Saturday, May 31, 2014

I'm stoked!

Hi folks,

Just saw this on the Godfather of Noir Paul D. Brazill's blog. Made my day!

Top Tips: Recommended Reads

Phone Call Final Cover high res (2)Galviston by Nic Pizzolatto
Haunting and hard-hitting, Nic Pizzolatto’s Galveston is a fantastic spin on the man-on-the run sub-genre of harboiled crime fiction. Prose as tight as a snare drum. Dashes of lyricism that never overpower the storytelling. Great, realistic characters and situations. Marvellous stuff.
Just Like That by Les Edgerton
Just Like That has it all. Great dialogue, whipcrack scenes and meaty characters haul you along on a hardboiled crime road-trip worthy of the Elmore Leonard and Joe R Lansdale. This then transforms into a terrific look at life behind bars. Most of all, this is a brilliant charter study full of a love of life and you can see why Edgerton has been described as a mixture of Charles Bukowski and Eddie Bunker. A shot to the heart as well as the head, Just Like That is highly recommended.
Phone Call From Hell and Other Tales Of The Damned by Jonathan Woods.
Jonathan Woods’ latest collection is a belter. The quirky and inventive collection starts off with quotes from Anthony Burgess and the Coen Brothers and leads with a story called ‘The Handgun’s Tale’ which is just that – the world from the perspective of a gun.
Other gems include the title story in which an eternal loser gets a phone call from Charles Manson, ‘The Old Man’ is classic and classy, ‘The Other Suitcase’, the story of Kafka’s missing smut and ‘Hearing Voices,’ which has a smart and funny twist on the femme fatale trope. ‘Crash & Burn,’ the final story, is a cinematic, high octane thriller. Rich writing full of strong images. Twisted and funny and brilliant.
White Rabbit by K A Laity
K A Laity’s White Rabbit is a marvelous and potent cocktail of crime fiction, screwball comedy and the supernatural. A cracking yarn choc full of brilliant lines that reminds you of Wodehouse, Preston Sturges and the Coen Brothers and yet is like nothing you’ve ever read before. Fantastic stuff. More please!
Hard-Boiled Witch: Hocus Pocus, You’re Dead by K A Laity
With her new short story series, Hard-Boiled Witch, K A Laity once again mixes crime fiction, the supernatural and smart writing to come up with a lethal cocktail. Marvellous.
The Killer Among Us by George Beck
The Killer Among Us is classy stuff. A gripping and engrossing study of American small town life with echoes of Jim Thompson and John Steinbeck.
A Man Alone by David Siddall
David Siddall’s brilliantly hard-boiled debut novella A Man Alone is a gripping urban western worthy of a Walter Hill film
All Due Respect Magazine 2
The second issue of All Due Respect magazine is a 100% gem. Owen Laukkanen is the star of this issue with N.F.G, a brilliant take on the fisherman’s yarn, as well as an excellent interview with Chris F. Holm and an insight into the story. This is followed by a sharp slice of Gothic grunge from C S DeWildt. Other cracking stories, including the remarkable The Gulf by Scott Alderberg and Ice Cold Alibi a great piece of old school noir from the ever brilliant Eric Beetner. But every story is a gem and the reviews which finish off this issue are also well worth a read.

Saturday, May 24, 2014


Hi folks,

Still working on a post about my adventures in Texas, but in the meantime, I want to shout the praises of the most recent Matt Hilton thriller I just finished. I've read everything Matt has out and just want him to write faster--I'm jonsing for another one!

I was fortunate enough to meet Matt at the Bouchercon in Cleveland--at least I think it was in Cleveland, although with my memory, it could have been in Albany. We kept trying to get together to drown some suds, but alas, never were able to. Next time...

Here's the blurb I recently gave him for NO GOING BACK...

I had to read the ending of Matt Hilton’s latest thriller, NO GOING BACK, more than once. Why? To avoid nightmares, that’s why. To become as reasonably sure as I could be that Hilton’s latest villain, Samuel Logan, has been incapacitated. I think he is, but one can never be sure with a Hilton bad guy. The best-named bad guy in literary history—and yes, I’m aware of a guy named Hannibal Lector—is, hands-down, Tubal Cain. That sucker just kept coming back and coming back… Logan is a worthy heir. For one thing, you can shoot him a bunch of times and the guy doesn’t even feel it. Just keeps on coming after you. How are you going to go to sleep knowing he’s out there somewhere? I’ll tell you what—I love reading Lee Childs’ thrillers, but for the life of me I have a hard time remembering who Jack Reacher went up against. With Joe Hunter, I know all of ‘em, up close and personal to where I can describe their breath. Hot and nasty, just like they all are.. Dantalion, Luke Rickard and Tubal Cain—just aren’t folks you forget when you put the book down. Samuel Logan extends Hilton’s legacy once again. This is just a superb thriller It's the poster child for thrillers. I lost a lot of sleep as I couldn’t lay my head down until I finished it. Wondering if Samuel Logan is perhaps still out there will most likely cost me some more uneasy nights.

That's it, but...

I cannot recommend this book enough! Get it and you'll thank me. Then, if you haven't already, pick up his other Joe Hunter books. Check out the villains--they're brilliant.

Blue skies,

Friday, May 16, 2014


Hi folks,

I returned from a grueling two weeks in Texas yesterday and am thoroughly exhausted. It was one of the most intense periods of my life, both for the quality of the two writing events I was privileged to present at and the unfortunate decline of my health. I have COPD and it really accelerated during my stay there. I'm still exhausted and trying to recuperate so won't post much today and will try to post more about my time at the DFW Writer's Convention in Dallas and the WRW event at the Purple Sage Ranch outside of San Antonio, and my time spent with my buddy Bob Stewart at his house in San Antonio as soon as I get some strength back, but wanted to share something that I got while at WRW a couple of days ago--a wonderful review of The Bitch by the awesome Spinetingler Magazine that really perked my spirits up just when I needed a lift.

Below, is the review that Peter Dragovich, the Nerd of Noir, posted in Spinetingler.


The Bitch by Les Edgerton – review


May 13, 2014

Les Edgerton’s The Bitch is a straight-up old-school noir novel that will pin your ass to the break table at lunch at make you late for work.

It’s a story told by ex-con, now-hairdresser Jake Bishop, a guy on the verge of living the American Dream. He’s got a beautiful wife, his own house and he’s about to open his own salon in South Bend, Indiana. But then Walker Joy, his old cellmate from Pendleton, comes asking for a favor: help him rip off a jeweler at the request of another jeweler who has some shit over Walker Joy’s head. At first Jake begs off but then Walker ‘fesses up that this jeweler has shit on Jake as well. Now Jake has to risk losing everything in order to get out of this jam alive or worse: catching “the bitch” of the title, the life long prison stretch that inevitably happens following a criminal’s third felony.

Edgerton sets all this up masterfully and then brings the hurt down on Bishop one catastrophe after another. If you’re worried in the early stretches of The Bitch that Edgerton won’t go “full-dark” (as the Nerd admittedly was) let me put your fears to rest: this shit gets truly fucked up in act two and beyond fucked up in act three. So if your idea of a good time with a book involves stomach problems (which we all know is the only type of reader who would look to the opinion of some asshole calling himself the Nerd of Noir), then The Bitch should be the next beast perched atop your TBR pile.

 I was really hurting when this appeared on my puter that morning and it helped put a new spring in my step! Thanks, Spinetingler and Peter Dragovitch!

Blue skies,