The Last Notch

THE LAST NOTCH was originally published in in the late 1950s under the name Matthew Gant, one of Arnold Hano’s several pen names. This new edition from Black Gat Books, the mass paperback division of Stark House Press, is the first publication using Hano’s real name. More importantly it is a superb example of how the characteristics of noir – usually associated with crime fiction and mysteries – can be used in a Western novel.

Ben Slattery is well known as a hired gun. But after so many years, and so many killings, he’s grown tired of it all. Then a man named Fallon approaches Slattery with a job that pays more money than he’s ever earned before. Slattery accepts the job, and sees it as his last – the last notch on his gun before he puts it away and retires for good.

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EURO COMICS ROUNDUP >> Weapons of Choice

With Luc Besson’s VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS still making headlines, there’s no better time to catch up with the latest volumes in the series. We’ve covered every volume here, in fact my first review for Bookgasm was the first Cinebook release of the series, back in 2010. Love or hate the film, the comics are glorious, arguably the greatest science fiction series ever published. And even if you don’t agree with my opinion, you’d have difficulty arguing against it considering the influence the series has had over popular culture, which goes, far beyond the comics pages. 

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The Late Show

Michael Connelly could simply continue rotating novels between his two popular series – Harry Bosch and the Lincoln Lawyer – and remain one of the most popular authors working today. But instead Connelly chose to introduce a new character in THE LATE SHOW, his latest novel. And if this debut is any indication, Detective Renee Ballard can easily became the third major player in Connelly’s arsenal.

Renee Ballard, a former crime journalist, joined the LAPD several years ago and quickly rose to the rank of police detective. Then she filed a sexual harassment complaint against a supervisor. But when her fellow officers failed to support her complaint Ballard was demoted to working the midnight shift in Hollywood – known internally as “The Late Show.”

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