I Can See in the Dark

icanseeThe great thing about Karin Fossum, the queen of Nordic noir, is that she’s willing to try new things. She experiments, but never sacrifices story for form. In I CAN SEE IN THE DARK, she explores from a first-person view the damaged world of Riktor, who works in a nursing home. In the first eleven pages, in five incredibly short chapters, she shows us that Riktor has some capacity for evil, knows what he’s capable of, and sets the suspense and creep level at a remarkably high point.

Riktor enjoys tormenting the patients, many of whom are unable to complain to higher authority, and he revels in their powerlessness and the mastery of his domain. He is a sociopath, seemingly unable to connect empathically with anyone. When he forms a stunted relationship with an alcoholic man he meets on a park bench, even this “friendship” ends in utter disaster.

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Watcher of the Dark

watcherdarkWATCHER OF THE DARK is the third entry in horror author Joseph Nassise’s urban fantasy series featuring Jeremiah Hunt, the former Harvard professor who, over the course of events in the series debut, becomes immersed in the unseen world of ghosts and other supernatural entities and earns a reputation as the “blind exorcist.” It’s a genuinely entertaining and often suspenseful story that suffers slightly from occasional predictability and forced prose styling.
 
Taking up immediately after the conclusion of the previous novel (KING OF THE DEAD), Hunt ends up on Los Angeles and hides out in a cheap motel in a nondescript corner of town. A loud knock on his room door jolts him awake one morning. Hunt fears it might be the FBI – who is among several on his tail since his hasty departure out of New Orleans.

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Treasure Coast

treasurecoastComing from new imprint Brash Books comes TREASURE COAST, a new title from Tom Kakonis. As much as I enjoyed reading this book. There was just a little thing nagging at me through it all. Just a sense of that I’ve read this type of story. Where a group of people are pretty much thrust together from various backgrounds to pull off a score.

The story mainly focuses on Jim Merriman. A former gambler who hit a run of bad luck. That he ends up working in a book store. But now he is in Florida to see his sister who is losing a battle with health. Then add to the fact she asks him one favor. That to look after her son who is in deep with the local bookie.

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Supreme Justice

supremejusticeA political thriller from the vivid mind of Max Allan Collins, SUPREME JUSTICE is a nice welcome. Joseph Reeder a former Secret Service agent who took a bullet to protect the president. But would lose that position because of his criticism of that said President. Something no agent is supposed to do. But he just could not stand still as the President was packing the Supreme Court with an hard right type of judge. Reeder who is nicknamed Peep for his power of observations will be called upon to help out the current President on a task force.

The reason for the task force has to deal with what seems like a robbery gone horribly wrong. How wrong you might say. Well the robbery had a body count of one. That of a current Supreme Court Judge. What looks like just being in the wrong place at the wrong time looks vastly different to Reeder. That is what an elaborate set up assassination. But who and why is leaving everyone scratching their head.

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The Wolf

wolfCrime author Lorenzo Carcattera has used the history and traditions of his Italian background, as well its links to organized crime, as the basis of many of his novels. In THE WOLF, his latest, he kicks things up to a more contemporary and global orientation. It’s a daunting task and proves, as the old saying goes, that the more things change the more they stay the same.
 
Vincent Marelli, better known to friends and foes alike as The Wolf, oversees a massive empire that unites crime bosses across the globe. As a result there isn’t a business or industry that isn’t either controlled or mainly influenced by this vast network of organized crime. But all this power means Marelli must also control every waking hour of his life in order to protect his family and himself.

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City of Saints

citysaintsAndrew Hunt’s crime novel CITY OF SAINTS won the Tony Hillerman Prize in 2011 for best debut novel set in the Southwest. The setting, timeframe and gritty, realistic police procedures all combine to form a debut novel worthy of a series. Hunt makes the territory around Salt Lake City sing with its epic scenery, and strange mix of population with both rough-and-tumble characters and a huge more staid Mormon population. His descriptive prowess is strong, really putting the reader into the center of the action. Setting the police procedural in 1930 also adds a piquant and welcome film noir touch.

Our protagonist is Deputy Art Oveson, a fairly straitlaced Mormon lad who comes from a long line of policemen. He’s confronted head-on by two difficulties: finding the murderer of a woman who was run over multiple times by her own car, and avoiding all the political machinations of his clueless and corrupt Sheriff Fred Cannon.

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The Benefactor

benefactorTHE BENEFACTOR, the eighth book in the now long running Jack Taggert series, has arrived. What will be surprising to readers is how ‘light’ it is. What I mean by that is this might be the first in the whole series which will not make a readers skin crawl. Oh there are still moments of brutal violence. But no characters that truly just creep you out. Or the ones who really do some truly horrific like things.

Now trust me the book is still prime Don Easton which you will come to expect. But this entry definitely would fall more into the world of espionage. In the sense the baddies are actually spies. Not the James Bond type. more of the blackmail and use that information to their advantage type.

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Mr. Mercedes

mrmercedesThe best way to describe Stephen King’s latest novel is by first acknowledging what its not. It’s not a supernatural horror story. There are no monsters, evil entities, and only the slightest and quickly dismissed mention of ghosts. Nor does it contain any science fiction trappings, like the time-travel theme that drove his 2012 novel 11/22/63. Much of advance buzz would have us believe that his latest is King’s first real contribution to noir crime fiction. That’s a little closer to the mark, but not quite accurate.
 
In truth, MR. MERCEDES is a masterly told, character-driven suspense thriller that allows King to have some fun with the traditional elements of hard-boiled mysteries.

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Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

whiskeytangoGlobetrotting, do-gooding activist Leila Majnoun is “director, in-country” for a “bush-league NGO” trying to develop a public health campaign in Myanmar, “which sounded like a name cats would give their country.” David Shafer, in quick witty flashes, opens this debut novel with a rich, jaundiced portrait of both the good intentions and the corrupt, flawed global realities affecting development work. At its best — and WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT is often very good indeed — Shafer delivers a generous, comic, politically-incisive absurdist thriller.

Myanmar is an often dangerous place, where an omnipresent “menace” limns every social engagement, “like walking by a man holding a stick, the man silent, the stick raised above his head.” But the diffuse danger of the place is given more urgency when Leila in her country-wide travels happens to see a strange vehicle and some out-of-place contractors.

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The Old Gray Wolf

oldgraywolfTHE OLD GRAY WOLF is the seventeenth, and last, of the Charlie Moon mysteries written by James D. Doss. Doss, who died in 2012 just after completing this work, has created an eminently collectible series that mixes goofy humor with the spectacular setting of the American Southwest.

Charlie Moon is a former police officer with the Southern Ute Police Department, and he is now a sometime deputy for Scott Parris, chief of the Granite Creek Police. These two gentlemen come across one LeRoy Hooten as he steals a purse from a woman in a grocery store parking lot. Springing into action, they manage to hit the thief twice in the head and he falls to the ground, stunned. But unbeknownst to our two lawmen, Mr. Hooten had already had a previous run-in with a bar bouncer and was suffering from a concussion and internal bleeding in the brain. He dies later that night in custody.

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