Jun 222014
 
That's a long subject line, isn't it?

We were on a smallish trip earlier this week: we went to Denmark, where we've never been. We visited Legoland, the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art (highly, highly recommendable) and the vintage Tivoli entertainment park in the centre of Copenhagen. It was a fun trip, for most part, but I'm not going to write about it. Instead, in the spirit of this blog, I'll say something about the books I read during the trip. I had nothing with me but my Kindle. I download only free e-books, since I don't have a credit card with which I could buy e-books, so I'm dependent on what comes free. Even with this approach, I've managed to accumulate a pretty good selection of new noir and hardboiled writing, with some westerns and horror thrown in. Mentioned should also be some classic noir stuff that's coming from publishers like Prologue Books.

Okay, to the books. Peter Brandvold's better known as a western writer, but I've never read any of his books in that genre, but they seem quite good. I read his short novel Paradox Falls that I think is mislabelled as horror. It's more like a suspense thriller, with a possible serial killer hunting some hikers in the Colorado mountains. The book reads pretty fast, but the ending is a bit abrupt. There was also some interesting stuff on being a writer that seemed a bit autobiographic, as the main character, a sympathetic young man yearning for his early love affair, makes his living writing sex westerns. Paradox Falls could've been published as a cheap paperback in the early eighties, and I mean this as a good thing.

Allan Guthrie's Kill Clock was even a shorter book, a novella-length tale of Guthrie's occurring character, Pearce. Guthrie tells his brutal tale with short sentences, but also manages to make Pearce a sympathetic character in all his bruteness and tendency to sudden bursts of violence. Kill Clock also has a good plot for a novella. Recommended quite highly.

Paul Levine's Last Chance Lassiter is the first Jake Lassiter story I've ever read, as I'm not very keen on courtroom thrillers. But this one was so funny and entertaining I'd be willing to try more of Levine's work. Very fluent writing, very smooth plotting, some quite funny wisecracking.

J. David Osborne runs Broken River Books that's a very interesting crime and horror fiction outfit specializing in edgy and bizarre neo-noir. Osborne's own short story collection Our Blood In Its Own Circuit is full with, well, edgy and bizarre stuff that's not easily labelled. I read the first three stories on our flight back, and two of them were very strong: the titular story is about Mexican cops who bathe in the blood of chickens, and the western story "Amends Due, West of Glorieta" is full of shocking violence and characters straight out of a Cormac McCarthy novel. Check out this free Broken River Books sampler!

I also started Gerard Brennan's novella The Point, a brutally realistic story about two brothers whose life goes to hell when they move to a small town on the seaside and the other one starts dealing stolen cars. The plot could be more original, but Brennan's clipped style makes it interesting. I'm only halfway in the middle, so there might be some surprises coming.
May 052014
 
Only desperate men dared to venture into Last Chance Canyon, like bounty hunter Rye Callahan and the deadly outlaw he pursued. The fate that awaited them inside the lonely box canyon was something neither man could have anticipated, and the question was whether either of them would make it out alive!One of my Western short stories that's never been published in English before is now available
Mar 272014
 
Dev Mallory has been a Secret Service agent, a detective, and a cowboy...which makes him the perfect man for the job of protecting a British nobleman's Thoroughbred race horse and saving the U.S. government from embarrassment. But there's more going on than sabotage, as Dev's beautiful redheaded partner is kidnapped and Dev finds himself up to his neck in murder, lust, and intrigue.Critically
Mar 192014
 
Peter  Brandvold's half-breed Western adventurer Yakima Henry returns in the latest release from Mean Pete Press, BLOOD TRAIL OF THE HORSETOOTH WIDOW, a sequel of sorts to the first book in the series, THE LONELY BREED. Written under the Frank Leslie pseudonym, this novel finds Yakima teaming up with the beautiful but deadly Paloma Collado to recover a stolen army payroll after Yakima is
Mar 102014
 
On a stormy night in Nebraska, a beautiful young woman in a nightgown runs out in front of a pickup driven by ex-cop and current bar owner Chance Smith, and that sets in motion an action-packed series of events in Wayne D. Dundee's new e-book STARLESS MIDNIGHT. Throw in a couple of troubled marriages, a wealthy older man feuding with his son, an outburst of violence, some sultry sex, and
Dec 182013
 


Peter Madsen became a priest to atone for a life of violence and a wartime tragedy and thought he had put away his gun for good. But then a grief-stricken young woman who's like a daughter to him sets out on a quest of vengeance, and Madsen is forced to take up the gun again as he sets out to save her from herself.

