Friday, September 28, 2012

Review - Last Call for the Living

I've heard nothing but good things about 'Last Call for the Living' and had been itching to check it out for myself. I finally got my hands on a copy and what can I tell you, everyone was right.

Charlie Colquitt is a bit of a nerd, not in a world of warcraft kind of way, but a nerd none the less. When Hicklin, a hard ass career criminal, pokes his double-barreled nose through the doors of the bank where Charlie works, Charlie's existence suddenly becomes a wild and precarious thing.

But hold the phone, this book is so much more than a stand and deliver bank robbery caper. Peter Farris delivers a well paced story that uncoils itself like a Copperhead in the Georgia backwoods. 'Last Call' is an unflinching and heartfelt examination of the honor among thieves (or the lack of it). 
The characters we meet may all be hopelessly flawed as human beings, but they are unerringly real and honestly portrayed. You may not like them, but you have to believe them. For me Hicklin is the pick of the bunch, undoubtedly he's the worst of men, a catalyst for destruction who has few qualms about murder and nothing you would recognize as morals. The fact that there were times when I found myself sympathizing with him should tell you something about the quality of the writing to be found here.  

As a début novel 'Last Call for the Living' is about as good as it gets; eloquent, hugely enjoyable and hard as a truck load of six inch nails. Peter Farris is the real deal and brings an exciting new voice to the world of crime fiction. In my opinion you'd be a fool to miss out on hearing it.

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Legend of Johnny Kool

All out of bullets? Well no, not quite. I have had an unbelievable run recently and pretty much everything I've submitted has been picked up; so yeah, I do really need to quit dragging my ass and get down to writing some more. But I still got one or two rounds left.

 If you head over to Out Of The Gutter you'll be staring down the barrel of my latest. 'The Legend of Johnny Kool' is a story I've wanted to write for a while. I guess you could call it fan fiction, but not in the way you're thinking. Celebrity can be a blessing and a curse or so I'm told, it's not something I'll ever need to worry about!

A big thank you goes out to all round good guy, Court Merrigan for having me over to his Bareknuckles Pulp party. As parties go this one is all night spit and sawdust kegger with good music and better company, so why not grab a fifth and head on over: The Legend of Johnny Kool

Monday, September 17, 2012

Used Cars - Revenge isn't always sweet

'Mister on the day the lottery I win, I ain't never gonna ride in no used car again.'

Well, that's what Springsteen said, but for my part I would be straight down to the dealership for a vintage Challenger, like the one in my latest story.
I'm delighted to be back up at 'Near to the knuckle' with this one. Daz and Craig run an exceptional site. Just one look at the talent tells you that there are some seriously good stories on offer. A J Hayes, Gareth Spark, Joe Clifford & Chris Rhatigan (to name just a few) have all graced those hard boiled virtual pages. I only hope my short and nasty blast of exhaust gas is worthy of such fine company.
It's probably only the on set of my long awaited mid-life crisis, but there's just something about the engine note of a big block V8... But you should know revenge isn't always sweet, sometimes it's brutal: Used Cars

Monday, September 10, 2012

Dry Lightning

This wonderful weirdness by Mars Robinson is entitled 'Fallout Boy'.
Its the cover to the sixth issue of The Stone Hobo Magazine. Lurking behind it, you'll find one of my short stories.

'Dry Lightning' is set at the zenith of a long, hot Arizona summer, its a tale of endings and maybe also beginnings. I guess this is a little different to my usual noir / crime stuff, although there are still elements of those, it's more about the characters and the paths they walk.

It seems like I penned this one a long time ago, but on checking back I find it was only January this year. The real kicker for me is the event this story is based around took place all of 20 years ago. Whichever way you add it up, I'm getting old. But getting old is a damn site better than the alternative, so I'll take it.

I read the story through again today and you know what, I still like it. I hope you will too. Dry Lightning

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Fall Reads 2 - We're gonna need a bigger boat.

