Saturday 26 March 2022


Another six into the collection....

Lee Goldberg - Movieland (2022) - Net Galley review copy

Lee Goldberg - author, publisher, TV writer, all-round good guy and someone I've read and enjoyed previously. I really need to get to more by him though. This is a fourth in series, but I'm sure that won't matter. McGrave was fun. As was Mr Monk Goes to the Firehouse. As were some of the co-authored books with Janet Evanovich.

Malibu Creek State Park is a beautiful locale for campers, tourists, hikers, and Hollywood. For Detective Eve Ronin, it’s a backdrop for murder in a riveting thriller by #1 New York Times bestselling author Lee Goldberg.

For decades Malibu Creek State Park was the spectacular natural setting where Hollywood fantasies were made. But when a female camper is gunned down, it becomes a real-life killing ground. Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department homicide detectives Eve Ronin and Duncan Pavone are assigned the case…which Duncan fears is the latest in a series of sniper attacks that began long before Eve came to Lost Hills.

Seven victims over fourteen months…and top officials still refuse to see a connection. Eve and Duncan are stonewalled, threatened, and ordered to keep quiet. But Eve won’t back down. She’s no stranger to intimidation or corruption—she’s had a target on her back from day one at Lost Hills station.

Despite finding no evidentiary links between the shootings, Eve and Duncan follow their instincts into the shadows of Malibu Creek, where it’s not enough to expose the secrets and break the conspiracy of silence. They also have to make it out alive.

Lawrence Block (ed.) - Collectibles (2021) - Audible copy from author's assistant

Of recent years, Mr Block has turned his hand to editing anthologies and fair play to him. There's some cracking authors here ... the man himself, Lee Goldberg, Joyce Carol Oates, S. A. Cosby and a few more I've enjoyed over the years. And all regarding a topic that I can relate to having amassed and disposed of a few collections over the years myself.... coins, cigarette cards, football programmes and of recent years books.

A COLLECTION… OF COLLECTIONS What leads one person to collect stamps and another coins, one fine art and another butterflies? Who can say? But one thing is certain: those who've got the collecting bug care passionately—sometimes violently—about the objects of their obsession. No one covets like a collector; and as you will find in the pages of this brand new anthology from MWA Grand Master Lawrence Block, a truly dedicated collector will ignore the other nine commandments, too, in his quest for his personal Holy Grail. From Joyce Carol Oates' tale of the ultimate Marilyn Monroe collectible to Dennis Lehane's bookseller with a penchant for other people's tragic correspondence, from Lee Goldberg's Hollywood hustler with a collection of unaired TV shows to Joe R. Lansdale's stylish foray into noir, culminating in Lawrence Block's own classic story of a killer with a unique approach to choosing his victims, Collectibles illustrates the range of the collecting impulse and the lengths people will go to in their hunger to possess the perfect piece.

Jack Probyn - A Deadly Vice (2021) - Amazon purchase

Amazon FREEBIE, new-to-me author, cops and crime - what's to lose? Nothing.

There’s no fate worse than inheriting a dead man’s debt.

Jake Tanner, a trainee detective constable with Croydon CID, is eager to impress his bosses. So when a body is found face-down in the city’s farmlands, head crushed, split in two, Jake jumps at the opportunity.

The victim is soon identified as Zeke Harrison. A successful businessman and philanthropist. A man who had it all.

But, as the investigation into his death develops, it becomes clear that Zeke had more secrets than success.

And he had his debts - debts that got him killed.

But now they've been passed on to someone else. And Jake must find out to whom before history repeats itself.

A Deadly Vice is the exciting introduction into the Jake Tanner universe.

Meet Jake today before everyone else does. Perfect for fans of Mark Billingham, Peter James, Simon McCleave, JD Kirk, Ian Rankin, LJ Ross, Joy Ellis, and Val McDermid. Download for free now to experience the new series that everybody is talking about.

Eli Cranor - Don't Know Tough (2022) - Edelweiss Above the Treeline reviewer site

Another book I had on my radar having heard great things in the Twitterverse. Excited? Yes.

Friday Night Lights gone dark with Southern Gothic; Eli Cranor delivers a powerful noir that will appeal to fans of Wiley Cash and Megan Abbott.

In Denton, Arkansas, the fate of the high school football team rests on the shoulders of Billy Lowe, a volatile but talented running back. Billy comes from an extremely troubled home: a trailer park where he is terrorized by his unstable mother’s abusive boyfriend. Billy takes out his anger on the field, but when his savagery crosses a line, he faces suspension.

Without Billy Lowe, the Denton Pirates can kiss their playoff bid goodbye. But the head coach, Trent Powers, who just moved from California with his wife and two children for this job, has more than just his paycheck riding on Billy’s bad behavior. As a born-again Christian, Trent feels a divine calling to save Billy—save him from his circumstances, and save his soul.

Then Billy’s abuser is found murdered in the Lowe family trailer, and all evidence points toward Billy. Now nothing can stop an explosive chain of violence that could tear the whole town apart on the eve of the playoffs.


Sean O'Leary - Tokyo Jazz and Other Stories (2022) - review copy from author

I do like short story collections and I do enjoy this author's work. Stoked to read this.
For thoughts on Going All the Way and Wonderland - click on the title.

A private investigator - a stranger in a strange land - searches for a missing girl in Tokyo.

Two brothers have a life-long pact. But what happens when a deal goes wrong?

A homeless man gives up his drug and alcohol-fuelled life. But is the good life all it's supposed to be?

Stopped by police one night, a group of friends runs into trouble. Soon, one of them must confront his past.

These and other lives collide in Tokyo Jazz & Other Stories, a collection of crime and literary stories set in Japan and Australia.

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.


  1. Both of those anthologies look really interesting, Col. You know if Block is involved in a project, it's likely to be quality. And Tokyo Jazz looks very appealing, too. I hope you'll enjoy it all.

    1. Thanks Margot. I've already enjoyed 2 of the 6 on display including the Block project. I wasn't disappointed.

  2. I just finished Don't Know Tough and for a first time novelist the novel is remarkable. Also, it really suggests something about the publishing world after learning the author received over 200 rejection letters regarding the book. Also, one reading point is that the narrated chapters by Billy Lowe are in his character's syntax so that might throw readers a bit in thinking the entire novel is that way when it is not.

    1. Thanks for the info. I've seen a bit of a buzz on Twitter about Don't Know Tough but hadn't heard of the difficulties getting it published.