Hammer is in the gutter - struggling to cope with the loss of Velda, presumed dead for the past 7 years when a chance encounter with a couple of policHammer is in the gutter - struggling to cope with the loss of Velda, presumed dead for the past 7 years when a chance encounter with a couple of police officers who pick him up for D&D leads him to Pat Chambers and subsequently to a case; one that provides a glimmer of hope for Velda...she may not be dead after all.
The manhunt for the 'Dragon' begins.
After recently reading COMPLEX 90 which is the direct sequel to THE GIRL HUNTERS though published a significant number of years later, I was looking forward to reading the background behind Velda's disappearance and the copy-cat links behind the set up for each novel (both have Mike or Velda undertaking a routine security job where someone is murdered with a jewel heist turned bloody the motive). However, THE GIRL HUNTERS didn't go into all that much detail, rather shifting the focus to Mike Hammer and his reintegration into darker side of law protection.
I do love the pulp aspect to THE GIRL HUNTERS. Hammer is at his best here; dealing damage and loving dames in distress. The easy violence that accompanies Hammer is ever present and a critical element to the plotting.
While enjoyable, I found THE GIRL HUNTERS just didn't pack the same punch as the book that follows it. Still a must-read for Hammer fans.
Dean Koontz's Frankenstein series builds upon the classic book by Mary Shelley, using both Frankenstein and his monster as near immortals who each havDean Koontz's Frankenstein series builds upon the classic book by Mary Shelley, using both Frankenstein and his monster as near immortals who each have lived in plain view of the public yet are hidden by the fictitious account of their evolution in the original book. As to not discard the concept, rather enhance and modernize it, the characters transition into a new landscape. Koontz maintains a thread of continuity while writing a new and fantastical setting for the monster and his creator.
PRODIGAL SON is a blend of horror, police procedural, and thriller and serves as a great introduction to a diverse cast of characters.
The plot largely revolves around a serial killer who takes parts of his victims and then evolves into a gruesome horror story with abominations walking the earth with strange abilities.
There really is no good verses evil typecasting in PRODIGAL SON as Koontz (and Kevin J. Anderson as co-author) establish the key players, each with their own motivations; just some more murderous than others.
PRODIGAL SON is a quick read (something that I've found during all three reads) and really establishes this new take on Frankenstein quite well. Don't expect the same story as Mary Shelley, this series is new and follows a rather different path.
Calvin G. Redbone lives in a trailer park, works a steady job, and has a small group of friends. He's also got a baseball bat - which happens to be thCalvin G. Redbone lives in a trailer park, works a steady job, and has a small group of friends. He's also got a baseball bat - which happens to be the tool of choice for Redbone's one way ticket to self destruction.
When his closest friend Mister is found dead in his trailer. Redbone can't accept the cause as suicide; Mister had to have been forced to eat his gun and Redbone is determined to prove the police wrong.
Enter Mister's estranged son looking to cash in on Mister's death, an out-of-town real estate developer with plans to build a mall on land Mister may or may not have owned (there is some debate about this), and Redbone's own boss who has ties to the out-of-town developer. Forming a connection of coincidences, Redbone sniffs a conspiracy and sets out to cause casualties.
The linear plot follows the main character in Redbone with little deviation from his grief stricken madness. He losses everything, interacts with some peripheral characters and causes mayhem. I kept waiting for a killing spree or some twisted turn that would compliment Redbone's state of mind, however the additional content, despite being teased (the land ownership and Redbone's boss's gambling problems to name a few) didn't come to fruition. Which isn't to say I didn't enjoy the book, I did, I just think it would've benefited from having more depth to compliment the plot.
"The sky has grown dark by the time he dumps me inside the trunk of the sedan. A rough interior lining scrapes against the exposed skin of my shoulder"The sky has grown dark by the time he dumps me inside the trunk of the sedan. A rough interior lining scrapes against the exposed skin of my shoulders and arms, leaving bloodless scratches crisscrossing a yellowing bruise."
