Snapshots - #42: Thor: Ragnarok, Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool, LBJ

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Thor: Ragnarok (2017), (♦♦♦♦½): Thor has saved earth twice by now and has, for the last two years, wandered the universe searching for infinity stones. He hasn't found any. He has, however, become prisoner of an enemy of Asgard, Surtur, who tells Thor that his visions of Asgard engulfed in flames is a premonition of Ragnarok—the destruction of Asgard, which is already in motion. Thor frees himself and arrives at home to find Loki sitting on the throne, passing as Odin, and neglecting his duties to protect the Nine Realms. With Odin's exile, Asgard's enemies have been reassembling, but Odin's death may just free Hela, a goddess against whom neither Thor nor Loki are enough.
It was in Thor: The Dark World where Loki, an antagonist, first threatened to steal the show. He became the villain that Marvel fandom loves to hate. While Loki is at his most charming in this film, the director, with the help of a sparkling screenplay, has very much exploited the great chemistry of t…

The Night is Watching by Heather Graham (♦♦♦½)

Small town of Lily, Arizona has a violent past due to his Wild West history. In Old Town Lily there are three businesses dating back to the old days: the Gilded Lily Theater, the Old Jail and an entertainment saloon presently converted into a pizza parlor. The theater and the jail are said to be haunted by ghosts.

When a century-plus old skull is found in the basement of the theater, mysterious forces unleash on Lily, bringing on a wave of nearly deadly assaults on some of the town’s citizens. In addition, murder will find its way towards one of the town’s most hated citizens and a tourist with unknown ties to Lily.

It’ll be up to Sheriff Sloan Trent, poster-man cowboy, and Agent Jane Everett—member of one of the FBI’s Krewe of Hunters units—together with other two Federal agents and detectives from county, to connect all the dots on the present day’s murders and attacks and to unravel the mystery concerning Lily’s most renowned ghosts.

I liked The Night is Watching by Heather Graham. The blooming love between the Sheriff and Jane didn’t take center stage; the mystery about what happened in the Old West days and what’s happening in present day remained until the end.

There was misdirection in the plot that I thought was quite effective, though I didn’t like too much how the modern day mystery wrapped up; I thought that when the villain was revealed it was incredible but you’d have to read the book to understand what I’m talking about. In addition, most people in town were suspects. Solving a mystery like that in real life must be daunting let alone in a book.

As always with Heather Graham’s books, I liked the subplot involving the ghosts. I thought that was better developed than the modern day incidents.

In summary, The Night is Watching has a strong plot with very effective misdirection and suspense that is kept until the final pages. Some subplots could have been better developed but a good story overall.

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