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    Friday, June 09, 2023

    Tipping Point: Our picks and pans


    Dark Angel

    John Sandford

    Let’s see ... Sandford is 79 and cranks out about three excellent crime novels on an annual basis. My fervent wish is that he continue this pace until he’s 114. The latest is “Dark Angel,” and it’s the second book in a series starring Lettie Davenport, a WHAT and the daughter of Sandford’s biggest hero, Lucas Davenport. Lettie is frankly amazing. A sniper-caliber (pun gleefully intended) firearms expert, Lettie is tasked by all sorts of federal agencies to infiltrate a maleficent domestic hacker group called Ordinary People. Teamed with a similarly gifted and dangerous female CIA operative, Lettie gets to work. Funny, imaginatively and presciently plotted and with fantastic character growth, “Dark Angel” is highly recommended.

    — Rick Koster


    FYRE: The Greatest Party That Never Happened

    I caught up with this 2019 documentary while on vacation, and it was fascinating. The 2017 Fyre Festival was an infamous disaster, but seeing everything that went on behind the scenes — there is tons of video because, with the generation that created and bought tickets for this festival, nothing is real unless you film it — gives it a whole other dimension. The lack of understanding by organizers about what was needed to pull off a festival like this is stunning, as is their willingness to ignore countless red flags and just plow forward with their ill-conceived idea. The mastermind, as it were, was Billy McFarland. He ended up serving prison time for wire fraud, and he admitted that he used false documents to lure investors to put $26 million into his company. And guess what? McFarland is out now and planning a new Fyre Festival. How gullible does he think people are? Very, apparently.

    — Kristina Dorsey


    Rick Special

    The Shack

    Truth told, there isn’t a “Rick Special.” But there should be because, as far as I know, I’m the only one who ever orders this a la carte combo. And each server who fields this a la carte combo raises their eyebrows in surprise and ... is that admiration I see in their expressions? Why, yes, I believe it is! “Oh, I remember you. You did this before!” Yep, and I’ve had this at all three Shack locations. Very simply, I ask for a slice of apple crumb pie with whipped cream ($5.99) and a side of extra crispy bacon ($3.99). The cinnamon in the pie links arms for a festive dance with the smoky bacon and subsequently enhances the respective and excellent flavors of the original items in unimagined and alchemical ways. You’ll thank me for this one!

    — Rick Koster

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