Late in the 1960's Michigan saw a spate of extremely violent murders targeting young women. Each of the victims was sexually assaulted and murdered inLate in the 1960's Michigan saw a spate of extremely violent murders targeting young women. Each of the victims was sexually assaulted and murdered in a horrific and confronting manner which is hard to read let alone comprehend.
Local law enforcement struggled to link the murders; miss-stepping and a lack of early collaboration hindered the search for the killer. As the bodies piled up so did public ridicule. The author clearly articulates the frustration at not being able to obtain a clean cut conviction. It's a ride for the reader that's not easy to digest.
80% of this book is utterly engaging; reading more like graphic crime fiction than true crime. Such is the grisly manner of the murders, the reality doesn't set it until the long and somewhat drab trial proceedings; unfortunately this part did take something away from what is a well written book.
Each chapter gives ample time to the procedural aspects of the investigation as well as ensuring the victims' untimely murder is depicted in sufficient detail; a well rounded and written account is achieved.
For readers of true crime who have yet to check this out (originally published some time ago) I strongly recommend snapping up a copy.
I was provided an e-arc by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Bad Luck City is a family crime drama of sorts, soaked in whisky and noir that doesn't shy away from the brutal realities of criminal enterprise.
QuasBad Luck City is a family crime drama of sorts, soaked in whisky and noir that doesn't shy away from the brutal realities of criminal enterprise.
Quasi PI, Sim Palmer, a journalist by trade with long links to life on the other side of the blue line courtesy of his father's less than lawful past (albeit from a bystander viewpoint), finds himself immersed in a world of bullets and beatings as he helps a stranger search for a missing young woman; one who could be tied to a people trafficking story Sim had written some time ago.
The all too easy manner by which Sim goes about his business didn't work all that well for this reader. Killing reads as second nature for someone who, prior to this event, lived the relatively non-threatening life of a journalist; warring with words for a local rag over putting people in actual body bags (as a youth he'd witnessed his father taking a beating and toting a gun but Sim himself hadn't dabbled in violence until this event).
There's also the case of the bartender working for a Hotel tycoon wannabe in Gloria, who appears throughout the novella only to be forgotten in the latter stages. What happened to her? I think the action and blood letting took precedent to her plot angle in this instance.
While not adding anything new to long term readers of the genre, Bad Luck City is a pacey read with a plot laced with a constant stream of action and enough character back-story to make the twists, ebbs and flows work.
I was provided a copy of the book by the author in exchange for an honest review.
I loved everything about this book; the sheer epic scale of the pending alien invasion, humanities space race to fortify Earth's outer defenses, the sI loved everything about this book; the sheer epic scale of the pending alien invasion, humanities space race to fortify Earth's outer defenses, the sophons that limit technological advancement, and the unique characters. The Dark Forest evolved from The Three Body Problem by encompassing a more space operatic feel. The future Earth featured heavily as the plot spun hundreds of years which provided an interesting look at what could become. As for the impending doom threatened throughout the book, there was a taste of the much hyped Doomsday Battle, albeit brief but brutal to wet the appetite for the third installment. These books just get better and better. ...more
This collection of short stories is a great way to get introduced to Hap and Leonard, two colorful characters that jump off the page and hit you likeThis collection of short stories is a great way to get introduced to Hap and Leonard, two colorful characters that jump off the page and hit you like a ax handle the chops (read the book, you'll appreciate the statement). They're the private detectives who aren't quite private detectives; rather a pair of daring and courageous hard men with a moral compass who moonlight for a PI firm when they're not undertaking menial day jobs. They care for one another, those close to them (Brett for instance - Hap's longtime girlfriend) and take extreme measures to keep loved ones from harm - they're not afraid to shed blood and ask questions later - Leonard in particular.
Not being overly familiar with the series of books, having only read VANILLA RIDE, I wasn't sure what to expect. Lucky I was treated to a novella and short stories that each read like a longer form of fiction. Author Joe R. Lansdale managed to pack a hell of a punch in each story. Well executed plotting, character depth, and a pleasant mix of humor and serious violence to balance things out.
I can't name a favorite which is a rare thing in a collection such as this but each story was equally enjoyable. My advice to fans of the Hap and Leonard books - this is one you've got to have in your collection, and for those readers who aren't familiar with the series, I strongly recommend checking this out as a great starting point.
I was provided a e-copy via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
First off I want to make mention of the perfectly suited art and colors which are match-made for the storytelling. The characters have a distinct earlFirst off I want to make mention of the perfectly suited art and colors which are match-made for the storytelling. The characters have a distinct early teenage look and the setting is eerily early morning bathed in few colors to create an atmosphere that truly heightens the reading experience.
The plot is one that evolves as the book progresses. Introducing the key players early on via a standard job for teens undertaking a paper-route followed by a standard boys v girls teenage face-off before turning towards the fantastical when a couple of strange and mysterious people covered in robes appear, while others, namely adults, disappear without a trace.
