Thursday 21 July 2016


No new book embargo just yet.....

Offered by the author - I enjoyed his Dial M for Monkey stories in the past!

Five criminals. Two forgeries. And one masterpiece of a heist.

Violet Winters—a professional thief born of a good, honest thief-and-con-artist stock— has been offered the heist of a lifetime. Steal a priceless Salvador Dali from the security-obsessed chairman of the Kilchester Bank and replace it with a forgery.

The fact that the “painting” is a signed, blank canvas doesn’t matter. It’s the challenge that gives Violet that familiar, addicting rush of adrenaline. Her quarry rests in a converted underground Cold War bunker. One way in, one way out. No margin for error.

But the reason Violet fled Kilchester is waiting right where she left him—an ex-lover with a murderous method for dumping a girlfriend. If her heist is to be a success, there will have to be a reckoning, or everything could go spinning out of control.

Her team of talented misfits assembled, Violet sets out to re-stake her claim on her reputation, exorcise some demons, and claim the prize. That is, if her masterpiece of a plan isn’t derailed by a pissed-off crime boss—or betrayal from within her own ranks.

"Adam Maxwell is the indie writing scene's sharpest wit, and the Dali Deception is his slickest, funniest - and surrealist - caper yet."
Damien Walter, Columnist for The Guardian.

Charity shop find!
Homicide detective Harry Belltree wouldn't usually be looking too hard at an elderly couple's suicide pact. Especially now, when his brother-in-law Greg has just been stabbed to death. But it seems Greg and the old couple had ties to the same man, a bent moneylender with friends in high places - and low. Harry can't get officially involved in Greg's murder, but he suspects a link with two other mysterious deaths: his parents'. And when he goes off-grid to investigate, that's when things start to get dangerous.

Ditto above - same shop!
After thirteen-year-old Sandy Duncan shoots his stepfather and carves a symbol from a comic book into the corpse’s forehead, district attorney Seymour Markley launches a grand jury investigation into the murder, one that could implicate east-coast crime boss James Manning.

Also in the frame is the comic book’s creator, Eugene Dahl. When threatening notes appear nailed to his front door, he is lured to a downtown hotel where one of the men who could bring down James Manning, is being held.

There, Eugene finds the witness murdered, as well as the police officer charged with protecting him, and all fingers point to Eugene.

Forced to go on the run, Eugene devises a plan that involves deeds far worse than anything he’s been accused of . . .

'There is no doubt of Jahn's writing talent . . . existential and surreal' The Times

Forthcoming from top publisher - 280 Steps - review copy via Edelweiss!
A tale of murder, conspiracy, heroics, and mosquito eradication for fans of Fargo, The Big Lebowski and The 39 Steps.

Young women keep showing up dead in the swamplands area of Oslo, Minnesota and nobody seems to care—except for Mack Harrison and his crewmates working as mosquito eradicators; aspiring hit man Jerry, stoner burnout Smokey, absent-minded Sid, and yoga-practicing foreman Lorne. The more the bodies pile up the more they start to think they should do something about it. Maybe. This is just how things are in Oslo. Dead girls in swamps are like the rising sun.

Still, Mack seems to be the only guy bothered by it all, but he’s new to the crew—recently moved from Chicago—and those big town ideals don’t always mesh well with Oslo values because there’s plenty he just doesn’t understand. Mack and the crew are pretty sure they know who or what is behind these deaths. They have theories. Could be Sheriff John. Could be the new med-tech giant MedSci. Could be Metro Area Vector Control itself—Mack and the crew do have the midnight task of disposing of these bodies.

Someday, they might put theory to action, but they are getting a pretty good paycheck for not doing much of anything. So, not a big deal, really.

Ditto above - Edelweiss-280 Steps available now!
Two years after they escaped the mainland with their lives and little else, save for well over a million dollars in the bank, Lars and Shaine has carved out a nicely spartan existence in Hawaii. Two years without pulling a trigger on another human being. Until Lars’s former employer calls about a job.

Enjoyed Canary last month - review copy via Net Galley!
Three generations - torn apart by one bullet.

