Monday 11 July 2022


 Another half a dozen in June....

Jay Stringer - Roll With It (2022) - Audible purchase

A new book from author Jay Stringer. I've enjoyed his work previously, but haven't picked one up by him for a year or two. Old Gold and Faithless Street were read back in 2015. Seven years ago - bloody hell!!

What is your whole life worth, to the nearest dollar?

A bag of cash. No owner. Do you take it?

Emily Scott was the first girl Chloe Medina ever kissed. Back before she was ready to talk about that kind of thing. Now, two decades later, Chloe is a bounty hunter in Arizona, and a local crime boss hires her track down a criminal who has stolen a bag of cash. The fugitive’s name? Emily Scott.

Emily Scott is a stand-up comedian and one-time bank robber who came into possession of knowledge that could get her killed. She knows the identity of Big Wheel. When presented with a chance to run away with a bag full of cash, she didn’t hesitate. But now pout on the road she’s stuck between two worlds. After spending twenty years getting good at one thing, and building her identity around it, can she abandon all that work and become someone new? And what happens when she finds out Chloe Medina is on her tail, the hot girl who broke her nose at high school after one kiss?

Chloe isn't the only person chasing Scott down. Deputy U.S. Marshal Treat Tyler is on the case. Scott had been in Tyler’s custody when she escaped, and his reputation is on the line. What self-respecting lawman lets a comedian get away? Tyler has another personal stake in the story. He used to work with Medina, back when she was a Marshal. They were rivals. They had identical test scores and identical success rates. Tyler enjoys wearing the badge just as much as Medina did. He’s obsessed with being the cowboy, and despite the years between, can’t stop wondering if Medina may have been just a bit better at it. Whenever their paths cross, he finds a way to bring conversation round to the idea of a contest—to settle the issue once and for all. Medina always declines. She has nothing to prove. But Tyler does, and finding out that Medina is tracking the same fugitive? Game on. Again. And, of course, Tyler is hiding his own secrets about Big Wheel.

Colin Conway - Cutler's Cases (2022) - review copy from author

Fourth entry in favourite author, Colin Conway's Cutler series. I've enjoyed the first three - Cutler's Return, Cutler's Chase and Cutler's Friend.

John Cutler Investigations is open for business. Unfortunately, things aren’t running smoothly

Starting a private investigation business isn’t as easy as the movies make it seem. Former cop John Cutler is learning this the hard way. Soon after opening, he’s running afoul of local gangsters, crossing paths with jealous husbands, and searching for killers who don’t want to be found.

It’s all in a day’s work for Spokane’s newest private eye.

But did it have to be so damn hard?

Cutler’s Cases is a collection of five short stories from Colin Conway, the author of the John Cutler Mysteries and the 509 Crime Stories. If you like fast-paced crime fiction and heroes seeking redemption, then you’ll love John Cutler.

Grab Cutler’s Cases today and join the action!

(NOTE: The John Cutler Mysteries occur in the same world as the 509 Crime Stories. The first book in that series is The Side Hustle. The John Cutler stories begin fifteen years earlier so some of the officers in the 509 are seen at the beginning of their careers.)

Tia Ja'nae - Ghosts on the Block Never Sleep (2021) - purchased copy

Chicago crime and a punt on a new-to-me author

She's always been used to dirty work.

A short run career as an industry butcher helped with that. But those times are long in her past. In the present, she still lives with Grams and makes ends meet as a freelance car parts thief for The Arab, the biggest fence on the east side of Chicago. Most times it's just a score that never pays enough to help Grams out with the rent. But it's steady work she's good at that keeps their heads above water.

When The Arab gets in a bind and asks her to do a heist that he's willing to pay for, she seizes the opportunity to get her paper straight once and for all. When the score goes tits up and she has to pull off a miracle to save her payday, she finds herself with a promotion she didn't ask for working for Alderwoman Monica "Hambone" Davis, who refuses to let her or her butcher block skills walk away and never takes no for an answer.

Stephen Scarcliffe - The Wrong Son (2022) - review copy from author

Scotland, the 80s, cops, gangsters, family - what could be better?

I enjoyed Stephen Scarcliffe's Pure Angst a couple of years ago.

A father torn between his two children. A man torn apart by the choices he has made…

It's 1980's Edinburgh, and Police Constable Ronnie Slater's world is shattered when son Scottie is paralysed after falling from the swing Ronnie built. Now his elder son Darren has fallen off the rails, disillusioned and devastated after Ronnie declared in a heated argument that The Wrong Son fell from the swing. And to top it all off, Ronnie’s marriage is now at the brink of collapse.

Enter North Edinburgh gangster Dougie Donaldson. His offer of dirty cash on the side will help fund the surgery in the States that may enable Scottie to walk again, but at what cost? As things spiral hopelessly out of control, Ronnie finds himself trapped in a deadly web of corruption, violence, and deceit, scrambling to cover his tracks and stay one step ahead as the stakes rise. Now his whole family is in danger, his career in the force on the line.

He just wanted to make things right and give his son the chance to walk again. Now it’s all crumbling before his eyes as he stares into the blackness beneath The Dean Bridge and questions everything. Will he get the money he needs and get out before it’s too late, or will he lose all that he holds dear in the process?

Peter Papathanasiou - The Invisible (2022) - Net Galley review copy

I do like a bit of Australian crime. This is the second in the author's DS George Manolis series after The Stoning. Two to catch up with then!

"Outback noir has a new star" The Times

Burnt-out from policework, Detective Sergeant George Manolis flies from Australia to Greece for a holiday. Recently divorced and mourning the death of his father, who emigrated from the turbulent Prespes region which straddles the borders of Greece, Albania and North Macedonia, Manolis hopes to reconnect with his roots and heritage.

"A brilliant new name in Australian crime" Weekend Australian

On arrival, Manolis learns of the disappearance of an 'invisible' - a local man who lives without a scrap of paperwork. The police and some locals believe the man's disappearance was pre-planned, while others suspect foul play. Reluctantly, Manolis agrees to work undercover to find the invisible, and must navigate the complicated relationships of a tiny village where grudges run deep.

"Papathanasiou writes unsparingly, confidently, and compellingly" The Quietus

It soon becomes clear to Manolis that he may never locate a man who, for all intents and purposes, doesn't exist. And with the clock ticking, the ghosts of the past continue to haunt the events of today as Manolis's investigation leads him to uncover a dark and long-forgotten practice.

"Detective Sergeant George Manolis is a great new addition to the Australian crime scene" EMMA VISKIC, award-winning author of the Caleb Zelic crime series

Paul D. Brazill - Guns of Brixton Double Barrel (2022) - review copy from author

One of my favourite British novelists and short story writers - Paul D. Brazill, back with re-booted versions of a couple of old favourites. Fun will be had!

A foul-mouthed, violently comic crime caper, full of gaudy characters and dialogue sharp enough to shave with.

When a London gangster gives a couple of aging thugs the simple task of collecting a briefcase from a northern courier, he doesn’t suspect that the courier will end up dead in his lock-up, or that the ageing thugs will then dress up in drag to rob a jeweller's shop and lose the coveted briefcase. A fast-moving, wild, and hilarious search for the missing briefcase quickly ensues, with funny and fatal consequences. Guns Of Brixton - Double Barrel combines all new versions of the novellas Guns of Brixton and Cold London Blues in one violent and bawdy collection.


  1. You've got some good 'uns here, Col. I'm interested in the Conway series, too. And PDB is always a good read. It sounds as though you've got some good reading ahead. I hope you'll enjoy your finds. But I think you will.

    1. Thanks Margot. I could do a lot worse than stack these up as the next 6 to get on with.