Blog Archives

Hop Alley by Scott Phillips – review

July 25, 2014
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Hop Alley by Scott Phillips – review

Scott Phillips returns to the saga of the Ogden family with Hop Alley, a novel that covers some of the time glossed over in his excellent “Mid-Western” Cottonwood.  It’s the late 1870’s and Bill Ogden, living as “Bill Sadlaw” ever since a killing he did back in Cottonwood, is living in Denver and running a...

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Cry Father by Benjamin Whitmer – review

July 9, 2014
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Cry Father by Benjamin Whitmer – review

Patterson Wells has been carrying his dead son in his heart for years and the load hasn’t gotten any lighter. He travels most of the year from one disaster area to the next clearing trees and observing human misery, but now it’s time for him to return to his cabin in the San Luis...

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In The Morning I’ll Be Gone by Adrian McKinty – review

May 31, 2014
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In The Morning I’ll Be Gone by Adrian McKinty – review

“The Troubles Trilogy” by Adrian McKinty, the detective series set in Northern Ireland during the early 80’s featuring RUC Inspector Sean Duffy, comes to a close with In the Morning I’ll Be Gone, and you better believe the Nerd is in mourning.  McKinty has long been one of crime’s strongest voices and this is...

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A Swollen Red Sun by Matthew McBride – review

May 27, 2014
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A Swollen Red Sun by Matthew McBride – review

The basic plot summary of A Swollen Red Sun, Matthew McBride’s follow-up to Frank Sinatra in a Blender, sounds promising enough.  It purports to be the story of Gasconade County, Missouri Sheriff Deputy Dale Banks, decent cop and family man, deciding to rip off a redneck meth cook for over fifty grand in cash...

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The Fever by Megan Abbott – review

May 14, 2014
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The Fever by Megan Abbott – review

Something mysterious is possessing the girls of a small town high school, in particular the peer group of young Deenie Nash.  After her best friend has an odd seizure in class and eventually slips into a coma, soon other friends of Deenie are having symptoms of their own.  Is it the HPV vaccine that...

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The Bitch by Les Edgerton – review

May 13, 2014
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The Bitch by Les Edgerton – review

Les Edgerton’s The Bitch is a straight-up old-school noir novel that will pin your ass to the break table at lunch at make you late for work. It’s a story told by ex-con, now-hairdresser Jake Bishop, a guy on the verge of living the American Dream.  He’s got a beautiful wife, his own house...

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Plaster City by Johnny Shaw – review

May 12, 2014
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Plaster City by Johnny Shaw – review

Jimmy Veeder, the hapless hero of Johnny Shaw’s Dove Season, returns in Plaster City, another hugely hilarious, equisitely profane and wonderfully human entry in a series I hope we get to keep reading until Jimmy’s well into his nineties.  This time out Jimmy is trying to save his wild card best friend Bobby Maves’ daughter...

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Galveston by Nic Pizzolatto – review

April 2, 2014
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Galveston by Nic Pizzolatto – review

Having really enjoyed the first season of True Detective on HBO, the Nerd decided to look into the previous work of the show’s creator, Nic Pizzolatto.  Turned out dude had written a book so, you know, I did it up.  And here’s the review (such an artful way to get into this piece!). Galveston...

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Dust Devils by Roger Smith – review

March 25, 2014
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Dust Devils by Roger Smith – review

Goddamn do I ever love Roger Smith. I finally got around to his Dust Devils, using the book being recently picked up by the wonderful New Pulp Press as my excuse for covering it, and I hate myself even more for sleeping on it the last three years.  This is Smith at his most...

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The Double by George Pelecanos – review

January 6, 2014
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The Double by George Pelecanos – review

I am really digging this new Spero Lucas private detective series from George Pelecanos, dear readers.  I mean, private dicks are nothing new for Pelecanos, the guy having given us the Nick Stefanos series early in his career and the excellent Strange/Quinn novels later on, but the Spero Lucas novels, beginning with The Cut...

