Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Hi folks,

Just received some dandy reviews of a couple of my novels that made my day! The first, for THE BITCH, is courtesy of Brit author Martin Stanley in his novel-reviewing blog, The Gamblers.
The last two are Amazon reviews of THE GENUINE, IMITATION, PLASTIC KIDNAPPING which is now available in the paperback edition from Amazon and you can preorder the ebook version (to be released Sept. 30) from them also.

The Gamblers
Martin Stanley

Posted on September 22, 2014

Les Edgerton’s crime novels and short stories have a rich vein of truth and knowledge running through them that most crime writers, even the most talented, simply can’t emulate. Which is hardly surprising considering that he
once spent a couple of years in prison for burglary at the Pendleton Reformatory in Indiana. Even the most stringent research is a mediocre substitute for real life experience. And it’s this kind of experience that filters down through the bedrock of Edgerton’s novel, The Bitch, and permeates the actions of its two main characters, Jake Bishop and Walker Joy.

The Bitch in this case is not a woman, but the nickname that cons and ex-cons alike give to the three strikes and you’re out sentencing structure of the American legal system – the point at which prisoners become ha-bitch-ual offenders and go inside for the rest of their lives.

At the start of The Bitch, after a second stint in jail, Jake Bishop is a reformed character working as a hairdresser and dreaming of opening up his own salon with his pregnant wife, Paris. The trouble starts when he takes a phone call from Walker Joy, his one-time cellmate, to whom he owes a very big favour, begging for help: by getting him out of a jam with a dodgy jeweller that he owes money to. His thinking clouded by fears of The Bitch, Jake declines. He is then warned by the jeweller that he has knowledge that will put Jake inside for a third strike and also intends to frame Jake’s younger brother for a recent burglary of his premises. Jake is left with no choice but to take the job on.
The job is to steal a few very special stones from a jewellery designer who is away for the weekend, but there will be a lot of other jewels in there too. If they can pull it off, the take will be massive.
The only problem is that, in true noir style, anything that can go wrong does go wrong. Jake is left wondering just who he can trust, and just how far he can go to avoid the ever-present third strike life sentence. Well, he goes pretty far, believe me, but to say more would spoil things…

I enjoyed The Bitch immensely. It is written with skill and care by a writer who knows his stuff personally, and that comes through in the fear and increasing desperation of Jake’s narrative voice. Thoughts of that dreaded third strike are always on his mind, colouring his decisions, clouding his judgement, making him irrational – it’s an impressive piece of first-person narration. But it’s the plotting and organising of key events in the narrative that impressed me most. There are times in many noir stories where events tumble into the protagonist’s path with such frequency that there’s always the danger of the narrative tipping over into parody. Les Edgerton sidesteps these potential problems adroitly through a combination of fine writing and slowing the narrative down to allow the characters and readers time to draw breath. He drops a few twists along the way to a really satisfying ending, in which he gives Jake a truly great line of closing dialogue (so good, in fact, that I wished I’d written the damn line myself). If you are a noir fan, a heist fan, or a straight up thriller fan, there’s plenty in The Bitch that will satisfy you. 

Highly recommended.


(The first review from author Liam Sweeny first appeared on his blog.

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing Imitation here. September 21, 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase

Pete Halliday's got a hell of an arm... and a little gambling problem. Or is it a little 'getting caught' problem? Either way he's washed out of baseball, biding his time in the Big Easy, pulling jobs with ace fuck-up Tommy LeClerc.

In spectacular fashion, Tommy blows schemes so clever they shouldn't be done. Like a kidnapping when you don't know whom the kidnapee is connected to. But then Tommy comes up with a brilliant idea; a kidnapping the likes of which no one has attempted before...

... and maybe there's a reason for that.

Pete's a likable guy. He just smart enough to realize how insane Tommy's plans are, too dumb to tell Tommy to screw off. And it's that inability that brings the feet of the whole New Orleans reverse nobility down on Pete and Tommy's necks.

The ray of dirty sunshine is Cat Duplaisir, waitress with a side of hooker. Pete falls hard, and she's a great add to the team here. And the ending? Guess you'll have to read it.

Overall, I love Pete's way of putting things. He's a narrating character that's reliable, true to form. Edgerton pours this one from his fingertips; nothing gets you clogged in the reading, nothing keeps you from hitting the 'next' arrow except maybe sleep or a pee break (I don't even think I took a pee break).

I got an advanced copy, But I liked it so much, I bought the paperback. 

5.0 out of 5 stars Kidnap this book - NOW! September 22, 2014

Wow - here we go again. Les Edgerton is one of the best writers of our time. Once again, I have a reason to read. This hilarious, yet serious depiction of clumsy criminals and the terror and messes they run into is impossible to put down. This book explodes from the page and pulls the reader in. You will end up loving the main characters and laughing all the way. Les Edgerton writes from truth and grit - the kind of writing that only a writer with a mad soul and the life to go with it can write. I have yet to read a book by Les Edgerton that I regretted purchasing. You can't lose with Les Edgerton. Throw the dice and reap your reward. 

Thanks, everyone! The cockles of my heart are hotter than a three-dollar counterfeit bill!
If you haven’t yet, you can order either the paperback version of KIDNAPPING or preorder the ebook version here.

Remember: Christmas is just around the corner! This would make a great stocking stuffer, eh?

Blue skies,


Sarah Faurote said...

I get worried when you mention your "cockles of your heart." That word can mean so many things! You deserve it Les. Your writing is always super duper!

Les Edgerton said...

Yeah... them cockles... :) Thank you so much, Sarah!