Friday 18 May 2018


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.


  1. You've got some interesting choices there, Col. I'll be especially keen to know what you think of the Thompson. He wrote some hard-hitting stuff that I think might be up your street. I hope so.

    1. Margot, I do really need to get back to enjoying some of my older books including Thompson and the like.

  2. Golly, the Wolfson looks fun. There are a couple of related posts about the author and the book here and here.

    1. Golly, the Wolfson looks fun.

      Which is not to say that the others don't, of course!

    2. I'm surprised you haven't already read the Wolfson! Cheers for the links.

  3. Ever inventive with the thematic collections! That Jim Thompson book - I think I saw the film many years ago, when I used to go to film festivals and see really obscure indie films.

    1. Cheers. I don't think I've seen the film, I'll add it to the ever-expanding list!

  4. I don't know much about Denis Johnson, but I did by a novella by him, Train Dreams, which I have not read yet. I had no idea he did any crime fiction.

    1. I looked that one up, but not especially drawn in by the premise. I think he had a couple of crime-oriented books in his career.

  5. Col – I’ve seen some of Wolfson’s movies, but never read any of his novels. I’d like to. NOBODY MOVE is a great title and I have ordered the book. I haven’t gotten to Robinson’s HARD BOUNCE yet. Thanks for spotlighting all these.

  6. Col – I’ve seen some of Wolfson’s movies, but never read any of his novels. I’d like to. NOBODY MOVE is a great title and I have ordered the book. I haven’t gotten to Robinson’s HARD BOUNCE yet. Thanks for spotlighting all these.

    1. I think there's a few to choose from, Elgin. I'll have to check on his film work. I hope NOBODY MOVE is worth the punt.