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Bourbon & Blood

(Bill Conlin Thrillers #1)

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  226 ratings  ·  45 reviews
In the tradition of action & adventure, noir thrillers, comes a crime fiction story about an otherwise good guy "bent" bad when he's pulled into the underbelly of the New York City crime scene. Drugs, white slavery, prostitution, murder... Former soldier and decorated war hero Bill Conlin finds himself immersed in it all when he can't find "respectable" work after his ...more
Paperback, 328 pages
Published August 25th 2013 by Cigarjuice Press (first published July 26th 2013)
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Average rating 3.68  · 
Rating details
 ·  226 ratings  ·  45 reviews

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Michelle Medhat
Apr 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A fantastic read! Thrilling action on every page!
I started reading this book thinking it was very 1950’s film noir-ish, but it transformed into very much a RocknRolla type thing, but then something utterly amazing happened and I felt I was reading a novel that would easily match the intricate plot line of The Departed. I enjoyed every second of reading this book! I couldn’t get enough of Bill Conlin and I could see Jason Statham doing justice to this role! You know a good book when you get
R.P. Rochford
Oct 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Great book! Enjoyed the story as it is filled with action. My only problem was that there was not a single character in the book who really represented the 'good guys'! Even the main character wasn't exactly innocent, although he had been forced into the situation. This gave the story a sense of inbalance for me.

However, apart from this problem, I did enjoy this book and would be interested to see what's going to happen in the sequel - I assume the author intends to continue with the story as
Stuart Keane
Apr 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
As a reader, I love nothing more than a consuming, taut crime novel. When I picked up my Kindle in February, this was the first book I purchased and read. Needless to say, I wasn't disappointed.

Now, this title has the distinction of being my first downloaded book. I read a few short stories before it but this book kept me hooked from beginning to end. I have read other reviews for Bourbon & Blood, some good and some bad. The problem is, the unfavourable reviews seem to sometimes miss the
Jan 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
In “Bourbon & Blood” author Garrard Hayes gives the reader plenty of both. Returning Afghan war veteran Bill Conlin is looking for work. When his cousin Jimmy hooks him up with a local crime syndicate, he doesn’t quite know what he’s got himself into, until it’s too late to get out, which is after he sees a guy being brutally tortured…the unlucky fellow is the person he is replacing. That’s what happens, he’s told, to guys who disappoint the boss.

Although Bill is rough and tumble, doesn’t
Charles Stubbs
Oct 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
An atmospheric tale of violence and greed

Afghanistan war veteran Bill Conlin is trying to stay straight and out of trouble. But when his cousin Jimmy finally convinces him to earn some money by doing errands for Irish mafia leader Frank Sullivan, what follows is a nail-biting slalom through the streets of New York, as Bill tries to dodge the unwanted attention of Mexican and Russian gangs, as well as keeping on the right side of Sullivan and out of the clutches of the law. It is Bill’s better
Jan 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
As a crime thriller Bourbon and Blood can be proud to say it holds its own. Bill Conlin, war veteran turned civilian is reluctantly drawn into the dark world of mafia hits and drug deals. The subsequent decent into chaos although inevitable is well written and wholly believable whilst being entertaining and well paced.

Without wanting to give too much away this is a thoroughly enjoyable read containing all the elements of a good crime thriller. I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a
C.M. Gray
Feb 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Bourbon, Blood and a whole lot of cigarettes!

Not my normal choice of genre, but it was a treat to discover how much I enjoyed a tale of hoodlums and gangs in New York.
Garrard Hayes writes extremely well and tells a great story of an Army veteran returning to New York and being sucked into the seedier side of life. Who knew that gang members smoked constantly! (Maybe as an ex smoker I did notice more than others might every time they lit up!)
Bourbon and Blood is a great book that I would
Reen Graham
Jul 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
The title of this book sets the mood for the crime and gangster world. A fascinating story that kept me turning the pages to reach the end. I wish the author would show and not tell. there were many editing issues throughout. I received this ebook for free in exchange for an honest review. I like to support new authors and feel this author has many more exciting stories to tell. There are many frightening characters and gruesome fight scenes. I anticipate great things from this author. I ...more
Feb 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
If you are in the mood for a fast paced action thriller then you won't be disappoint with Bourbon and Blood. It doesn't pull any punches, simply delivers what it sets out to do. The characters are engaging enough, the dialogue is timely and in keeping with the characters. I would say it isn't for the faint hearten as it is quite graphic in parts, but I think it works well in the context of the plot.
Graham Downs
Feb 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
First, a bit of context: I'm a huge fan of the Mafia series of video games. When I first started reading this book, I thought it read like "Mafia: The Novel". And it was awesome!

