Saturday 9 April 2022


Six more into the collection....

Matthew Copes - Shaft City (2019) - Amazon purchase

Facebook friend Mick Rose tipped me off to this author, and he hasn't steered me wrong yet.

Discovering you're the offspring of incest isn't easy.

Reeling from a lifetime of bad choices and self-inflicted abuse, hard luck private detective Mack Chase seeks solace in the Arizona desert.

Though it’s not much of an existence, he’s making it work thanks to spotty agency work, a new dog, and generous monthly payments from an anonymous benefactor, but a late night distress call from a childhood flame turned junkie-prostitute heralds bad things on the horizon.

When a little girl disappears from a remote settlement of drifters and misfits known as “Shaft City,” Mack and his dopesick companion are thrust into a particularly personal and ghastly investigation that just so happens to coincide with the return of an unsavory acquaintance with whom they shared a traumatic experience growing up.

It’s a stroll down Memory Lane, until the kidnapping becomes a murder.

The clues point in one shocking direction, but long-simmering vendettas, shameful family secrets and tainted genes may be clouding Mack’s judgement.

SHAFT CITY is perfect for fans of classic noir authors like Dashiel Hammet, Ross MacDonald, Raymond Chandler and James Ellroy.

Walter Marks - Amazing Detective (2017) - Amazon purchase

Another new-to-me author and a 5th in series

“The discovery of a body on a Long Island beach leads a detective into a complex murder investigation with possible ties to drug trafficking…An entertaining mystery with an engaging hero and deftly handled plot twists.”—Kirkus Reviews

Praised by the East Hampton Star as an “amazing detective” for his expertise in crime-solving, Jericho is hard-pressed to live up to his reputation, by two separate cases. One is a homicide, involving a corpse found buried near a hiking trail in Montauk. The other deals with the complex interactions of competing sinister and violent drug cartels. Jericho comes face to face with homicide, gang wars, human trafficking, immigration issues, and racial tensions. Things come to a boiling point in this twisty story, until the life of the amazing detective himself is in serious jeopardy. As in all Jericho novels, the ending is shocking and unexpected.

Bonnar Spring - Disappeared (2022) - Net Galley review copy

And again, another untried author. Disappeared is Bonnar Spring's second novel.

These two sisters are about to be permanently “disappeared”

Julie Welch's sister, Fay Lariviere, disappears from their hotel in Morocco. Although she leaves a note that she'll be back in two days, Fay doesn't return.

Julie's anger shifts to worry—and to fear when she discovers a stalker. Then, an attack meant for Julie kills another woman. Searching Fay's luggage and quizzing the hotel staff, Julie discovers Fay's destination—a remote village in the Saharan desert. Convinced her sister is in danger and propelled by her own jeopardy, Julie rushes to warn Fay.

By the time she reaches the village, Julie finds that Fay has traveled deeper into the desert. With a villager as guide, Julie follows—only to be stranded in the Sahara when the guide abandons her. Julie is eventually reunited with Fay—in a prison cell—and learns the reasons for Fay's secrecy.

Although furious at Fay's deception and weak from her desert ordeal, Julie knows they must work together. The sisters, ensnared in a web of dangerous lies and about to be permanently “disappeared”, pit their wits against soldiers and desert in a fight for their lives.

Linda L. Richards - Exit Strategy (2022) - Net Galley review copy

Ditto, but this is maybe Linda Richards' 12th fiction book, give or take.

A shattered life. A killer for hire. Can she stop? Does she want to?

Her assignments were always to kill someone. That's what a hitman—or hitwoman—is paid to do, and that is what she does. Then comes a surprise assignment—keep someone alive.

She is hired to protect Virginia Martin, the stunning and brilliant chief technology officer of a hot startup with an environmentally important innovation that will change the world. This new gig catches her at a time in her life when she's hanging on by a thread. Despair and hopelessness—now more intense than she'd felt after the tragic loss of her family—led her to abruptly launch this career. But over time, living as a hired killer is decimating her spirit and she keeps thinking of ending her life.

She's confused about the "why" of her new commission, but she addresses it with her usual skill and stealth, determined to keep the young CTO alive against the ever-increasing odds.

Some people have to die as she discharges her responsibility to protect this superstar woman amid the crumbling worlds of high finance and future technical wonders.

The spirit of an assassin—and her nameless dog—permeates this struggle to help a young woman as powerful forces mount against her.

Vern Smith (ed.) - Jacked (2022) - review copy courtesy of Rum Amok Press

Cracking cover and an anthology I'm buzzed about.

Jacked: Crime Stories is the inaugural anthology for our recently launched imprint, Run Amok Crime. The anthology will be edited by author, editor, and Arthur-Ellis-Award-finalist Vern Smith.
With stories by: Paul Alexander, Eric Beetner, Michelle Ann King, Matt Witten, Zephaniah Sole, Andrew Miller, Phil Moscovitch, Jenna Junior, Allison Whittenberg, Shane Leavy, Christine Boyer, Gregory Jeffers, Meredith Craig, Tom McCulloch, Anne Louise Bannon, W.C. Gordon, Joseph S. Pete, Meagan Lucas, J. P. Seewald, Steven James Cordin, Ricky Sprague. 

Blair Denholm - Shot to the Heart (2022) - review ARC from author

Fourth entry in the author's Fighting Detective series. I've enjoyed the first three and more from Denholm

Denholm, Blair - Revolution Day (2021) (January, 2022) 

Denholm, Blair - Trick Shot (2021) (August, 2021)

Denholm, Blair - Shot Clock (2021) (April, 2021)

Denholm, Blair - Kill Shot (2020) (December, 2020) 

Denholm, Blair - Fighting Dirty (2020) (August, 2020)

Denholm, Blair - Sold to the Devil (2020) (May, 2020)

Denholm, Blair - Boyd and Sarge: NYPD Law and Disorder (2019) (January, 2020)

Denholm, Blair - Sold (2017) (February, 2018) 

A missing daughter

A desperate father

A kidnapper with no identity

After a five-year absence from his South London patch, former boxer and Metropolitan Police detective Jack Lisbon flies back from Australia to be reunited with his daughter. Just three days into his holiday, the child is snatched from her father’s side in broad daylight.

The message from the kidnapper is clear – if Jack alerts the police or fails to pay the ransom, the girl dies.

With the clock ticking, Lisbon assembles a ragtag team of amateur fighters and ex-colleagues in a desperate effort to find the kidnappers. Checking off a long list of suspects, they must race across the length and breadth of England and Scotland before it’s too late.

Shot to the Heart is the fourth action-packed book in the Fighting Detective Series from popular crime author Blair Denholm – guaranteed to keep you turning the pages.

If you’re a fan of fast-paced thrillers by American crime legends James Patterson, David Baldacci and Michael Connelly, or British doyens of police procedurals Ian Rankin, Peter James and Val McDermid, the Fighting Detective series will keep you reading into the night.


  1. Well, I know you won't be disappointed in the Denholm, Col. He tells a good story, in my opinion. And the Marks looks quite tempting to me, too. I'll be especially keen to know what you think of that one. Glad you got some good-looking reads!

    1. Denholm hasn't let me down yet, Margot. Looking forward to them all TBH.