Monthly Archives: September 2010

The White Trilogy by Ken Bruen – review

September 30, 2010
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The White Trilogy by Ken Bruen – review

“Here are your poor, your tired, your hungry; your predatory crack dealers, your arsonists; your killers for money, for revenge, for enforcement, and for sheer ugly fun…” The White Trilogy is an omnibus edition that contains the three novels The White Arrest, Taming the Alien and The McDead. “Roberts had got the call at...

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The Impossible Bird by Patrick O’Leary – review

September 29, 2010
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The Impossible Bird by Patrick O’Leary – review

I originally reviewed The Impossible Bird by Patrick O’Leary on November 22nd, 2006. Mike and Danny are brothers who were close when they were younger but grew apart as they got older, especially after one particular summer. Mike is a successful director of commercial spots who lead a rootless lifestyle and answers to no...

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The Rising by Brian Keene – review

September 28, 2010
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The Rising by Brian Keene – review

I originally reviewed The Rising by Brian Keene on November 27th, 2006. Jim Thurmond is locked in an underground shelter that he built for Y2K, in Virginia. The zombie invasion is already in full swing. His dead pregnant wife is outside pawing on the door and calling his name. Going mad and on the...

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Boardwalk Empire “The Ivory Tower” – review

September 27, 2010
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Boardwalk Empire “The Ivory Tower” – review

Review by Mike Dennis The hijacking of a truckload of bootleg liquor bound for New York is so far proving to be the central event in this unfolding HBO series. Johnny Torrio has the booze now, over Big Jim Colosimo’s dead body. Now that he’s running the Chicago mob, with Al Capone lurking in...

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Red Riding Trilogy by Julian Jarrold, James Marsh & Anand Tucker

September 27, 2010
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Red Riding Trilogy by Julian Jarrold, James Marsh & Anand Tucker

David Peace’s English answer to James Ellroy’s “LA Quartet” (The Black Dahlia, The Big Nowhere, LA Confidential, and White Jazz), the “Red Riding Quartet” (1974, 1977, 1980, and 1983) has been adapted by screenwriter Tony Grisoni into a fantastic trilogy for UK Channel 4 and is now available on DVD (and netflix on demand) in the US.  To say that you...

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A Drink Before the War by Dennis Lehane – review

September 27, 2010
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A Drink Before the War by Dennis Lehane – review

I originally reviewed A Drink Before the War on November 22nd, 2006. The job is a simple one; their clients want them to locate a missing employee who may have taken some important documents. They are to find the missing woman and tell the client her location. They actually accomplish this pretty easily and...

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The Town by Ben Affleck

September 26, 2010
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The Town by Ben Affleck

The Town is a solid crime movie.  It’s got some nifty action, sharp dialogue, a strong narrative, gritty locales, and a cast packed with good actors doing good work.  Let’s fucking shake on it, it’s a date, I’m in – however you want to phrase it: The Town is a good time at the...

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An outsiders perspective on noir

September 24, 2010
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Matt Denault, an old online friend, recently reviewed The City and The City by China Mieville and Finch by Jeff VanderMeer. In them he muses on the nature of noir and kicks around the term a little bit. But here’s the thing, he doesn’t read a lot of crime fiction. He is a hell...

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Boardwalk Empire – Pilot – review

September 23, 2010
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Boardwalk Empire – Pilot – review

Review by Mike Dennis Does the show live up to the hype? Were the trailers more than just a souped-up come-on for a time-waster? Is Steve Buscemi really as badass as he seems in the trailers? Yes, yes, and yes. Sunday night’s premiere of Boardwalk Empire on HBO might well be the most impressive...

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Kiss Her Goodbye by Allan Guthrie – review

September 23, 2010
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Kiss Her Goodbye by Allan Guthrie – review

I originally reviewed Kiss Her Goodbye by Allan Guthrie on November 18th, 2006. Allan Guthrie presents a surprisingly sophisticated and well crafted tale that subtly weaves in subplots and observations of his characters that keep the suspense going until the final chapters. This is a down and dirty and sometimes mean tale that begrudgingly...

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In Search of Crime Fiction’s Shadow Cabinet

September 23, 2010
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Too many writers and readers prefer their literature spoon-fed to them, in portions similar to the last, with the same smells and colors, served to them on the same worn dishes, and accompanied by the same polite conversation. It seems to me that reading—reading well, with an appreciation for more than just the basics...

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Drive by James Sallis – review

September 22, 2010
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Drive by James Sallis – review

I originally reviewed Drive by James Sallis on November 17th, 2006 Drive is told in quick successive chapters that would be equivalent to jump cut edits if it were a movie. All of the moments in the story are told out of order and it is only upon its completion that the final order...

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Dave Thompson, we miss you

September 14, 2010
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Word has come to all of us today that Dave Thompson of Murder By the Book and Busted Flush Press unexpectedly died yesterday. I communicated many times with him in the way that we do these days and I looked forward to the day when I would finally have a chance to meet him...

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Internecine by David J. Schow – review

September 10, 2010
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Internecine by David J. Schow – review

Internecine is one of the best thrillers I’ve read in years. I found that I was getting a little tired of the genre to tell the truth. For me thrillers were becoming the ultimate in disposable fiction — filled with tell writing, action that lacked tension, characters that were anemic and unsurprising plots. Well,...

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Lights Out by Jason Starr – review

September 9, 2010
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Lights Out by Jason Starr – review

I originally reviewed Lights Out by Jason Starr on November 16th, 2006. At some point in time the word noir, when used to describe a certain type of fiction, became synonymous or even interchangeable with the words crime and hard-boiled. Three separate groups of fiction that despite having some shared traits all had distinct...

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Late Rain by Lynn Kostoff – review

September 9, 2010
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Late Rain by Lynn Kostoff – review

If you want to show someone what a great novel looks like – one that is at the intersection of great writing, great characters and a great story – then give them Late Rain. To echo a sentiment that I made last year about Dan Chaon’s Await Your Reply novels like Late Rain are...

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CITY OF LOST GIRLS by Declan Hughes – review

September 8, 2010
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CITY OF LOST GIRLS by Declan Hughes – review

After ten years when Ed Loy got disgusted and broke off his close friendship with larger-than-life Irish-born movie director Jack Donovan, they meet again in Dublin, where Ed is plying his PI trade and Jack is now making a movie. It appears Jack has received several threatening letters, and he asks Ed to determine...

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Bust by Ken Bruen & Jason Starr

September 8, 2010
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Bust by Ken Bruen & Jason Starr

I originally reviewed Bust on November 15th, 2006. Bust is the first collaborative novel in the Hard Case stable and a better paring couldn’t have been had then Ken Bruen and Jason Starr. Sometimes when books are written jointly the two styles don’t blend well and the differences are often noticeable, especially when each...

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Savages by Don Winslow – review

September 8, 2010
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Savages by Don Winslow – review

…for it’s important that writers with some commercial clout should take the odd chance, that they should try to introduce a little edge to the mainstream and foster an environment conducive to a little experimentation. For if they don’t, then who will? You’re going to hear a lot about Savages by Don Winslow. I’m...

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The Gun Seller by Hugh Laurie – review

September 7, 2010
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The Gun Seller by Hugh Laurie – review

I originally reviewed The Gun Seller on November 8th, 2006. The Gun Seller is a spy novel that spoofs spy novels and also takes on the military-industrial complex. From the beginning it is clear to see the direct and strong influence of P.G. Wodehouse specifically the Wooster & Jeeves stories. It also reminds one...

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