Dear friends, if you like a good chuckle, dim-witted heroes, and larger-than-life villains, then you'll love this fascinating series. On Wednesdays and Sundays, I’m blogging nibble-sized chunks of new ‘Life in the Clouds’ stories. You can check in regularly and read them for free, or wait to buy the entire story when published.
Enchanter on the Roof ® James Field. Part 37
Olive reached out and stroked Bert’s cheek. “That isn’t true. I lost the gorgeous ring and I’m so upset I could cry.” She brushed her hand under her nose, like a child with a chill, and squeezed a tear from the corner of a mascara streaked eye.
"Where?" said Bert.
Her eyes rolled skyward. "If I knew that it wouldn't be lost, would it?"
“Oh yeah, I didn’t think of that.”
"Enough of this babble," said Chief Inspector Dobbs, pressing between them. He rose on tiptoes and dragged his identity card from around Bert's head.
Olive squinted, tilted her head to one side, and puckered her bright-red lips. “Bert, why are you wearing Inspector Dobbs’s dumb identity card?”
“Chief Inspector Dobbs,” he reminded her. “And I’d like to know the answer too.”
“I…” Bert’s gaze ping-ponged between the inspector and Olive. He couldn't tell them it suddenly appeared there during the night. That sounded so stupid. He swallowed a couple of times, blinked, and then blurted out, “I found it.”
“Where?” demanded Chief Inspector Dobbs.
Again Bert hesitated, licking his lips. “I’m good at finding things, but I don’t always remember where.”
Olive squirmed into his arm, hugged it tight, and gazed up into his eyes. An expression of expectant hope replaced the look of despair. “Do you think you can find our engagement ring?”
“Yes,” said Bert, eyes already searching in the long grass around their feet. “I’ll find it. I promise. And if I can't, I'll buy you a new one, bigger and better.”
Chief Inspector Dobbs grunted. “You and Dick Charmer are accomplices. You both know exactly where your ring is, and so do I.” He whirled about and marched away as best he could in his floppy slippers. “Are you coming or not?” he called over his shoulder.
Florence and Olive tagged along behind, both pecking at his shoulders with insistent fingers, urging to learn what he knew about the ring.
To be continued…
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A River in Darkness: One Man's Escape from North Korea by Masaji Ishikawa
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
To save the jobs of those in the Japanese government who helped him escape, Masaji Ishikawa wrote: “…obviously I wasn’t going to start talking to the press.” Instead, he wrote this mammoth best-selling book? Sorry, but I don’t believe this man’s autobiography can be true. If it is, then he is likely responsible for the sacking of those government officials who helped his return to Japan, and worse, expose his family to torture or execution in North Korea.
It may well be that he moved to North Korea in 1960, aged thirteen, where he lived until his escape in 1996. However, I rather believe his memoir is an over dramatised collection of exaggerated incidents he picked up from others. In which case, good for him.
I hope this is the case; otherwise, he puts himself in a poor light. From his book, he already comes across as egoistic, beating up anyone who upsets him and often leaving his family to starve while he runs off to find work to feed himself.
North Korea is undoubtedly not an agreeable place to live, but propaganda and false news flourish. The story in this book is captivating and mind-bogglingly tragic, hence four stars. I just don’t accept Mr Ishikawa’s life was as awful, or maybe I don’t want to believe, as he relates.
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