Having now finished the book, I do still feel that way. The story was at the same time familiar, and original. Unlike the video game series, it's set in modern times, but the basic premise is the same. A war veteran is down on his luck and struggling to find work, and he gets roped up in the mob by doing a relatively
James M. Copeland
Oct 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: great
2013 J Copeland rated a book 5 of 5 stars Bourbon & Blood by Garrard Hayes
status: Read in August, 2013

Bill Conlin had done a stint in the military during the Afghanistan war and was returned home to a very harsh portion of life. No job for too long a time and nothing but time on his hands. He had lived with his aunt and her son Jimmy during his youth and Jimmy was still on the scene, only in a criminal capacity. He collected rent for the mob. Bill has rejected Jimmy’s occupation for as
Jul 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, series-thriller, own
In Garrard Hayes's Bourbon and Blood, the first installment in the Bill Conlin thriller series, this one would get you hooked into it after the first page. Bill Conlin is a former Army Veteran from the war and couldn't find any good work in New York City. That's when his cousin Jimmy tells him about a job working for Francis Sullivan, the same his cousin works for, too. But thing aren't what they seem, when he works for the Irish crime lord. As soon as he meets Dana, a waitress at the diner, ...more
Melanie Adkins
Aug 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Bill Conlin has just left the military after a tour in Afghanistan. He spends time with his cousin Jimmy and trying to figure out what to do with his life next. Jimmy keeps encouraging Bill to talk to his boss. Bill isn't sure that's what he wants. Eventually, he does meet with Mr. Sullivan and begins to work for him. About this time, Bill also met Dana. She was sassy and beautiful. He knew he wanted her in his life forever. It seemed however, working for Mr. Sullivan took more of Bill's time ...more
Chloe Thurlow
Oct 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Books you can really get your teeth into don’t explore one theme, they deal with several that weave together in a magic carpet that takes you flying high into the sky where you have a bird’s eye view of the dilemmas mere mortals have to deal with down below. For a moment, you are suspended, God-like, in that privileged position if being outside the herd looking in.

Garrard Hayes does that in Bourbon & Blood. With a fine brush he paints a portrait of war hero Bill Conlin until we can see ever
J.C. Brennan
Nov 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-thriller
This is another book I read cover to cover, could not stop once starting and just finished it. Bourbon and Blood is a suspenseful thriller that keeps you turning the page. An ex-military man, Bill, finds a life back in the states has left him a little down on his luck. His cousin, who he grew up with, gets him a job that he really is not up for with the Irish mob. But say no to his new position is not an option. So what could go wrong? How about everything you can imagine and then some. Bill is ...more
Ashley Haines
Hello. This review is an honest review. I was asked to review and I accepted. I was iffy on it because it was outside my comfort zone. However the top of the book caught my attention with the saying. Now see the first 7 chapters were hard for me to get in to the book. I almost stopped reading altogether due to the fact it seemed to be dragging at this point. But don't let me turn you away just yet because, By the 8th chapter I was hooked that was when the story came alive. The amount of action ...more
Lisa Henderson-Farr
Nov 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
I received this book from the Goodreads First Reads Giveaway in exchange for a honest review.

It did take a few chapters for me to be fully invested in the story but once the action started i was hooked.This is a very fast read with non stop action to keep you moving forward. Almost too fast in my opinion. To me the timeline seemed a little vague. Near the end of the book a reference was made that indicated that approximately a year had gone by and that Bill had spent a couple months in a coma.
Rob Einsle
Apr 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I couldn't stop reading. The rhythm and meter of Gerrard's writing marches the reader down the lines.

The characters are developed really well and immediately you are curious about the main character (Knob Creek is a fine choice, btw) and you need to know more.

The plot thickened and piqued interest...

And I kept marching along down the lines getting more and more entranced until the "well, might as well finish it" thoughts occur; I was completely unable to set the book down.

