Thursday, 31 March 2022
Wednesday, 30 March 2022
Tuesday, 29 March 2022
Monday, 28 March 2022
Sunday, 27 March 2022
Part 2 of my best of 2021 and #10 - 18 ...
220-odd books read and 18 crackers, this 9 gives...
10 authors, but Philip Elliott was on the first list as well
1 female, 9 male
7 US authors, 1 English, 2 Scottish co-authors
9 fiction books
4 new authors - Spencer Quinn, Michael Underwood, James Kestrel and Erin Flanagan
5 were series books.... Chet and Bernie from Spencer Quinn, Laidlaw from McIlvanney and Rankin, Sonny Burton from Larry D. Sweazy, an unnamed protagonist from Tony Knighton and Simon Manton from Michael Underwood
7 of the books were from 2021, 1 from 2009 and 1 from 1964
I have more on the TBR pile from McIlvanney, Rankin, Quinn, Sweazy, Kestrel, Knighton and Smith, albeit under different publishing names for two of them - Kestrel and Quinn - have books published under their own names
Philip Elliott - Porno Valley (2021)
William McIlvanney and Ian Rankin - The Dark Remains (2021)
If the truth's in the shadows, get out of the light . . .
Lawyer Bobby Carter did a lot of work for the wrong type of people. Now he’s dead and it was no accident. Besides a distraught family and a heap of powerful friends, Carter’s left behind his share of enemies. So, who dealt the fatal blow?
DC Jack Laidlaw’s reputation precedes him. He’s not a team player, but he’s got a sixth sense for what’s happening on the streets. His boss chalks the violence up to the usual rivalries, but is it that simple? As two Glasgow gangs go to war, Laidlaw needs to find out who got Carter before the whole city explodes.
William McIlvanney’s Laidlaw books changed the face of crime fiction. When he died in 2015, he left half a handwritten manuscript of Laidlaw’s first case. Now, Ian Rankin is back to finish what McIlvanney started. In The Dark Remains, these two iconic authors bring to life the criminal world of 1970s Glasgow, and Laidlaw’s relentless quest for truth.
Spencer Quinn - Dog On It (2009)
Larry D. Sweazy - Winter Seeks Out the Lonely (2021)"The law and circumstances never leave Sonny Burton alone for long. As the Great Depression lingers, a circus camps outside of Wellington, bringing with it suspicion and rumors of stolen cattle to feed the animals. The local Texas Ranger office is set to close, pushing Sonny's son, Jesse, out of a job. And Aldo Hernandez shows up on Sonny's doorstep asking for help. Aldo's cousin, Rafael, got into a fight and caused another man, Leo Dozier, to lose his spot in the CCC (Civilian Conversation Corps). Aldo thinks the sheriff is behind the trouble, and Sonny agrees to look into the situation-which thrusts him and Jesse into an investigation that exposes unknown corruption in his small town, and bigotry and hate that leads to a string of brutal murders. Edith Grantley has written Sonny several letters and has not received any answers. She is encouraged by one of her boarders to make the five-hundred-mile drive north to find out where she stands with Sonny after their brief relationship. On the way, Edith encounters a man set on terrorizing her for the entire journey. A cat and mouse game of survival ensues, and Edith is left to consider how much she really cares for Sonny, whether her feelings are worth pursuing, and if her life is worth risking her heart for. As Sonny and Edith reach out for each over the miles, they are both confronted by their fears, life and death situations, and an unforgiving world that seems intent on keeping them apart forever"
James Kestrel - Five Decembers (2021)
Tony Knighton - A Few Days Away (2021)
Anthony Neil Smith - The Butcher's Prayer (2021)
Erin Flanagan - Deer Season (2021)
Michael Underwood - The Crime of Colin Wise (1964)
Other cracking books from the same and previous years...
Saturday, 26 March 2022
Another six into the collection....
|Lee Goldberg - Movieland (2022) - Net Galley review copy|
|Lawrence Block (ed.) - Collectibles (2021) - Audible copy from author's assistant|
|Jack Probyn - A Deadly Vice (2021) - Amazon purchase|
|Eli Cranor - Don't Know Tough (2022) - Edelweiss Above the Treeline reviewer site|
|Sean O'Leary - Tokyo Jazz and Other Stories (2022) - review copy from author|
|Julieann Campbell - On Bloody Sunday (2022) - Net Galley review copy|
A bit of hard-hitting non-fiction on an outrageous crime, perpetrated and covered up by the British State.
In January 1972, a peaceful civil rights march in Northern Ireland ended in bloodshed. Troops from Britain's 1st Battalion Parachute Regiment opened fire on marchers, leaving 13 dead and 15 wounded. Seven of those killed were teenage boys. The day became known as 'Bloody Sunday'.
The events occurred in broad daylight and in the full glare of the press. Within hours, the British military informed the world that they had won an 'IRA gun battle'. This became the official narrative for decades until a family-led campaign instigated one of the most complex inquiries in history.
In 2010, the victims of Bloody Sunday were fully exonerated when Lord Saville found that the majority of the victims were either shot in the back as they ran away or were helping someone in need. The report made headlines all over the world.
While many buried the trauma of that day, historian and campaigner Juliann Campbell - whose teenage uncle was the first to be killed that day - felt the need to keep recording these interviews and collecting rare and unpublished accounts, aware of just how precious they were. Fifty years on, in this book, survivors, relatives, eyewitnesses and politicians shine a light on the events of Bloody Sunday, together, for the first time.
