Saturday 19 October 2019


Another dirty half dozen to drool over and hopefully read sometime soon ....

Frank Westworth - Czech M8 (2019) - from author

I've enjoyed a couple of Frank Westworth's JJ Stoner stories in the past, but ought to do myself a favour and catch up with them, before enjoying his longer works.

Fifth Columnist (2016)
Third Person (2014)
First Contract (2014)


The life of a contract killer can be complicated.
JJ Stoner’s boss wants him to kill someone. His best friend’s girlfriend also wants him to kill someone. His best friend could kill him for getting cosy with the wrong woman.
Stoner just wants to ride his Harley – but the forces of law and order have other ideas…

"Stoner’s right hand moved with great speed and considerable accuracy. The forefingers of the hand ran up into the nostrils of the would-be brawler, and Stoner reeled his arm back in, bringing the nose – and attached face – with it and into violent contact with the table top.
"Blood – very bright blood – poured from the nose around the fingers anchored in it.
"‘Yuk’, Stoner remarked."

A pithy mix of hardboiled humour and blunt force trauma. Recommended for readers who enjoy Elmore Leonard, Lawrence Block and Stephen Leather.
CzechM8 is a self-contained short story which features characters from the Killing Sisters crime-thriller novels and the Stoner stories. It fits in between Seven Hells and A Last Act Of Charity, but can be enjoyed as a stand-alone story without reading the other books. Go on… Live dangerously!

Please note that the Stoner stories are intended for an adult audience and contains explicit violence.

Thomas Perry - A Small Town (2020) - Net Galley

Early peek at Mr Perry's next one. To be honest the last couple from him haven't rocked my world, but I have it on good authority he's back on form with this one.

The Burglar (2019), The Boyfriend (2013)


In A Small Town, twelve conspirators meticulously plan to throw open all the gates to the prison that contains them, so that more than a thousand convicts may escape and pour into the nearby small town. The newly freed prisoners rape, murder, and destroy the town-burning down homes and businesses. An immense search ensues, but the twelve who plotted it all get away.

After two years, all efforts by the local and federal police agencies have been in vain. The mayor and city attorney meet, and Leah Hawkins, a six-foot, two-inch former star basketball player and resident good cop, is placed on sabbatical so that she can tour the country learning advanced police procedures. The sabbatical is merely a ruse, however, as her real job is to track the infamous twelve. And kill them.

Leah's mission takes her across the country, from Florida to New York, from California to an anti-government settlement deep in the Ozarks. Soon, the surviving fugitives realize what she is up to, and a race to kill or be killed ensues. Full of exhilarating twists and surprisingly resonant, A Small Town will sweep listeners along on Leah's quest for vengeance.

Nick Kolakowski - Maxine Unleashes Doomsday (2019) - from author

Mr Kolakowski has been enjoyed once or twice before........

Boise Longpig Hunting Club (2018)
Slaughterhouse Blues (2018)
A Brutal Bunch of Heartbroken Saps (2017)

I'm looking forward to this one.


The United States has collapsed. Bandits stalk the highways, preying on the weak and unaware.

In order to transport goods between heavily fortified cities, companies hire convoy escorts. Maxine is the best of these new road warriors: tough, smart, and unbelievably fast. But she also has a secret: She’s the niece of New York’s most notorious outlaw, a man hunted by what’s left of the nation’s law enforcement.

Maxine wants to live a normal, upstanding life. But a bad incident on the road leaves her mauled, penniless…and fired. If she wants to survive, she’s going to need to embrace her outlaw roots—and carry off the biggest heist that the post-apocalypse has ever seen. It’s a journey that will take her through obstacle after obstacle to the edge of death itself—and beyond.

Maxine Unleashes Doomsday smashes the gritty frenzy of Mad Max: Fury Road with the top-notch suspense of a crime saga like Heat. It’s a brutal thriller that offers a terrifying glimpse of our future.


“Take one of Richard Stark’s Parker novels and throw it in the blender with DVDs of Mad Max and The Warriors. Guess what? You just broke your blender. Find solace in this book, which is what you should have done in the first place.” —Rob Hart, author of The Warehouse and New Yorked

Andy Rausch and Chris Roy (ed.) - A Time For Violence (2019) - purchased copy

A couple of top names - Joe Lansdale, Max Allan Collins whose work I have enjoyed before - a no-brainer purchase.