It was that kind of
Jan 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The cover is what grabbed my attention on this book at first, it looks very intriguing and it didn't disappoint! Action packed, I couldn't believe the luck of ex-serviceman Bill and the trouble his cousin Jimmy gets him into. But because Jimmy is the only one looking out for him and he is family, Bill ends up "working" jobs that are tied to mobs. It will keep you turning the pages with all the crazy action. A quick but very entertaining read!
Jeff Critser
Feb 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Bourbon & Blood gripped me in the first few pages and held tightly throughout. I enjoy dark, gritty noirs such as this, and Garrard Hayes delivered the goods in a convincing way. This story's underbelly was filled with disturbing and raspy imagery and throbbed an unsettling pulse throughout the entire plotline. If noir fiction is what you're after, you can't go wrong with this book...Bourbon & Blood is the real deal!
RC and JP Carter
Jun 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A well written action packed adventure. The characters are relatable and the plight of the 'good guy' is understandable as he is drawn deeper into the seamy side of daily urban life. The author brilliantly brings you into the action while navigating unexpected twists and turns along the way. Recomended reading for all crime fiction lovers!
-RC and JP Carter - O'Rourke Crime Novels
Rory Costello
Dec 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
I'll have the double cheeseburger, please. Yes, with bacon. Make it rare. And a few fingers of Knob Creek, in honor of the main character. Beer to wash it down? Sure, why not.

This was a fun adventure. It had a good number of things to recommend it, especially the duplicity of the bad guy and even some subtle shading, like the tea-drinking Irish mob boss.

I'd be on board for Bill's next outing.
Nov 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bourbon & Blood is a fast-paced, hard boiled thriller that I couldn't put down. The characters have a genuine feel, complete with flaws and limitations that are truly believable. If you're a fan of non-stop action, don't miss this novel.
Feb 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
The action comes fast and slick in Bourbon and Blood and fans of action thrillers will love it. One of those books which grabs your attention and doesn't let you go till you have turned the last page.
Mar 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Action packed thriller that runs on rocket fuel! This is what I call a good old fashion shoot them up. You have good guys and bad guys, a good plot and a bevy of colourful characters. All together they make a really enjoyable weekend of reading.
Cheryl Hackert chatterton
Apr 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Great read. Loved the NYC scene and the detailed drama around all of the characters!!!
Terry Wilkes
Jan 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A good, fun read. Well worth my time. Enjoyable modernisation of the Spade Spade genre.
Kerry Reis
FOR 18+ READERS ONLY! Bill Conlin, a recent Afghanistan war veteran, is back home in New York City, living in a one-room dump of an apartment with no job prospects, when his cousin, Jimmy, practically forces him to meet and take a gig as an enforcer for an Irish mob boss. The position seems to come with ready cash, a luxury apartment and a female bedmate, but it is strongly implied that rejection of the job will lead to a round of torture and death, so Bill is caught in an ethical trap of ...more
Sep 03, 2014 rated it liked it
This mystery thriller reads very quickly. The story line doesn't have much meat on the bone. It was an okay read at best. Protagonist Bill Conlin is a returning war vet. Bill has no job, lives in a very sad apartment, and is running out of money. His best friend Jimmy begs him to take a job with the local Irish mob . The Irish mob is lead by a guy named Sullivan. Sullivan takes a quick liking to Bill and convinces him to join up. Now partnered with another Sullivan gangster named Kenny, nothing ...more
Nancy Silk
Jul 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Deception, Murder, Crime Mobs"

This story has everything a crime thriller reader enjoys. It's a gritty, fast paced story which really captivated me. After completing a dangerous military tour in Afghanistan, Bill Conlin returns to New York City, the place he grew up. He's running out of money, no jobs are available, getting depressed and lonely. He does like his bourbon, Knob Creek brand, and often meets his cousin, Jimmy, at a bar in the evenings. Jimmy works for Irish thugs, his job being
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Garrard Hayes is a lifelong New York resident whose ancestors made their living on the streets of Manhattan and Brooklyn. His love of action and crime fiction, together with a knack for good, gritty storytelling, sparked him to write. He lives in New York with his wife, two children, and three dogs. Garrard Hayes hosts a crime fiction blog at

Visceral & Terrifying crime ride.

Other books in the series

Bill Conlin Thrillers (2 books)
  • The Missing Swan: A Crime and Suspense Thriller (Bill Conlin Thriller Book 2)
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