Tuesday 28 March 2017


I'm still playing catch up with a post that in the normal scheme of things would have appeared months ago. Still it keeps me out of mischief and it does entertain me.

Which of these 6 floats your boat?

A welcome Christmas present!
Winner of the CWA Goldsboro Gold Dagger Award 2016

Winner of the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger Award 2016

‘One of the best literary crime novels you will read in your lifetime’ - Donald Ray Pollock

When East, a low-level lookout for a Los Angeles drug organisation, loses his watch house in a police raid, his boss recruits him for a very different job: a road trip - straight down the middle of white, rural America - to assassinate a judge in Wisconsin.

Having no choice, East and a crew of untested boys - including his trigger-happy younger brother, Ty - leave the only home they’ve ever known in a nondescript blue van, with a roll of cash, a map and a gun they shouldn’t have.

Along the way, the country surprises East. The blood on his hands isn’t the blood he expects. And he reaches places where only he can decide which way to go - or which person to become.

By way of The Wire and in the spirit of Scott Smith’s A Simple Plan and Richard Price’s Clockers, Dodgers is itself something entirely original: a gripping literary crime novel with a compact cast whose intimate story opens up to become a reflection on the nature of belonging and reinvention.

‘Dark, edgy and riveting and, for all that, deeply, humanly serious, Dodgers is white knuckles for the mind’ - Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize winning author of A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain

‘Imagine the young corner boys from The Wire on a road trip across USA’ - James Brown, Sabotage Times

‘Akin to William Gibson in its staccato blizzard of sentences, each as taut and tight as a drumhead, and reminiscent of James Ellroy in its sense of social injustice and of a life and upbringing etched caustically across the pages. A compelling debut’ - Luke McCallin, author of The Man from Berlin and The Pale House
A Christmas present to myself!
 "A born storyteller." —ST. LOUIS POST DISPATCH

Jimbo Slade is a suspect in a number of rape and murders in Seattle. He's outwitted the police and justice system before. But when the brutal killer targets Kathy Baird, her father takes matters into his own hands. Turning the tables, Jack Baird slowly wins Slade's trust, and soon he finds himself sharing Slade's lifestyle—cruising the city's sewers, lying to his family and the cops. He knows he can trust no one—not with the ruthless justice he has planned.

A heist novel from the author of To Die in California - one of the best books I've ever read.
 A post at Andrew Nette's Pulp Curry - here tipped me off to the book. I do like the sub-genre of robbery and I've enjoyed the author previously and it was reasonably priced - so hey hoh! No blurb for the book on the internet and I've not got my copy to hand.

An Amazon purchase when it was on offer!
More dark deeds, Down Under.....

It’s the early 1980s: the heady days of excess, dirty secrets and personal favours. Former detective Frank Swann is still in disgrace, working as a low-rent PI. But when he’s offered a security job by the premier’s fixer, it soon becomes clear that someone is bugging the premier’s phone – and it may cost Swann more than his job to find out why.

An Amazon FREEBIE purchase!
Mafia lowlife Tommy Abrocci wants two things: to disappear into the FBI's witness protection program, and to do so with as much of Detroit mob boss Vincenzo Romano's money as he can steal.

Unfortunately for Abrocci, Romano has no intention of letting a traitor get away with his money...or his life.

But when Abrocci decides to celebrate his heist by hooking up with a high-priced call girl who is pulling one last trick in order to save her son from a notorious drug dealer, a botched murder attempt gets the attention of the FBI who is desperate to find their wayward snitch.

One thing rapidly becomes clear: bullets fly, blood flows and no one is safe when you are...Killing The Rat.
Another present to myself - a speculative punt on a new-to-me author!
A page-turning psychological puzzle for fans of Shutter Island and True Detective
'The detail is unerring ... and this magisterial grasp of time and place lends the story vivid veracity. The characters leap off the page and the plotting is faultless.' JOHN BOORMAN (Director of Point Blank and Deliverance)
'I loved this book: it has such a subtle sense of place, the clear writing pulls you in right from the start, and its ingenious plot line is both shocking and inevitable.' ANN CLEEVES
In the late 1960s, with America at war in Vietnam, John Q is an old school Texas Ranger - a gun on each hip and quick on the draw. Called to the apparent suicide of a fellow war veteran, John Q suspects all is not as it seems, and very soon faces a desperate race across state as he starts to uncover just how dark some secrets can be.


  1. You have a nice lot there, Col. And I see you have Whish-Wilson's Old Scores. I very much want to read that one; I like his Frank Swann books very much. I'll be interested in what you think of it.

    1. You can't beat a bit of Frank Swann, Margot!

  2. Doggone it, Col, they all look good. DODGERS by Beverly is new to me. I know Thornburg’s CUTTER, but not KNOCKOVER. And KILLING THE RAT has a great cover and I like mob stories, so that one goes on the list, too.

    1. I've had CUTTER on the pile for a while, as well as DREAMLAND, but I never knew he wrote a "pulp" novel and it was easily available which was a bonus. I'm a fan of mob stories. CHARLIE STELLA is a great one for those, if you need another author. (Only saying)

  3. I'm intrigued by Newton Thornburg - such high praise from you, and I'd never heard of him. A book set in my old stomping ground of Seattle is always the way to my heart, so I may need to take a look at that one.

    1. I'm a bit surprised by that Moira - I thought CUTTER AND BONE and TO DIE IN CALIFORNIA were classics and the author was known to all. I caught the Andrew Nette post, got myself KNOCKOVER and revisited his other books. A MAN'S GAME and a couple of the others were about £2 on Kindle - not too much of a punt really. I don't know if any of his others have the Seattle setting. I've read the start of AMG and I think I'll like it.

    2. I definitely knew about Cutter and Bone - I've seen the film and thought I'd read the book but apparently not. We'll see how I get on...

    3. I'll have to look the film up - I didn't know there was one. Probably my cuppa! Hope you like TO DIE IN CALIFORNIA - feedback eagerly anticipated!

  4. I have Cutter and Bone by Thornburg, which is set in California. Haven't read it yet, but I should do that soon. I am interested in trying Dodgers by Beverly but it will be a while before I even get a copy.

    1. I keep meaning to read that one, but me and my reading plans keep getting rearranged! DODGERS has some great reviews, but that's another that will acquire a layer of dust before I get around to it!