Philadelphia 1965: Two street cops - one black, one white - are gunned down in a robbery gone wrong. The killer is never prosecuted. One of the fallen officers, Stanislaw Walczak, leaves behind a twelve-year-old boy, Jimmy...

Philadelphia 1995: Homicide detective Jim Walczak learns that his father's alleged killer, Terrill Lee Stanton, is out of prison. Walczak will be waiting, determined to squeeze the truth out of him - any way he can.

Philadelphia 2015: Jim Walczak's daughter Audrey, studying forensic science in grad school, reinvestigates her grandfather's murder for her dissertation. But the deeper Audrey digs, the more she realises: the man everyone thinks killed Walczak didn't do it...

And when the truth comes out, the danger's only going to grow.
Book 1 or book 2 in the Lars and Shaine series - another 280 Steps-Edelweiss review copy! 
For the last seventeen years, Lars—a hitman for an East Coast crime family—has been on the hunt for Mitch the Snitch. Mitch, an accountant who turned on Lars’s employer, is living in witness protection and has been evading Lars for almost two decades.

In comes Trent, a young gun who has been sent to replace the aging gun for hire. With his old boss gone, Lars realizes he has lost the desire to kill his long-time target.

When things come to a head with Trent, Lars finds himself on the run with Mitch’s teenage daughter Shaine, trying to stay one step ahead of angry mobsters and the FBI, as they make their way from New Mexico to California.
Another one from 280 Steps and Edelweiss! Re-issued in digital, originally from 1954. 
He was just an ordinary guy one day — a man on the run the next! 

Henry Wilson is just an ordinary guy, living an ordinary life. One day, just like any other day, Henry's eating breakfast — prepared by his gorgeous wife — when a stranger rings the doorbell and Henry's world is thrown into chaos. 

He's beaten to a pulp, fired from his job, and finds himself plunged into an insomniac nightmare, pursued by the police — accused of killing a cop and beating his wife — on the one hand and by a half-crazy blind man who wants to kill him on the other. 

With a new introduction by Mike Dennis, author of the Key West Nocturnes Series. 

Bought for my wife for some holiday reading - she liked it, so I guess I'll give it a go at some point!
When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, she just thinks he has gone off by himself for a few days - as he has done before - and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home.

But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine's disappearance than his wife realises. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows. If the novel were published it would ruin lives - so there are a lot of people who might want to silence him.

And when Quine is found brutally murdered in bizarre circumstances, it becomes a race against time to understand the motivation of a ruthless killer, a killer unlike any he has encountered before . . .

A compulsively readable crime novel with twists at every turn, The Silkworm is the second in the highly acclaimed series featuring Cormoran Strike and his determined young assistant Robin Ellacott.

Ditto above!
When a mysterious package is delivered to Robin Ellacott, she is horrified to discover that it contains a woman's severed leg.

Her boss, private detective Cormoran Strike, is less surprised but no less alarmed. There are four people from his past who he thinks could be responsible - and Strike knows that any one of them is capable of sustained and unspeakable brutality.

With the police focusing on the one suspect Strike is increasingly sure is not the perpetrator, he and Robin take matters into their own hands, and delve into the dark and twisted worlds of the other three men. But as more horrendous acts occur, time is running out for the two of them...

A fiendishly clever mystery with unexpected twists around every corner, Career of Evil is also a gripping story of a man and a woman at a crossroads in their personal and professional lives. You will not be able to put this book down.

Father's Day present from one of my girls!
The event that changed all of their lives happened on a Saturday afternoon in June, just minutes after Michael Turner - thinking the Nelsons' house was empty - stepped through their back door.
After the sudden loss of his wife, Michael Turner moves to London and quickly develops a close friendship with the Nelson family next door. Josh, Samantha and their two young daughters seem to represent everything Michael fears he may now never have: intimacy, children, stability and a family home. Despite this, the new friendship at first seems to offer the prospect of healing, but then a catastrophic event changes everything. Michael is left bearing a burden of grief and a secret he must keep, but the truth can only be kept at bay for so long.
Moving from London and New York to the deserts of Nevada, I Saw a Man is a brilliant exploration of violence, guilt and attempted redemption, written with the pace and grip of a thriller. Owen Sheers takes the reader from close observation of the domestic sphere to some of the most important questions and dilemmas of the contemporary world.

