Thursday 22 November 2018


Another healthy bunch of additions to the ever-expanding collection in November - 3 purchased and 3 received from the publishers, lucky me!

Richard O'Rawe - Northern Heist (2018) - courtesy of Merrion Press

Spotted on a recent jaunt to Ireland for a family re-union, 46 years after the last one! The only fiction title published by Merrion Press thus far, many thanks to Myles McCionnaith for sympathetically reacting to my request.....

‘This was an IRA job, a Provisional IRA job, which would have been known to the Provisional leadership.’
Bertie Ahearn, Irish Taoiseach, December 2004. 

Or so Bertie thought…but James ‘Ructions’ O’Hare is no ‘RA man. Ructions O’Hare is no small-time, two-bit thief. When Ructions put together a crack team to rob ‘The National Bank’ in Belfast in November 2004, even he didn’t realise he was about to carry-off one of the biggest bank heists in British and Irish history. And he’ll be damned if the Provos are getting a slice of it. In Ricky O’Rawe’s stunning debut novel, as audacious and well executed as Ructions’ plan to rob the National Bank itself, a new voice in Irish crime writing has been unleashed that will shock, surprise and thrill as he takes you on a white-knuckle ride through Belfast and Dublin’s criminal under-belly. Enter the deadly world of tiger kidnappings, kangaroo courts, money laundering, drug deals and double-crosses. Northern Heist is a roller-coaster bank robbery thriller with twists and turns from beginning to end.

Tom Vater - The Monsoon Ghost Image (2018) - courtesy of Crime Wave Press (cheers Henry)
Tom Vater and Detective Maier are back, but I've not tried his earlier books yet. I think I have one of them on the pile somewhere! I'll ignore the OCD and start with this one!


The third Detective Maier mystery is a taut and crazy spy thriller for our disturbing times.

When award-winning German conflict photographer Martin Ritter disappears in a boating accident in Thailand, the nation mourns the loss of a cultural icon. But a few weeks later, Detective Maier’s agency in Hamburg gets a call from Ritter’s wife. Her husband has been seen alive on the streets of Bangkok. Maier decides to travel to Thailand to find Ritter. But all he finds is trouble and a photograph. 

As soon as Maier puts his hands on the Monsoon Ghost Image, the detective turns from hunter to hunted – the CIA, international business interests, a doctor with a penchant for mutilation and a woman who calls herself the Wicked Witch of the East all want to get their fingers on Martin Ritter’s most important piece of work – visual proof of a post 9/11 CIA rendition and the torture of a suspected Muslim terrorist on Thai soil. From the concrete canyons of the Thai capital to the savage jungles and hedonist party islands of southern Thailand, Maier and his sidekick Mikhail race against formidable foes to discover some of our darkest truths and to save their lives into the bargain.

John Shepphird - Bottom Feeders (2018) - purchased

A sort of new to me author, insofar as I've not read him yet, but have his Shill trilogy on the TBR pile

“I absolutely devoured this book, and still can’t believe it’s a debut novel…I’ll be waiting for whatever he writes next!” —Steve Hamilton, New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award–winning author

A page-turning whodunit set in the wilds of a remote movie ranch, Bottom Feeders describes the hapless Hollywood cast and crew that eke out a living working on low-budget fare.

Their ambitious TV movie needs to be made fast and cheap, but a brutal murder grinds production to a halt. An approaching forest fire forces everyone to evacuate. In the confusion not everyone gets out. Eddie is the alcoholic director, Sheila the vulnerable camera assistant, Tom the self-centered actor, and Sondra the spurned sheriff’s deputy. Who will survive?

Death comes sudden and silent. The camouflaged killer’s weapon-of-choice is a high-tech hunting bow capable of firing razor-sharp arrows four hundred feet per second. The mysterious assassin has an agenda. Those left behind must find out what it is and who is behind this bloody slaughter in the fight for their lives.

Stephen Mertz - Some Die Hard (1979) - Amazon purchase

On spec Amazon purchase after catching a bit of chat about the book on the net somewhere. My issue is a recent reprint after the author extricated himself (his book actually) from the clutches of a dodgy publisher, the tale of which also appears in the afterword.

Dead man flying! Ex-stuntman and private detective Rock Dugan faces the toughest challenge of his career. How was his wealthy client murdered while flying alone in a sailplane, in full view of all the suspects in the case? How will Rock survive when gangsters and crooked cops want him off the case? Which of the beautiful women involved in his client's murder can be trusted - and which may turn out to be deadly?