"If you enjoy short, gritty crime fiction, you need to check out this anthology!" — Debbi Mack, The Crime Cafe.

Joe R. Lansdale

Richard Chizmar

Richard Christian Matheson

Max Allan Collins

John A. Russo

Stewart O'Nan, and more…

Throughout the years countless wordsmiths have produced their own story collections, but the book you are now holding is a love letter to the great anthologies of yesteryear, assembling stories by a variety of talents, packaged neatly and often connected by a singular theme.

Richie Narvaez - Roachkiller and Other Stories (2012) - purchased copy

Hipster Death Rattle from the author still sits on the pile. This collection won an award. I really need to read both of his.


Winner of the 2013 Spinetingler Award for Best Anthology/Short Story Collection!

From R. Narvaez, an exciting new voice in noir . . .

“If there is any justice in the world, [R. Narvaez] should become a giant on the literary noir scene within the next couple of years.”
—Anthony Neil Smith, author of Yellow Medicine, on the story “Roachkiller”

"'Roachkiller" is an accomplished debut from an author in full and firm control of his voice. Narvaez is definitely a name to watch."
—Eva Dolan, Crime Factory

A pregnant single mother who becomes a numbers runner in 1970s Brooklyn; an ex-con fighting against insurmountable odds not to kill again; a middle-aged tax lawyer who’s discovered the secret to happiness—at any cost: these are just a few of the hard-luck characters you’ll meet in Roachkiller and Other Stories, the debut collection of short stories from exciting noir writer R. Narvaez. Included are 10 hard-boiled tales, many with a dash of dark humor. Get-rich schemes gone violently awry. A slacker detective far out of his depth. A reformed criminal who can’t get past his killer instincts. The action moves from Brooklyn to Puerto Rico, from the ’70s to the near future, from deadly divorces to homicidal hipsters. Narvaez travels down the dimly lit side streets of noir you’ve never seen before.


In the Kitchen with Johnny Albino
Santa’s Little Helper
Ibarra Goes Down
Watching the Iguanas
Rough Night in Toronto

“Juracán” is also available as an ebook single under the title “Hurricane”!

Geoff Smith - Burning Crowe (2019) - purchased copy

Speculative punt, maybe not so speculative as I think it was an Amazon Freebie, but it has a few decent reviews against it's name. Slight Debbie Downer is it's over 400 pages long!


Two teenagers, both alike in indignity. Will they be civil? Or will there be blood?

Bartholomew Crowe is 18 years old. His dad dead, and deserted by his stepmother, he's running seriously low on justice. And when he is hired to find a rich kid gone AWOL, it isn't just a job; it's a chance to do good, a chance to fix things up, to make things right.

Handsome and loaded, Zack Richards has it all. A beautiful girlfriend. A burgeoning sideline in music management. Hell, he's even semi-famous! But for all his good fortune, Zack Richards is angry. He's addicted to trouble. And he's gone into hiding.

But Bart isn't the only one with Zack in his sights. And as tensions rise and bullets fly, Bartholomew Crowe learns that the only things he can count on are friendship, and love.


  1. I do like a good short story collection, Col. To me, it's a good way to get to know the author's work. I'm not sure the rest are for me, if I"m being honest, but I might try those stories. I'll be interested in what you think.

    1. A few that are definitely more my thing than yours, Margot. I do like short story collections, but don't read enough of them.

  2. The Kolakowski looks fun, and so especially does the Smith -- pity, as you observe, that the latter's such a chunk.

    1. I kind of think the Smith may get shuffled to the back of the pack partly because of the length. I maybe need to try and get over that. I have enjoyed some longer books recently when I've given them a chance.

  3. It has been 16 years since I read a Thomas Perry. I loved the early Jane Whitfield books but not the stand alone as much.

    1. Bill, thanks for stopping by. I have heard good things about the Jane Whitfield series, but alas haven't yet gotten to it. Always other books popping up ahead of them.

      His last couple of books haven't really rocked me, but fingers crossed for A Small Town!