Sunday 2 July 2017


Six more good looking editions to the library. 

I've read and enjoyed a couple of books from Dietrich Kalteis and Eric Beetner before and T. R. Pearson's East Jesus South was enjoyed a month or two ago. 

Steve Goble, Greg Barth and Zane Lovitt are all new to me.

Cool Canadian Crime from ECW Press
 "If you like your crime hard and fast, Kalteis is for you." - The Globe and Mail

Set to the cranking beat and amphetamine buzz of Vancouver's early punk scene, Zero Avenue follows Frankie Del Rey, a talented and rising punk star who runs just enough dope on the side to pay the bills and keep her band, Middle Finger, together. The trouble is she's running it for Marty Sayles, a powerful drug dealer who controls the Eastside with a fist.

When Frankie strikes up a relationship with Johnny Falco, the owner of one of the only Vancouver clubs willing to give punk a chance, she finds out he's having his own money problems just keeping Falco's Nest open. Desperate to keep his club, Johnny raids one of the pot fields Marty Sayles has growing out past Surrey, along Zero Avenue on the U.S. border. He gets away with a pickup load and pays back everybody he owes. Arnie Binz, bass player for Middle Finger, finds out about it and decides that was easy enough. But he gets caught by Marty's crew.

Johnny and Frankie set out to find the missing Arnie, but Marty Sayles is pissed and looking for who ripped off his other field - a trail that leads to Johnny and Frankie.

An Amazon purchase with my Father's Day gift card!
Dig Two Graves is a novella-length piece about Val, an ex-con who thinks he has figured out the trick to continuing his bank robbing life without ever getting caught. Except then he gets caught.
It's not his plan that backfires, oh no. There's a rat somewhere and Val is pretty damn sure who it is ? Ernesto, his prison lover who has joined him on the outside as his partner in bank robbery.

Val stalks the city night on the hunt for Ernesto to exact revenge for breaking the ultimate criminal code: you don't rat out a partner.

Along the way Val wrestles with his feelings for another man. Was it a prison infatuation born out of necessity? Or is it something more? And which makes the betrayal sting worse?

Populated by small time losers and petty crooks, Dig Two Graves is tough and stripped down like a fight without gloves. The humor is strictly from the gallows and the pace is relentless, plowing through one furious night like burning hate coursing through veins.


"Dig Two Graves" is the product of a diseased mind, and I mean that in the very best way. If you like stories about revenge and criminals fucking up their own shit, this one's for you." -- Scott Phillips, author of The Ice Harvest and The Adjustment

"DIG TWO GRAVES is everything you want a blackly comic revenge tale to be: fierce, fast, funny, and deliciously foregone. You'll know on page one that this story isn't going to go well for anybody involved, but read that page and see if you can look away. I couldn't. It's all in the voice, and Eric Beetner's got a live one. I look forward to hearing more of it." -- Sean Doolittle, author of The Cleanup and Safer

"DIG TWO GRAVES, ladies and gentleman is an absolute cracker. Beetner's belting, whip-cracking prose putting me in mind of George V. Higgins at his very best. A must read for any crime/noir fan." Ian Ayris, author of Abide With Me

Pirate Crime - WTF! From Seventh Street Books!
1722--aboard a pirate ship off the American Colonial Coast.

Spider John Rush never wanted to be a pirate, but it had happened and he'd learned to survive in the world of cut and thrust, fight or die. He and his friend Ezra knew that death could come at any moment, from grapeshot or storm winds or the end of a noose. But when Ezra is murdered in cold blood by a shipmate, Spider vows revenge.

On a ship where every man is a killer many times over, how can Spider find the man who killed his friend? There is no law here, so if justice is to be done, he must do it. He will have to solve the crime and exact revenge himself.

One wrong step will lead to certain death, but Spider is determined to look into the dying eyes of the man who killed his friend, even if it means his own death.

Happy Father's Day to me - the opener in Greg Barth's 5 book series!
Scatter shot revenge.

Selena is living the dream on her terms – carefree and sloppy and all in the pursuit of pleasure. When a careless act of petty theft puts her in the crosshairs of a violent crime syndicate, her choices are clear – either curl up and die, or tear down the whole damned organization one bloody shotgun blast at a time.

Nothing will satisfy her but savage retribution. Nothing can stop her. Get ready.

A Net Galley book!
Jason Ginaff doesn't get out much. Partly because of the anxiety, mainly because he works at home. Researching people on the internet. Job candidates doing bucket bongs on Instagram accounts they thought they'd deleted; the prospective new head of sales stripping for a hens' night...

He's been searching for something on his own time, too.

Now he's found it: the phone number of the man he believes to be his father.

Which is how he gets mixed up with Rudy Alamein. They've been looking for the same man.

Difference being, Rudy wants to kill him.

Black Teeth is a witty, dynamic contemporary thriller by an emerging master of the form. Beautifully written and darkly funny, it's both a literary triumph and an irresistible read.

Zane Lovitt was a documentary filmmaker before turning his hand to crime fiction. His debut novel, The Midnight Promise, won the Ned Kelly Award for Best First Fiction, and led to Zane being named one of the Best Young Novelists of 2013 by the Sydney Morning Herald. Zane Lovitt lives in Melbourne.

T. R. Pearson's latest - another one from Amazon.
A corrupt police detective enjoying semi-retirement in Tidewater Virginia stumbles onto an unsolved homicide that, given his nature, he'd be happy to leave unsolved. But a few people in his life have other ideas and drag him into an investigation that offers a chance for some small measure of redemption if he'll only take it. As murder squads go, this crew is no A Team - just an adolescent kid from up the block, a mouthy, conspiratorial-minded paraplegic, and an unhappy housewife our rotten cop met by chance in a Trader Joe's. What these three lack in savvy and expertise, they more than make up for in blundering determination, so Theory of the Case becomes the story of one man's trio of mongrel friends refusing to let him go on being what he's been.


  1. You've got some interesting-sounding reads here, Col. The Lovitt and the Pearson look especially interesting to me. I'll look forward to hearing what you think of them.

    1. Margot thanks. I'm not surprised you focused on those two in particular. I look forward to all six!

  2. 'Ere! I thought you were trying to get your book-acquisition habit under control? Isn't this a bit of a relapse?

    1. Hmm.....guilty as charged. I think "under control" is an alien concept for me.

  3. Thanks so much. Glad you enjoyed Dig Two Graves. I also got an early look at Zero Avenue and really dug it. A great crime story wrapped in my punk rock youth!

    1. Oops, I'll be reading it this coming month hopefully. Just focussing on what I acquired last month. Got myself some White Hot Pistol also!

  4. I have no hopes of getting my acquisition habit under control either, Col. I just bought two books (vintage science fiction this time) and Glen and I bought a big graphic novel together.

    Selena by Greg Barth sounds like Death Wish with a female in the lead. I have the first book by Kalteis but haven't read it yet.

    1. We might as well give in gracefully, I think! Deathwish with a female lead sounds like a great analogy. I'll be curious to see what you think of Kalteis's work.

  5. Nice covers all of them! Look forward to the reviews (this year some time? Or 2020...?)

    1. I ought to read all 6 in July, just to shock you...but probably won't. Maybe a couple....

  6. Col - I will be heading to Amazon to pick up a couple of these. Thanks.

    1. Hope you enjoy what you pick up, Elgin.