Thursday 31 May 2018

MAY 2018 - FILMS + TV

A decent month's viewing - 1 x TV mini-drama finished, 1 x 80s classic scare em film featured on TV, a Netflix documentary on Rachel Dolezal and 4 cinema trips, though as I only live 5 minutes walk now from my local library and they have a theatre that shows films a couple of months past their release date, it wasn't quite as expensive as it might have been.

Come Home (2018) BBC Drama
Last part of three watched and okay, but nothing to get too excited about. A few twists and turns, a big secret and a separation of a family with a reconciliation of sorts, or at least a measure of civility at the end. My son thought Ecclestone's Irish accent was well dodgy. I can't say it grated on me though.

Three Billboards Outside, Ebbing Missouri (2017)

One of the best films I've seen in a few years. As soon as it finished, I could quite happily have sat through the whole thing again. When's the DVD out? Highly recommended, though be prepared for a bit of rough language. Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell are all pretty amazing.

From Google....

Mildred Hayes, a hard-nosed mother is seeking justice for her murdered daughter. With no arrests after seven months, Mildred puts up three roadside signs to goad Ebbing police chief into action. But the law - and especially Sam Rockwell's hot-headed deputy - don't take kindly to the provocation. And the townsfolk are on their side. But Mildred doesn't care about ruffling a few feathers. In fact, she's happy to pluck the whole bird.

You Were Never Really Here (2017)

I read the book of this one by Jonathan Ames back in 2014 and as soon as I heard about the film with Joaquin Phoenix it went on the list. Dark, brutal, disturbing and a bit puzzling in places, I really liked it, though I wouldn't necessarily rush to watch it again.

From IMDB....

A traumatized veteran, unafraid of violence, tracks down missing girls for a living. When a job spins out of control, Joe's nightmares overtake him as a conspiracy is uncovered leading to what may be his death trip or his awakening.

Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) 
I'm not the world's biggest Star Wars fan and was a bit ambivalent about seeing this, but had my arm twisted by the rest of the family. And I did get fed at Nandos beforehand. I actually really enjoyed it.
Double bonus then. I really liked Woody Harrelson - second time in his company after Three Billboards. The main female part was someone off Game of Thrones, who I recognised but couldn't name. I've no idea who Hans Solo was either.

From Google.....

Young Han Solo finds adventure when he joins a gang of galactic smugglers, including a 196-year-old Wookie named Chewbacca. Indebted to the gangster Dryden Vos, the crew devises a daring plan to travel to the mining planet Kessel to steal a batch of valuable coaxium. In need of a fast ship, Solo meets Lando Calrissian, the suave owner of the perfect vessel for the dangerous mission -- the Millennium Falcon.

Isle of Dogs (2018)
I got dragged along to see this one by my son, who was keen, me much less so. I think perhaps because my expectations were really low, I actually enjoyed it a helluva lot more than I expected to. Maybe I'm over-thinking things, but I could make a case for elements of the story semi-mirroring views from the present POTUS on a few groups in America.

From Google....

When, by executive decree, all the canine pets of Megasaki City are exiled to a vast garbage-dump called Trash Island, 12-year-old Atari sets off alone in a miniature Junior-Turbo Prop and flies across the river in search of his bodyguard-dog, Spots. There, with the assistance of a pack of newly-found mongrel friends, he begins an epic journey that will decide the fate and future of the entire Prefecture.

The Shining (1980)

I must have seen this years ago - who hasn't?  But I was keen to re-watch it when it popped up on TV recently on a Saturday night. I don't think I recalled how it ended so it was almost like watching a new film - not quite I suppose - Here's Johnny! Well worth a look and I'll probably watch it again in the future, maybe not leaving it 38 years next time. I'm still semi-hypnotised by the child riding his tricycle around the deserted hotel corridors.

From Google...

Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) becomes winter caretaker at the isolated Overlook Hotel in Colorado, hoping to cure his writer's block. He settles in along with his wife, Wendy (Shelley Duvall), and his son, Danny (Danny Lloyd), who is plagued by psychic premonitions. As Jack's writing goes nowhere and Danny's visions become more disturbing, Jack discovers the hotel's dark secrets and begins to unravel into a homicidal maniac hell-bent on terrorizing his family.