BURN CARDS deals the reader an irresistible hand, introducing pain and punishment without cause; curiosity from the cruel to pull the reader straight into a flush of flesh encrusted with blood, battered and bruised; noir with naught for reason.
I love books that draw me from the get go and that's exactly what BURN CARDS did.
Readers familiar with Christa Faust's MONEY SHOT (Hardcase Crime, Angel Dare #1) will immediately drawn comparisons yet BURN CARDS quickly treads down a vastly different path. Author Christopher Irvin (FEDERALS) has written a character driven, emotionally rich noir novella that packs a lot of heart and ache into a small page count (my print copy clocked in at 124pgs).
The thing that resonates long after reading is the overwhelming sense of hopelessness compounded by the elusiveness of that 'happy-ever-after' ending. Mirna enters the scene as a victim as leaves as one.
My only gripe relates to the characters; there is little movement in terms of emotional growth which is difficult to achieve in a novella, perhaps if BURN CARDS was written as a full length, Mirna would've come to life in a more three dimensional way.
That said, I enjoyed BURN CARDS. It's a fast paced read that will appeal to readers of noir and those who like darker crime fiction.
WATCHED is a gripping and insightful read into the little known world of cyber bullying and the severe extremes it can push individuals of any age to.WATCHED is a gripping and insightful read into the little known world of cyber bullying and the severe extremes it can push individuals of any age to. In this instance, the focus group is teenagers, specifically those who are either filmed or photographed undertaking a private innocence misinterpreted as sleaze by the trolls on the internet and those unfortunate souls led down the destructive path of abuse for profit.
Author CJ Lyons doesn't write with a focus on the moral compass which she could have easily done, rather letting the characters tell their story while embedding an underlying message of awareness of the unknown. The world isn't a safe place and computers, laptops, mobile phones etc put the young (and not so young) at risk of cyber smart predators 24/7.
I learnt a lot from reading WATCHED, both from a shock horror tech awareness (smart phone cameras being controlled remotely by people miles away for one) and from a humanist perspective. Little do adults know of the teenage world. It's an ever changing landscape that has evolved into a very dangerous place. For the protagonists of WATCHED, they embrace this danger to bring down a predator, taking a stand to save themselves and others at risk from the 'King's' cyber spell.
This has got to be one of the most readable books I've read this year. The pages didn't seem to turn quick enough; time ceased to exist, I was utterly consumed by the world as depicted in WATCHED. A true rarity that really is a 'must-read'.
William Giraldi easily holds place alongside great authors such as Daniel Woodrell, Megan Abbott and James Ellroy in terms of being able to recreate tWilliam Giraldi easily holds place alongside great authors such as Daniel Woodrell, Megan Abbott and James Ellroy in terms of being able to recreate the dark nature of man and convey it with compelling conviction. Through a blanket of fine white snow, this cold heared yet warm blooded rural-like noir breathes life into the deathly disassociated community of Keelut.
The closed cabin compound is breached by an academic in search of answers; Core, riddled by internal torment, having lost a child to wolves is called upon by Medora, a local women with a husband at war, to find the body of her son, another presumed victim of the wolves - those eager hunters in ever need of a full belly.
There is a real sense of remoteness in HOLD THE DARK that envelopes the reader in its atmosphere. The cold, dark woods that surround the isolated community and the distinct 'us against them' mentality of the Keelut residents is as scary as it is sacred. Not even murder among their own is pursued by the out of town police with any passion by those directly affected.
On the surface, HOLD THE DARK looks relatively straight forward. However, this is far more than a search for remains or a bloody quest for retribution against one of the animal kingdom's most deadly and skilled pack hunters. HOLD THE DARK is a violent and visually stunning story of misdirection and misguided meaning set in a place where curses are real and nightmares invade reality.
HOLD THE DARK is an exceptional read and will certainly feature as one of my top reads of the year.