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The Maid’s Version by Daniel Woodrell – review

October 30, 2013
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The Maid’s Version by Daniel Woodrell – review

It has been seven long years since Daniel Woodrell gave us a novel.  Seven.  Loooong.  Years.  In that time Woodrell’s star has undoubtedly risen, with a high profile movie having been made out of Winter’s Bone and beautiful reissues of his work coming out in the wake of said film.  In other words, the...

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The Counselor by Ridley Scott – review

October 26, 2013
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The Counselor by Ridley Scott – review

The Counselor, a Ridley Scott film featuring an original script from Cormac McCarthy, shares many similarities with the greatest adaptation of McCarthy’s work, the Coen Brothers take on No Country For Old Men.  It’s a Texas crime film about the horrors of the cartel featuring a relatively decent man in over his head with...

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Ratlines by Stuart Neville – review

October 25, 2013
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Ratlines by Stuart Neville – review

Nerd favorite Stuart Neville ups his game with Ratlines, a historical thriller set in the early sixties in Ireland.  Coming off his epic Belfast trilogy (Ghosts of Belfast, Collusion, Stolen Souls), Ratlines is a bit of a departure for the author but thankfully no less blisteringly badass. The novel follows Irish military cop Albert...

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The Thicket by Joe R. Lansdale – review

October 21, 2013
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The Thicket by Joe R. Lansdale – review

Joe R. Lansdale’s The Thicket is like a Larry McMurtry western that’s been soaking in the saloon spittoon.  It’s got plenty of tough and funny characters, nasty violence, vulgar-ass dialogue, and a prose style that feels like your great uncle is eight beers in and running down the greatest hits of his anecdotes for...

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Prisoners by Denis Villeneuve – review

October 18, 2013
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Prisoners by Denis Villeneuve – review

Prisoners is a really strong, character-based thriller from Denis Villenueve, the director of the underrated French Canadian film Incendies.  The story begins with the disappearance of two young girls from a small town Pennsylvania neighborhood on Thanksgiving Day.  The immediate suspect is a half-idiot creep played by Paul Dano in full-on molester garb.  After...

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Corrosion by Jon Bassoff – review

October 10, 2013
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Corrosion by Jon Bassoff – review

Jon Bassoff, the man behind Nerd favorite indie publishing house New Pulp Press, gives us one hell of a debut with Corrosion, a psycho noir that will please the living shit out of the sick fucks who enjoy the novels he’s been distributing to the crime world the last few years.  Devoted fans of...

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Breaking Bad – “Felina” – review

October 1, 2013
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Breaking Bad – “Felina” – review

“Felina” was a lot of fun.  We got to see Walt win and be badass non-stop for seventy-five minutes.  We got Badger and Skinny Pete popping up.  We got a mild reconciliation of sorts with Skyler and closure for Marie, money for the kids, a freed Jesse in a rad El Camino, and Walt...

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Breaking Bad – “Granite State” – review

September 25, 2013
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Breaking Bad – “Granite State” – review

After last week’s insanely dark, intensity-packed episode, the penultimate episode of Breaking Bad (I will not cry! I will. not. cry.) gives us a bit of a breather and does some heavy-lifting in preparation for next week’s, you know, fucking ultimate episode.  There were still some truly harrowing moments (Todd’s “just business” approach to...

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Breaking Bad – “Ozymandias” – review

September 16, 2013
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Breaking Bad – “Ozymandias” – review

Jesus. This week’s Breaking Bad opens with flashback to a simpler time, when Breaking Bad was a simpler series.  In season one this show was primarily a Coen Brothersy dark comedy with a fantastically juicy premise.  We get reminded of the “Walt in BVDs” jokes, the lightness of Walt and Jesse’s odd couple banter, of the un-trusty old...

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Breaking Bad – “To’hajiilee” – review

September 16, 2013
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Breaking Bad – “To’hajiilee” – review

This week’s Breaking Bad has Hank and Walt playing some truly excellent chess against one another.  First, let’s talk Walt’s game play.  At the end of last week’s show we had him finally doing what he always wanted to avoid: agreeing to have his surrogate son murdered.  He calls upon Todd (who has taken over...

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