San Francisco: Crime and Baseball

San Francisco--can you get any stranger? Spiked baseball bats chained to parking meters all over town. They appeared, 27 of them, on Thanksgiving: preparations for the Black Friday zombie shopper apocalypse? Speaking of crime, baseball, and the City by the Bay: check out Tom Pitts' Knuckleball... The whole city of San Francisco wants a cop-killer caught. Over … Continue reading San Francisco: Crime and Baseball

The Blind Rooster Jumps to Paperback

Preston Lang’s The Blind Rooster (Crime Wave Press) is now more pulpy than ever before. It's recently been made available in paperback! Reading this dime-store crime tale is 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 … Continue reading The Blind Rooster Jumps to Paperback

Review: C.S. DeWildt’s Love You to a Pulp

C.S. DeWildt’s Love You to a Pulp packs two narratives, tight spirals driving like hammerdrills against the cranium til they breach the dark cavern beneath. You’ll know it when you get there underground with him. In the first narrative glue-nose dick Neil McGrath sniffs out a mystery involving the pharmacist’s daughter in a Podunk southern town. In the … Continue reading Review: C.S. DeWildt’s Love You to a Pulp

The Halloween Hundred

Dragons Are Dangerous Mulridge interrogated the boy, chilled by his flat voice and steady hands. Twenty years in police psychiatry, he’d never met so cold a child. “You’re a knight?” Mulridge said. “Is that dragon blood on your costume?” “I’m a knight. Knights kill dragons.” “Did you know the dragon you killed was your brother?” … Continue reading The Halloween Hundred

Review: Gateway to Paradise

The six stories in Matthew Vollmer’s Gateway to Paradise (Persea books) plow dark furrows across the landscape, furrows at once unified yet unique, parallel channels promising individual reward. The unifying darkness is subtle, distinct, reassuring in its way. It is a darkness that blooms rather than dooms, mesmerizes rather than terrifies, reveals rather than obscures. As for … Continue reading Review: Gateway to Paradise

One Dead Cop: the Wattpad Experiment

My Wattpad experiment comes to an end. I'll publish my conclusions next week. For now, here is the rest of One Dead Cop. Pick up where you left off below, or read from Part I. 4 Palm Massacre Darko’s voice comes hushed and urgent over the phone. I have something for you. An accident? Fitch … Continue reading One Dead Cop: the Wattpad Experiment

Heat Advisory: Interview with Preston Lang

I recently pretended to sit down with good friend and acclaimed crime writer Preston Lang to talk about a few things. We covered the emotional intelligence of peanut eaters, the role of fire hydrants in the government's summer emergency plans, and the collected work of Franklin W. Dixon, among other things. If you’re eager for more Preston Lang … Continue reading Heat Advisory: Interview with Preston Lang

Review–Old Sparky

My copy of Old Sparky—The Electric Chair and the History of the Death Penalty arrived the day after a federal jury ended 14 hours of deliberation during which they concluded that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev deserved death for his role in the 2013 Boston Marathon attack. This was no accident. I requested the copy as a means of examining … Continue reading Review–Old Sparky

Review: Black River by S.M. Hulse

This brilliant debut was released January 21: 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 … Continue reading Review: Black River by S.M. Hulse

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