James, James, Johnstone........3 enjoyed.
Bill James – You’d Better Believe It
The first in a 30 long series starring Harpur and Iles, though I’m not sure if both have lasted the pace. At a guess I read this maybe 8 or 9 years ago and although I enjoyed it and tracked down some of the subsequent books in the series, I haven’t been back. When life stops interfering with my reading habits, I will try and get back to it, probably re-reading this one first.
Nominated for England's Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger Award in 1986, You'd Better Believe It introduced Detective Chief Superintendent Colin Harpur to reader in England and the United States. Harpur's domain is a small seaport city south of London. It's not unusual for the big-town criminals to consider such a spot as easy prey. At such times a policeman must rely keenly upon his colleagues, to be sure, and also upon his retinue of narks (tipsters). This time it's a Lloyd's Bank branch that's the target. When the heist is postponed, a policeman is killed. One nark, then another, is murdered. As Harpur becomes driven to his limit, he must bypass regulations and settle things once and for all with a vicious crook named Holly. But not necessarily on his own terms.
Russell James – Underground
I tracked this down after it appeared on Al Guthrie’s list of 200 Noirs. I must have read it maybe 5 or 6 years ago, at a guess, as I only started keeping records in 2010. I reckon I enjoyed it, but that's as far as it goes unfortunately. My memory isn’t what it used to be. I’m fairly sure I have some other stuff by this author still to get to..... Daylight, Payback, Slaughter Music....to mention a few. James writes on the dark side of British crime, gangsters and violence the order of the day.
This is a tense thriller in which a "sleeper", hiding in the urban decay of South-East London, is forced to go on the run. He has a mission to complete but it is a race against time. Can he do the job before capture and possible death?
Doug Johnstone – Smokeheads
I read and enjoyed this late last year. I felt it was a bit like Deliverance comes to Scotland, a little bit far-fetched but for the most part believable. It was my first taste of this particular author and whilst I would read more from him again. I’m especially like the look of an earlier book of his – Tombstoning.
Four friends, one weekend, gallons of whisky. What could go wrong? Driven by amateur whisky-nut Adam, four late-thirties ex-university mates are heading to Islay - the remote Scottish island
world famous for its single malts - with a wallet full of cash, a stash of coke and a serious thirst. Over a weekend soaked in the finest cask strength spirit, they meet young divorcee Molly, who Adam has a soft spot for, her little sister Ash who has all sorts of problems and Molly's ex-husband Joe, a control freak who also happens to be the local police. As events spiral out of control, they are all thrown into a nightmare that gets worse at every turn.
Jackson, Johnson, Jones.......3 unread.
Jon A. Jackson – The Diehard
I’m unsure how this author got onto my radar, as I can’t recall seeing him mentioned on the various blogs I used to hang out at, and I don’t think his books have been published in the UK, but I may well be wrong. This was published in 1977, the first in a 9 or 10 books series that was published intermittently up to 2004. It’s been unread and ignored for at least 6 years or so, this and most of the others in the series, unfortunately. Detective Sergeant Mulheisen will hopefully be on active reading duty before the end of the year, if I can lay my hands on it!
Mulheisen investigates when a beautiful young heiress turns up dead in Indian Village, an exclusive enclave in Detroit, and discovers that her husband is the only executive of Fidelity Trust Insurance to escape blame for a multimillion-dollar embezzlement scheme.
Denis Johnson – Nobody Move
A one-off novel on this occasion, published in 2009 to great acclaim apparently, so I haven’t been ignoring it for that long. Truth be told, it will still be sat unread for another few years I guess.
From the National Book Award-winning, bestselling author of Tree of Smoke comes a provocative thriller set in the American West. Nobody Move, which first appeared in the pages of Playboy, is the story of an assortment of lowlifes in Bakersfield, California, and their cat-and-mouse game over $2.3 million. Touched by echoes of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett, Nobody Move is at once an homage to and a variation on literary form. It salutes one of our most enduring and popular genres - the American crime novel - but does so with a grisly humor and outrageousness that are Denis Johnson's own. Sexy, suspenseful, and above all entertaining, Nobody Move shows one of our greatest novelists at his versatile best. From the National Book Award-winning, bestselling author of Tree of Smoke comes a provocative thriller set in the American West. �Nobody Move, which first appeared in the pages of Playboy, is the story of an assortment of lowlifes in Bakersfield, California, and their cat-and-mouse game over $2.3 million. Touched by echoes of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett, Nobody Move is at once an homage to and a variation on literary form. It salutes one of our most enduring and popular genres - the American crime novel - but does so with a grisly humor and outrageousness that are Denis Johnson's own. Sexy, suspenseful, and above all entertaining, Nobody Move shows one of our greatest novelists at his versatile best.
Matthew F. Jones – A Single Shot
I’ve only had this about 6 months or so, as I believe it was a most welcome Christmas present from one of my girls. I think it has or is being turned into a film due out later this year. I will need to read before watching. He has written about 5 or 6 other books that I have on my wish-list. If Daniel Woodrell rates him, he's worth checking out.
Abandoned by his wife and young son, John Moon sits in his trailer on the mountainside, feeling abused by the world. All he has left is an acre-and-a-half of the family farm, and he makes do with odd jobs and poaching game off state land. One morning he goes hunting a deer out of season and winds up killing a young runaway instead. In trying to hide the evidence of his accidental crime, Moon finds a huge sum of money, plus evidence that the young girl was not alone. Will Moon’s crime be discovered? What will be the consequences for him and his family?
“One of the finest novels of rural crime and moral horror in the past few decades.” – Daniel Woodrell, author or Winter’s Bone
I'll be boning up on my K's now!