The Rachel Divide (2018)

An interesting documentary on Rachel Dolezal. Scratches beneath the surface and gets past the screaming headlines regarding her fakeness in respect of how she presented herself. It was hard not to feel sympathy for her at times. Similarly, I could understand how she pisses some people off. Not always a comfortable watch.

From Netflix.....

Rachel Dolezal, her family and her critics reckon with the aftermath of a national debate sparked by questions about her racial identity.

Tuesday 29 May 2018


A couple of lively reads from Scott Phillips this week.

I read The Ice Harvest a fair few years ago, and truth be told can't remember too much about it, save that I must have enjoyed it a lot, because A. I kept hold of it and B. I continue to buy the author's books.

To date Phillips has published eight or so books and I think I have five of them. Time to dust something off and read it soon.

The Ice Harvest (2000)
The Walkaway (2002)
Cottonwood (2004)
The Adjustment (2010)
Rum, Sodomy and False Eyelashes (2010)
Rut (2010)
Rake (2013)
Hop Alley (2014)

Author's website is here, though it seems a while since it's has been updated.
His Facebook page is here.

The Ice Harvest (2000)

It is Christmas Eve in Wichita, Kansas and snowing steadily. The streets are deserted and most people have returned home for the festivities. But Charlie Arglist has to get out of town, and fast. This novel is a rollercoaster ride of black humour, and possibly, the last 24 hours in Charlie's life.

The Walkaway (2002)

The Ice Harvest, one of the most acclaimed noir debuts of 2000, is now followed by The Walkaway - both its prequel and sequel. Sidney's stepfather, Gunther Fahnstiel, got lucky in The Ice Harvest. Lucky to the tune of USD250,000 in untraceable notes. Ten years later he's escaped from the Lake Vista nursing home; confused, frail and desperate for a haircut. Sidney has prospered since his days running the bar at the Sweet Cage; he's now the owner, in fact, and strip clubs are big business. So a USD12,000 reward is posted for Gunther's safe return. The only problem is Gunther's just run into the daughter of an old flame and memories of dark deeds from decades before begin to surface...

Monday 28 May 2018


Six more I'm looking forward to getting my teeth into.....

Chris Rhatigan - The Kind of Friends Who Murder Each Other (2015) - Amazon purchase
I'm a massive fan of publisher - All Due Respect - they publish it, I'm probably going to read it and enjoy it!

Three dudes who used to work at the same convenience store are out bowling one night when they confess crimes to each other for literally no reason. They all succumb to fits of intense paranoia and proceed to live out the book's title. 

The Kind of Friends Who Murder Each Other is a weird noir exploration into clock-watching, friendship, smoking, minimum-wage jobs, nihilism, bad coffee, generic America, and boss-hating. At the end of this book, you will have learned zero life lessons.

Ged Gillmore - Headland (2017) - Amazon Purchase 
I saw a review of this which likened the author to Mick Herron - that's good enough for me.

What happens when a drug dealer is forced to turn detective? Meet Bill Murdoch, the world's most-reluctant private investigator... 

Murdoch’s doing just fine, thanks for not asking. He’s dealing drugs for a professional crime syndicate in Sydney and saving for a house by the sea. But what does he think life is, a fairy tale?

As the syndicate puts pressure on him to fill the shoes of his murdered boss, Murdoch is cornered by an equally formidable foe: the Australian Tax Office demanding an explanation for his sizeable cash income.

Murdoch spins a beautiful lie, telling tax inspector, Hannah Simms, he’s a private detective. When Simms asks him to investigate the mystery of her niece's disappearance, Murdoch grabs what he thinks is a golden opportunity to outrun the syndicate. But his arrival in the missing girl's small coastal home town causes an unexpected stir and the reluctant PI soon realises his troubles are only just beginning.

HEADLAND is noir crime at its best, a thriller to keep you guessing until the very end. 


HEADLAND is the first book in the Bill Murdoch Mystery series. It is perfect for fans of Peter Temple, Jane Harper, Garry Disher, and Alan Furst.

Paul D. Brazill - Last Year's Man (2018) - review copy received.

One of my favourite Brit Grit authors.

A troubled, ageing hit man leaves London and returns to his hometown in the north east of England hoping for peace. But the ghosts of his past return to haunt him. 

Last Year’s Man is a violent and blackly comic slice of Brit Grit noir. 

