Money Shot-Book Review.

This is the second book I’ve read from publisher Hard Case Crime. The first was a Michael Crichton number by the name of ‘Odds On’ (writing under the pen name of John Lange) which, sadly I didn’t enjoy (paid $11.95 plus tax for a paperback copy of that fucker at Barnes & Noble. I feel like a sucker.) Look—I don’t know about you—but I like a page turner and that book wasn’t—undaunted I made myself check another tome from the Hard Case Crime oeuvre since I kind of like their throwback covers, because in the PC world we live in these days; some of those covers are a breath of fresh smog.

Money Shot by Christa Faust is by far my favorite book and cover, I mean look at it! Let me tell you why I liked this story.

MoneyShotRevenge and retribution thy name is Angel Dare.

Gina Moretti a. k. a. Angel Dare is an ex porn star who’s been left for dead in the trunk of a Honda Civic—a fucking Honda Civic, why? Because of some missing money she knows nothing about. So with the help of ex-cop/bodyguard Lalo Molloy (he’s a MexMick; his mother’s Mexican, his dad’s Irish) they embark on a dark and violent journey in search of the responsible party. And thus author Christa Faust rewrites the femme fatale as a feminist porn star pulpy action hero.

Side Note:

The only cringe-worthy moment was when the Author made the mistake (which—believe it or not—lots of writers make) of instead of calling it a magazine she calls it a clip. I hate when that happens, but hey! it happens.  Check the image below to see the difference.

iccf.freeforums.org

iccf.freeforums.org

Dark, gritty and at times downright nasty (just the way me likes) yet witty, fast-pace and ballsy with lots of action. I couldn’t put it down.

Five out of Five Bullet holes baby.

Next up Angel Dare makes a comeback in ‘Choke Hold.’ Can’t wait to get my hands on that one (hey see what I did there?)

Later!

I’m not a book reviewer, so don’t ask me to review your book-sorry, I don’t do that.

Mini Book Reviews

You know what’s a crime? Too many books, so little time to read them. Hence the reason why I try my best to be selective and just read books which I’m one hundred percent sure I will enjoy. Life’s too short for boring books. Clichés aside, and try as I may, every once in a while though I come across a stinker. I don’t like to write bad reviews about the hard work of my fellow writers, but sometimes. Whoa nelly-stinks on ice pal-o-mine. I’m sure lots of folks feel the same way about my own output, that’s okay because at the end of the day (Damn I’m full of clichés today) It all comes down to taste. Okay, well since I filled out my cliché quota for the day; on to my take on a few books I’ve read recently.

The Mammoth Book of Pulp Fiction.

PulpEdited by Maxim Jakubowski with 33 hard-boiled stories by Dashiell Hammett, Donald Westlake, Mickey Spillane, John D. MacDonald, Jim Thompson, and many more.

Granted, I’m still reading this little brick of a book. Read three stories so far, and it pains me to say that I’m not impressed. I’m not moved by it; however the introduction is fucking stellar.  Here’s the beginning of that introduction by Editor Maxim Jukubowski.

There is no such thing as Pulp Fiction. Sweeping assertion, hey? And, I suppose, a perfect touch of controversy to open a volume which I hope you will find full of surprise, action, shock galore, sound and fury, pages bursting with all the exhilarating speed bumps of a rollercaster ride. Which is what the best story telling provides. So long live Pulp Fiction!

Long live indeed. And then he goes into a brief history of pulp and how it touches every single form of literature and entertainment. From its inception until the modern age; it’s a fantastic little piece of history. Three stories in though and I’m having my doubts; maybe is because I like my pulp with modern touches? I don’t know. I do have 31stories to go so; I guess I shouldn’t dismiss it at first crack? Who knows things might just take a turn for the better; I might come across those surprises the editor talks about. Will review the stories individually provided I’m move to do so. Stay tune. Now on to other reviews.

The Shark-infested Custard by Charles Willeford.

SharkFour self-absorbed, womanizing, borderline sociopathic bachelors inhabit this novel. There’s raunchy sexual content, burst of violence and sprinkles of racism. Set in the Miami of the 1970’s (which makes some details seem dated.) Best enjoyed by middle-aged men and I get the sense that women will not find this novel cute, endearing or funny. (Kinda like the stuff I write—I’m working on it though.)

The novel has an odd structure, with lots of descriptive filler as though the Author just wanted to hit a word count; then again lots of authors seem to do that—which bugs me.

