Sunday 18 August 2019


A few more testosterone filled reads acquired during the month of July. Four from authors I've read and enjoyed before and a couple that I need to get introduced to.......

David Putnam - The Heartless - from author

The Heartless is the seventh entry in David Putnam's Bruno Johnson series.

I've read and enjoyed the previous six. It's one of the few series I enjoy that I've managed to keep pace with. Putnam is a retired cop from California. He knows his stuff.

1. The Disposables (2014)
2. The Replacements (2015)
3. The Squandered (2016)
4. The Vanquished (2017)
5. The Innocents (2018)
6. The Reckless (2019)
7. The Heartless (2020)


Perfect for fans of Robert Crais and John Sandford 

Former LA County Deputy Bruno Johnson is now a bailiff in the courts having stepped down from his role on the Violent Crimes Team to spend more time with his daughter, Olivia. Bruno fears his job decision may have come too late when he gets a frantic call to extricate Olivia from a gunpoint situation in a LA gang-infested neighborhood. His desperation escalates when he realizes Louis Barkow, a stone-cold killer awaiting trial, had orchestrated that deadly tableau. When Barkow and three other criminals break out of jail and hit the streets, Bruno is plunged back into violent crime mode. Now, the agenda is personal--Olivia has become a pawn in the desperate chase of this sinister murderer. The walls are caving in on Bruno as violence escalates in his hunt for Barkow and his heart strings are stretched to the breaking point as he struggles to protect his daughter not only from the criminal violence swirling around them, but from Olivia's own impetuous life choices.

Finn Bell - The Lost Dead - from author

Finn Bell hails from New Zealand. The Lost Dead is his fourth offering. I've read and enjoyed the third - The Easter Make Believers. Dead Lemons and Pancake Money still sit on the TBR pile.



When a huge earthquake causes massive landslides across the isolated Southern Alps everyone scrambles in a frantic search for victims. No one is looking for a perpetrator.

But hidden now by the anonymous chaos of the massive disaster he seizes his opportunity and takes her. Like so many others who are missing young Sophie is simply counted among the earthquake’s lost. A perfect crime, unseen and unknown. Almost.

Because this time, as he attacks, he’s seen. Caught in the act. But the three brothers, the only witnesses, are themselves not innocent, not safe. Wanted criminals, they are already hunted and on the run. Barely keeping ahead of both the police and the gangs.

Now the sudden disaster and this chance encounter with a criminal much more dangerous than themselves thwarts their desperate flight into the wilds. Trapping all the wrong people in exactly the wrong place. Forcing the three brothers to choose: Between family and what’s right. Would you sacrifice a child to save your family?

A.G. Pasquella - Carve the Heart - Net Galley

A new-to-me author though I have his first Jack Palace book on the TBR pile - Yard Dog.
Toronto noir.


Ex-con Jack Palace returns in a world of violence, heartbreak, and revenge.

Cassandra, the woman who broke Jack Palace's heart, is suddenly back in his life. She owes $600,000 to a brutal gangster who has threatened her life, and she needs Jack's help. Meanwhile, Melody, Jack's new girlfriend, has set a dangerous plan of her own in motion. Things start to get violent when Cassandra suddenly disappears ... but not everyone believes Cassandra is in danger. Is Jack being set up?

Bikers, mobsters, and strippers collide as Jack storms the mean streets of Toronto searching for Cassandra. To find her, he must rip open old wounds and confront new enemies. But as loyalties falter and secrets are revealed, Jack begins to wonder who he can really trust. If he doesn't figure it out fast, he - and everyone he cares about - could end up dead.

John Farrow - Ball Park - Net Galley

John Farrow is the pseudonym of Trevor Ferguson. Ferguson is a Canadian literary/mainstream novelist. As Farrow he has written seven crime novels featuring Emil Cinq-Mars and mostly Montreal.


Getting inside is easy; the stress comes in getting out clean. A case of breaking and entering escalates after Emile Cinq-Mars transfers from the Night Patrol.

