Monday 4 July 2016


Nothing like a week away sat by a sunny pool with nothing to do but drink a cold one or two, have a swim and catch up on a bit of reading!

7 days in Spain - 7.5  books read! Happy days.....

Whiplash River - my second Lou Berney read! His third is on the Kindle!
Having left his life of crime behind, former getaway driver Charles "Shake" Bouchon has finally realized the dream of owning his own restaurant in Belize. Unfortunately, to do so he's had to go deep in debt to a murderous local drug lord named Baby Jesus. And when Shake thwarts an attempted hit on an elderly customer named Quinn, things go from bad to worse.

Next thing Shake knows, his restaurant's gone up in flames and he's on the run from Baby Jesus, two freelance assassins, and a beautiful but ferocious FBI agent. Out of options, Shake has to turn to the mysterious Quinn for help. Suddenly Shake's up to his neck in a dangerous score that he'll never pull off unless he can convince an even more dangerous ex-girlfriend to join him.
First time with Harry Dolan and his main man David Loogan! More from him in the tubs!
The man who calls himself David Loogan is leading a quiet, anonymous life in the college town of Ann Arbor, Michigan. He's hoping to escape a violent past he would rather forget. But his solitude is broken when he finds himself drawn into a friendship with Tom Kristoll, the publisher of the mystery magazine Gray Streets - and into an affair with Laura, Tom's sleek blond wife. When Tom offers him a job as an editor, Loogan sees no harm in accepting. What he doesn't realize is that the stories in Gray Streets tend to follow a simple formula: Plans go wrong. Bad things happen. People die.

Elizabeth Waishkey is a single mother raising a fifteen-year-old daughter. She's also the most talented detective in the Ann Arbor Police Department. But when Tom Kristoll turns up dead, she doesn'nt know quite what to make of David Loogan. Is he a killer, or an ally who might help her find the truth? Loogan, for his part, would like to trust her, but he has his own agenda. He suspects his friend's death is part of a much larger puzzle, and he's not going to wait for someone else to put the pieces together.

As Loogan and Elizabeth navigate their way through the Kristolls' world, they find no shortage of people with motives for murder, from a young graduate student obsessed with Laura Kristoll to a trio of bestselling writers, all of them with secrets they don't want uncovered. But as the deaths start mounting up - some of them echoing stories published in Gray Streets - Loogan begins to look more and more like the most promising suspect. Soon it becomes clear that only Elizabeth can find the path to solving both the murders and the mystery of Loogan himself. But by the time she unravels the twisted skein, Loogan may be indicted for murder - or, more likely, become the next victim.

First time with Patrick Hoffman, but The White Van still waits!
Patrick Hoffman burst onto the crime fiction scene with The White Van, a bank heist thriller set in the back streets of San Francisco and a finalist for the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award. Now he returns with his second novel, Every Man a Menace, the inside story of a ruthless ecstasy-smuggling ring.

San Francisco is about to receive the biggest delivery of MDMA to hit the West Coast in years. Raymond Gaspar, just out of prison, is sent to the city to check in on the increasingly erratic dealer expected to take care of distribution. In Miami, the man responsible for getting the drugs across the Pacific has just met the girl of his dreams - a woman who can't seem to keep her story straight. And thousands of miles away in Bangkok, someone farther up the supply chain is about to make a phone call that will put all their lives at risk. Stretching from the Golden Triangle of Southeast Asia to the Golden Gate of San Francisco, Every Man a Menace offers an unflinching account of the making, moving, and selling of the drug known as Molly - pure happiness sold by the brick, brought to market by bloodshed and betrayal.
An old favourite author of mine..Secret Dead Men, The Wheelman. The Blonde, Severance Package, Fun and Games - all rocked! A few more to be enjoyed yet.

It's dangerous enough when an ordinary college girl turns confidential informant. Even more dangerous when she's smarter than the killer, kingpins, and cops who control her.

Honors student Sarie Holland is busted by the local police while doing a favor for her boyfriend. Unwilling to betray him but desperate to avoid destroying her future, Sarie has no choice but to become a "CI"--a confidential informant.

Philly narcotics cop Ben Wildey is hungry for a career-making bust. The detective thinks he's found the key in Sarie: her boyfriend scores from a mid-level dealer with alleged ties to the major drug gangs.

Sarie turns out to be the perfect CI: a quick study with a shockingly keen understanding of the criminal mind. But Wildey, desperate for results, pushes too hard and inadvertently sends the nineteen-year-old into a death trap, leaving Sarie hunted by crooked cops and killers alike with nothing to save her--except what she's learned during her harrowing weeks as an informant.

Which is bad news for the police and the underworld. Because when it comes to payback, CI #1373 turns out to be a very quick study...

Second time around with Preston Lang - I loved The Blind Rooster last year, and his latest The Sin Tax  has just arrived on my device!
It's a bad idea for a drug courier on the job to pick up a woman in a roadside bar. Cyril learns this lesson when the sultry-voiced girl he brings back to his motel room holds him up at gunpoint. But Willow isn't the only one after the goods. A fast talking sex-offender and his oversized neighbor are also on the trail, as is Cyril's sinister brother, Duane. Willow and Cyril soon form an uneasy alliance based on necessity, lust, and the desire for a quick payday. But with so many dangerous players giving chase, will they nab their package? If you like Tim Dorsey, Laurence Shames, and Carl Hiaasen, The Carrier will be right up your alley!
Another one from Brash Books! Enjoyed Mr Buck's Psycho Logic a month or two ago - review still to be done!
Sex, Thugs, and Rock-n-Roll

The wild, daring, sexy and outrageously original crime novel from Macavity Award winner and two-time Anthony Award nominee Craig Faustus Buck.