Praise for LAST YEAR’S MAN: 

“Brazill offers a series of amusing episodes filled with breezy banter in this offbeat slice of British noir.” —Publishers Weekly 

“It’s all here, everything you’ve come to expect from a Paul D. Brazill caper—the fast pace, the witty banter, the grim humour and the classic tunes—except this time he’s REALLY outdone himself. Unlike the lament in the song the title takes its name from, Paul’s best years are surely still ahead of him.” —Paul Heatley, author of Fatboy 

“Paul D. Brazill is the Crown Prince of Noir. That’s my opinion, granted, but I stand by it. For those who require proof, just pick up his latest novel, Last Year’s Man, and it will be clear why I make that statement. All hail the crown prince!” —Les Edgerton, author of The Rapist, The Bitch, Just Like That and others 

“Brazill is brilliant, a unique voice which stands out from the crowd.” —Keith Nixon, author of the Solomon Gray books

Keith Nixon - Beg For Mercy (2018) - review copy received
I've enjoyed the first couple in the series - Dig Two Graves and Burn the Evidence

Two men fight to prove their innocence. One a cop, the other a convicted murderer. One of them is lying.

Fifteen years ago Duncan Usher was sent to prison for killing his wife, Valerie. Young Detective Solomon Gray was first at the scene. His biggest case yet.

But Duncan Usher didn't kill Valerie. While someone was strangling Val, Usher had another man's blood on his hands. Usher took the fall for Val's death, but now he's out. Released on a technicality. He's held a grudge all this time, and he won't stop until he gets revenge on the dirty cop who framed him. Usher sets his sights on DS Solomon Gray.

And he has no qualms about using Gray's son, Tom, as a pawn to get what he wants.

Beg for Mercy is the third book in a series featuring Detective Sergeant Solomon Gray. The crime series is perfect for fans of Ian Rankin, Stuart MacBride, and Peter James.

Paul D. Marks - White Heat (2012) - review copy received
Another new to me author, I've yet to enjoy. Re-issued in 2018 by one of my favourite publishers - Down and Out Books

Winner of the 2013 Shamus Award for Best Indie P.I. Novel! 

P.I. Duke Rogers finds himself in a combustible situation in this racially charged thriller. His case might have to wait… 

The immediate problem: getting out of South Central Los Angeles in one piece during the 1992 “Rodney King” riots and that’s just the beginning of his problems. 

Duke finds an old “friend” for a client. The client’s “friend,” an up and coming African-American actress, ends up dead. Duke knows his client did it. Feeling guilty that he inadvertently helped the killer find the victim, he wants to track down the client/killer. He starts his mission by going to the dead actress’ family in South Central L.A.—and while there the “Rodney King” riots ignite. 

While Duke searches for the killer he must also deal with the racism of his partner, Jack, and from Warren, the murder victim’s brother, who is a mirror image of Jack in that department. He must also confront his own possible latent racism—even as he’s in an interracial relationship with the dead woman’s sister. 

Praise for WHITE HEAT: 

“…taut crime yarn set in 1992 against the turmoil of the Los Angeles riots that followed the acquittal of the police officers charged with assaulting motorist Rodney King…. the author ably evokes the chaos that erupted after the Rodney King verdict.” —Publishers Weekly 

Samuel W. Gailey - The Guilt We Carry (2019) - review copy from Edelweiss

Another new-to-me author. Not read his debut Deep Winter yet.

Perfect for readers of The Girl on the Train and Winter’s Bone.

Since the tragic accident that brutally ended her childhood, Alice O’Farrell has been haunted by her past. Unable to bear the guilt of negligence that led to the death of her younger brother, fifteen-year-old Alice runs away from home. She lives on the streets, makes one bad decision after another, and drowns her guilt in alcohol. But, everything changes when she stumbles upon a startling scene: a dead drug dealer and a duffel bag full of one hundred thousand dollars in cash. Recognizing this as an opportunity for a fresh start, Alice takes the money and runs. However, she soon finds herself fleeing from more than her own past―the dead dealer’s drug supplier wants his money back and will destroy her to get it. A merciless manhunt ensues, headed by Sinclair―a formidable opponent―relentless, shrewd, and brutal. As blood is spilled all around her, Alice is eventually faced with her day of reckoning. In the end, The Guilt We Carry is a story about redemption and forgiveness, but at what cost?