Montreal, 1975. Detective Emile Cinq-Mars is transferring from the Night Patrol - the notoriously tough department of officers in charge of watching over the city as it sleeps - to the day shift. His old superior has seen to it that he's assigned to partner Yves Giroux, another ex-Night Patrol detective some say isn't on the 'up and up'.

Getting in a house is easy for thief Quinn Tanner. The stress comes in getting out clean. On finding her getaway driver dead after her latest heist, she goes underground.

For his first case on the day shift, Emile is sent to the property that Quinn has just visited, and their paths are set to cross. But has she stolen something more valuable than she realizes . . . and who is hunting for her now?

Dietrich Kalteis - Call Down the Thunder - from author
One of my favourite contemporary authors, consistently turning out the type of books I love to read. That said I've fallen a couple behind. House of Blazes and Poughkeepsie Shuffle still need to be devoured.

Pick any one of these, kick back and enjoy. Thank me later.

Ride The Lightning (2014)
The Deadbeat Club (2015)
Triggerfish (2016)
House of Blazes (2016)
Zero Avenue (2017)
Poughkeepsie Shuffle (2018)
Call Down the Thunder (2019)


Desperate times call for desperate measures in Kalteis's lightning-fast crime caper story

Sonny and Clara Myers struggle on their Kansas farm in the late 1930s, a time the Lord gave up on: their land's gone dry, barren, and worthless; the bankers are greedy and hungry, trying to squeeze them and other farmers out of their homes; and, on top of that, their marriage is in trouble. The couple can struggle and wither along with the land or surrender to the bankers and hightail it to California like most of the others. Clara is all for leaving, but Sonny refuses to abandon the family farm. 

In a fit of temper, she takes off westward in their old battered truck. Alone on the farm and determined to get back Clara and the good old days, Sonny comes up with an idea, a way to keep his land and even prosper while giving the banks a taste of their own misery. He sets the scheme in motion under the cover of the commotion being caused by a rainmaker hired by the mayor to call down the thunder and wash away everyone's troubles.

Paul Heatley - Bad Bastards - purchased copy

I've enjoyed Paul Heatley's work more than once in the past - The Motel Whore, The Vampire, FatBoy, The Boy, An Eye For An Eye, The Pitbull. He writes the kind of books I like to read, though I always feel like the need to scrub the grime and filth off my skin afterwards.


Falling in love might just be the dumbest move Patton has ever made. Patty Dawson is beautiful – tall, with most of her length in her legs – and Patton has fallen head over heels. Patty is also Bobby Hodge’s daughter and that means she’s off-limits to guys like Patton.Bobby runs the Bad Bastards Motorcycle Club with an iron fist – he runs his family the same way - and when he finds out about Patton and his only daughter it was only ever going to go one way, badly.Beaten to a pulp and under threat of death, Patton is determined to find a way to be with the girl he loves no matter what the cost, but as the stakes get higher he has to decide just how far he’s willing to go in the name of love.

Praise for Paul Heatley

“Heatley has an adept ear, and he's got the writer's chops to translate what he hears.” —Matt Phillips, author of Accidental Outlaws and Know Me From Smoke.

“Heatley has this genre down pat and few others can top his style. Step into the dark and enjoy the fun.” —Grady Harp, San Francisco Review of Books

"Heatley is becoming a master of American noir in the vein of Jim Thompson and James M. Cain." – David Nemeth, Unlawful Acts


  1. Some interesting-looking ones there, Col. Glad to see a Finn Bell on your list. I do think you'll like Dead Lemons when you get to it; Bell conveys New Zealand really effectively, I think.

    1. Thanks Margot. I did enjoy Bell's last book, so I have high hopes for this one and the two earlier publications.

  2. Two of these authors I am definitely going to read someday. Finn Bell and Dietrich Kalteis. The others maybe too, but those for sure.

    1. 2 from 6 isn't a bad return! I look forward to seeing what you think.

  3. Thanks for the list, Col. Some new names here, and some I still need to get to, like Putnam. Soon, I will be posting a piece about Dietrich Kalteis’s ZERO AVENUE. Good stuff.

    1. Elgin, cheers. I'll be keen to see what you think of ZERO AVENUE.