As they tell their stories, the tension, confusion and anger build with an awful power. On Bloody Sunday unfolds before us an extraordinary human drama, as we experience one of the darkest moments in modern history - and witness the true human cost of conflict.
Friday, 25 March 2022
A couple from author Alec Cizak, someone who's been on my radar for a few years, without me actually ever getting around to reading him.
Breaking Glass (2018)It's summer, 2016. Chelsea Farmer has awoken from one nightmare into another. Once a call girl with no control over her life, she's lost even more control, becoming another statistic in the opioid epidemic eating America from the inside out. Shacking up with a woman she may or may not be in love with, and three men unaware of just how useless they've become, she participates in home invasions to steal material goods that can be traded for pills or, even better, heroin. In between hits, the gang finds other ways to scrape together money, such as getting paid to march in a protest-turned-riot against presidential candidate Donald Trump. As the habit increases, calls for more crimes to feed it, the boys get increasingly violent with the victims of their home invasions. How long will it be before they actually kill a homeowner who refuses to cooperate? Chelsea must decide whether or not she's willing to hang around and find out.
Praise for BREAKING GLASS:
"Alec Cizak hits streets we don't want to live on and he hits them hard. For a writer as good as Cizak, that isn't enough. Breaking Glass is the story of an addict who stumbles into a chance at recovery only to have her past come back on her. Can she redeem herself while maintaining her newfound peaceful self? This book raises brutal questions and gives the answers it must." - Rob Pierce
Breaking Glass is so dark and troubling it will make you cry for mercy as he joins Poe and Lovecraft in finding new ways to disturb you." - David Nemeth
Cool it Down (2021)There Are No Heroes In This World
After fleeing a deadly romance, Blake Ness finds himself on an obscure island off the Gulf Coast. He befriends the island’s owner and mayor, a Cuban counter-revolutionary, and takes a job as a bouncer at a local massage parlor. Just when he thinks he’s found a home in paradise, he meets a Sarasota land baron who knows his real identity. Blake must choose between paying for his crimes of the past, or committing a new crime he may never escape from…
"In Cool It Down, Alec Cizak’s follow-up to Breaking Glass, Blake Ness wends through a Florida town’s web of paranoia and conspiracy. He soon realizes he’s addicted to murder, and, like a Jim Thompson character interwoven with one of David Goodis, all he has to do to survive is surrender all he believes...Does it end well? Does anything by Cizak? A stunning novel"—Rob Pierce, author of Blood by Choice
"Just when Florida couldn't get any weirder, Alec Cizak pulls you into Raro Key, a fictional coastal town rife with alligator worship, coffee-sipping spiders, pedophilic preachers, ghosts, and sins from the past, characters whose allegiances shift like shadows on cracked pavement. David Lynch meets Carl Hiassen in this sun-soaked revenge yarn"
—Hector Duarte Jr., author of Desperate Times Call
Thursday, 24 March 2022
It's March so it must be that time of year when I pull together my list of best books for last year!
2021 was a cracking year when I read more than I've ever done - 223 in total in all shapes, sizes and formats.
18 of them I gave top marks to and it's too many for one post.
The first nine were....
all male authors (no surprise),
from 8 different authors, with 2 from Alan Parks,
6 American authors, 1 Scottish and 1 Irish who actually lives in Canada and sets his books in the US,
8 were fiction, 1 non-fiction
3 were new-to-me authors - Philip Elliott, Ryan Gatiss and Chris Offutt
2 were series books - both from the Harry McCoy series by Alan Parks, 1 from Chris Offutt, wasn't but now is with a second book featuring Mick Hardin dropping in 2022
1 was a re-read - Tapping the Source by Kem Nunn
3 were from 2021, 2 from 2020, 2 from 2019, 1 from 2011 and one from way back when - 1985
The good news is I have more on the TBR pile from 7 of the 8 authors enjoyed.
Philip Elliott needs to pull his finger out and get another book written and published!
Andy Rausch - Bloody Sheets (2019)
Stephen Solomita - Angel Face (2011)
Kem Nunn - Tapping the Source (1985)
Ryan Gattis - The System (2020)
Alan Parks - Bobby March Will Live Forever (2020)
Chris Offutt - The Killing Hills (2021)
Alan Parks - The April Dead (2021)
Lawrence Block - A Writer Prepares (2021)
Philip Elliott - Nobody Move (2019)Eddie Vegas made a terrible mistake. Now he has to pay the price. After a botched debt collection turned double murder, Eddie splits, desperate to avoid his employer, notorious L.A. crime boss Saul Benedict, and his men (and Eddie's ex-partners), Floyd and Sawyer, as well as the police. Soon he becomes entangled with the clever and beautiful Dakota, a Native American woman fresh in the City of Angels to find her missing friend--someone Eddie might know something about. Meanwhile in Texas, ex-assassin Rufus, seeking vengeance for his murdered brother, takes up his beloved daggers one final time and begins the long drive to L.A. When the bodies begin to mount, Detective Alison Lockley's hunt for the killers becomes increasingly urgent. As paths cross, confusion ensues, and no one's entirely sure who's after who. But one thing is clear: They're not all getting out of this alive. As much a love letter to neo-noir cinema and L.A. as it is satire, the first book in the Angel City novels is a lightning-speed crime thriller equal parts Elmore Leonard and Quentin Tarantino.