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    Wednesday, May 22, 2024

    Tipping Point: Our picks and pans



    Apple TV

    We all have at least a passing knowledge of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, right? John Wilkes Booth. Ford’s Theatre. Maybe “Sic Semper Tyrannis.” It seems to me, however, that some of the details have been lost to history. Booth went straight up to Lincoln’s private box during a show, shot him in the head, jumped down onto the stage and rode off into the night on horseback. What I didn’t know, or had forgotten, was how detailed — for the time — an operation Booth and his goons were running. The plan was to kill not only Lincoln, but also the vice president and the secretary of state. But the guy tasked with killing the VP got cold feet, and the secretary of state survived his attack. Booth was also on the run for two weeks after he killed Lincoln. Can you imagine what Twitter would have been like? The cool thing about “Manhunt,” which focuses — you guessed it — on the hunt for Booth, is it is not so much a history lesson as it is a police procedural. It’s like a “Law & Order” episode, but it’s set in 1865, so there are no cars, no widespread electricity and no real hospitals. What is prevalent are facial hair, pistols and top hats, and a good bit of forgotten history.

    — Owen Poole


    Wild Mushroom Ravioli & Braised Beef Shortrib

    Constantine’s on the Bay, Niantic

    Seeing this item on the menu, I was intrigued but not convinced it would be a good combo of ingredients. But oh, my gosh, it was wonderful. The shortrib meat was amazingly tender and tasty. The ravioli was delicious unto itself. And the roasted vegetable hash was an ideal accompaniment, punctuating the flavors of the pasta and meat perfectly. The dish, for $26, was a huge portion, leaving me, very happily, with leftovers for the next day.

    – Kristina Dorsey


    Toxic Prey

    John Sandford

    Not once has any of John Sandford’s 213 witty and imaginative crime novels starring Lucas Davenport and/or Virgil Flowers and/or Lettie Davenport disappointed me. Sure, by now, a few have seemed less inspired or more improbable than others, but certainly enjoyable. This, though, is the first of his books that completely scared the freakin’ hell out of me. Suppose a committed biological and scientific genius, convinced that Mother Earth’s only chance of survival was to get rid of the problem — which is to say the human race that’s destroying Her. Said villain sets out to build a super plague featuring the highly contagious properties of measles with the brutal lethality of the hemorrhagic Marburg fever, and daughter and father Davenport have to find and stop the disease-monger and his band of eco-martyrs. Remember above where I wrote some of Sandford’s plots seemed “improbable”? Well, this one ISN’T. It’s more believable than I’m comfortable with and, worse, utilizes technology and material readily available on eBay or via bio/genetics dealers.

    — Rick Koster

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