Monday 10 September 2018



"A must-read...a throwback pulp novella that rings with authenticity." -- Out of the Gutter

Sim Palmer is bored as hell...Journalism for a Vegas tabloid is less exciting than expected. One phone call from a local gangster changes that; Sim soon finds himself battling against the criminal underworld. He's about to discover a family history best left buried.

Matt Phillips brings you an exciting and fast-paced novella. The first in a series of Knuckle Cracking Novellas brought to you by Near To The Knuckle.

A great start to September's reading with Matt Phillips' Las Vegas set Bad Luck City.

We have a jaded journalist treading water in his job and approached by a stranger who asks him to look for a mysterious girl who is missing. One thing follows another and Sim Palmer gets sucked into a world of violence, pain and artistic perversion with a bar girl and young delinquent for company, while crossing paths with a violent pimp-cum-fixer plus cohorts and a rather strange casino boss.

I really liked the setting, the set-up and the settlement to our fast-paced outing. There's a strong sense of place, a strong feel for family and memories and identity, a bit of a good versus evil tale with a quest for answers and subsequently if not exactly justice, a desire for some form of retribution.

128 pages long - perfect length and a quick speedy read that entertained and didn't disappoint.

Matt Phillips has been enjoyed before with his novella Redbone. Accidental Outlaws, Three Kinds of Fool and his latest Know Me From Smoke still sit on the pile.

4 from 5

Read in September, 2018
Published - 2016
Page count - 128
Source - purchased copy
Format - kindle


  1. I like the Las Vegas setting, too, Col. It's the right sort of context for this sort of story. The touch of family history is appealing, too. Not sure the 'violence and pain' part are for me, but the story does sound good. Glad you enjoyed it.

    1. It's a great setting for crime fiction Margot. Phillips packs a lot into a short book.

  2. Col – This one goes on the list. Thanks.

  3. This is not really my kind of crime fiction, but glad you liked it. Novellas are the perfect length.

    1. Agreed re novellas, they work for me. I think you might enjoy this offering more than you would think.