Saturday, November 10, 2018

Northtown Eclipse (Raimo Jarvi) by Robert White

It's hard to do something original with the PI story without involving robots and the undead. Robert White takes a shot, using the best weapon you can use. He has an original protagonist. A PI who has enough in common with the archetype we love but still brings something new to the table. In what reminded me of T. Jefferson Parker's Silent Joe he offers us a PI with a badly scarred face, Raimo Jarvi.
When his estranged brother is in a lot of trouble this PI steps in to help. Raimo is way less macho and slick than most guys in the genre. He's not the asskicking wisecracker but a troubled and romantic soul. There's quite some moving scenes in here and the whole writing has an interesting literate bend.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Back Mask (Dan Spalding) by Richard Prosch

Ex-cop turned record store owner Dan Spalding's old friend Digger has gotten himself into quite some trouble. When he blackmails the wrong person he needs some help to get out alive.
What follows is the hunt for the secrets an old record holds and the story behind an old skin magazine.
Dan's a pretty cool guy and the relationship with his beautiful employee goes to the next level in this one. Still, this is hardboiled fiction so you know it won't all be happy times.
A short, fast-paced novel with a nice and sleazy mystery and a cool protagonist it's a great read.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Wrong Light (Rick Cahill) by Matt Coyle

Some PI's (like my own Noah Milano) try to find redemption. Some PI's (like Dana King's Nick Forte) just get darker. Rick Cahill is one of the latter as well.
When sexy-voiced radio personality Naomi is stalked the radio station hires Rick Cahill to protect her and locate the stalker. Then a girl is abducted and Rick has to get involved with that while trying to work out his issues with the Russian mob he got into in the earlier books.
The several plot threads come together nicely and Rick keeps growing as a character. He becomes more hardboiled and darker as we near the exciting climax.
Nice pacing, good prose, good characters in a tight and traditional PI story every fan of the genre will enjoy.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Stripper! (Natalie McMasters) by Thomas A. Burns

Well, this is something different... The PI in this one isn't a 40-year old ex-cop with a drinking problem, not even a feisty thirty-something independent woman who cuts her hair with a nail clipper... Nope, she's a 20 year old bisexual college girl!
Natalie McMasters is going through college and working as a trainee at a PI firm when she gets involved with a webcam girl who gets killed. Trying to find out who is the killer while coming to grips with her sexuality she gets involved with police corruption and a cyber stalker.
Sometimes the plot veered a bit too much into eighties softporn thrillers for me (you know, the Shannon Tweed kind) but I have to admit this is one novel where we get most things we expect and crave from a PI novel while still doing some new stuff and putting the genre firmly in this era.
It could have been a bit shorter, the pacing isn't always good and the dialogue can falter. However, this is the writer's first PI novel so I expect him to become better with every new book in this new series.
It's something new while not entering supernatural or spoof territory, for that alone you should check it out.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Grimes' Punishment (Roger Grimes) by H.A.L. Wagner

A dark and action-packed tale featuring a unique anti-hero.
What a dark and action-packed tale. I had read a lighter PI tale after this one to get me out of a dark state of mind. The story reads well while listening to death metal (Morbid Angel in this case) I found out.
In this story we follow the journey of a criminal into a PI, his name is Grimes and he's very cool. He's big, he's got tattoos and he's a total badass. He's enlisted by a lawyer to do some good but when an old friend dies from heroin he just goes on a vigilante rampage through Daytona Beach.
The action is gut wrenching in it's realism, the characters described so well they get you either mad or give you a hard-on.
The story works both as a standalone but also as an introduction to a series.
All in all, a dark and action-packed tale featuring a unique anti-hero.