Mahoney’s Camaro was a great auction deal. Only a grand for a cherry 1967 that had only been in the river for a few hours. As with every good deal, this one had a few strings. First, Heather had been handcuffed to the steering wheel and drowned after being shoved into the drink. Now, she was haunting the car. Second, the murderer was desperate to get the car back to destroy any evidence linking him to Heather’s murder.
It’s 1985 in Canada. Mahoney works for a scuzzy towing firm but his passion is cars. After losing his mechanic job under the shadow of theft, he can’t find reputable work. He is forced to work in an ethically questionable tow yard driving a tow truck during the midnight shift. Despite his bosses entreaties, he doesn’t deal drugs, pimp woman, or steal cars.
Mahoney looks into Heather’s death just to get her out of his ride. What he finds is the 1980s drug of choice, Crack, and a widespread criminal enterprise.
As a car fan, the descriptions of cherry rides and engine parts was a fun throwback to my youth of car clubs and cruise nights. I’m not sure everyone will be as entranced by pages of description of how to move the shell of one car onto another. The mystery was told from both the criminals and the detective Mahoney’s point of view—like Columbo the killer is known from the beginning—so this is not a good choice for armchair detectives. But if you like muscle cars, this is the perfect crime thriller. For everyone else, 3 stars.
Thanks to the author, ECW Press, and LibraryThing for a copy in exchange for my honest review.
Posted in Mystery & Thrillers, New Books Tagged with: cars, May 28 2019
It will be the best of times. It will be the worst of times. How will your life change when there is No One at the Wheel?
“Most transportation experts say that by 2075 driven cars will be completely replaced…By 2035, we may find that the majority of driving miles are completed by machines, not humans.”
In 2018, 1.3 million people are projected to die in road crashes with 50 million more injured. The need for a solution is clear. Autonomous vehicles are coming. Every major automobile company has one in development.
Will the resulting society be a utopia of staring at your phone continuously while your car drives you to work with no risk of accidents? Or will it cause massive disruption in the economy and overcrowded roadways? What will the one out of seven US residents who work in transportation do for a living? How will they be retrained and who will fund it? The decisions made now will determine our later fate.
No One at the Wheel shares the pros and cons of this new technological development. By making analogies to the development of the original cars, the author paints a dim view of the future of driven cars—as bleak as that of a horse and carriage in 1940.
I found both the history of cars and the potential of autonomous vehicles fascinating. But I’m still unsure what I can do personally to ensure a rosy outcome. No One at the Wheel is recommended for futurists and historians in equal measure. 3 stars.
Thanks to the publisher, PublicAffairs, and NetGalley for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
Posted in Non-fiction Tagged with: cars, Nov 13 2018, technology
From its start as a dream in Mattel’s eye, this is the story of Hot Wheels written by one of the first designers.
Realizing that model cars would be more fun if you could race them, Mattel had a hit with its innovative Hot Wheels cars and tracks. The cars were designed by real gearheads who were basing their models on popular souped-up cars from 1960s car mags. The designers were pulled from Detroit’s car makers by letting them design an entire, though 1/64th scale, car rather than only a small piece of a real car.
I loved Hot Wheels as a kid and snatched this book quickly off of NetGalley. The pictures of vintage Hot Wheels certainly brought back memories of my own cars. While the pictures are awesome, the story of how something completely different was created from the ground up is the star. This is a tale of how business innovation works. Have a great idea. Ignore the naysayers. Hire a great staff. Don’t rest on your laurels but keep reinvigorating your product line.
A great choice for the Hot Wheels fan. It also would be fantastic for that entrepreneur wannabe in your life. 4 stars!
Thanks to the publisher, Motorbooks, and NetGalley for an advanced copy.
Posted in Non-fiction Tagged with: cars, history, Sep 4 2018, Toys
Lisa is a new detective in Sweden. Up first is locating a missing person, who is deep in the raggare culture of vintage American cars and rockabilly music. His parents report him missing after he misses the annual local car festival, Motorcity.
I expect more exotica from Europe Comics. Setting this in the Swedish raggare culture that worships American 1950’s style was rather a disappointment. I expected Swedish noir and got Dragnet. However, the multiple surprising twists at the end make Motorcity a 4 star read.
Thanks to Europe Comics and NetGalley for a review copy.
Another #FrugalFriday 100-word review.
Posted in Graphic Novel Tagged with: cars, Nov 15 2017