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Showing posts from November, 2009

The Violet Hour - Review

The Hungry Detective has read a fair number of 'new' authors as of late. They are 'new' in the sense that they have a few books in their canon, but until now unread by me. Daniel Judson is one of those guys. And he falls into the loose and vague category of tough guy crime writer.

Mr. Judson's latest is THE VIOLET HOUR and it is just about the best thing I have read this year. Cal is a somewhat normal guy. Well, normal enough for a Crime Novel anyway. He works as an un-certified mechanic paid under the table by his shyster boss while hiding a pregnant friend from her abusive husband.  Besides this female entanglement, Cal is on his own. His criminal father and drug addicted brother are now dead. Cal is the straight arrow. He has kept his head down and minded his own business.

I'll cut to the chase here and point out a moment that I think encapsultes this book perfectly. Near the end of THE VIOLET HOUR Cal is rummaging around his apartment before he leaves to rej…

Dead of Winter - Review

Rennie Airth's John Madden series returns with DEAD OF WINTER. The series has taken a leisurely rout toward publication, three books in ten years. The peerless RIVER OF DARKNESS appeared in 1999 with THE BLOOD-DIMMED TIDE showing up in 2004. In the chronology of these books we have jumped from just after WWI to the waning years of WWII. In those years we have seen John Madden move from a seasoned Police Detective to, of all things, a farmer in this latest work.

I don't want to belabor this point, but I really can not think of a finer piece of historical Crime Fiction than RIVER OF DARKNESS. Character, setting, and plotting are exceptional in this book. THE BLOOD-DIMMED TIDE delivered a completely opposite experience. The book was a baffling affair that failed as equally as RIVER OF DARKNESS succeeded. This disappointment aside my admiration is undiminished for John Madden's first adventure. The dichotomy of the first two books made it hard not immediately think about which …

Loot the Moon - Review

I spent a couple weeks reading BLOOD'S A ROVER by James Ellroy. I am not likely to read a denser book until Mr. Ellroy's next work. I turned to Mark Arsenault's LOOT THE MOON as a palate cleanser more than anything else. LOOT THE MOON is Mr. Arsenault's fourth book and second in the Billy Povich series after GRAVERWRITTER.  I had no expectations to the extent that the author is unknown to me.

LOOT THE MOON turns out to be a pretty breezy read with some nice dark turns here and there. Billy Povich is on the Obit desk. He used to be an investigative journalist, but a gambling addiction put an end to that. His Dad is at the end of his rope with his dialysis treatments, and his son is dealing with the heavy baggage of losing his mother. Billy is asked by his lawyer friend, Martin, to investigate the murder of a Judge. Everyone thinks the murder was the unfortunate consequence of a robbery gone seriously wrong. Martin thinks someone paid somebody to kill the Judge, and soon …