Thursday 24 May 2018


Another six sons from the stash....

Eric Williamson, Larry Watson, Keith Thomson, Jon A. Jackson, Charles Higson and Colin Harrison

Jon A. Jackson - The Diehard (1977)
First in a ten book detective series. I think I have the other nine and no I've never read him.

Mulheisen investigates when a beautiful young heiress turns up dead in Indian Village, an exclusive enclave in Detroit, and discovers that her husband is the only executive of Fidelity Trust Insurance to escape blame for a multimillion-dollar embezzlement scheme.

Larry Watson - Let Him Go (2013)
Read something by him years ago - White Crosses I think. Someone I need to get back to.

Dalton, North Dakota. It's September 1951: years since George and Margaret Blackledge lost their son James when he was thrown from a horse; months since his widow Lorna took off with their only grandson and married Donnie Weboy. Margaret is steadfast, resolved to find and retrieve her grandson Jimmy — the one person in this world keeping James's memory alive — while George, a retired sheriff, is none too eager to stir up trouble. Unable to sway his wife from her mission, George takes to the road with Margaret by his side, traveling through the Dakota badlands to Gladstone, Montana. When Margaret tries to convince Lorna to return home to North Dakota and bring little Jimmy with her, the Blackledges find themselves entangled with the entire Weboy clan, who are determined not to give up the boy without a fight. From the author who brought us Montana 1948, Let Him Go is pitch-perfect, gutsy, and unwavering. Larry Watson is at his storytelling finest in this unforgettable return to the American West.

Keith Thomson - Once a Spy (2010)
Another new-to-me author I took a punt on. There's a second in the series Twice a Spy!

Drummond Clark was once a spy of legendary proportions. Now Alzheimer's disease has taken its toll and he's just a confused old man who's wandered away from home, waiting for his son to fetch him. 

When Charlie Clark takes a break from his latest losing streak at the track to bring Drummond back to his Brooklyn home, they find it blown sky high - and then bullets start flying in every direction. At first, Charlie thinks his Russian 'creditors' are employing aggressive collection tactics. But once Drummond effortlessly hot-wires a car as their escape vehicle, Charlie begins to suspect there's much more to his father than meets the eye. He soon discovers that Drummond's unremarkable career as an appliance salesman was actually a clever cover for an elaborate plan to sell would-be terrorists faulty nuclear detonators. Drummond's intricate knowledge of the 'device' is extremely dangerous information to have rattling around in an Alzheimer's-addled brain. The CIA wants to 'contain' him--and so do some other shady characters who send Charlie and Drummond on a wild chase that gives 'father and son quality time' a whole new meaning.

With Once a Spy, Keith Thomson makes his debut on the thriller stage with energy, wit, and style to spare.

Colin Harrison - Risk (2009)
I read and enjoyed Harrison's The Finder back in 2010. Bought up some more of his books and never read them. Par for the course really.

An honest lawyer, a Czech hand model, and a box of mysterious Christmas ornaments, each play their part in Harrison's intricate mystery 

George Young never thought of himself as a detective, but that's pretty much his vocation--an attorney for a top insurance firm, it's his job to pin down suspicious claims. But Mrs. Corbett, the rich, eccentric wife of the firm's founder, has it in mind to put George's skills to a peculiar assignment. With only a few months to live, her one desire is to know the true circumstance of her son Roger's violent death. George's investigation leads him to Roger's mistress, a cagy Czech hand model named Eliska, whose motives for latching on to Mrs. Corbett's son may have gotten him killed. Set against a brilliantly-drawn Manhattan, at once volatile and vivid, Risk is prime Colin Harrison.

Eric Miles Williamson - East Bay Grease (1999)

Liked the cover, liked the title, liked the premise. Bought it, never read it. Williamson later published a couple more tales, including a continuation of T-Bird's story - Welcome to Oakland.

T-Bird Murphy is a Huckleberry Finn dragged off the Mississippi and dropped in 1960s and 70s Oakland. As a kid T-Bird lives with his mother, a self-obsessed woman who rides with the Hell's Angels and leaves her son to fend for himself except when she punishes him cruelly. When Mom skips town, T-Bird is passed over to Pop, fresh out of jail and embittered, who brings up his boy with a kind of rough love in a town dominated by street-gangs and family feuds. Only the smart can survive in this novel, and T-Bird watches many fall by the wayside as he learns to outwit the bullies and steal from the thieves, fighting and cheating his way to adulthood, jazz trumpet in hand. 