Nob Brown is a divorced, disillusioned thirty-something ex-cop turned bottom-feeding tabloid writer. His best friend and occasional lover, Gloria Lopes, is an LAPD detective who needs an Excel spreadsheet to chart her sex life. When Gloria slips Nob the confidential file on the unsolved twenty-year-old murder of a legendary rock-and-roll goddess, Nob hopes to solve the crime and propel himself out of the tabloids and into a lucrative book deal. But he pokes into the wrong holes and unearths rotting secrets that give rise to fresh corpses. As the cold case comes to a fast boil, Nob is forced to battle for his own survival.

“A spirited mix of noir homage and hard-boiled spoof, and Craig Faustus Buck gets the proportions just right. Sexy, tough and comic -- and often all three at once.”
T. Jefferson Parker, New York Times bestselling author of "Laguna Heat" and "The Full Measure"

“A pleasure. Buck gives us a wisecracking freelance writer, a delectable female cop, detestable bad guys, and a plot with excitement that builds to the end.”
Thomas Perry, New York Times bestselling author of "Butcher’s Boy" and "A String of Beads"

“A neo-noir carnival ride!” W.L. Ripley, author of "Storme Warning"
Bigotry and sectarianism in small-minded Scottish town. My first taste of Brendan Gisby's work. 
No-one knows for sure when or why the Burryman ceremony in South Queensferry began, although many say it celebrates the granting to the town of Royal Burgh status by James VI in 1588.

Whatever its origins, the ceremony was held every year for hundreds of years until it was suspended by the authorities after the gruesome and mysterious death of a participant in the 1990 ceremony.

This is the story of the events surrounding that death. It is a story exposing the violence, bigotry and sectarianism that fester in the underbelly of small-town Scotland.
Another Brash Books author - I'm halfway through so far. Reed's Car Noir novels await!

Struggling writer Jack Dillon’s personal and professional life is falling apart…until he gets a lucrative gig writing the biography of TV comedy icon Walt Stuckey, who mysteriously walked away from Hollywood at the height of his popularity…and left his millions of fans wondering why for decades. Now Walt’s going to answer the tantalizing question, assuring that his biography will become a massive bestseller and Jack’s salvation. But when Walt is finally ready to tell Jack his big secret, things go terribly, unpredictably wrong, pushing the desperate author into kidnapping…becoming a fugitive chased by the police, the FBI, the news media, a crazed assassin, and Walt’s talentless & psychopathic son…just to finish the book. It’s a brutally original, crazy ride through California, Death Valley and TV history as Jack tries to solve the mystery and craft a perfect finale that doesn’t end with him going to prison… or to his grave. 
I can't remember the last time I read seven books in a week. Hopefully it won't be too long before it happens again! 


  1. Every now and again our tastes cross Col...I haven't read that Lou Berney book but I just read The Long and Faraway Gone which I really, really liked

    Sounds like you had a nice break in Spain

    1. Boom - our reading paths don't collide that often Bernadette, so its momentous when they do! THE LONG AND FARAWAY GONE is the one of his I haven't yet got to - maybe soon then!

      Great relaxing holiday thanks - back to earth with a bang though - the dreaded first work day!

  2. So glad you had a nice holiday, Col. It looks as though you got some solid reading in, too. I must admit, that Burney book does look interesting...

    1. Margot thanks. Not a bad book among the bunch which was a good result. I wouldn't put anyone off from reading Lou Berney's work, though Bernadette's one might be of more interest than his two Shake Bouchon books.

  3. Glad you had a good holiday, Col. You read a book a day. It fills me with envy! And you read some good ones too. Where do you get hold of these titles? I don't find them on Amazon.

    1. Cheers Prashant, the first two were paperbacks and the other 6 Kindle reads though only one of them - the Hoffman - has yet to be published (October). I'm pretty sure they are all available on Amazon UK.
      A couple of them - Berney and Swieczynski I would be keeping an eye on the authors as I've enjoyed them before. A few - namely Buck, Reed and Lang, I discovered through their respective publishers - Brash Books and 280 Steps, both of which seem to put out the type of books I want to read.

  4. That sounds like the ideal holiday, even though I would probably have a different list of books. These ones sound right up your street - good stuff.

    1. Agreed, though I did make sure I still paid attention to the family!

      Not too sure how many of these books would be up your dark, urine-smelling, used condom and discarded syringe littered alley.

    2. Thanks for that lovely image!

    3. Haha...the mean streets of Winchester

  5. to read to your hearts content and have fun in the sun sounds like an excellent vacation to me. -K.

    1. Definitely was - just a shame we couldn't stretch to a fortnight!

  6. Wow, even with 7 days off to do nothing but read, I could not finish 7 books. I would like to try Swierzcynski (if I got that right) and I love that Philip Reed cover.

    1. I'll be keen to see what the page count was when I do a monthly summary. It's not always easy to gauge it on Kindle reads, but I think only one was on or around 100 pages. The two paperbacks were 300 plus and 400 plus! It is an unusual cover, but probably not my favourite - you do like a skull though!

  7. Col – Seven books? Amazing! With my go-go family and friends, I’ll be lucky to do 7 chapters when we are away this summer. I am looking forward to Hoffman’s EVERY MAN. His WHITE VAN was a good one.

    1. I was aiming for 7 in 7, so was happy I could get there! I'm a fairly fast reader when in the mood, plus the family were happy enough doing ZERO around the pool, which isn't always the case.
      I've heard good things about THE WHITE VAN. EVERY MAN was very good, not totally amazing, but enjoyable.