Thursday, April 30, 2009

Dead Man's Dust (Joe Hunter) by Matt Hilton

If you enjoy Lee Child's Jack Reacher novels, Stephen Leather's books or Don Pendleton this is the book for you. The first in a new series we are introduced to vigilante Joe Hunter and his pal Rink as they look for Joe's brother. He's gotten mixed up with a dangerous serial killer, dubbed The Harvestman and travels across the USA as Hunter and Rink do.
There's an awful lot of violence in this baby and if you dislike that sort of thing this might not be your cup of tea. Matt really knows his combat, that's very clear from every hardboiled page. Harvestman is a cool but somewhat over the top villain and Joe Hunter is a capable soldier, surely good enough to star in a long-running series. I can see why Matt Hilton got the big advance for his stuff, it's great, commercial dicklit but might not appeal to the visitors of this site who prefer subtler stories or crave for a bit more realistic stories. I however will absolutely be there in six months when the new Joe Hunter novel comes out.r

A Tight Lie (Huck Doyle) by Don Dahler

If you know ''tight lie'' is a golfing term you might get a bit of an idea what to expect... The PI in this debut novel is a professional golf player. He does know how to handle himself in a fight however and is backed up by a tough cop (who surprised me by his true identity) and a paraplegic FBI brother. Yep, he's hardboiled enough to appeal to all of you loyal visitors. The mystery centers around the death of a young girl and the ballplayers suspected of killing her. There's a refreshing lighter side to it all that reminded me of Harlan Coben's Myron Bolitar novels. Add to that the same sports-setting and I can really recommend this one to Bolitar-fans.
The absence of quotation marks for dialogue makes it a bit hard to read at times but that is made up for by the crisp writing style and layout of the book.
For me this one was one of the biggest surprises of 2009. Very enjoyable.

The Good Son (McNee) by Russel D. McLean

Dundee is the setting of this PI-tale featuring McNee, a depressed private investigator mourning the death of his wife. He is hired by James Robertson to find out why his brother killed himself. When some hard men from London appear the case becomes a very dangerous one!
As much a tale about McNee and his grief as a crime novel it follows in the footstops of Ken Bruen and his followers like Tony Black that show us that hardboiled is not all about the mystery but as much about the protagonist and the dark world he lives in. That said, with all the dark stuff coming out of Scotland these days I must say I wouldn't want to live there! ;-)