Category: Reviews

Review: Honky Tonk Samurai by Joe R. Lansdale

This Hap and Leonard novel opens thusly: “I don’t think we ask for trouble, me and Leonard. It just finds us. It often starts casually, and then something comes loose and starts to rattle, like an unscrewed bolt on a…

Pimp by Ken Bruen and Jason Starr — Review

After a long lull, Ken Bruen and Jason Starr turned their attention to another Max Fisher novel, and it was well worth the wait. “Pimp” is not only a fantastic noir creation, but a funny, satirical put-on, filled with some…

Double Switch by T.T. Monday: Review

The book is equal parts mystery and baseball. Johnny Adcock is a terrific protagonist. He is a no-longer-young baseball player, 36 to be exact, fourteen years in the big leagues, his assigned role to come into a game in the…

The Buried by Brett Battles — Review

This newest entry in the Jonathan Quinn series brings back many of the usual cast of characters: Nate, Quinn’s mentee and now an elite cleaner himself (the job entailing discreetly cleaning up crime scenes and the occasional body after the…

Gun Street Girl by Adrian McKinty — Review

Detective Sean Duffy is a well-established character, with the Troubles in Northern Ireland the background for his efforts. This novel takes place in 1985 and ostensibly begins as a murder inquiry and evolves into a wider case involving gun smuggling.…

Shark Skin Suite by Tim Dorsey — review

From the publisher: “Bottom feeders beware: The Sunshine State’s favorite psychotic killer and lovable Floridaphile, Serge Storms, has found a new calling, legal eagle, and he’s going to make a killing as a crusading attorney – – and star as…

Spider Woman’s Daughter by Anne Hillerman — review

Until now, only Felix Francis has prominently authored novels in a series created by his father. Other series, like those of Robert B. Parker, have been authored by writers unrelated to the deceased creators. However, Anne Hillerman now joins Felix…

The Hollow Girl by Reed Farrel Coleman — review

The final novel in the Moe Prager series demonstrates again why these books and their protagonist are so popular with readers. Moe, a dyed-in-the-wool Brooklynite, ex-cop, PI and homespun philosopher who has beat stomach cancer, undertakes his final caper when…

Black Horizon by James Grippando — review

Jack Swyteck, the book’s protagonist, is an accomplished defense lawyer, demonstrated in numerous previous novels in the series. However, in this entry his role as an attorney, bringing suit for wrongful death for the young widow of a man apparently…

Blind Spot by Reed Farrel Coleman — review

When an author is asked to write a novel continuing a series originated by someone else, much less a master like Robert B. Parker, fundamental questions must be decided: try to imitate the style and writing, how to maintain the…

Borderline By Lawrence Block — review

“Borderline” introduces its main characters in the first few dozen pages, none of them being very likeable, I hasten to add. There is Marty Granger, a professional gambler; Meg Rector, 26 and only hours past her divorce after four years…

The Good Boy by Theresa Schwegel – review

This newest novel from Theresa Schewegel is at its heart a tale about a boy and his dog, either (or both) of which could be the eponymous Good Boy. The boy is 11-year-old Joel Murphy; the dog is his father…

Hustle by Tom Pitts – review

Great crime fiction takes you to that dark place where humanity is lost and then smacks you in the face and shows you how wrong you were for thinking that we can stop being human. Tom Pitt’s Hustle is packed…

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…

The Scent of New Death by Mike Monson – review

mike monson new scent of death

Fast, nasty, kinky, violent pulp. Too many authors try to deliver it unsuccessfully. Crafting something that deserves to be called all those things is no easy task, so when I find a novel or novella that has all of it,…

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…

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,…

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…

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…

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