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Sharing our love for authors, and the stories they are inspired to tell.

‘The Big Fear’ by Andrew Case

Ralph Mulino hated the sea. He was comfortable in the stairwells of housing projects and the stubble of vacant lots, but on the water he felt exposed. Knuckling the lip of the Harbor Patrol whaler, the Verrazano Bridge to his left and a blink of the Statue of Liberty deep in the dark to his right, he took in the kid steering. Sergeant Sparks, proud to have come up through the Seven-Seven in just three years. Proud to have stomped his patrol tour in Crown Heights, as though that meant anything anymore. Every precinct was soft now; even the once-rough ones were like summer camp. Mulino leaned over the edge of the boat, ready to heave, then caught himself and lurched back. A brush with humiliation spared. He stared hard at the sergeant. The kid stood smug; he had aced the exams and got his chevrons early, but he hit each wave heavy, the weight echoing through Mulino’s joints, hips and spine.


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I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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  • Hmmm. I’m not sure if this really grabs me or not. I read many police/detective stories, but I honestly prefer British ones to those set in the US. As for this beginning, I share Mulino’s distaste for the sea – not because it makes me ill (I seem to have an iron stomach), but because I don’t like swimming in water with creatures in it! Gives me the willies!

    I’m still reading the Ayn Rand book I shared last week.

    • Hi Kelly,

      Coming from someone who lives on the US side of the pond, that truly is a compliment, especially given the abundance of US crime writing authors.

      Granted, there really are two very distinct styles of writing, depending whether the author is American or English and I can generally spot the difference just from reading the first couple of pages, even if I know nothing about the author at that stage.

      I suppose that, hand on heart, I too would have to say that I probably prefer the English way of addressing the genre and also the kind of characters and protagonists created. However I will devour an American book just as avidly, if the storyline grabs my attention.

      The premise of systemic police corruption, really has me hooked on ‘The Big Fear’ and, given the reports one after the other, which regularly feature on our UK television news programmes, is just as much a problem here at home, as the way Andrew is presenting it Stateside. And that’s just what we get to hear about, which I suspect is just the tip of the iceberg!

      I can totally sympathise with Mulino in this opening sceanario, as not only would the motion of the boat and the smell of the diesel make me feel ill, but as I don’t swim at all, I have a crazyily obsessive fear of the water and drowning.

      Thanks for your interesting thoughts and comments and I hope that you are having a good Easter Weekend 🙂

    • Hi Katherine,

      Mulino’s dislike of the sea seems to be most people’s focus from these opening lines and I can’t really disagree with that on a personal level.

      There also seems to be something of an age issue developing between Mulino and the sergeant, which, as I get older, I can also relate to, despite the claim that ageism is not a prejudice which is acceptable in today’s society.

      As well as a change in ideals and values, which is shaking Mulino’s core beliefs in what the role of law enforcement really means, I can only see sparks flying when Mulino comes under investigation for his own breach of ethics.

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by, I always look forward to reading your comments.

      Happy Easter 🙂

  • I don’t have it in front of me to share the lines, but I’m reading “Does Ethics Have a Chance in a World of Consumers?” by Zygmunt Bauman. Discussing how we relate to people, create art, and engage in community and politics in a world where borders between nations are crumbling and where in many places the dominant spirit (or mode of economy) is to buy and discard things rapidly. It’s not a pleasant read, but I feel like I needed to read it and I’m having fun at least talking with/arguing with the author out loud as I read 🙂

    It’s interesting – but I think the title of the book you posted is more enticing than the first paragraph… I don’t know why. Maybe because it reminds me of the name, ‘The Big Sleep,” and its film noir hard-boiled detective atmosphere.

    • Hi Hila,

      Rather than Andrew’s character ‘Mulino’ being a ‘Philip Marlowe type investigator, this is destined to be more of a police on police investigation, of systemic corruption and misconduct. from within the force. From the few snippets I have so far read whilst preparing the initial promotional posts, I think that this story is going to be as deep and dark as any written by Raymond Chandler. Also, with Andrew being recognised as an expert in civilian oversight of police misconduct, I’m sure there will be no holding back in ‘The Big Fear’.

      Whilst your Zygmunt Bauman book probably isn’t one that I would read, this premise would definitely interest my husband, who is the non-fiction reader in our house and has a keen interest in the current state of politics and governments. This passage from the synopsis, I’m sure would have him instantly intrigued and interested …

      “Bauman seeks to liberate us from the thinking that renders us hopeless in the face of our own domineering governments and threats from unknown forces abroad. He shows us we can give up belief in a hierarchical arrangement of states and powers ….”

      Thanks for sharing your reading and for your interesting observations and comments 🙂

    • Hi Naida,

      I never really focused on any of the place names, but I guess that’s because none of them were familiar, so they simply didn’t jump off the page at me!

      I spent a very enjoyable few minutes checking out the blurb and some of the amazing pictures of the Verrazano Bridge, so thanks for bringing it to my attention.

      The book itself sounds great and I have a really interesting guest post from author Andrew Case, which goes live on Wednesday.

      Thanks for stopping by. You haven’t been around for a while, so I hope that all is well with you 🙂

Written by Yvonne