Eric Miles Williamson did every kind of mucky hands-on work under the sun before becoming Professor of English at San Jose State University. Extracts from East Bay Grease have previously appeared as short stories in a number of American magazines. This debut novel is fresh, exciting and often heart-breaking. A gloves-off story for those who eat their chilli hot and drink their whisky straight, told in a style that is at once gritty and lyrical--never greasy.-- Anna Davis

Charles Higson - Full Whack (1995)

Actor, comedian and writer with the amazing Fast Show, Higson wrote four books for adults before embarking on a series of books for children, including the young James Bond. I've read his King of the Ants years ago and forgotten it. Met him once at a children's book signing with my son.

Dennis Pike, former wild man of Tottenham, is getting old and going straight. But when two faces from his old gang turn up, he finds himself getting involved in a new scam. He finds himself embroiled in a world he wants to escape and is forced to confront a man who is dangerously unhinged.


Wednesday 23 May 2018


A couple from crime-cum-horror author Tom Piccirilli this week.

I've read a couple of his before - The Cold Spot which precedes The Coldest Mile and Fuckin' Lie Down Already. Truth be told I can't remember Jack about either. FLDA was read in 2011 and the other one way back when - both long before I started blogging on my reading.

Tom Piccirilli sadly passed in 2015, but not before he left a legacy of some fine fiction.

The Fever Kill (2008)

Crease is going back to Hangtree.

It's where his father met ruin in the face of a scandal involving the death of a kidnapped girl. It's where Crease was beaten, jailed, and kicked clear of the town line ten years earlier.

Now he's back. He s been undercover for so long that most days he feels more like a mobster than a cop. He doesn t mind much; the corrupt life is easier to stomach than dealing with a wife who can't understand him, a son who hates him, and half-dozen adopted kids he can t even name anymore.
He's also just gotten his drug dealing, knife-wielding, psycho boss Tucco s mistress pregnant. A fine time to decide to settle old scores and resolve a decade-old mystery.

With Tucco hot on his tail, Crease has to find his answers fast. Who kidnapped little Mary? Who really killed her? Was his own father guilty? And what happened to the paltry fifteen grand ransom that might spell salvation to half the desperate population of Hangtree?

The town still has a taste for his blood and secrets it wants to keep. But Crease has other plans, and he trusts that his raging fever for revenge will get him through...

Featuring an introduction by Ken Bruen.

The Coldest Mile (2009)

Raised to be a thief and getaway driver, Chase left the bent life after he found his true love, Lila. For ten years he walked the straight and narrow - until Lila was murdered. Now Chase is looking for his grandfather Jonah, the stone-cold-killer con man who raised him anis the last living repository of his family's darkest secrets. In returning to his criminal roots, Chase hopes to save Jonah's infant daughter from the life that Chase himself can't escape.

But first he'll need a score. Chase thinks he's found it as a driver for a dysfunctional crime family that's anything but organized. With the Langans' patriarch dying, the once powerful syndicate may unravel before Chase can rip it off. If he survives the bloodbath to come, he'll face an even uglier showdown. Because his grandfather Jonah is waiting for him at the coldest family reunion this side of hell.

Monday 21 May 2018



Friedrich Nietzsche wrote:

You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.

So it is for Jason Dean a hitman, enforcer if you like, lying in the gutter looking up at the stars. In defiance of his brutal upbringing and bullying father, Jason has learned to appreciate fine literature and classical music. At his father's insistence he learns to box from a young age and thus has ensured that he is able to contend with the brutal world he now inhabits.

A story that pulls no punches as we journey with Jason through a typical day, experiencing his highs and his lows. A tale with violence and heart, of normal folk living desperate lives.

The second in our Knuckle Cracking Novella series. Near to the Knuckle are proud to bring you One Day in the Life of Jason Dean by Ian Ayris, author of the critically acclaimed Abide with Me published by Caffeine Nights.

An eventful, climactic day in the life of our main character Jason Dean unfolds gradually. Normal everyday interactions - spousal indifference, breakfast in the cafe, a walk through the market - escalate slowly with increasing tension into violence as the workday commences - a meeting, a list of chores - must get much-loved, daughter Sophie a birthday present and several confrontations, each leaving their mark on Jason.