Didn’t love it, didn’t hate it. I really like the author but I think this is one of his weakest.

 

Make Me by Lee Child.

MakeMeI enjoy a Reacher novel every now and then. In this one, Alpha Male Jack Reacher feels the hurt in a few pages—or so—which makes him come across as ‘human’ for once—ha! I digress. Lee Child is a brilliant writer, pacer and researcher, but he tends to describe every nook and cranny. Every minutia, which just makes me skip page after page. A matter of taste I supposed.

All in all a good read.

 

In other news.

It looks like I will be releasing my short novel DESPERADOS in early June. The book is all done but the editor I work with is so damn busy that that’s the earliest she could do for me (sad face.) Get ready to be happy though because there’s going to be a 9,000+ words Short Story coming your way soon. Yep, is gonna be FREE (If I can figure a way to do that.)

That’s my report from life in marginalia. Be well you crazy kids.

Sixty-Four Days. A short story review

SixtyFourDaysA story for those who enjoy naval / military type reads.

When you read the following… ‘A welder’s torch was used to dislodge a pair of blackened hipbones from a stainless steel toilet bowl.’ You know that you’re in for a high octane action story, and this one has it down pat. From the get-go, author Malcolm Torres places the reader on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier by letting the smells, sounds and imminent dangers jump out of the page at you. This is someone who’s been there, done that.

The Sixty-Four Days of the title refers to the amount of days that Senior Chief Brendan O’Reilly, has left for his retirement, that is if shit don’t hit the fan on account of a malfunctioning Corsair A7. They must land the plane safely or else…

I came across a free copy this 27 page short story while perusing Google + (yep that platform still around.) and I enjoyed it very much.

Get your mitts on this explosive and gripping short story.

5 out of 5

Book Review-Be Cool

Bcool5 out of

For a fun breezy read from the master of the Crime Fiction genre Mr. Elmore Leonard (RIP)

Chili ‘look at me’ Palmer, the ex-wise guy (okay so he was ‘loosely connected’) ex-loan shark from Brooklyn by way of Miami Beach, is in Los Angeles now where he has re-invented himself as a movie producer whose in dire need of material for a new film project. And he gets one; at a lunch meeting with a shady record producer which opens the book with a bang.

Intrigued by this music business thing, he meets a lovely and talented singer by the name of Linda Moon who wants to be in a band of what she describes as a ‘rock ‘n roll with a twang’ thing, but she can’t follow this dream because she’s currently in another band under contract for a pimp by the name of Raji doing Spice Girls covers (This and many other pop culture touch stones’ like CD’s, MTV music videos, etc. Makes the book feel a bit dated)

Soon enough Chili becomes the target of the Russian mob, the pimp and his 250 pound gay Samoan bodyguard by the name of Elliot Wilhelm whom for some reason is in the habit of arching his eyebrows. Amid such hostile environment Chili keeps his cool and wits about him. He’s like a talkative version of a hero in a Sergio Leone Western.

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This is a fun, breezy read and—as always—Elmore has a way of delivering huge chunks of the plot by way of witty dialog like nobody else in the business. Whenever I’m in need of inspiration in my own ‘literary’ endeavors I always turn to the works of Elmore Leonard for a jolt of inspiration. Which reminds me I should re-read: Tishomingo Blues, City Primeval, Hombre, La Brava…etc., etc., etc.

Black Light-Book Review

blacklightcoverI became a fan of author Stephen Hunter upon reading The 47th Samurai. Since then, I’ve yet to come across an author who can describe a violent scene the way he does, or dispel so much knowledge when it comes to guns and ammo.

According to the acknowledgments page, the book Black Light is the third novel of a Bob Lee Swagger trilogy which include the books; Point Of Impact (Which I’ve yet to read, because I saw the movie ‘Shooter’ which is based on the book, hey don’t judge—I got to get my money’s worth when it comes to Netflix you know) the other book is Dirty White Boys.

First a word of Warning: If you are offended by the N word stay away. That word is very popular in this novel…. you good to go? Let’s move on then.