Amazon purchase with part of my Father's Day Gift Voucher!
Dustin loves to rob banks. Dustin loves to drink. Dustin loves his women. Dustin loves loyalty. He might even love his adopted nephew Jeremy. And, he sometimes gets a little too enthusiastic in his job doing collections for local bookies--so, sometimes, he loves to hurt people. Told in the first person, Uncle Dust is a fascinating noir look inside the mind of a hard, yet very complicated criminal.

Rob Pierce has been nominated for a Derringer Award for short crime fiction, and has had his stories published in Flash Fiction Offensive, Pulp Modern, Plots With Guns, Revolt Daily, Near To The Knuckle, and Shotgun Honey. The editor of Swill Magazine, he lives in Oakland, California, with his wife and two children. He is equally comfortable taking romantic walks on the beach or dumping the body elsewhere.

"I was imprisoned for bank robbery, where I read plenty of novels with a bank robber as the protagonist. Only a few writers entertained me with killer dialogue. I even contacted Elmore Leonard when I was paroled, told him crime writer to crime writer that he understood criminal dialogue real swell. Here's the thing: Had I read "Uncle Dust" while I was incarcerated I would've got out and contacted Rob Pierce before Elmore. The story and dialogue in "Uncle Dust" captured so much of that world and circumstance in all its squalid glory. Made me wish I'd done time with tough guy Dustin. I thoroughly enjoyed our criminal hero's mind as he observed the world, and himself, through a cynical thief's lens. And I think you will too."
– Joe Loya, author of the critically-acclaimed memoir, The Man Who Outgrew His Prison Cell: Confessions of A Bank Robber. 


  1. Enjoyed reading all you have to say..makes me want to get my hands on more books for my tb many books. So little time. Thanks Col.

    1. Jane cheers - you can never have too many books....well I would say that wouldn't I!

  2. You've got some interesting additions there, Col! I'll be keen to know what you think of the Galbraiths. I notice you have a Maitland, too. I like his Brock/Kolla series, so I'm biased. Still, I hope you'll enjoy that one.

    1. Margot - plenty to look forward to. My wife has read and enjoyed the first two Galbraith's so I'm quite looking forward to trying the series. I knew you and Moira liked Maitland's Brock and Kolla series. This one is set in Sydney which I believe is a change from the B/K books.

  3. Just a few, then - goodness, I'm pleased to see that there are others just as incorrigible as me!

    1. Good to know I'll have some company in the asylum!

  4. I am glad to say you haven't tempted me with anything I cannot wait a while to check out. Lots of lovely covers though. I did not know Maitland had a 2nd series, and 3 books in it already. I am out of touch. I have The Cuckoo's Calling, the first Cormorant Strike novel, but not read it yet.

    1. Re Barry Maitland - Crucifixion Creek is tagged on the cover as the first in a trilogy, but I only think the third comes out this October. The second is available but not cheap at the minute. I was lucky to find the first for under a pound! My wife enjoyed The Cuckoo's Calling, which I'll maybe read when I have another week's holiday from work. It's a hardback so too heavy for snatching a few pages in the car while waiting, or bedtime reading.

  5. You have got some good books there, Col, especially the titles by Eric Beetner and Rob Pierce that I hope to read someday soon.

    1. I think I'm going to enjoy Eric Beetner's books for sure. I read a co-authored book from him last month. Rob Pierce's also looks interesting.

  6. Be interested to hear how/if you get along with the Galbraiths.

    1. Me too, I'd probably get to them a bit sooner if they were a 150-200 pages shorter, but they aren't Potter length thankfully!

  7. Well-remembered, I am a big fan of Maitland's Brock/Kolla books - I'm intrigued by this other series and look forward to hearing more from you about them. I liked the Galbraith books, though haven't read the most recent one.

    1. I think I'll probably start my Maitland reading with this one rather than the Brock/Kolla books, but when? Who knows. My wife read the first two Galbraith's in quite quick succession, but can't yet face the latest.