Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Blood On Canvas (C.T. Ferguson) by Tom Fowler

 The C.T. Ferguson series always reads like you are watching a TV show and this one does more then ever. 

In this one Ferguson tries to find a stolen painting that is exceptionally bad. Why would anyone steal that is one of the biggest mysteries.. What follows is a fast-paced story with Ferguson taking on some drugrunners ending in an action-packed finale.

I love the concept where Ferguson works for his clients without pay, but gets paid after closing the case by his rich parents. This concept, and the pacing of the series always keeps me coming back.

This one might go a bit overboard for me in the NCIS-routine though. Just a bit too much Feds showing up, almost too much action and too much computer wizardry. It just became more of a thriller than the kind of PI mystery I love. I should say though, that the computer stuff is believable (Fowler works in IT) and not the Sci-Fi stuff you see in the Magnum reboot and the NCIS shows. Also, I will admit Tom Fowler writes great action scenes. What I like about how he does that is that he uses minimal description of the fights which really makes you ''see'' the action in your mind without slowing down the scene. There's some nice ass-kicking in this one.

You can pick up this novella as part of this bundle: https://books2read.com/deadsilent/

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Favorite Sons of 2020

 In 2020 I read more horror and biographies than PI fiction. Still, I read enough to have some favorites. So, as every year, here they are.

BEST PI NOVEL: Rolling Thunder (Hammerhead Jed Ounstead) by A.J. Devlin

BEST NEW PI: Arch Dixon (in One Mississippi) by Steve Ulfelder

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

PI Tales Double Feature: Crimson Smile (Rick Malone) by Michael Pool & The Path of Jackals (Fennec Suleiman) by Hunter Eden

 I am a sucker for novellas, having written quite a few myself. I think it is a great idea to combine two novellas in one book. This way you have the page count and price tag to help the book get noticed on Amazon and still can tell strong, shorter stories. What I like about the novella format is you can get right to the story, keep the action going without boring the reader. 

The first tale is a Rick Malone one by Michael Pool. The fact Michael is a real-life PI gives the story a nice authentic feeling. Malone is hired to prove a wealthy woman killed her husband in self-defense. What follows is an interesting tale with a nice surprise ending. Although Malone's character isn't very unique, the plot and investigation was pretty enjoyable.

The second tale features a very original PI. Not only is the story situated in Egypt, but the protagonist, Fennec Suleiman is one of a kind. He's got some kind of brain damage that causes him to see the form of Anubis. This Egyptian mythological character gives him advice during his investigation of a missing young American girl. The story isn't for the faint of heart and veers a bit into horror territory sometimes. Not surprising as the author, Hunter Eden, has been writing in that genre a lot. It gives a nice dark look at our current Youtuber-culture in a chilling and exciting story. This should win a Shamus Award!

Great, fast-paced reads. Looking forward to more in this format.

Monday, December 28, 2020

Don't Shoot The Drummer (Lou Crasher) by Jonathan Brown

 Lou Crasher, the drummer/PI is back in action. When a gang of criminals robs houses that are ''tented off'' for fumigation he is hired by the mother of a security guard that was killed by the gang to track them down.

The criminals turn out to be an interesting bunch and we have some chapters from their P.O.V. Lou is always a cool character, the drumming angle is nice and he can be a pretty tough guy.

Unfortunately there is no mystery and the plot didn't really grab me as much as the first novel in this series. I will be reading the next one in the series to hang out with Lou again but hope the plot will be more interesting.

Monday, November 23, 2020

The Mechanic (John Tyler) by Tom Fowler


Having enjoyed Tom Fowler's C.T. Ferguson books for some time now I was excited to read the first full-length John Tyler novel. Somewhat of a departure from the PI novels that the Ferguson series consists of I did enjoy it. This is more of a straight action thriller kind of book in the Lee Child/Jack Reacher vein.

John Tyler is a single dad. He retired from the army some years ago. Recovering from PTSD, he now works as a mechanic. When his former commander, who has a big bone to pick with Tyler gets out of jail and threatens Tyler's loved ones he has to pick up arms once again.

While the plot is rather thin and John is perhaps a bit less original a character than C.T. Ferguson the pacing is enjoyably fast. What Fowler excels in, is describing really cool action scenes. He hands you just the correct amount of detail so you can see the action in your hand without slowing down too much.

And though the plot is a bit thin, it does set up the stage for the series quite nicely. I am interested in finding out how Tyler gets involved in a new adventure in the second book. I do hope the plot will be a bit more interesting.