Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Down On The Street by Alec Cizak

I’ve read and enjoyed Mister Cizak’s short stories.  His collection Crooked Roads is impressive, and I’ve looked forward to his longer work.  Down On The Street doesn’t disappoint.
Lester Banks is barely breaking even, working long hours driving a cab, abused by his employer, passengers, the world itself.  He’s not enjoying much in his life.
An unlikely hook-up with an attractive neighbor gets Lester thinking about a way out of his rut.  It works, for a while.
Mister Cizak’s writing is lean and to the point.  He gives the reader a story without any fluff or filler.
You can’t go wrong with this guy.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Silent City by Alex Segura

Silent City is the first book in Alex Segura’s Pete Fernandez series, and it’s a fine opener.  Early in the story, Fernandez, a sports writer for the Miami Times, is in a tailspin – missing deadlines, drinking too much, disappointing his friends and himself.  Close to being fired, he’s approached by an acquaintance and asked to locate the man’s missing daughter.

Mister Segura’s writing is lush, but always clear – you feel you are there in the newsroom, the bars, and the streets of Miami as Fernandez alternately stumbles and recovers, trying first to hold onto his life and then to reinvent himself, all while searching for the missing woman.

I look forward to the rest of this series and more from Alex Segura.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Life in a Haunted House by Norman Prentiss

My mother believed that high school graduations were sad occasions.  “For a lot of kids, those were the worst years of their lives, and for a few others,” she’d say, “those were the best.”

This book is about the former.  Broadly, what it’s like to be obsessed by an artist, in this case a motion picture director; how easily we misunderstand people, especially our friends; and how horrible it can be to be a teenager in high school.
It’s also about a son desperate to forge a connection with his father.

I have long been a fan of Mister Prentiss.  This latest effort does not disappoint.  As always, his writing is elegant.  He is capable of absolute emotional truth without a gram of sentimentality.

Get this book.

Disclaimer: I gladly received an advanced review copy of this book.

Crooked Roads by Alec Cizak

I’m partial to good short stories.  My only complaint with Crooked Roads was that I read the collection too quickly and wanted more.  I don’t like to give away plot – trust me – these stories satisfy.

Mister Cizak’s writing is blunt.  He gets to the point.  I can’t wait to read more of his stuff.

Get this book.  You won’t be sorry.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Noir at the Bar Crawl

I'll be in Baltimore, MD on May 21st.

More information soon.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Graveyard Love by Scott Adlerberg

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Mister Adlerberg, and while discussing fiction, he said, “I like creepy.”  He wasn’t kidding. 
This is the story of a man who’s had bad luck – so bad that he’s moved in with his mother to ghostwrite her memoir.  Then he sees a woman.
In Graveyard Love, Adlerberg makes a monstrous character sympathetic.  While this is often difficult to accomplish, here it seems effortless. 
The writing is elegant.
You won’t go wrong by reading this book. 

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Vern in the Heat by Rob Pierce

Vern is a bagman set up to fail in a deal gone wrong.  The betrayals mount up, compounding a bad situation.  All he has going for him are his wits and a will to survive.
This is fast-paced, bare-knuckles story telling. 
Do yourself a favor.  Drop everything and read this.