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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North Beach Girl / Scandal on the Sand

northbeachgirlJohn Trinian was not his real name or was the name he would adopt and live by Zekial Marko. Marko is probably more know for his writing for various TV series including the Rockford Files, Once A Thief and Kolchak. But we are here to talk about two of the few book he did write, NORTH BEACH GIRL and SCANDAL ON THE SAND. Stark House Press has collected two of his better know works with a plethora of extras.

NORTH BEACH GIRL (1960) is very much like its subject matter. That of the beatnik culture and in question at the center a woman named Erin. A model who has had enough of that job actually all jobs are the bane of her existence.

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Hellboy in Hell: The Descent

hellboyhellWhen writer-artist Mike Mignola put his best known comic book character to death a little more than a year ago it set off a wave of anxiety from fans who feared they’d never see Hellboy again. Mignola responded that he was taking the opportunity to reveal several untold stories from Hellboy’s youth (like THE MIDNIGHT CIRCUS, published earlier this year) and his early years as an agent with the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense (BPRD).

But Mignola had something else in mind as well. Since Hellboy was never really human, we shouldn’t have expected him to die like one.

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Sorrow Bound

sorrowboundSORROW BOUND is the third entry in David Mark’s series featuring the curiously self-conscious Celtic giant of a Detective Sergeant Aector McAvoy and his sexy, flirtatious and deliberately outrageous boss, Detective Superintendent Trish Pharaoh. Set in the wilds of Hull in the East Riding of Yorkshire, these two try to make headway against the increasing crime and brutality, while not having the stench and slime of the underworld rub off on them.

The town gets remarkably ugly when one Philippa Longman is found brutally murdered on the street. A weight was placed on her chest repeatedly until her ribcage exploded inward. But the initial thought that she was killed as revenge against her speaking out against the drug trade doesn’t really hold water. True, the drug trade is bad in Hull. Seriously bad.

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Tequila Sunset

tequilasunsetTEQUILA SUNSET, Sam Hawken’s follow up to the Dead Women of Juarez, tackles another subject of note. That of drug cartels who run drugs and guns back and forth to Mexico. While Juarez just focused on homicides of women. This book take a broader aspect to the story. We follow three people all in different aspects of the story. We have an El Paso detective named Cristina Salas who is working her job while also dealing with raising her autistic son on her own.

Then there is recently released Flip Morales who got caught up in the gang Barrio Azteca due to his time in prison. Now he finds himself the center of unwanted attention of said gang now that he is out. And these are men who don’t like to hear the word no. The the third deals with the other side of the border with Matias Segura a Mexican Federal Agent. Who has made it his life to take down the cartels no matter the cost.

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