What Madsen doesn't know is that he's about to walk into a dangerous web of tangled emotions—lust, greed, hatred, and more—that will culminate in a shocking crime and a deadly showdown on the dusty street of a frontier town.

This classic novel now available again from Rough Edges Press demonstrates once more why Ed Gorman is one of the most acclaimed Western authors of all time. His tough, spare narrative voice, his painfully human characters, and his sure grasp of storytelling make VENDETTA a compelling reading experience.


VENDETTA is also available for the Nook and on Smashwords.

Dec 092013
 
Wanted to read something short and catchy and reverted to my Kindle that I've used all too rarely for these past months. Charlie Williams's novella Graven Image had landed free on my Kindle just some time ago and I decided to read it.

And it's very good stuff, smooth but edgy, funny but smart, violent, brutish and noirish. It's the story of a fallen man who tries to make it good, but never succeeds. You want him to, even though he's not a good man, but you know from the start it doesn't end well for him.

I just kind of lost in the end. I really have no idea what went down. Maybe someone could explain it to me? I'm sure the fault is all mine, not Charlie Williams's.
Nov 302013
 


Legendary western writer and noted anthologist Robert J. Randisi offers up a winning hand with fourteen never-before-published tales of the Old West, each revolving around the central theme of gambling. Among the stories you can expect to be dealt here are:

Jacks or Better by Johnny Boggs
A Cold Deck by Phil Dunlap
The Reckoning by Randy Lee Eickhoff
It Takes a Gambler by Jerry Guin
Odds on a Lawman by Christine Matthews
Pay the Ferryman by Matthew P. Mayo
White Face, Red Blood by Rod Miller
Hazard by Nik Morton
Acey Deucy by John Nesbitt
The Mark of an Imposter: An Evelyn Page/Calvin Carter Adventure by Scott Parker
Horseshoe and Pistols by Robert J. Randisi
Too Many Aces by Charlie Steel
Missouri Boat Race by Chuck Tyrell
The Legend of ‘Blind Ned’ Baldwin by Lori Van Pelt


(That's a fine line-up of authors. I'm looking forward to reading this one.)

Nov 232013
 
Ray Coyle hadn't been a real gunfighter for ten years, and that was the way he liked it. He would have been content to live out his life as a performer in a Wild West show. But then he got the news that his son was dead, killed in suspicious circumstances, and so Coyle set out to discover the truth.

Coopersville was a town full of secrets, most of them ugly. Brutal ex-convict Harry Winston knows those secrets, many of them involving the wealthy Trevor family. And Harry wants not only money but also revenge on the Trevors. His plans are complicated by the arrival of Ray Coyle, who has a score of his own to settle with one of the Trevors . . . and for anybody to get what they want, blood will have to be spilled.

Master storyteller Ed Gorman spins a dark, compelling tale of greed, lust, and murder in TROUBLE MAN, one of the best Western noir novels ever written, now available again from Rough Edges Press. Powerful, tragic, and deeply compassionate, Gorman's critically acclaimed stories and novels have made him one of today's leading authors of Western, crime, suspense, and horror fiction. 
This is one of Ed's best novels, and those of you who haven't read it should check it out. Also, the eagle-eyed among you may notice that it's published by Rough Edges Press. "Who?" you ask. Well, me. I'm Rough Edges Press. Although in the spirit of full disclosure, I'm just the editorial end. Livia's still handling all the heavy lifting when it comes to the technical stuff. But I've been thinking about starting a small press even since before the so-called e-book revolution, and now I have.
What's coming up from Rough Edges Press? More reprints of Ed Gorman Western novels, for one thing. A collection of Western pulp stories from a well-known author, for another. I'm also talking to various authors about some crime, suspense, horror, and science fiction novels, both originals and reprints. The submission requirements for Rough Edges Press are really simple: Stuff I Like. Any genre, any length (although I'd prefer not to publish anything less than novella-length, I won't rule it out entirely). Fast-moving stuff with some action. If you have a book like that you control the rights to, or a new manuscript that would fit, send me an email. The address is in my profile, if you don't already have it.
Meanwhile, Ed's TROUBLE MAN is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords, and it's a great yarn.