BULLETS, BROADS, BLACKMAIL & BOMBS >> Deal

acesleevebullets broads blackmail and bombsCards are a central point of these three entries. Actually all three books make up a series from the prolific James Hadley Chase. Mainly tyne whole car motif deals with having an upper hand. Or worse a joker in the deck that pops up. So lets settle in for the adventures of Helga Rolfe.

AN ACE UP MY SLEEVE (1971) by James Hadley Chase

Helga Rolfe is the central figure in this story. That has more double crosses in its short length then most series have in their whole run. The book starts out innocently enough. We find Helga in Europe on one of her yearly trips for her husband. A crippled buisnessmen who controls an empire. She is there to meet up with their investment banker. And maybe find someone to help her pass her time.

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BULLETS, BROADS, BLACKMAIL & BOMBS >> Brokedown Palace

journeyundergrbullets broads blackmail and bombsThis column could easily have a new title of Swords, Sandals, Sorcerers and Spelunking. We travel the world of reading this time in a definite fantasy world. Be it just under the earth’s crust. A far away land and even a far off world that is ruled by swords. To start things off will keep it local. And by local an entrance through a volcano.

JOURNEY TO THE UNDERGROUND WORLD (1979) – Lin Carter

I’ve never read any Lin Carter in my sic fi loving youth. No reason why mind you. Was always intrigued, just never did. Now this book falls into the Lost World genre. You know a group of explorers come face to face with dinosaurs and cavemen who are living under the Earth’s crust. That sums up this book.

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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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