Friday, September 25, 2015

Two Redheads & A Dead Blonde (Ronan Marino) by Lloyd L. Corricelli

This isn't a novel... It's a comic book! It's also full of the stuff I love so here's my review.
Former Air Force investigator Ronan Marino won the lottery and now spends his time collecting comics, playing  in a band and as a vigilante. When his girlfriend is found dead, the cops pick him up, suspecting him of murder.
There's some fast action as he takes on neo-nazi arsonists and various other thugs. The dialogue is pretty fun with lots of references to comic books. The art isn't fantastic but serves to tell the story.
Marino is a pretty cool character and the supporting cast will be sure to help him along the way to have some interesting stories.
Pick it up if you love both comics and PI's.
If you don't dig comics, you can also pick up the prose novel version by the way. I will!

The Ashtabula Hat Trick (Milan Jacovich) by Les Roberts

If there's one prime example how to keep a series fresh for years it's this one.
Milan Jacovich as been around for about two decades now and I still love the guy. A few books ago Roberts made the brilliant idea to introduce sidekick K.O. Bannion, a young and angry man who gives the series the more modern edge it needs. With the introduction of Milan's new love the black homicide detective Tobe Blaine we have a great cast that reminds you of the old classic private eyes but still feels relevant and fresh.
In this novel  Jacovich and Bannion assist Blaine who investigates a number of homicides in Queenstown. What they encounter is redneck crooks, religious fanatics and a femme fatale.
Bannion gets enough asses to kick, Jacovich and Blaine's relationship deepens and there's some interesting moral questions being asked in the ending.
Awesome book.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Gold Coast Blues (Jules Landau) by Mark Krulewitch

Jules Landau returns, tougher than ever. We've seen him get a bit more hardboiled with every book and I like the fact he seems to have gained a bit more attitude.
Hired by a shady character to track down his missing girlfriend he gets involved with counterfeit expensive wine.
The fact wine is used as one of the reasons wrongdoings are being done is original. I am used to seeing either drugs or maybe art for that.
I liked the character of Amy, a psychic with a secret who has a love-hate thing going with Jules which made for some nice tension and fun dialogue.
There's some nice twist and turns to spice up the story, but a lot of it felt slow-moving. I'd say the novel could lose a page or 20.
Fairly standard, but not bad stuff. I will be along for the 4th one.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

The Shadow Broker (Finn Harding) by Trace Conger

I knew Finn Harding would be a bit on the shady side for a PI but what I got went beyond that. He crosses the criminal line frequently, although he doesn't seem such a hardboiled character from the first look. He's got a dad and a kid to look after for example and knows his way around a Search Engine.
Finn Harding lost his PI license some time ago and also divorced his wife. Now he not only wants to make a living but also figures having money might be the way to get his wife back. When he's hired by a black market information brokerage outfit he sinks deeper and deeper into the darkness.
Finn is a cool character, the the mix of regular Joe and hardboiled criminal / shamus is very interesting. The criminals are Elmore Leonard material and pretty original. The action is fast and furious.
All in all, an interesting new series. Great for fans of characters like Quarry, Burke or Parker.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

No Hard Feelings (August Riordan) by Mark Coggins

I was happy to get an advance review copy of this one. It's been some time since we last saw Mark Coggins' August Riordan, but here he is.
This is a pretty much different kind of book than earlier ones in this series. Earlier ones starred Riordan in a bit less effective Philip Marlowe, in this book he's more a less effective Jack Reacher.
Winnie, a tough girl from earlier book Vulture Capital returns, wearing some high-tech implants that enable her to walk. The man behind the implants wants his hardware back though, and Winnie enlists Riordan for help. What follows is a summer blockbuster kind of ride full of action, thrills and some romance.
I'm not entirely sure if I like the fact this series is moving into thriller instead of mystery territory, but it sure was an engaging and fun read.