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.

Friday, July 13, 2018

The Unknown Devil (C.T. Ferguson)

Hacker / PI C.T. Ferguson is back in his second full novel. I've enjoyed his novellas and short stories but this my first of his full-length reads. He actually seems a bit more of a standard PI in this one compared to those.
He's hired to find a missing programmer while a crime boss tries to hire him to develop some ransomware. There's a lot of stuff about ransomware and computer wizardry but because the writer works in the cybersecurity business it's all pretty realistic and well described.
C.T.'s dalliances with the ladies add some nice spice, but I could have done without the Spenser-style scenes of him cooking.
There's some nice action scenes in this one as well, especially the hand-to-hand combat scenes were some of the best I've seen written in PI fiction.
All in all another solid entry in the series.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Cannon's Mouth (Rafferty) by W, Glenn Duncan

When Rafferty gets mistaken for a hitman. He tries to warn the intended victim but is too late. Then the chase for the real killer starts.
I'm a fan of this series, and the mood is always nice and breezy but this time the plot seemed a bit too thin. Also, while not a long book I had a feeling the story could be told in half the pages.
Still, if you like Spenser you will absolutely enjoy this fun and action-packed series. If you dislike this particular one, don't be discouraged, the other books are better.