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Showing posts from September, 2009

TRUST ME - Review

TRUST ME is the second novel from Peter Leonard. Second books are important to me. I don't 'trust' first books as an indicator of anything. Unintentional pun aside, good or bad the first book is not trustworthy. The second book is where an author needs to prove their meddle as it was likely written under a much shorter time-line than the first with the sole purpose of proving that stellar first book was no fluke. Or the reverse that the first book was not as bad as everyone said it was. So having not read Mr. Leonard's first book, QUIVER, I feel a little safer in my own personal belief that TRUST ME will be a truer gauge of Mr. Leonard's talent.

TRUST ME mines that time honored caveat of Crime Fiction; Criminals are stupid. And it is from here that there is a lot of really great stupid criminal behavior that provides TRUST ME with many enjoyable moments. If taken just on that TRUST ME is a pretty good one. It usually begs the question; How do these idiots organize g…

SAFER - Review

I think I have mentioned the extremely high regard I hold Mr. Doolittle's fiction. I would put him as one for the finest writers to emerge in the last 5 to 6 years in Crime Fiction and specifically in the Neo Noir writing of the new millennium.

THE CLEANUP was his previous release and I foolishly waited until this year to read it. Definitely one of the better reads from this year and likely the best non 2009 release I am going to get. If you want to laugh and have your stomach turned within a few pages THE CLEANUP is the book for you.

SAFER moves out of the Pulp Noir urban landscape and into the Suburban Noir neighborhood. I found the book very reminiscent of the film CONSENTING ADULTS. That Kevin Kline and Kevin Spacey film dealt with the suburban malaise of the upper middle class who find their lives empty of any real meaning. You shouldn't remember this film because it is not very good, but it is a guilty pleasure of mine. SAFER is plugging into the same zeitgeist of suburb…

Fall Preview 2009: Leaf Peeping Edition

The leaves are beginning to turn as I stare out of The Hungry Detective offices. With the weather now cool I tend to do a good deal of reading in the backyard of THD estate. Just a simple chair with a step ladder as an ottoman. The wife tells me I look strange to the neighbors with the step ladder. Touche.

LEVEL 26: DARK ORIGINS - Anthony E. Zuiker w/ Duane Swierczynski - Out Now!
Title, colon, more title is always a suspect enterprise. Inexplicably, I left this book off the Summer Preview. Mr. Swierczynski is a writer with tremendous talent. SEVERANCE PACKAGE, from last year, is a book I enjoyed immensely. I will probably just ignore the 'Digi-Novel' aspects of the book.

BLOOD'S A ROVER - James Ellroy - Sept 22
This is the biggest book of the season, and sneaked it into the Summer Preview in June. Mr. Ellroy may be a bit of a douche, but he is also a generation defining writer.

CRUSH - Alan Jacobson - Sept. 22
When I started reading Crime Fiction every other book was about a …

The Amateurs - Review

I recently decided that, among other things, once a writer has released their fourth book you can no longer call them a 'new' author. The AMATEURS is book 4 by the very talented Marcus Sakey. It was only in January of 2007 that Mr. Sakey could be called a new author. Four books in just under 32 months is prodigious output, not James Paterson numbers but not too shabby.

In my Summer 2009 Preview I wrote that I thought Mr. Sakey needed to take the next step in his writing. While I will be very happy to read his exceptional fiction for the next 20 to 25 years, I feel Mr. Sakey needs to write the book that changes our perception of what he is capable of as a writer. In short he needs to write his MYSTIC RIVER. I feel pretty confident in saying that I am not the only one who believes that he has got it in him.

So does THE AMATEURS do it? Well I'm going to have to push. I don't feel it is the definitive step forward that Mr. Sakey needs, but it definitely continues his run o…

PWA Shamus Banquet 2009 - Update

Tickets for the the much anticipated Shamus Award banquet will only be available until October 1. PWA Founder, Mr Randisi recently sent me an email to let everyone know that tickets, as of September 12, were still available.

We're getting the same two questions from people about the PWA Shamus Banquet at the Slippery Noodle blues bar in Indianapolis, Fri. Oct. 16, 6:30 to 9:00: Are tickets still available? and Can I come if I'm not a writer?

We have managed to INCREASE our seating at the banquet, so tickets will be on sale until OCT. 1. And ANYONE can come--writers, agents, editors and FANS. Tickets are $50. Email Bob Randisi at RRandisi@aol.com for details on how to get your tickets. It is STILL a ticketed event, with no entry without one.
Sounds like a good time, and a good chance to get out of the Hotel for a few hours and enjoy the Indianapolis nightlife!

Palos Verdes Blue - Review

PALOS VERDES BLUE is the 11th entry in the Jack Liffey series. Jack is not a PI by trade, his skill is in finding missing kids. Mr. Shannon is an author that came to my attention about year ago. Like most Crime Fiction readers I am fascinated by Los Angles. Robert Crais and Michael Connelly cover contemporary LA better than anyone. While James Ellroy's LA Quartet maybe the City's document of the past. This doesn't even begin to cover writers like Chandler, MacDonald, et.al.

So where has John Shannon been all my life. An 11 series run is nothing sneeze at as publishing firms collapse in on themselves and the mid-list author is frozen out in the cold. Even before this blog found its way in to creation I liked to think I keep an eye out for 'talent.' John Shannon just shows the incredible amount of talent that exists in crime fiction. A writer, even a well established one, can be discovered every day.

As a 'series' reader it goes against my mild case of OCD to…

The Silent Hour - Review

I was one of the very few people who was not bowled over by last year's ENVY THE NIGHT. I think the general consciousness was that this was Mr. Koryta's best book. I am generous, I think, with my contrary opinion on books that others love. I place the blame at my feet with a forlorn sigh of 'I didn't get it.' Its not that my opinion matters so little its more that my opinion should matter very little to you. In any case, I'm not really interested in rehashing that book here. I bring it up as a frame for a larger discussion of THE SILENT HOUR.

I generally find that recent history with an author plays a very significant role in the success of a book. I don't take a work on it's own. THE SILENT HOUR is judged against every other book Mr. Koryta's has written.. ENVY THE NIGHT may very well have been a great book, but read in the afterglow of the terrific A WELCOME GRAVE, it suffered.

So where does this leave THE SILENT HOUR? Low expectations, coupled with…