Crime Fiction: The Cost of Doing Business

Jonathan Ashley crams a lot into The Cost of Doing Business, from ghetto shootouts with Tec-9s to sociological laments about middle class norms. It’s got elements of the tough-talking hood narrative, and the book is entertaining in places, but ultimately much of the action is muddled by drawn out sentences and the narrator’s distracted observations. What … Continue reading Crime Fiction: The Cost of Doing Business

Lang Speaks

Just stumbled upon Stuart Beaton's podcast featuring my old buddy Preston Lang. The conversation between the two is thoughtful and funny, a mirror of Lang's writing. If you like noir, pick up The Blind Rooster; if you like crime fiction, it's The Carrier, both released last year. As for this podcast: Do we really need a 90,000-word book … Continue reading Lang Speaks

Review: Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!

This review appears in the latest issue of Crime Factory magazine--the excellent Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite! by Douglas Lindsay. Enjoy, coffee drinkers and Beatles lovers! Before Douglas Lindsay’s Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite! descends into nightmare, the narrative hints at a story about the ho-hum life: the humorous musings of a middle-aged man resigned to a tired … Continue reading Review: Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!

Christmas at Pilchard’s Diner

I enjoyed co-authoring the following piece with my son. Poor kid’s got Christmas on the brain. No harm; so do I. Merry Christmas, everyone. Christmas at Pilchard’s Diner Pilchard worked as a short order cook in his own diner on the outskirts of town. The patrons were a rough mix of millworkers and truck drivers, … Continue reading Christmas at Pilchard’s Diner

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

The Return of Preston Lang

Stoked to learn Preston Lang will be back soon with his second crime book, The Blind Rooster, a "crude slice of American Noir, sunny side down". Echoes of Jim Thompson and Elmore Leonard? Bring it. Preston Lang released his discreetly funny debut, The Carrier, last spring, weaving three narrative threads into one heartless tale. Drug courier Cyril and stick-up girl Willow pursue … Continue reading The Return of Preston Lang

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 – The Family Hightower

Blood Sport and the American Dream The Family Hightower takes a savage and intelligent look at the American Dream, asserting an inextricable link between capitalism and crime in a voice that borders on the eternal.  Appropriate, considering the timeless and unattainable aspiration of Brian Francis Slattery’s characters: to “get out”, to escape the prison of wealth and violence … Continue reading Review – The Family Hightower

Crime Novel Review – Under A Russian Heaven

Laurence Walker’s debut novel opens on a high wire between the noir and the literary. Here’s an obviously talented writer with an instinct for giving and withholding detail, at once building and satisfying tension. His technique hints at a pulse just below the surface, something buried alive beneath layers of detail, which the author promises … Continue reading Crime Novel Review – Under A Russian Heaven