Snappy dialogue and a distinct teenage voice drives PAPER GIRLS towards the upper echelon of 'blended fiction' - one that comprises elements of teenage drama, horror, sci-fi, and fantasy. Never missing a beat, author Brian K Vaughan evolves his characters in-line with his clever plotting as the unbelievable becomes more prevalent.
From beginning to end, I was hooked. I love it when books/graphic novels surprise me and PAPER GIRLS certainly did that. With the time travel aspect looking to play a large part in the next volume I can't wait to see how the story pans out.
If you get a chance, go check this one out.
I was provided a copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Not a book to be read prior to seeing the movie in my opinion. The novelization felt shallow and lacking in depth at times but the overall story itselNot a book to be read prior to seeing the movie in my opinion. The novelization felt shallow and lacking in depth at times but the overall story itself was highly enjoyable. It's hard to critique a plot that worked so well visually with an equally apt accompanying musical score - unfortunately much of the atmosphere from the movie didn't translate. Well worth the read while waiting for the blu-ray to be released. ...more
How much punishment can one character sustain? In the case of perennial bad a$$ and former cop (nee prisoner, biker, and outlaw) Billy Lafitte - a whoHow much punishment can one character sustain? In the case of perennial bad a$$ and former cop (nee prisoner, biker, and outlaw) Billy Lafitte - a whole world of it, and them some.
The fourth Lafitte novel is pure action; brutal and beautiful.
Characters from the earlier novels feature while new character Melissa adds an exciting element to an already melting pot plot as Lafitte attempts to survive these threats and his own demons along, what is, another top notch read from author Anthony Neil Smith.
I love the different looks applied to Lafitte over the course of these books and this latest incarnation is pure terminator - as mentioned in the story itself.
Classic Star Wars with modern characters. A NEW DAWN fits perfectly in the expanded new canon universe. Hera and Kanan are well written and have loadsClassic Star Wars with modern characters. A NEW DAWN fits perfectly in the expanded new canon universe. Hera and Kanan are well written and have loads of chemistry, while newer characters in Sloane, Skelly, and Count Vidian to name a few feel like they belong. The plot is action packed and balanced with humor as a band of almost rebels fight the might of the Empire to save a planet and its moon. A great read that provides some essential backstory to Kanan while developing Hera and Sloane (who features in AFTERMATH) as important cogs in the Stars Wars machine. ...more
Frustrating. Maurice Broaddus CAN write but this book is plotless and lacks character depth. Somehow, King becomes a messiah, the Godfather of the gheFrustrating. Maurice Broaddus CAN write but this book is plotless and lacks character depth. Somehow, King becomes a messiah, the Godfather of the ghetto without reason, there is little written about the rise in respect and cred of King, only that people follow and heed his order.
As does KING MAKER, this book suffers from too many characters playing too little roles. The fantastical elements also seemed an afterthought, had this been a pure crime maybe I would've bumped it up a star - it just didn't read well for me....more
In BURN PATTERNS, author Ron Elliott has Australia's answer to popular international female crime fiction protagonists such as Kay Scarpetta, Tempe BrIn BURN PATTERNS, author Ron Elliott has Australia's answer to popular international female crime fiction protagonists such as Kay Scarpetta, Tempe Brennan, and Sara Linton to name a few in Iris Foster aka The Fire Lady - a therapist in a city psychology practice who aides the police and fire service profiling arsonists.
BURN PATTERNS pits Iris against a serial arsonist determined to ruin lives of the vulnerable by targeting schools, zoos and churches all filled to capacity. It's a classic race against time crime thriller that blinds the reader in a smokey haze of misdirection as things aren't what they seem. I found myself questioning Iris' mental health and motives on a couple of occasions based on her risky take charge manner and equally haphazard judgement calls - all for the betterment of the story.
"There were always people who visited their damage on others. If the damage involved fire, Iris would keep trying to put them out."
Iris is the kind of flawed character I like to read about and is perfect for this kind of semi procedural crime. I hope to see her in many installments to come.
An opportunity missed probably best sums this up. I love the fantastical elements mixed with the urban themes popularised by The Wire but the book sufAn opportunity missed probably best sums this up. I love the fantastical elements mixed with the urban themes popularised by The Wire but the book suffers from a lack of purpose and direction. The writing was pure poetry at times and the place setting vivid to instill a true sense of being part of the story only to be tainted by too many POV's and some odd chapter design. 2 stars ....more
In SUICIDE HILL, James Ellroy puts the emphasis on a wayward bank robber and his delusional dream of converting a junkie into a rock star prone to triIn SUICIDE HILL, James Ellroy puts the emphasis on a wayward bank robber and his delusional dream of converting a junkie into a rock star prone to tricking to feed her habit, rather than the tainted series protagonist Lloyd Hopkins which gives the last installment in the Lloyd Hopkins trilogy a distinctly unique feel to its predecessors. Hopkins, is once again a man on a mission to deliver justice by any means. His sense of right and wrong, while slightly warped add an air of unpredictability to the book which is a stable in this highly readable noir trilogy. The story is sorrid, bloody, and complex in both a police procedural and psychological sense. What else would you expect from James Ellroy? ...more