Table of Contents

Fall 2007

Short Stories

Bus Stop

Deep Freeze

In the Ditch

Missed Connections

My Bedtime Buddy

On Silent Feet

Out of Service

Ric With No K

The Rorschach Affair

The Years of the Wicked

Under the Blanket of the Sun

Upon A New Road

Reviews

Ammunition

Bad Thoughts

Beating the Babushka

Bloodthirsty

Hidden Depths

Pay Here

Play Dead

Poison Pen

Silence

Who Is Conrad Hirst

Profiles/Features

Bronx Noir

In For Questioning

Together We Write

Profile: Derek Nikitas

Pelecanos Country

Interviews

George Pelecanos

Robert Fate

Rick Mofina

Kevin Wignall

Review:

WHO IS CONRAD HIRST? by Kevin Wignall

Review by Sandra Ruttan

In WHO IS CONRAD HIRST?, the fourth book by Kevin Wignall, Conrad Hirst is a man in search of himself.  As a younger man he experienced a tragedy that impacted him in a way he couldn’t foresee at the time.  Now, years later, he’s starting to face the choices he’s made since that fateful day and is determined to walk away from his past.

Walking away from a life as a successful hitman, however, isn’t as easy as Hirst hopes.

In what little I’ve said about the plot here you might have the wrong idea about the type of book WHO IS CONRAD HIRST? is.  It is not an action-packed, blood-soaked tale that follows a hitman from one violent confrontation to another, although there is tension and suspense throughout as Hirst tries to sever his ties to his past.  It soon becomes evident that not even Hirst knows what he’s really been doing for years, and he’s forced to look over his shoulder while trying to separate the truth from the lies.

As compelling as that part of the storyline is, at its heart WHO IS CONRAD HIRST? is a story about loss and redemption.  It is necessary to say that so that readers won’t have the wrong idea about the book, but it would also be a disservice to readers to say much more about the plot, because it would ultimately give too much about the story away.

A haunting story that flows at a hypnotic pace to a heart-wrenching conclusion, WHO IS CONRAD HIRST? is one of the most compelling books of the year.  Wignall is an expert storyteller, an absolute must-read for fans of hardboiled crime fiction. 

 

About the Reviewer
Sandra Ruttan's novel, WHAT BURNS WITHIN, will be released by Dorchester in May 2008, to be followed by THE FRAILTY OF FLESH November 2008.  Ken Bruen declared her work "totally mesmerizing" while Clive Cussler concluded, "Ruttan has a spellbinding style." She is also an editor with Spinetingler Magazine.  For more information, visit her website at www.sandraruttan.com