Review–Winterswim

The following was published January 6 at Atticus Review. REDEMPTION UNDER ICE: A REVIEW OF RYAN W. BRADLEY'S WINTERSWIM The prologue to Ryan W. Bradley’s Winterswim strikes quick and brutal: a violent pastor, a forced conversion to Christ, a victim on a frozen lake in the arctic night. The pastor murders his young female prey by pushing her … Continue reading Review–Winterswim

Review: Shattered Glass–The Story of a Marine Embassy Guard

I picked up Greg Matos’ Shattered Glass—The Story of a Marine Embassy Guard with a narrow purpose. I wanted to read about the December 2004 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. I wanted to know what it felt like to be the Marine standing Post when five heavily armed terrorists stormed our compound, killing … Continue reading Review: Shattered Glass–The Story of a Marine Embassy Guard

Review–The Blind Rooster

Reading Preston Lang’s The Blind Rooster (Crime Wave Press) feels a lot like people-watching at the Laundromat. The major figures resemble coin-op types, people resigned to the vague indignity of paying to have their underwear tumble around in a public washer. And don’t take your eyes off them for a moment—they’d just as soon pinch a quarter … Continue reading Review–The Blind Rooster

Brilliant Farce Out Tomorrow

Highly recommended! You Can Lead a Horse to Water (But You Can't Make It Scuba Dive) Queue the circus music when Sam, Muller, and Max join Max’s father Otis and mother Ruby in The Rec Room of Sound, Otis’s Internet radio broadcast, to consume pot-laced brownies and interview Bisquick the Mynah bird best known for biting nipples … Continue reading Brilliant Farce Out Tomorrow

Review–The Garden of Good and Evil Pancakes

In time for Veteran's Day (also Armistice Day), Atticus Review posted my latest look at today's literature with David S. Atkinson's The Garden of Good and Evil Pancakes. What better way to suggest the futility of the human experience than with a card game called Armistice? This game is not War, it is Armistice. Because, as … Continue reading Review–The Garden of Good and Evil Pancakes

Dear Bleach Garglers,

A number of you have contacted me recently with a strange offer. “I’d drink bleach,” you say, “to get you to read a sample of my book.” Gargling it, injecting it between your toes, I’m astounded at the endless uses of bleach you’ve proposed to procure a book review from me. But far from an … Continue reading Dear Bleach Garglers,

Review–The Way Inn

“Your personal details aren’t the new currency, but they are the new price of admission.” The Way Inn is an exceptionally well-written novel of acute observation and creative imagery in a world both real and surreal. Will Wiles succeeds throughout with prose that is imaginative and immersive, complex and compelling. Experience the moment as the … Continue reading Review–The Way Inn

The Family Hightower–Out Today

Brian Francis Slattery’s keen omniscience delivers the crime story of a century, a tale grounded on history and fact—obscure Americana, strange third world realities—taking the reader from 1995 Cleveland to  1986 Sub Saharan Africa before traveling back to prohibition and a 20th century historical tour of Ukraine and Romania. Where and when are we? We are all times … Continue reading The Family Hightower–Out Today

Novel Review–Black River

Beneath the surface of Black River, the taut debut by S.M. Hulse, flows the grey enigma of ultimate justice. The narrative forces the reader to ask: Does a recidivist criminal capable of torture, yet claiming to have found Jesus, deserve parole? Or would such redemption be an injustice to the man he brutalized decades earlier? By … Continue reading Novel Review–Black River

Review (Honduras) – Paradise in Front of Me

Paradise in Front of Me - Realizing Life’s Beauty in an Unexpected Place - by Kevin G. Finch (Honduras 2004–06) The recurring image in Kevin G. Finch’s Paradise in Front of Me is that of an impoverished Honduran child looking up at a locked schoolhouse door. Shut out again. The author and the residents of El Paraíso repeatedly find … Continue reading Review (Honduras) – Paradise in Front of Me