Reflection, regret, an event in the past, an erosion of the spirit. I could elaborate but to do so would risk spoiling things for a new reader.

A bit of high brow culture (Nietzsche, Wagner and Shostakovich) combines with a local history lesson, which documents the passage of time, combines with the mundane elements of working for a local criminal and money lender and the tedious but necessary application of some physical punishment. Today might just be different though.

Jason's inner monologue throughout provides some insight into a more complex character, than his job title might have you believe he is. Throughout, fierce parental love pervades.

Despite the melancholy nature of this one, we do have some occasional slapstick, which momentarily lightens the mood.

A moving, thoughtful and considered piece.

4.5 from 5

I've enjoyed Ian Ayris previously - Abide With Me and April Skies both last year.

Ian Ayris has his website here.

Read in May, 2018
Published - 2012 originally, (2016 republished by Near to the Knuckle)
Page count - 108
Source - purchased copy
Format - Kindle

Friday 18 May 2018



Mercie Hillbrook lives a simple, quiet life working as a gas station attendant. Then her parents are killed. Her home is taken. The people responsible are excused for just doing their job. When an attempt to get justice her way lands her in trouble with the law, Mercie realizes she still has something to lose: her own life. 

Then she finds reason to believe her parents were murdered… and she doesn't care anymore

Roy delivers on the edge of your seat storytelling with rough edges, crooked cops and a tiny light at the end of the tunnel that is never quite extinguished. 

— Tom Vater, co–founder of Crime Wave Press.

Her Name Is Mercie is a fast furious ride into an inferno of the highest tension you are likely to encounter this year. Where noir meets thriller, toss a coin. Dive in. And unplug your phones, pcs tablets and keep reading deeper and deeper, until the final pages.

— Richard Godwin, author of Apostle Rising.

A decent collection of a few short stories and a much longer piece - Her Name is Mercie - from new-to-me author Chris Roy.

Her Name is Mercie ... the star of the show - 90-odd pages with Mercie and a juvenile sidekick kicking back against authority. Parents dead, house and inheritance gone and nothing much more to lose.

Tense, tight and a bit of a roller-coaster ride. I was sucked in hoping that a measure of recompense could be extracted by Mercie and her wing man Kermit. We get a brief and sobering glimpse of the reality of life behind bars, as the course of true retribution never runs smoothly.

I had a couple of niggles with some of the elements of the story, but they were over-looked easily enough and didn't take away from an enthralling tale.

Re-Pete... borderline horror and a close contender for top story. Mother has a new boyfriend, her son Pete has issues - understandably - and you know things might just get messy...

Hunger.... a man, his daughter, her dog, her brother, a boat, a bereavement - all is not what it seems. There's some puzzling elements to how this unfolds - hallucinatory imagery, that I'm not sure I totally understood. Maybe if I re-read it a couple more times, I'd get my head around it. Maybe not.

Libby's Hands... always respect your Grandmother's wishes - you may come to regret things if you don't - another horror-ish tale with Halloween as the backdrop. Minor confusion again, but still worth the time.

Marsh Madness... short, sharp and another stand-out story - a boy, his dog, an alligator, a low wooden pier, his mother, a watchful hunter maybe stalker and a rifle

Overall, I really liked this collection. I'm more of a fan of the straight forward in your face stories where it doesn't require too much cerebral firepower to try and guess the author's intent. Three and three quarters of them worked very well for me, with only one leaving a slightly annoying sense of puzzlement. (Maybe I'm just thick.)

4 from 5

Chris Roy has few other books under his belt.
Shocking Circumstances : Book 1 Last Shine
Shocking Circumstances : Book 2 Resurrection

Sharp As A Razor : Book 1 A Dying Wish

Facebook - Author Chris Roy
Twitter - @AuthorChrisRoy

Read in May, 2018
Published - 2018 (26th May in fact - AM UK    AM US     AM CANADA)
Page count - 164
Source - review copy from Rachel's Random Resources, publisher - Near to the Knuckle
Format - PDF


A bit of crime from the 30s and 50s and some more contemporary stuff....

