Cthulhu Lives!: An Eldritch Tribute to H.P. Lovecraft

cthululivesH.P. Lovecraft never knew what he wrought. In the sense only a few of his works actually saw publication in his time. And the growing cult of his followers grows to this day. So here we have CTHULHU LIVES!, another collection of short stories that enter the world of the Old Ones. I’ll be honest I have never read any of these authors before. And only recognized S.T. Joshi a Lovecraft expert whom I met many years ago at a Lovecraft event while I was in High School.

Now most of the stories play rather nicely in the world of cosmic horror. Now Cthulhu never makes an appearance but some of his compatriots are there. More to the fact the insanity that follows really shows their presence known. Now with a collection like this there are always a few stand outs which will definitely give these authors a set of new fans.

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The Owl: Justice Never Sleeps

theowlAlexander L’Hiboux is a man who never sleeps and has a penchant for vengeance. This being the first in a two book series. Will remind some readers of another series staring a main character who can’t sleep. That of one Evan Tanner by Lawrence Block. And that is where these two series share one common idea. Since the rest of THE OWL: JUSTICE NEVER SLEEPS is truly over the top mens adventure.

Bob Forward’s story goes from zero to sixty pretty quick. On his way to meet his client the Owl is already attacked by an unknown assailants. And it just goes from that point on to total 80’s action movie fare.

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Flying Blind

flyingblindIn FLYING BLIND, its a new adventure for PI Crag Banyon. A detective barely scrapping by whose cast includes one of Santa’s former elves as an assistant. And a secretary whose picture is part of the definition of incompetence. This entry James Mullaney sets his sights on the world of superheroes.

Well actually one hero a new one by the name of Minus. Who in his short time in the job already has an arch nemesis. The problem being he only seen fleeting glimpses of him and that of mainly white hair. So whats a hero to do. Well hire a PI to do all the leg work of course.

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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 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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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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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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Death Money

deathmoneyThe third installment of the Jack Yu series continues in the same vein with DEATH MONEY. Yu is a homicide detective who is called in to what seems just a typical floater case. With the victim being Asian, the bosses figure its better for Yu to investigate. But then it turns out the case is not about a jumper but a murder victim.

That little turn takes the readers into the Chinatown most tourists don’t see. The gambling dens and strip clubs that are well hidden from the public eye. The floater in question seems to be an immigrant who just wants to make a good living and save his pay. The problems of course are his jobs are not what you would call growth industries. Where he is paid little and would rather just stick to his deliveries.

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King of the Weeds

kingweedsThe third of the continued adventures of Mike Hammer that have come courtesy of Titan books. Now unlike the other entries, KING OF THE WEEDS is a continuation of sorts of Back Alley a book that at first closed the chapter on Mike Hammer’s career. Now thats not to say you will be lost not having read that entry. The authors do a fine job of catching up the reader. So yes there are some spoilers. But then that outcome of that book is key to this story.

The story opens with an attempt on Mike’s life. But why now and who is the question. Add into the fact the release of a prisoner named Rudy Olaf that Mike’s good pal put away years ago. But now is to be cleared of all his charges due to some new evidence. That being someone now owning up to the crimes. That of a string of killings all involving gay men.

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