American Tabloid*

In one quick blow The AP updates James Ellroy’s 1950’s noir as contemporary political sleaze. National Enquirer hid damaging Trump stories in a safe WASHINGTON (AP) — The National Enquirer kept a safe containing documents on hush money payments and other damaging stories it killed as part of its cozy relationship with Donald Trump... Tabloid … Continue reading American Tabloid*

Fiction Review—Napawaupee County Blues

From the start, we know what crime lands ‘Cool Hand’ Luke on the county chain gang: cutting the heads off parking meters. He’s sent up for decapitation of authority, and all that follows bears the symbolic weight of his crime. Ted Prokash gives it to us another way. Napawaupee County Blues (Expat Press, 2018) describes life … Continue reading Fiction Review—Napawaupee County Blues

Miles of Fun, Miles of Files

Paul Panepinto is bored at work. How could he not be? He’s a painter trapped by lapsed policies, cold chocolate in a Federal Funding mug, and long stints of muzak while on hold with Mortgage Depot. Also there are his smarmy daydreams of ‘better times’ with Suzanne Biedertyme to get him through the monotony. Panepinto … Continue reading Miles of Fun, Miles of Files

Murder and the Father of American Diplomacy

We all know Ben Franklin as one of the nation's earliest Renaissance Men: scientist, printer, writer, businessman, scholar, politician, diplomat. Fireman. In David R. Andresen's short mystery Murder in a Blue Moon Ben takes a break from his more gentlemanly pursuits, such as chess, to solve a serial murder in Philadelphia. It's fall of 1752, the American Experiment … Continue reading Murder and the Father of American Diplomacy

Crook v Crook v Crooked Cop

Hardboiled noir fans: Bob Truluck delivers a lot more than promised in The Big Nothing. That’s no backhanded compliment. The promise includes a vicious series of showdowns, a coterie of sadists and pervs, and a few well-intentioned rubes caught up in a game bigger than the pile they’re after. The cast of criminals and dirty … Continue reading Crook v Crook v Crooked Cop

Guy Walks Into a Bar

Guy walks into a bar. Orders a Preston Lang. Barkeep asks, “What’s a Preston Lang?” “Rye. With a hint of the barrel.” “Neat?” “Yeah. That too.” Anyone who missed Lang’s first two crime paperbacks, The Carrier and The Blind Rooster, ought to jump right in and read The Sin Tax. Hard, straight writing. Contemporary plot. … Continue reading Guy Walks Into a Bar

Peace Corps Writer’s Crime Debut

Congrats to fellow Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Chris Orlet (Poland, 1992-94), who's debut novel In the Pines came out this month from New Pulp Press. New Pulp is home to many other fine noir and crime writers like Mark Richardson (see my review of Hunt for the Troll--2015). NPP released my neo-noir satire, Two Pumps for the Body Man, this … Continue reading Peace Corps Writer’s Crime Debut

DeWildt’s Brutal Rural Noir

C.S. DeWildt writes a sick rural noir in Kill ‘Em With Kindness, no surprise given the strength of his previous release Love You to a Pulp. The narrative blazes through the rural backwoods of Horton burning down churches and meting out vengeance on more than a few good ol’ boys—some who deserve it, some who don't. And … Continue reading DeWildt’s Brutal Rural Noir

True Crime Review: Ivory Tower Cop

George Kirkham and Leonard Territo pair up to deliver an informative, fast-paced police procedural in Ivory Tower Cop, exploring a serial rape case based on actual events. The thriller digs into half a dozen savage crimes, the latest developments in forensic science, arcane Biblical studies, historical detail from The Third Reich, and Nazism’s reach into … Continue reading True Crime Review: Ivory Tower Cop

Cheney: still wrong after all these years

Former veep, elegantly cloaked in fiction Crediting Dick Cheney for his rebuke of Donald Trump's bigotry gets no traction with me. Sorry Dick: you can’t make up for decades of reckless decisions and bad policy based on one easy moment of obvious decency. You’re still a modern architect of the very party now on the verge of nominating a racist … Continue reading Cheney: still wrong after all these years