Wolfson, Wilson, Robinson, Thompson, Johnson and Lawson

D.W. Wilson - Once You Break a Knuckle (2011) 

An untried as yet collection of short stories.

In the remote Kootenay Valley in western Canada, good people sometimes do bad things. Two bullied adolescents sabotage a rope swing, resulting in another boy's death. A heartbroken young man chooses not to warn his best friend about an approaching car. Sons challenge fathers and break taboos.

Crackling with tension and propelled by jagged, cutting dialogue, D.W. Wilson's stories reveal to us how our best intentions can be doomed to fail or injure, how our loves can fall short or mislead us, how even friendship-especially friendship-can be something dangerously temporary. An intoxicating cocktail of adrenaline and vulnerability, doggedness and dignity, Once You Break a Knuckle explores the courage it takes just to make it through another day.

P.J. Wolfson - Bodies are Dust (1931)
A bit of 85 year old noir.

I can't find a blurb for Bodies are Dust but there's a Wiki page with a few details on Wolfson and a couple of reviews of this one on Goodreads

Denis Johnson - Nobody Move (2009)
I read his Resuscitation of a Hanged Man a few years ago and liked it enough to try more from him. Sadly Johnson died in 2017

From the National Book Award-winning, bestselling author of Tree of Smoke comes a provocative thriller set in the American West. Nobody Move, which first appeared in the pages of Playboy, is the story of an assortment of lowlifes in Bakersfield, California, and their cat-and-mouse game over $2.3 million. Touched by echoes of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett, Nobody Move is at once an homage to and a variation on literary form. It salutes one of our most enduring and popular genres - the American crime novel - but does so with a grisly humor and outrageousness that are Denis Johnson's own. Sexy, suspenseful, and above all entertaining, Nobody Move shows one of our greatest novelists at his versatile best.

Jim Thompson - The Kill-Off  (1957)

When I first developed an affinity for American crime fiction, Thompson was just coming back into vogue, some years after his death in 1977 - penniless and unremembered.

Luane Devore is about to be murdered. Among the suspects are various people whose reputations have been blighted by Luane's malicious gossip, including her young, servile husband and a doctor with an ugly secret in his past.

John Edward Lawson - Last Burn in Hell (Director's Cut) (2005)
Speculative punt, not an author I have previously heard of, but I liked the sound of this. Bought it and subsequently buried it in the pile and forgot about it!

The bizarro prison sex horror road trip exploding with alien invasion action!

Kenrick Brimley, the state prison's official gigolo, hangs over a lava pit on trial for his life in a strange land. He will reveal the course of his life one misguided step at a time for his captors. From his romance with serial arsonist Leena Manasseh to his lurid angst-affair with a lesbian music diva, from his ascendance as unlikely pop icon to otherworldly encounters, the one constant truth is that he's got no clue what he's doing. As unrelenting as it is original, Last Burn in Hell is John Edward Lawson at his most scorching intensity, serving up sexy satire and postmodern pulp with his trademark day-glow prose.
The Director's Cut edition includes:

Deleted scenes

Alternate ending

Photo stills

Remastering for more enjoyable viewing

And more!

Todd Robinson - The Hard Bounce (2012)
Years ago, I used to frequently tune-in to the online fiction site, Thug-Lit - run by Big Daddy Thug - Todd Robinson. I bought his debut novel and again forgot about it - WTF! 

Boo Malone lost everything when he was sent to St. Gabriel's Home for Boys. There, he picked up a few key survival skills; a wee bit of an anger management problem; and his best friend for life, Junior. Now adults, Boo and Junior have a combined weight of 470 pounds (mostly Boo's), about ten grand in tattoos (mostly Junior's), and a talent for wisecracking banter. Together, they provide security for The Cellar, a Boston nightclub where the bartender Audrey doles out hugs and scoldings for her favorite misfits, and the night porter, Luke, expects them to watch their language. At last Boo has found a family.

But when Boo and Junior are hired to find Cassandra, a well-to-do runaway slumming among the authority-shy street kids, Boo sees in the girl his own long-lost younger sister. And as the case deepens with evidence that Cassie is being sexually exploited, Boo's blind desire for justice begins to push his surrogate family's loyalty to the breaking point. Cassie's life depends on Boo's determination to see the case through, but that same determination just might finally drive him and Junior apart. What's looking like an easy payday is turning into a hard bounce--for everyone.