DNF at page 36. Am putting this down for a while. Whilst the pacing is good and the subject matter interesting, I struggled with the writing style andDNF at page 36. Am putting this down for a while. Whilst the pacing is good and the subject matter interesting, I struggled with the writing style and transitional nature of jumping from place to place without any definable switch in locale.
The historical references, while good footnotes, had a tendency to overshadow the 'information gathering traveler' theme of the book.
I also found the views expressed by the few locals consulted to this point, heavily subjective and were too few to advertise a social mindset to events - perhaps this changes as the book progresses...
I may revisit BETWEEN THE RIVER AND SEA at another time. Shelved as a DNF for now. ...more
I was pleasantly surprised by the sheer volume of sword and sorcery action thrust upon the readers face from word go. Authors David Smith and RichardI was pleasantly surprised by the sheer volume of sword and sorcery action thrust upon the readers face from word go. Authors David Smith and Richard Tierney didn't waste time in getting this story off to a fast start. More importantly they maintained the momentum throughout the entire book.
The plot itself is fantasy formulaic as you'd expect, following a linear path from Red Sonja's appearance at a drinking hole through to her eventual journey to face off against an resurrected sorcerer determined to claim the mysterious ring of Ikribu for his sinister means.
There are loads of great moments filled with character development and bloody fantastical battles which are just fun to read. While THE RING OF IKRIBU is first and foremost a book of Red Sonja, I found her not to be the constant center of attention with many characters given time to shine through on the page. This approach added depth and context to the quest.
I can't compliment THE RING OF IKRIBU enough, I simply loved everything about this book and will track down the remaining books in the series as fast as I can.
RUTHLESS is a classic wrong-man tale oozing noir and dripping in conspiracy and sinister motives - all of which become more paramount as the plot unfoRUTHLESS is a classic wrong-man tale oozing noir and dripping in conspiracy and sinister motives - all of which become more paramount as the plot unfolds. There is a real sense of mystery with the truth hidden in a dense brume that envelopes the quarry, Abigail - a young women marked for death, and Nick, the right man in the wrong place.
From a drunken case of mistaken identity, Nick is given 20k and a photo with a simple message - to murder Abigail. The contract initiated over a drunken encounter at a bar Nick frequents. Problem is, Nick, isn't a hitman, and the employer, a shady blonde with a thirst for a drop of the hard stuff doesn't give him time to right her wrong.
The plot takes a turn for the familiar from here on in with Nick tracking down Abigail and slowly piecing together who his 'employer' is and why a contract has been put out on this young woman's head. As, author John Rector teases the reader with reason, you do get a sense that there is something Abigail isn't telling her surprise white knight.
RUTHLESS is a great fast paced read that really hits the right cords for the sort of fiction I consume. There is a moment where the script is turned on its head that is simply good writing. What stops RUTHLESS from being on of my top reads is the ending - it felt as thought the story stopped short and then turned another direction without really enhancing what was a highly enjoyable read.
A horror hiding in the deathly dark and deeply disturbing undercurrents of the sea surfaces to torment the father of a missing boy. Whispering sweet nA horror hiding in the deathly dark and deeply disturbing undercurrents of the sea surfaces to torment the father of a missing boy. Whispering sweet nothings honey dripped in hope to mask a deception that is a prolonged form of both cruel and unusual punishment.
Ed Angelus is a fifty-year-old captain employed by the Wildwater Maritime. He's also father to a missing boy. One who calls to him from deep under water.
As part of a broader picture, DREAMING DEEP is a great vehicle to launch an episodic series format not dissimilar to THE DEAD MAN. Comprising a mix of horror and subtle haunting, author Anonymous-9 borrows from Lovecraft while crafting her own style of ghostly goodness. It's this aspect I found most enjoyable; the disembodied voice from the sea calling to a wounded father, luring him into a world more complex and confusing than he currently lives.