Bury the Past by James L’Etoile

From Goodreads: Sacramento Police Detectives John Penley and Paula Newberry are enlisted to investigate a case involving the trafficking of stolen street drugs. But they quickly find it’s more difficult than they first imagined when the crime is being committed by a group of corrupt cops undermining the system.

This is actually book #2 of the Detective Penley series by James L’Etoile. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. Bury the Past is set in Sacramento, all the key locations are familiar to me. It’s also obvious that the author has great insider information on California prisons, CSP-SAC (California State Prison – Sacramento) in particular. The protagonist is complex and interesting. The bad guy is creepy and smart. The cops are three dimensional. I liked the author’s approach. It made everything more credible.

Only one problem with the book that bugged me–I know the Sacramento locations too well. When the author describes Southside park, he mentions 15th Street. Southside is a little further up, on 5th. Must have been an editing error, because nearly everything else is on right on point, including the author’s dry wit about the condos around the park.

This was a page-turner. Recommended. 

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Related Posts

History for Kids – California Gold Rush

Not long ago we were in San Francisco listening to a presentation on local history. Even though I am a native Californian, I must have slept through the history lessons in class. The discussion prompted me to check out a few books from the library, all of them children’s books. I confess I don’t usually enjoy the history books written for grown ups, and I usually don’t finish them. But kids books? Easy peasy.

Here’s a couple I read recently:

By Jean Blashfield

My GoodReads Review

This children’s book is a potpourri of facts about the Gold Rush. There are some social commentaries thrown in as if they were facts, but not enough to taint the book completely.

Interesting photos and timelines are included. The book is not very colorful, as it is done in sepia and lighter yellow tones.

If giving this to a kid to read, the kid will either need to be writing a report for school, or be extremely interested in facts related to that era. 

I gave the book a three star review.

By Caroline Attia

Here’s my brief GoodReads Review

Good art and an interesting story. When my 10 year old read it, she told me she wanted to know what happened next.

I gave the book a four star review, mainly because it was interesting. I don’t know that I had read anything that also included the Chinese immigrant perspective.

These two books are the lightest of the five books we got from the library. A good starting point, perhaps, for someone interested in expanding their knowledge on this era.

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Kobe Bryant

Reflections on the one year anniversary of his death

It seems hard for me to believe that it has been just about a year (January 26, 2020) since we got the sad news of Kobe Bryant’s death. And that of his young daughter, Gianna.

While I am not especially a Lakers fan, I don’t think one has to be a sports fan to recognize the gifts this man brought to the world. Since his death, I have read much about him. I won’t list his accomplishments here, as there are already a ton of tributes out there, where you can read in more detail if you are interested.

As a lover of inspirational quotes and poetry, I include a few of my favorite Kobe quotes here.

I hope they inspire you as they did me.

“The most important thing is to try and inspire people so that they can be great in whatever they want to do.”

“Losers visualize the penalties of failure. Winners visualize the rewards of success.”

"This season is all I have left to give.

My heart can take the pounding

My mind can handle the grind

But my body knows it’s time to say goodbye.

And that’s OK.

I’m ready to let you go.

I want you to know now

So we both can savor every moment we have left together.

The good and the bad.

We have given each other"

--Excerpt from "Dear Basketball" by Kobe Bryant

Photo by Fred Kearny / Unsplash

“It’s the one thing you can control. You are responsible for how people remember you—or don’t. So don’t take it lightly.”

Well said, Kobe. Well said. I think you nailed that one.

All I need is the air that I breathe…

After a couple of sleepless nights and a day off from running, I decided I had better get out there and run. I’m particularly a super committed runner, but when I have a #RunBet going (and I do at the moment) it is enough to make me push my limits. I knew it was going to be challenging with the record-breaking heat in the area, and now the smoky, ashy air quality. 

A little after dawn, I laced up and got out there. The air was still and generally thick, as it has been, but the sky was a goldish reddish color that reminded me of the Wine Country fires in Napa County in October 2017. We were there then, and it was not anything but stressful and frightening. 2017 had been my first up close and personal experience with fire.

I knew I was going to be slow, but as long as I got my minimum pace for the challenge, and my minimum time, I was good to go.

Few people were out. Even fewer than the recent hot days. We’ve had at least 5 days in a row of over 100 degree Fahrenheit heat. That’s not too big a deal if you know Sacramento and the valley. But the heat has been humid, with thunder and lightning (the lightning out of nowhere caused many of the fires) and that has been new.

I took it easy, but my adult daughter was out on the street looking for me. She had a bandana over her mouth and nose. She tells me, “It was bothering me, and I figure if I had trouble with the ash and air, you would.”

Surprisingly I wasn’t too troubled. I actually didn’t even notice the cars coated with white and gray ash until I came back from nearly 40 minutes of a slower zennish jog.

Here is my FB post shortly after I got back, with the photo above.

The car was clean, actually, yesterday. This is ash from the fires. And yes, I ran in it. Really slowly, but I got ‘er done this morning.

It’s amazing what we can do when we put our minds to it. My mind was set on running. Now I’m wondering if I did any damage. I hope not. But as there are no N95 masks to be had, I guess the damage is already done.

I’ll probably wait another day before I go out again. But I know that I will want to get my scheduled runs for this week done, as soon as I can, as best as I can.

I made a commitment. 


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