So here I was thinking I pretty much had things covered with a pile of good reading to take me well into the the winter months. But recently a whole truck load of hard-boiled treats for the kindle generation have appeared and are demanding to be added to roster. I wouldn't hold myself as no kind of a man if I didn't let you in on them.
41 stories, one great cause. Not only do you get some of the best names in crime fiction with this anthology, you also get that warm fuzzy feeling that can only be had from supporting a very worthwhile cause. For more information get over to Thomas Pluck's site and hear about it from the big man himself. Tommy P

This new novel from Snubnose Press is a collaboration from Frank Zafiro and Jim Wilsky. I must admit I'm not familiar with Frank’s work, but I'm a huge fan of Jim's short stories (He has a couple of crackers up over at Shotgun Honey) so I'm really looking forwards to dipping into this full length offering.

Joe Clifford is a real stand up dude and a damn fine writer. His début collection of short stories is another new release by Snubnose Press. If it's anything like his previous work published on-line it will be well worth the admission.

This is a Novella that harks back to the grand and gritty old age of pulp. 'Bluff City Brawler' is the latest in the 'Fightcard' series. Each book is written by a different author under the pen name of Jack Tunney. This particular little gem is by that wonderful purveyor of all things noir Heath Lowrance. 'Nuff said.

We can stick with Heath Lowrance as his second full length novel is also out this week. His first, 'The Bastard Hand was a damn fine tale. Heath tells me he thinks 'City of Hertics' is his best work to date. If that's even halfway close to the truth then this really is one not to miss.

There is also a plethora of new short stuff hitting the streets at the moment, including the first Shotgun Honey anthology, but more on them another time.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Noir at the Bar - Bouchercon Style

Bouchercon, THE crime fiction convention is only a month away. This year's event takes place in Cleveland OH and I'm oh so gutted that I will be stuck here, on the wrong side of the pond for it's duration.

Just to add insult to injury, the good people at Snubnose Press have announced readings by some of the top crime authors working today to coincide with the convention. Josh Stallings, Ryan Sales, John Kenyon, Eric Beetner, Jedidiah Ayres and Dan O'Shea are the guys taking part. If that line up doesn’t do it for you, then check for a pulse because you may well be dead. 
The event is free to attend (you don't even need to be registered for Bouchercon) and will be held at the Wonderbar on 2044 E. 4th Street on Friday 5th October. If you make it along there, I hope you enjoy it. But please don't ever tell me what I missed.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Ties That Bind - Review

Hey, I got a nice little review on one of my stories, posted over a Short Story 365 
Review by Sandra Seamans

'The Ties That Bind' is more of a character study than an actual story, but the writing and the characters keep you reading to the end. This story will stick with me a while as I wonder if things could have been different.

That really made my day. This story also picked up some great comments from a few well rounded individuals with excellent taste! No sock-puppets here, but I'll be buying the first round if we ever meet. You can check it out for yourself right here

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Fall Reads

'Summers gone, day's spent with the grass and sun'. Well that's how '90s rockers The Boo Radleys put it. I'm not sure that we got much sun here anyway, but with the holiday weekend in the UK just gone and Labour day now upon us, I guess that's all she wrote.
Pack up the lawn chairs and put the grill back in the garage 'cause next thing you know we will all be scraping the windshield and shivering. On the up side, dark evenings and colder weather make it a lot easier to find time to catch up on some reading and also help increase the daily word count. That stack of books on the end of my desk has grown to unstable proportions and I'm planning on making a dent in it. Here's a few that are on my hit list.

I've heard nothing but good things about Peter's debut novel and I can't wait to check it out for myself.

I know I'm late to this one, but I've kind of been savouring the prospect. Don Winslow is after all the crime writing equivalent of a very fine wine.

Okay, this one's on my electronic pile rather than the physical one, but I loved 'Beautiful Naked & Dead' so I can't wait to hook up with Moses McGuire again.

What's that you say, a short story collection from one of my favourite authors? Oh hell yes.

When I'm done, I'll be sure to post the odd review here on the blog and let you know what I thought. Whatever your reading, have a great fall y'all!