The Wheelman is Stark (any Parker caper) meets Vachss (‘The Getaway Man’) in a fusion by which all heist novels should be measured henceforth. The proThe Wheelman is Stark (any Parker caper) meets Vachss (‘The Getaway Man’) in a fusion by which all heist novels should be measured henceforth. The protagonist, mute getaway drive Patrick Lennon is instantly likable showing compassion, loyalty and willingness to participate in violence only as a last resort. For a guy who claims to be nonviolent, a hell of a lot of people are caused a great deal of grief at the hands (or instruments wielded by said hands) of Lennon – all justified of course. The scenes were so fast paced; the city of Philadelphia flew past in a blur as the action shifted from one POV to the next with Lennon the central focus and his subsequent ‘early retirement’ driving the plot. I loved the unconventional ending and the medium by which it was delivered, few books have caught me as off guard as the spanner Swierczynski threw in the works to conclude 'The Wheelman'. This is the second time I’ve read ‘The Wheelman’ and it defiantly wont be the last. 4 stars....more
‘...behind that knockout face of hers, she’s more like the women they see on the job, on patrol, on a case, in the precinct house. Women with stories‘...behind that knockout face of hers, she’s more like the women they see on the job, on patrol, on a case, in the precinct house. Women with stories as long as their rap sheets, as their dangerous legs...’
Megan Abbott channels the hallowed echoes of ghosts from the golden era of pulp in her depiction of a small town school teacher and her square world turned upside down by a double dose of femme fatale.
'Die A Little' provides protagonist Lora King, a cops sister, and deer-in-the-headlights school teacher, a trickle of Hollywood noir that almost drowns her sensibilities and ruins the life she's come to cherish. By contrast, Alice, Lora's sister-in-law, with her checkered past, glamour contacts and underworld ties is the kind of women who’s often spoken about in hushed tones and hand-over-the-mouth, side-ways glancing acts. She's the beauty whose surface radiates confidence and experience on the darker side of Hollywood - it’s this darker side that threatens to destroy Lora and break her family.
When a ghost materialises from the past, Alice is forced to counteract the problem by throwing Lora to the wolves – or, more aptly, a wolf, by the name of Mike - a womaniser with somewhat sinister connections to the same dark side of Hollywood as Alice and her toxic friend Lois. The triangle of mystery shrouds the innocent and collapses the picture perfect existence of Lora with each stanza deftly portraying a little-girl-lost.
Megan Abbott truly knows how to maximise the mood and draw the suspense to make seemingly miniscule acts such as a fleeting touch or a mere glimpse mean so much to the context of the story. This is a true testament to her finely crafted writing ability.
This was the second time I’d read ‘Die A Little’ and it still captivated me in a way that so few books do. A modern day noir classic. 5 stars. ...more
I love the ‘The Blonde’ – there is a reason this is a pop culture classic. It has everything a pulp addict could possibly want; basement crazies, dangI love the ‘The Blonde’ – there is a reason this is a pop culture classic. It has everything a pulp addict could possibly want; basement crazies, dangerous broads, chivalrous men, and hard hitting action. The bonus novella ‘The Redhead’ follows on from the events that transpired in the novel with a more thriller feel than the full length predecessor and closed off the story ark nicely. One has got to wonder if this story has enough legs to warrant a sequel? Fans of Swierczynski, I’m sure are hoping there is a half finished manuscript sitting on desk his somewhere begging to be finished and unleashed on the world. Glad I reread this, 5 stars all the way. ...more
A multi dimensional look at the hidden desires of a sociopath and the coping mechanisms employed to contain (perhaps more apt, cover-up) the insatiablA multi dimensional look at the hidden desires of a sociopath and the coping mechanisms employed to contain (perhaps more apt, cover-up) the insatiable urges.
O’Shea a former Guard is transferred to NY where he quickly rises to prominence on the force after saving his partners life during a domestic abuse call-out. O’Shea’s partner Kabar forever in his debt tries to buddy up with O’Shea and accidentally gets him caught up in his extra circular activities with a mob boss. Short lived, Kabar tries to justify his ‘take’ by introducing O’Shea to his institutionalised sister, Lucia, a 30yr old woman with the mind of a child. O’Shea’s darker side takes an instant liking to Lucia and its all green rosary beads and Internal Affairs from there.
‘Once Were Cops’ is a two sided tale of cause and effect with O’Shea consuming the first half and a journalist looking for answers, the second. Bruen’s style is poetic, lean and concise – conveying oh so much with very little, it suited the theme of the novel. I enjoyed this much more the second time around for some reason, having previously given it 3 stars, while the re-read garners 4.5. ...more