Wednesday 1 June 2016


Another dirty dozen in April, okay it was more but these are the ones I'm owning up to.
Another Lawrence Block Amazon FREEBIE. The cover doesn't give too many clues about the book. Originally published in 1979.

eAriel Jardell, an adopted 12-year-old girl, is possessed, her mother thinks, by jealousy and by forces far more bizarre. An unnerving tale woven together with a fascinating, terrifying child at the center of each twist and turn it takes, this book gives new definition to the old conflict of good versus evil, sane versus insane.
New book courtesy of Pushkin Vertigo. (2016)
An ultra-gritty piece of contemporary Swedish noir, set in a decrepit, highly atmospheric 1930s Stockholm that is a far cry from the modern, egalitarian capital city of today. 

The writing's on the wall for Harry Kvist. Once a notorious boxer, he now spends his days drinking, and his nights chasing debts amongst the pimps, prostitutes and petty thieves of 1930s Stockholm. When women can't satisfy him, men can. But one biting winter's night he pays a threatening visit to a debtor named Zetterberg, and when the man is found dead shortly afterwards, all eyes are on Kvist.

Determined to avoid yet another stint in prison, Kvist sets out to track down the only person who can clear his name. His hunt will lead him from the city's slums, gangster hideouts and gambling dens to its most opulent hotels and elite nightclubs. It will bring him face to face with bootleggers and whores, aristocrats and murderers. It will be the biggest fight of his life.

Blending noir with gritty violence, Clinch is a visceral, compulsive thriller that packs a punch and leaves you reeling.
Charity shop impulse buy - set me back 70p. (From 2000.)

Cherry Vanilla, twelve years old with a penchant for short leather skirts and make-up, has one ambition: to become the most famous 'lot lizard', or truck stop whore, in the business. With his blonde curls and naked ambition he is determined to be more woman than most and to match his idol, rival and mother, Sarah - also working the lot. Cherry is recruited by Glad - the most sophisticated pimp there is. Glad dresses his boys in the finest silk from China, feeds them gourmet food and teaches them to tell what a trucker wants by the look in his eye. It is only when Sarah leaves Glad's protection that he discovers just how perilous his chosen profession can be.

Another massive outlay - 50p - same charity shop! (Published 2001)

A funny, touching, sometimes alarming account of male friendship and the rivalries that drive men apart. Separated from his wife, Barney reunites his childhood friends for a game of dare - at stake, a jade statuette worth £750,000 according to Barney. As the game goes on, weaknesses are exposed and childhood traumas relived. Suspenseful, gripping and intelligently crafted, Little Green Man explores the darker side of men and their relationships. 'Sensitive not sentimental...real humour, horror, tension and tenderness' Mirror

Courtesy of All Due Respect! (2016)

From France, to Spain, to the north east of England, hit men, gangsters, corrupt cops, drunks, punks, and petty thieves all tumble toward the abyss. The stories in The Last Laugh are vivid and violent slices of Brit Grit and international noir, full of gaudy characters and dialogue sharp enough to cut your throat. The Last Laugh is a violent and blackly comic look at life through a shot glass darkly.

“If you took Ken Bruen’s candor, the best of Elmore Leonard’s dialogues, sprinkled in some Irvine Welsh, and dragged it all through the dirtiest ditch in South London, the result will be something akin to Brazill’s writing.” – Gabino Iglesias (author of Zero Saints and Gutmouth)

Courtesy of All Due Respect! (2016)
Life is an endless party for restaurant manager, Finn Roose. When he seduces an underage woman on one of his infamous booze cruises and loses her—literally, it sets off a massive search involving the police, her parents, and a private investigator. Finn spins lie after lie to stay out of trouble, and it’s not until his best friend suffers the consequences does he scramble to set things right. But this may be too much to ask from a guy who can’t resist a hot babe or a good time.

Thanks to Crime Wave Press (2016)
David "Tool" Roney is a dangerous man with a moral code. Stuck in brutal Parchman Maximum Security Prison in Mississippi, doing life for armed robbery, and abused by his guards, he is consumed by only one thing – escape.

His plotting pays off, and together with two other inmates he breaks free. But escaping and staying free are two different things. Tool hits the road with only one thing in mind - to return to the prison and to take vengeance on his tormentors. Payback is a motherfucker.

That’s Tool's Law. But then he meets a girl called Rose.

