If any members of Russian elites are reading this…

… you might want to check out some suggestions from Kevin D. Williamson at National Review: Russian Elites Must Step Up.

What to do about Alex Ovechkin, the Vladimir Putin crony who is a star player for the Washington Capitals? Or, as Jay Nordlinger asks: What about the great conductor Valery Gergiev, another Putin ally, or the pianist Denis Matsuev, who not only acts as a PR agent of the Putin regime but who also has specifically endorsed violence against Ukraine? What about soon-to-be-former Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich, a Russian oligarch pressured into putting his team up for sale?

“Our fight is not with ordinary Russians,” the platitude insists. Perhaps. But these are not ordinary Russians.

Is an oligarch entitled to a private life? Is a celebrity?

Private life has been very much in decline in our time: A few people who want it cannot get it, and many more people who might have it do not want it, preferring instead to live their lives in public via social media — would-be celebrities who act as their own paparazzi. As it turns out, there was never any need for Big Brother to create a vast surveillance state — a few hundred million Little Brothers and Little Sisters have done that on their own, and we all live in the glass house they made, from disgruntled airline customers who flip out a little bit on camera to Russian oligarchs whose private jets can be tracked around the world by hobbyists doing the work that spy agencies used to do.

That's an "NRPlus" article, Russian Elitist, so you might have to figure out how to shell out for that. I'm pretty sure that will only be a minor problem for you.

May you have some major problems very soon.


Last Modified 2022-03-08 3:14 AM EDT

Indigo Slam

[Amazon Link, See Disclaimer]

Using Amazon's "Look Inside" function, I verified my suspicion: as usual, Robert Crais's title doesn't have much to do with the goings on in the book. There's one occurrence of "indigo" referring to colored ink ordered for illegal purposes; no slamming of it is involved. Although there's a considerable amount of other slamming: doors, bullets into doors, moths into lamps, bodies onto the pavement outside Mr. Toad's Wild Ride at Disneyland.

It's the seventh book down on my "Reread Crais" project, 15 left to go. (There's a new one coming out in November 2022, so I'll have to fit that in somewhere too.)

A prequel sets things up: a Seattle father and his three children, are being evacuated from their home by US Marshals. But it's a much closer shave than they'd like: a marshal is gunned down by bad guys while bravely to buying time for the escape.

Three years later, the kids are knocking at the door of Elvis Cole, the World's Greatest Detective. Their dad has been MIA from their home for eleven days, without notice. But they're not telling him everything. Understandably, they don't tell him about the violence in Seattle. But as it turns out, dad has his own reasons for disappearing from everyone. Not only the criminals who want to kill him, but also the Feds that are trying (ostensibly) to keep him alive. Elvis eventually susses this all out, but not before getting threatened, beat up, threatened some more…

Elvis's taciturn partner (and violent force of nature), Joe Pike, is along for the ride, having Elvis's back as always. Also playing a major role is Lucy from Louisiana, who's looking to land a job in Los Angeles so she and her son Ben can be close to Elvis. And there's a complication involved there, too. If I recall correctly, that gets played out in the next book…