Monthly Archives: November 2015

FICTION: Better Than Mardi Gras by MJ Williams

November 30, 2015
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‘You ever been to N’Orleans Mardi Gras, Sheriff?’ ‘Just tell us what happened, Janey. Cut the chit chat.’ Janey smiled a little, flashing her eyes at Morris. I glanced at my deputy but he just stared straight into the girl’s face, ignoring her flirtation. She was kind of intimidating in her own cutesy, Daisy...

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The Saitama Chainsaw Massacre by Hiroshi Sakurazaka from Hanzai Japan

November 19, 2015
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The Saitama Chainsaw Massacre by Hiroshi Sakurazaka from Hanzai Japan

reviewed by Renee Asher Pickup Hiroshi Sakurazaka’s story The Saitama Chainsaw Massacre opens with the refrain: I love Takumi. I love Takumi. I love Takumi. I love Takumi more than anyone. I love Takumi so much I could die. I love him more than anyone in the whole world. It seems to stand in...

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Out of Balance by Chet Williamson from Hanzai Japan

November 19, 2015
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Out of Balance by Chet Williamson from Hanzai Japan

reviewed by Chris Irvin Chet Williamson’s “Out of Balance” is a masterful take on a withdrawn psychopath. Takeda is a typically family man until his 35th birthday when he up and leaves his family, taking on a life of contract killing. The voice Williamson brings to this tale is perfect, reminiscent of Tom McCarthy’s...

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Three Cups of Tea by Jeff Somers from Hanzai Japan

November 19, 2015
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Three Cups of Tea by Jeff Somers from Hanzai Japan

Reviewed by Max Booth III “Three Cups of Tea” by Jeff Somers is the classic story of a murderous sex doll. Look, we’ve all had sexual intercourse with dolls, and yeah, it’s true that sometimes these dolls kill people for seemingly no particular reason. That’s life, man. “Three Cups of Tea” begins with a...

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Hanzai Japan Review: The Long-Rumored Food Crisis by Setsuko Shinoda from Hanzai Japan

November 19, 2015
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Hanzai Japan Review: The Long-Rumored Food Crisis by Setsuko Shinoda from Hanzai Japan

reviewed by Rusty Barnes This is a crime story in name only. Though it has crime in it, certainly, it bears more resemblance to a post-apocalyptic piece than anything else. At the beginning, Tetsuji Okada and his farm are the focus of the narrator’s story. Okada posits that a food shortage will, within five...

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Hanami by SJ Rozan from Hanzai Japan

November 19, 2015
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Hanami by SJ Rozan from Hanzai Japan

reviewed by Dana King Expectations can be funny things. They can be high or low, fair or unfair, reasonable or unreasonable, or some combination of more than one. Low expectations can be fatal. Why spend extra time with a student, or try a new author, if you don’t expect anything good to come of...

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Run by Kaori Fujino from Hanzai Japan

November 19, 2015
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Run by Kaori Fujino from Hanzai Japan

Review by Nik Korpon “I know why psychos run so incredibly fast. It’s because they’re running for their lives. Anyone can do it; all you need is an assassin charging in from behind the problem is that the assassin’s invisible to everyone else.” I should be honest from the jump: I haven’t read much...

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The Girl Who Loved Shonen Knife by Carrie Vaughn from Hanzai Japan

November 19, 2015
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The Girl Who Loved Shonen Knife by Carrie Vaughn from Hanzai Japan

Reviewed by G. Baeza Essentially a shoujo anime in short story form, The Girl Who Loved Shonen Knife by Carrie Vaughn is an over the top yarn about two rival high school girl bands, hackers who have depleted the coffers of the banks in the city (presumably, Tokyo) and a mystery that’s as intriguing...

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Jigoku by Naomi Hirahara from Hanzai Japan

November 19, 2015
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Jigoku by Naomi Hirahara from Hanzai Japan

by Victoria Dawn “Jigoku” by Naomi Hirahara is a puzzling mixture of fantastical after life and murder mystery. Hirahara creates a disturbing picture of hell complete with bewildering self examination, isolation, and the unyielding torment of unanswered questions. As the tell-tale drama of the mystery unfolds, she leaves the reader wondering not if the...

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Best Interest by Brian Evenson from Hanzai Japan

November 19, 2015
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Best Interest by Brian Evenson from Hanzai Japan

reviewed by Thomas Pluck Hardboiled and Japan are made for each other; both can be direct and to the point, with unspoken notions of fatalistic destiny and invisible bonds of honor. The classic Red Harvest became Yojimbo, which defined the untethered ronin; the yakuza story is its own genre, brutal and fatalistic as the...

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Monologue of a Universal Transverse Mercator Projection by Yumeaki Hirayama from Hanzai Japan

November 19, 2015
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Monologue of a Universal Transverse Mercator Projection by Yumeaki Hirayama from Hanzai Japan

reviewed by Patti Abbott Yumeaki Hirayama’s debut as a novelist came in 1996 with the psycho-thriller Sinker—shizumu mono (Sinker). In 2006 he won the Mystery Writers of Japan Award for Short Stories with Dokuhaku suru yunibasaru yoko merukatoru (The Universal Transverse Mercator Speaks), and his collection of the same title took first place in...

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Outside The Circle by Ray Banks from Hanzai Japan

November 19, 2015
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Outside The Circle by Ray Banks from Hanzai Japan

Reviewed by Jay Stringer It was somewhere in the last few paragraphs of “Outside The Circle”, by Ray Banks, that I discovered I’m getting squeamish in my old age. Not a great place to be, for a crime writer. But enough about me. (never enough about me,) how is the story? “Outside The Circle”...

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FICTION: What Would Never Be by Stephen D. Rogers

November 10, 2015
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Even with the wind whistling through the open window, Keith struggled to stay awake after a day spent drinking in the sun, the empty road chewing up his headlights. Keith jerked when Dee placed a hand on his leg. “We had a good day, right?” “Mint.” He glanced in the mirror at Dee’s best...

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Make Me by Lee Child — review

November 7, 2015
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This is no spoiler: As this newest book from Lee Child opens, it is made clear from the first paragraph that someone has been killed, and his body is about to be buried. He is even identified: His name is Keever. And the mise en scene is apparently in the middle of nowhere –...

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The Question of the Unfamiliar Husband By E.J. Copperman/Jeff Cohen — review

November 3, 2015
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Samuel Hoenig, the protagonist and first-person narrator in the second book in the series (following the wonderful The Question of the Missing Head last year) by E.J. Copperman, is 30 years old and still living with his mother. His business, Questions Answered, was opened six months ago in Piscataway, New Jersey, and as the...

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