Thanks to Crime Wave Press again! (2016)
Why would someone kill a miner, freeze his body solid on a glacier and then drop it alongside the Juneau wharf, the one place where United States Marshal Gordon Whitford would be sure to find it?

Does it have anything to do with the 250 pounds of gold that have just been extracted from the Alaska Gastineau Mine? And how were both the frozen body and the gold able to disappear off a steamship that made no stops between Juneau and Seattle?

Now there is another shipment of 250 pounds of gold bound for Seattle - along with the miner's frozen body that has been recovered - again - floating just south of Juneau. Will Marshal Whitford be able to solve the murder and the robbery before the next shipment of gold vanishes into thin air?

Steven C. Levi's debut novel is a riveting historical thriller set in 1910 during the Alaska gold rush.

Thanks to Brash Books for this one. (1988 originally)
An Edgar Award Finalist

A mysterious, one-eyed stranger wanders into Farewell, New Mexico, a dusty border town rife with corruption. He’s known only as The Preacher, an ex-Priest, ex-Special Forces commando, and now a professional gambler who has given up on his own salvation … but is determined to find justice for a murdered Vietnam vet… even if it means taking on the entire God-forsaken town.

Brash Books again! Cheers! (Originally 1995)

Bestselling true crime writer Garner Quinn is drawn into a murder investigation when enigmatic artist Dane Blackmoor, a man with whom she shares a complicated past, is accused of dismembering women and hiding their body parts in his unsettlingly lifelike sculptures. Is Blackmoor a depraved killer or is he being framed? To find the truth, Garner must confront her darkest secrets and delve into the disturbing legacy of her late father, a celebrated criminal defense attorney who helped a guilty killer go free. Her relentless search for the truth leads to a devilishly surprising, action-packed climax that will leave you shaking.

Another second hand purchase. Hard Case Crime reissue of a novel from 1953.

Bill Wayne told his beautiful tour guide that he took the bus trip through the West to relax. But who can relax with dead bodies turning up at every stop? From Cheyenne to Salt Lake City, Bill s secretly on a mission to discover which of his former army buddies shot him and left him for dead four years earlier. But with all the lead that s flying around, Bill will be lucky to make it to the end of the tour...

Another one from publisher Pushkin Vertigo! (1933 originally)

At once a hallucinatory mystery tale and a powerful political parable that the Nazis tried to ban

It could have been a common street accident that put Dr. Georg Amberg in the hospital, but for the five weeks his doctors say he has been in a coma, recovering from a brain hemorrhage after being run down by a car, he has memories of a more disturbing nature. What of the violent events in the rural village of Morwede? The old woman threatening the priest with a breadknife, angry peasants with flails and cudgels, Baron von Malchin with a pistol defending his dreams for the Holy Roman Empire-how could Dr. Amberg ignore these? And what of the secret experiment to make a mind-altering drug from a white mildew occurring on wheat-a mildew called Saint Peter's Snow?


  1. You've got some interesting additions there, Col. I'm pretty sure you'll like the Block and the Brazill.

    1. They are the only two I have previous familiarity with out of the twelve, Margot.
      I have high hopes for all of them! (Fingers crossed!)

  2. Wow, Col! What a crazy batch of books. Some of them sound too scary to open.

    1. Haha - not too many cozys admittedly, Elgin!

  3. Col, I'm with Elgin on the "crazy batch of books." Your additions have plenty of variety.

    1. Prashant, plenty here to look forward to!

  4. I love Simon Armitage's poetry, and expect that to be a good one. Sarah Chen's is pretty tidy and mine's not 3 bad!

    1. The Armitage looked intriguing enough to take a punt on. Sarah's novella does look good and I've yet to be disappointed by a collection of your shorts.....though there's always a first time!

  5. Say it with Bullets looks good, just based on the cover. So far, I only have one book from Pushkin Vertigo, and it is Vertigo. I will be reading it sometime soon.

    1. I hope you enjoy Vertigo, I read it a few months back.

  6. Some very weird covers there. I've heard some weird things about JT Leroy, but that's probably the one I'd pick if I was going to read one of them.

    1. Yeah, the weirdness was what attracted me. I got another one of his books at the same time. Difficult subject matter - with SARAH - child prostitution. It has high praise, but doesn't look like a barrel of laughs. The other book looks like more of the same but stories - THE HEART IS DECEITFUL ABOVE ALL THINGS.