"My highest recommendation for The Hard-Boiled Detective by Ben Solomon."
— Robert W. Walker, author of Cutting Edge and Grave Instinct
For the first time, the original 11 yarns from Solomon's ongoing, throw-back crime series are available in one volume. His nameless detective faces murderers, blackmailers, adulterers and racketeers—and that's only the first story in this collection. Ten more tales cover a never-ending parade of lowlifes, misfits and suckers, all narrated by the hard-luck gumshoe in his statements to the cops. If you're a fan of Black Mask," Chandler and Hammett, you'll get a bang out of Solomon's take on old-school detective fiction.
"Ben Solomon draws you in like a moth to a jail cell light bulb. And then you are captured. His lean prose and jazz rhythms run from Lower Wacker Drive to the Club De Lisa. Ben Solomon raises the bar on Chicago noir."
—Dave Hoekstra, Chicago author and former patron of Mike's Cop Bar
Ben Solomon appeared on my radar last year. He has to date churned out three Hard-Boiled Detective yarns monthly for the past 18 months or so over on his site – The Hard-BoiledDetective. That’s a pretty intense writing schedule to set yourself, but so far he hasn’t appeared to stumble or strike a false note if all 60-odd are indicative of this collection of 11.
Each tale is different but as we progress through the cases we encounter some recurring characters, which I liked. Our hero emerges from each, sometimes shaken and roughed up but largely unscathed with an answer to the questions posed at the start of each, albeit not always to his client’s satisfaction.
Solomon, can write fantastically and if I knew how to highlight on my device, I’d have plenty of examples to illustrate his powers. I’ll settle for two…
Mundy’s face went dumb as a dead herring.
Timing. It played with me all day. Strung me along like a windup toy…..Good old blind coincidence. You ever know coincidence to have twenty-twenty vision?
Great lines scattered throughout these interesting tales.
If I have a criticism it would be the lack of self or personality of our detective. I was hoping for some back-story or knowledge of his life away from the job and the next case. Learning a nugget or two of personal detail as each story unfolded would have added an extra layer and increased my enjoyment. Being able to connect or empathise with him would have elevated the stories just that bit higher, still a great collection though and I’ll be eventually reading my way through the next 50 or so.
4 from 5
Well worth a trip over to his site to check Ben out, or conversely this collection is on Amazon.
The author was kind enough to send me a copy of this for review.