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.



  1. These look good, Col. I'm especially interested in the Watson. I enjoyed his Montana 1948 very much, and I recommend that one if you've not read it yet.

    1. I knew you had mentioned something of his recently, Margot but I couldn't recall which one. Most of his books have an appeal.

  2. So, when's your next book-buying embargo going to be . . .?

    Yeah, I know. Same here.

    1. Ahem, probably when I start moving them back home and my wife gets to see them!

  3. As I said before, I do like your themes! I have read a couple of Larry Watson books, and if time weren't an issue I'd probably try some more.

    1. You should do, Moira - that said I passed up one of his at the weekend because the setting didn't grab me.

  4. Col – I like country noir, so Watson’s LET HIM GO would be the book I’d go for.

    1. I'll look forward to hearing your thoughts on him, Elgin if you cross paths with his books.