Friday 4 January 2019


A few more into the collection during December......

Scott Von Doviak - Charlesgate Confidential (2018) - purchased copy

Years ago a recommendation from Stephen King would have me purchasing on auto-pilot. Not always these days, but I do like my heist novels and this one sounds a bit different.....

“CHARLESGATE CONFIDENTIAL is terrific.” – Stephen King

A breathtakingly clever, twist-filled narrative that moves from 1946 to 1988 to 2014 and back again, CHARLESGATE CONFIDENTIAL establishes Scott Von Doviak as a storyteller of the first order.

A group of criminals in 1946 pull off the heist of the century, stealing a dozen priceless works of art from a Boston museum. But while the thieves get caught, the art is never found. Forty years later, the last surviving thief gets out of jail and goes hunting for the loot, involving some innocent college students in his dangerous plan – and thirty years after that, in the present day, the former college kids, now all grown up, are drawn back into danger as the still-missing art tempts a deadly new generation of treasure hunters. A breathtakingly clever, twist-filled narrative that moves from 1946 to 1988 to 2014 and back again, CHARLESGATE CONFIDENTIAL establishes Scott Von Doviak as a storyteller of the first order, and will leave you guessing until the very last page.

Douglas Skelton - The Janus Run (2018) - purchased copy

I've enjoyed a couple of books in Skelton's Davie McCall series - Blood City and Open Wounds - with a couple more still to get to. How could I resist a book with a character titled Coleman at it's forefront - even if he does spell it incorrectly?

"Bullet-ridden, bold, brilliant." Neil Broadfoot

When Coleman Lang finds his girlfriend Gina dead in his New York City apartment, he thinks nothing could be worse... until he becomes the prime suspect.

Desperate to uncover the truth and clear his name, Coleman hits the streets. But there's a deranged Italian hitman, an intuitive cop, two US Marshals, and his ex-wife all on his tail. And trying to piece together Gina's murky past without dredging up his own seems impossible. Worse, the closer he gets to Gina's killer, the harder it is to evade the clutches of the mysterious organisation known only as Janus – from which he'd long since believed himself free.

Packed with plot twists, suspense and an explosive climax, The Janus Run is an edge-of-the-seat, breathtaking thriller – NYC noir at its finest.

Ralph Dennis - Atlanta Deathwatch (1974) - purchased copy

A long forgotten and out of print series, or in my case - a never heard of one, has been brought back to life by Brash Books. Twelve titles to be republished in total, regarding Hardman, an Atlanta PI.

The first novel in the unforgettable, ground-breaking series by Ralph Dennis is finally back in print... after being coveted for years by collectors of the very best in hardboiled fiction. 

It's Atlanta, 1974. Jim Hardman was a mediocre cop until he was wrongly accused of corruption and thrown off the force. Now he works as an unlicensed PI, trouble-shooter and bodyguard... often partnered with his drinking buddy Hump Evans, a black, ex-NFL player who supports his playboy lifestyle by working as hired muscle. 

Hardman is hired by The Man, a black mobster, to investigate the murder of his white girlfriend, a college student. It's a case that plunges Hardman and Evans into the center of a violent street war that stretches from Atlanta's seedy back alleys to the marbled corridors of power.

This new edition includes an introduction by Joe R. Lansdale, the New York Times bestselling author of the Hap & Leonard crime novels.

Praise for the HARDMAN novels:

"His prose was muscular, swift and highly readable. Like Chandler and Hammett before him, Dennis was trying to do something different with what was thought of as throwaway literature." Joe R. Lansdale, from his introduction

"Expert writing, plus good plotting and an unusual degree of sensitivity. Ralph Dennis has mastered the genre and supplied top entertainment. " The New York Times

"The Hardman books are by far the best of the men's action-adventure series." Mother Jones Magazine

"Ralph Dennis is an underappreciated master. His Hardman series is one of the finest in the P.I. genre." 
Robert Randisi, founder of the Private Eye Writers of America

Laura Lippman - I'd Know You Anywhere (2010) - purchased copy

Another author, I've heard good things about but have never tried. Lippman has about twelve novels in her Tess Monaghan series and nearly the same number of standalone novels. this one sits on its own.

Eliza Benedict cherishes her peaceful, ordinary suburban life. But her tranquility is shattered when she receives a letter from the last person she ever expects to hear from: Walter Bowman. There was your photo, in a magazine. I'd know you anywhere. 

In the summer of 1985, when she was fifteen, Eliza was kidnapped by Walter. He had killed at least one girl and Eliza always suspected he had other victims as well. Now on death row for the rape and murder of his final victim, Walter seems to be making a heartfelt act of contrition. Having wondered why Walter had let her live, she cautiously makes contact with him. 

Yet as Walter presses her for more and deeper contact, it becomes clear that he is after something greater than forgiveness. He wants Eliza to remember what really happened that long-ago summer. He wants her to save his life. And Eliza, who has worked hard for her comfortable life, will do anything to protect it - even if it means finally facing the terrible truth she's kept buried inside.

Rusty Barnes - The Last Danger (2018) - purchased copy

I enjoyed the first Killer From the Hills book - Ridgerunner a couple of years ago, as well as his subsequent Knuckledragger. I do like Rusty Barnes and his books.

Three months after a shootout with the renegade Pittman family robbed him of his brother, Matt Rider is trying to put his life back together. His wounds are many, his sworn enemy Soldier Pittman may wake up and begin to tell what he knows, his wife is on the knife edge of sanity, and his teen daughter has gone missing with the son of his sworn enemy. 

In a whirlwind series of killings, thefts and rash decisions, Rider ends up muling drugs across the Canadian border for the Pittman family in order to save his daughter and wife from an even worse fate, even as he betrays them. Rider must choose between what is best for his conscience and what his sometimes murderous instincts tell him: kill them all.

Travis Richardson - Lost in Clover (2012) - purchased copy

Another speculative punt of sorts, in this case a double one as I've just bought Richardson's recently released short story collection as well - Bloodshot and Bruised

Welcome to Clover, Kansas, a small town sitting in the middle of America’s Heartland. It's a peaceful community, until the night that high school student Jeremy Rogers accepts an invitation to party with the “cool” older kids. After things go irreparably wrong, and Clover is thrust into the national spotlight, Jeremy keeps his involvement a secret. As the town heals from the tragedy, Jeremy falls into a psychological abyss from which he cannot escape, until he encounters the monster from his past and has an opportunity to redeem himself. A novella.


  1. Some potential goodies there indeed! Hope you enjoy the Lippman as much as I did.

  2. Lippmann has a lot of talent, Col. I really hope you'll like that one. And some of the others look good, too; I'll be especially interested to hear how you get on with the Von Doviak.

    1. Thanks Margot. I have heard she is very good, so fingers crossed! I did like the sprawling time-span of the Von Doviak, I like those kind of books when they are done well.

  3. Charlesgate Confidential sounds good; I like heist novels also. But I will wait awhile for that one.

    I am interested in the Hardman series, but again, not in a rush to get them. Thanks to Brash Books for putting them out though.

    1. Brash Books have a great catalogue and shine a welcome light on a lot of forgotten authors. I hadn't heard of Dennis until recently.

      Charlesgate Confidential would be one of my top three most anticipated from these six.

  4. I'm a big fan of Laura Lippmann- haven't read this one, but I do recommend her, both the series and her standalones.

    1. I'm hoping to try both at somE point, Moira. Maybe another crossover author for us?

  5. I'd certainly like to read some of Laura Lippman's fiction.