Thursday 29 March 2018


Another happy half dozen onto the already creaking TBR shelves...
Tom Leins - Snuff Racket (2018) - Amazon purchase
Enjoyed Tom Leins earlier offering last year - Skull Meat - this one sounds right up my dingy, dark reading alley!

A missing video. A dismembered girl. A deranged ex-con. And a disgraced private investigator. It's a dirty job, but someone's got to do it... 

SNUFF RACKET is the pulse-pounding new thriller from the author of SKULL MEAT.
Still recuperating from his previous case, Paignton private eye Joe Rey is hired by a mysterious stranger to track down one of the few remaining copies of a notorious 1970s Giallo movie - only to find himself embroiled in an increasingly vicious running battle with a demented ex-convict. 

(Author's note: this book contains scenes and language that readers of a sensitive disposition may find disturbing.)

Jeffery Hess - Tush Hog (2018) - Net Galley

Third book in the series by Jeffery Hess. I ought to read the other two first - more reading time required please!

It’s 1981 in Fort Myers, Florida. Scotland Ross hasn’t given up drinking, but he has sworn off of trouble. 

At a waterside tavern the day the Pope got shot, Scotland drank to cloud the memories of his dead infant son on an anniversary such as this. Distraction comes when the bar owner needs his help. Despite his vow of living within the law, Scotland soon finds himself tangling with a redneck clan, a Cuban gang, a connected crew from New York, and the very friend he set out to help. 

Crimes of violence, drugs, and theft pale in comparison to the failure of self-restraint in this humid town on the Gulf coast. 

When Scotland’s activities involve his girlfriend, he kicks himself into a higher gear. He didn’t know until it was too late that she’d been involved long before they even met. He’s not fully prepared for the ramifications of that, but there is no time to waste. 

Can Scotland save his girlfriend, clear his name, get justice for being screwed over, and stay out of jail? 

Tushhog is dark noir set in the state of sunshine. A story of crime and compulsion and the depths to which people rise or sink.

Advance Praise
Praise for Jeffery Hess and the Scotland Ross Thrillers

"A great read."  —Richard Lange, author of Angel Baby and This Wicked World 

Kevin Roberts - Decker (2016) - Smashwords purchase

Saw a review of this over on Goodreads by James Thane and was drawn both by the premise, the review and an amazing cover.


Ex-marine and ex-con Tom Decker, paint clerk at Decker's Hardware, keeps his secret life from everyone except O'Neil, his ex-con pal and owner of the local bar. In his spare time, Decker robs banks, with the goal of building up enough cash to buy the hardware store from his despised boss whose family cheated his father out of it during the depression. Things are moving along nicely until he hooks up with the ex-wife of a NY City mob boss. It's not long until Decker is in way over his head.

"All the other writers of crime fiction who can write this well are dead." -- Robert Sabbag, best selling author of Snowblind: A Brief Career in the Cocaine Trade.

John Marrs - The Good Samaritan (2017) - review copy from Net Galley

Sounds pretty intriguing, not an author I have tried before.

She's a friendly voice on the phone. But can you trust her?

The people who call End of the Line need hope. They need reassurance that life is worth living. But some are unlucky enough to get through to Laura. Laura doesn't want them to hope. She wants them to die.

Laura hasn't had it easy: she's survived sickness and a difficult marriage only to find herself heading for forty, unsettled and angry. She doesn't love talking to people worse off than she is. She craves it.

But now someone's on to her - Ryan, whose world falls apart when his pregnant wife ends her life, hand in hand with a stranger. Who was this man, and why did they choose to die together?

The sinister truth is within Ryan's grasp, but he has no idea of the desperate lengths Laura will go to... 

Because the best thing about being a Good Samaritan is that you can get away with murder.

Revised edition: this edition includes editorial revisions.

Lawrence Block - Step by Step (2009) - E-Bay purchase

I'd read this guy's shopping list,he's that good.

From the revered New York Times bestselling author comes a touching, insightful, and humorous memoir of an unlikely racewalker and world traveler

Before Lawrence Block was the author of bestselling novels featuring unforgettable characters such as the hit man Keller, private investigator Matthew Scudder, burglar Bernie Rhodenbarr, and time traveler Evan Tanner, he was a walker.

As a child, he walked home from school (mostly because he couldn't ride a bike). As a col-lege student, he walked until he was able to buy his first car (a deep blue 1950 Chevrolet coupe named Pamela, after the Samuel Richardson novel). As an adult, he ran marathons until he discovered what would become a lifelong obsession--never mind if some people didn't think it was a real sport--racewalking.

By that time Block had already spent plenty of time walking through the city of New York. But racewalking ended up taking him all over the country, from New Orleans to Anchorage, from marathons in the punishing heat to marathons in the pouring rain. And along the way, as he began to pen the books that would make him a household name among suspense fans all over the world, he found that in life, as in writing, you just need to take one step after the other.

Through the lens of his adventures while walking--in twenty-four-hour races, on a pilgrimage through Spain, and just about everywhere you can imagine--Lawrence Block shares his heartwarming personal story about life's trials and tribulations, discomforts and successes, which truly lets readers walk a mile in the master of mystery's shoes.

Ruth Sutton - Cruel Tide (2016) - Patreon purchase from publisher website

A bit of a punt, not heard of or tried this author before - but I like crime set around the 60s and 70s.

Cumbria. 1969

A gruesome discovery on the beach may just give local reporter Judith Pharaoh her first real chance to impress her editor. 

Assisted by young DC Sam Tognarelli, Judith is dragged into a dangerous mire of corruption and deceit where truth and justice struggle to prevail.

Cumbrian author Ruth Sutton's first crime novel is set in England's rugged far north-west and is the first in a new series of novels featuring journalist Judith Pharoah and builds on some of the settings and characters contained in her previous trilogy Between the Mountains and the Sea 

“Ruth Sutton's trilogy about a West Cumbrian family and community was very good. Here she's developed into a fine crime writer…”


  1. You've got some interesting choices there, Col. You can't go wrong with Block, of course. And Step by Step sounds like a really interesting look at his life. The Sutton looks really interesting, too.

    1. I think the Block book will make a welcome change from my usual reading, Margot. I do like the look of the Sutton book also.

  2. I've also got the Marrs Good Samaritan book loaded up & ready to go - it's a really interesting premise for a creepy thriller. First, just need to finish the reserves from the library as they'll have to go back soon (need to keep supporting the local library service :) ).

    1. It definitely is an unusual set up. Agreed regarding library support.

  3. Interesting, I had not heard of Step by Step by Block. The book set in Fort Myers Florida sounds interesting too.

    1. I only discovered the Block book by accident, but again I was sucked in my wanting to spend more time in his company. I'd be hard pressed to choose any of the others ahead of the rest of the additions.