The story takes place roughly five years after the events in Point Of Impact; Bob Lee is now the father of a four year old name Nikki product of his marriage to Julie Fenn (widow of the now dead sniper spotter Donnie Fenn) Two interconnected plots weave along this novel. One takes place in the present and the other in the 1950’s and it involves the investigation of a gruesome crime which saw the death of a young black girl and Bob Lee’s own father; State Trooper Earl Swagger, in the fictitious town of Blue Eye Arkansas. There is a good surprise for Bob Lee I did not see coming, involving a new family member, to say more will ruin things for those among you who’ve yet to read Black Light (which I believe refers to a type of sniper rifle scope technology?) I wasn’t too crazy about how the case gets resolved involving the rich dude at the shooting range near the end, that plot device came across as a bit of a cop-out, I was like wtf? Despite of this I still give it a five star rating, because at the heart of this tale, and amid the flying bullets, viscera, explosions and gunpowder lays a story about fathers and sons. About family, and the ties that bind us through time. Also, the book has one of the best satisfying endings (I mean the very end) I’ve come across in a Stephen Hunter novel.

Jukebox-Book Review

 

51CK3idTEbL__AC_SY220_jukeboxTitle: Jukebox

Author: Saira Viola

Genre: Crime Fiction

Rating: 5 out of 5

Blurb: A rookie lawyer, crime mogul and junior reporter all converge in London’s underworld of glamour, crime and greed. Set in a city rocked by corruption and tabloid excess, one of them is going to learn that sometimes in life you get more than you bargained for.

Fast-paced satirical crime thriller.

Straight from the land of tea and crumpets and with crunchy, punchy—point, counterpoint stylized English prose Author Saira Viola takes you on a deliciously seedy journey into the world of London’s underbelly.

From its outrageously profane opening this story grabs you by the neck and it doesn’t let go. Peppered with pop-culture references and a gallery of characters you will not soon forget (hey Mimi—call me darling) the story moves along to the beat of a too-cool-for-school soundtrack hence the tittle of the book, and I do concur with the jab at Simon Cowell; that punter destroyed the musical landscape with his shameless promotion of banal pop, and also kudos for the uppercut at certain celebs who became ‘stars’ just by doing a triple xxx feature. There’s also a stab at the Rolling Stones for stealing the blues and making a living at it for almost a century.

This is cool and dangerous Britannia, buddy, strap-on for a hell of a ride as this book has all the hallmarks of a great read: Grit, wit and style to burn.

So, what you waiting for lad? Grab a cuppa and go read Jukebox.

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I’m not a book reviewer nor am I hoping to become one.I’m only reviewing books that I choose to read so don’t ask me to review your book I DON’T DO THAT, sorry.

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Conmen—Book Review

51dbRDPZT+L._SY373_BO1,204,203,200_The art of the con operates on the simple premise that there’s a sucker born every minute. A successful conman can charm all four legs of a horse by simply telling people what they want to hear. If you enjoy the guilty pleasure of reading the true life stories of grafters and their ilk, then get your paws on The Ten Greatest Conmen written by a couple of  Englishmen by the name of Roger Cook and Tim Tate whom—according to their bio—have spent at least thirty years exposing crooks, cons and villains.

These are the fascinating true stories of men with extremely wonky moral compasses.

Take for instance the story of a Frenchman who tried to sell the Eifel Tower for scrap metal, then there’s the semi-literate ex-car salesman who made a mint convincing people that he was an agent of the British secret service. My personal favorite is about the guy who sold to none other than press titan Rupert Murdoch, a pair of shoes supposedly last worn by Jimmy Hoffa.

Did you ever take one of the many ‘lose weight’ supplements that invade the airwaves these days? Remember TRIMit? How about Bai Lin Tea? That’s the story of a chap hailing from Australia’s Gold Coast who made a fortune out of the gullibility and insecurity of people from Australia, England and America. Incredibly this scumbag celebrated his 40th birthday at 10 Downing Street.

From offshore banking buccaneers to real estate salesmen selling land that only exist in their imagination, these are fascinating stories. But the thing that boggles the mind though is the fact that some of these guys kept getting away with it simply because, for some bizarre reason, most governments see a con as a ‘lesser crime’ or because the victims of these conmen were too ashamed to admit that they’ve got taken.

I’ve been meaning to read this book for a while now, finished it in one sitting, and although the book is a good read, I got to say that it leans heavily on British slant, some slang—not too much, some inside jokes and whatnot. Overall the stories feel a bit dated as most took place in a pre-internet era, and they tend to be a bit convoluted especially the ones dealing with the banking industry, then again I’m not banker so…

My take -away? There’s a sucker born every minute indeed.

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I’m not a book reviewer nor am I hoping to become one. I’m only reviewing books that I choose to read so don’t ask me to review your book I DON’T DO THAT, sorry.

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