime, in between time, while I was twiddling my thumbs reading some of my friends and neighbors (more on them in another post), I discovered PD James and Ian Rankin – thanks goodness.  By then, I knew I needed a monthly ration of mystery and suspense delivered to me by  some of the United Kingdom’s high-profile purveyors of “the butler did it” murder stories.  Never mind that the butler usually didn’t do it.  Prop your feet up with these two for some excellent mayhem for the mind.

It took just one book to “get” Greg Iles. He goes to the heart and mind of relationships; of things misread – sometimes faltering courage that leads to family discord.  There certainly is mystery in his powerful human dramas.  Go deep with this guy.  You’ll come away thinking about things on a different level.

Boris Starling was a nice surprise.  But it was like pulling hen’s teeth to find where this guy hung his hat.  After three years, I’m still looking for one of his books – the last on my list.  Something to do with the national drink of Russia.

Lord Jack Higgins took some time to grow on me.  Ferguson and his band of sanctioned “good guys – bad guys” foil the really, really bad guys with flair, ingenuity and finesse in the face of all sorts of dangerous situations.  Get ready for some no holds barred, slam-bang “wet work” featuring to-the-bone tough men and women that inhabit Jack Higgins world.

I brought Peter Robinson home with me due to a case of mistaken identity.  I was looking for Peter James.  A nice error, as it turned out.  Mr. Robinson and I enjoy each other’s company immensely – when I can locate him.  Perhaps you will do better than I; especially if you live in the UK or across the pond in Canada.  He has some excellent murders he would like to share with you. Oh, and Peter James: ditto for him.

I saved my Aussie friend for last.  Matthew Reilly is my most recent book buddy.  This guy’s brain has to be operating at “Warp Speed;” full out – afterburners firing on high-octane adrenaline fueled with imagination off the charts. His books are noted as adventure thrillers, and I strongly suggest you buckle up and down and hang on tight.  I recommend that you get to know “Scarecrow” and “Mother” first.  After that, you’ll know what to expect.  But you won’t be ready for it.

I’m pumped just telling you about him.

Here comes my least enjoyable but necessary disclaimer: not one person (authors included) plied me with lunch and drink at the Four Seasons or Mickey D’s (McDonald’s for you folk who don’t know their “‘hood” name), to launch into this this commentary about them or their novels.  No such luck with their editors, lawyers, managers, kinsfolk – or the friend who knew them when, either.  I received no solicitations from any entity associated with their publishers and employees or same, promising me an autographed copy of their newest book in an attempt to get me to part with my hard earned accolades about them that you have been so kind as to read in this post.

I guess that about covers it.  Well, it not, sue me.   Heh, heh, heh – just kidding.

Copyright (c) Frank Doughton and Roads, Paths, & Trails 2015.  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.  Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Frank Doughton with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.