SOME DIE HARD is legendary mystery and thriller author Stephen Mertz's first novel, originally published in paperback more than thirty years ago and long out of print. Part hardboiled private eye yarn, part classic novel of detection (with a locked-room mystery unlike any other), SOME DIE HARD is pure entertainment, and Rough Edges Press is proud to make it available once again. This edition includes a new afterword by the author.

"One of my favorite writers . . . a born storyteller . . . Enjoy!"
--Max Allan Collins

Joel Mowdy - Floyd Harbor Stories (2019) - Edelweiss early reviewer site

Great cover, interesting premise - looking forward to it.....

The twelve linked stories in Joel Mowdy's first book take place in and around Mastic Beach, a community on New York's Long Island that's close to the wealthy Hamptons but long afflicted by widespread poverty. Mostly in their teens and early twenties, the characters struggle to become independent in various ways, ranging from taking typical low-paying jobs—hotel laundry, janitorial, restaurant, and landscaping work—to highly ingenious schemes, to exchanging sexual favors for a place to stay. A few make it to local community colleges; others end up in rehab or juvenile detention centers. However loving, their parents can offer little help. Those who are Vietnam veterans may suffer from PTSD; others from the addictions that often come with stressful lives.

Neighborhoods of small bungalows—formerly vacation homes—with dilapidated boats in the driveways hint at the waterways that open up close by. The beauty of the ocean beach offers further consolation, as does the often high-spirited temperament of youth. Joel Mowdy brings to his affecting collection both personal experience and a gift for discerning and lingering on the essential moments in his characters' stories. He intimately and vividly illuminates American lives that too seldom see the light.

Judith Rossner - Looking For Mr Goodbar (1975) - purchased copy

A book I liked the sound of after reading a Crime Reads post on 70s New York crime fiction - 10 GRITTY CRIME NOVELS THAT WILL TAKE YOU TO THE 1970S NYC OF THE DEUCE

Funny enough, I've read one of them, own another six, bought this and another one from the list - I'm batting 9 from 10.

Based on a harrowing true story, the groundbreaking #1 New York Times bestseller, Looking for Mr. Goodbar, is a story of love, power, sex, and death during the sexual revolution of the 1970s.

Theresa Dunn spends her days as a schoolteacher whose rigid Catholic upbringing has taught her to find happiness by finding the right man. But at night, her resentment of those social mores and fear of attachment lead her into the alcohol-and-drug fueled underworld of singles' bars, where she engages in a pattern of dangerous sexual activity that threatens her safety and, ultimately, her life.

Looking for Mr. Goodbar is "uncommonly well-written and well-constructed fiction, easily accessible, but full of insight and intelligence and illumination" (The New York Times Book Review). With more than four million copies in print, this seminal novel - a lightning rod for controversy upon its publication - has become a cultural touchstone that has forever influenced our perception of social rebellion and sexual empowerment.


  1. You've got some interesting additions here, Col. The O'Rawe looks especially interesting to me. And I like the sound of the Mowdy, too. Sometimes short stories are a really effective way to get to know an author's style.

    1. I'm looking forward to all of these Margot. I never really knew that Long Island has such a contrast in the wealth of it's occupants. Years ago my Irish cousins had some friends who we played with during my holidays that emigrated there. I always regarded it as permanently sunny and idyllic. Childhood memories eh...

  2. I'm trying to remember if I read the Rossner back in the day -- I can recall it being an astonishing bestseller at the time.

    My, that's some cover on the Stephen Mertz book, innit? How many copies did you purchase?

    1. I hadn't heard of the case or the Rossner book until recently. It does seem intriguing.

      What exactly was it about the cover that grabbed your attention? I'll bet the original didn't look like that, or maybe it did, seeing as it was of the 70s? Kind of reminds me of some James Hadley Chase books in my collection.

      And finally - just the one. I might have to cover it in brown paper like an old school exercise book. I'm still remembering the dirty looks from my wife from last month's HCC novel from Christa Faust.

  3. I saw the film adaptation of Looking for Mr. Goodbar, but I don't think I ever read the book. Should be interesting. The cover of Northern Heist is very nice.

    1. I'll have to keep an eye out for the film, Tracy. Northern Heist and Floyd Harbor would be my pick of the covers from this bunch. The Mertz a close third.

  4. Col – Any book described with the “H” word grabs my attention. So O'Rawe’s NORTHERN HEIST is on my list. Last summer I read Mertz’s SOME DIE HARD. I think you will enjoy it.

    1. Elgin, did you blog on Mertz's book? I think that might be where I got the interest from.