Sunday, 5 July 2015

MATT COYLE - NIGHT TREMORS (2015)


Synopsis/blurb….

Nightmares of the man he killed two years ago still chase Rick Cahill through his sleep. The memory of his murdered wife haunts him during waking hours. His private investigative work, secretly photographing adulterers, paid for his new house but stains his soul.

When an old nemesis asks for his help to free a man from prison, a man he thinks is wrongly convicted of murder, Rick grabs at the chance to turn his life around. His investigation takes him from the wealthy enclave of La Jolla to the dark underbelly of San Diego. His quest fractures his friendship with his mentor, endangers his steady job, and draws the ire of the Police Chief who had tried to put Rick behind bars forever. With the police on one side of the law and a vicious biker gang on the other, all trying to stop him from freeing the man in prison, Rick risks his life to uncover the truth that only the real killer knows―what happened one bloody night eight years earlier.

Matt Coyle  again and another 5 star read.

Yesterday’s Echo was reviewed here.

The second Rick Cahill novel has our man working as a PI, sneaking around after cheating spouses with his camera taking happy-snaps. The pay’s reasonable but it’s draining work with little satisfaction to be had, profiting from other people’s misery.

Cahill despite some misgivings, signs up for a bit of moonlighting and a more interesting case. Randall Eddington was convicted of killing his parents and his young sister, but given Cahill’s previous experiences at the hands of La Jolla’s finest, there’s a possibility he may have been framed.

A biker gang, a stoned witness, the missing murder weapon, inadmissible evidence, a beating, another job loss, a new hearing for our convicted murderer and the ire of the police department again.

All the elements of an interesting and satisfying mystery present in spades – I said it with his last book – pace, action, character, setting and resolution – all ticks in the box.

I’m hoping Rick Cahill features in future books as I’m liking him.

330 pages – read in two days.

5 from 5

Author Matt Coyle was kind enough to send me a copy for an honest review.

He has his website here and is on Twitter - @coylem


Saturday, 4 July 2015

JUNE 2015 - FILMS AND TV

June wasn't too bad a month for some small screen viewing though from my notes. I don't actually seem to have watched much though, which is a bit puzzling because I didn't read more either.


This was a new release film with Melissa McCarthy, Jason Statham, Jude Law and Miranda Hart and was watched at the cinema. I do like  two out of those four. Melissa McCarthy is absolutely hilarious and Jason Statham sends himself up no end in the comedy spy thriller. Jude Law is ok, but I'm never going to be his biggest fan. The only downside was Miranda Hart, who happens to be about as funny as a kick in the proverbials with a steel-toed boot. The rest of the family think she is hilarious, and I had to sit through some re-runs of her series - Miranda in June.





A year behind everyone else and I watched the second last episode, but not the last - where did the time go? Our two main men just got re-acquainted in Vegas with predictable results.  


A couple of season 5 episodes - violent, brutal, gory - we are enjoying it in our house, though I don't have a clue who is doing what to who half the time.


Started in May, finished in June. Better than I thought it was going to be, but not amazing.


Watched a couple of months ago and watched again and still enjoyed. I like Sandler, though he's not to everyone's taste. Jennifer Aniston isn't too hard to watch either.


Others.......more Harry Potter re-watches, more Criminal Minds re-watches and nothing else that  I can recall.

July might be better as I got a couple of DVD films for Father's Day - Philip Seymour Hoffman - A Most Wanted Man and Liam Neeson in A Walk Among the Tombstones, based on one of Lawrence Block's Matt Scudder books. My son also bought me the first series of True Detective which we shall watch as a family at some point.

Friday, 3 July 2015

MATT COYLE - YESTERDAY'S ECHO (2013)


Synopsis/blurb….

Rick Cahill was never convicted of his wife's murder, but he was never exonerated either. Not by the police. Not by the media. Not even by himself. Eight years later, police suspicion and his own guilt remain over his responsibility in his wife's death. When he meets Melody Malana, a beautiful yet secretive TV reporter, he sees a chance to love again. When she is arrested for murder and asks Rick for help, the former cop says no, but the rest of him says yes and he grasps at a chance for redemption. But Rick's attempt to help turns terribly wrong, and he becomes a suspect in the murder and the target of a police manhunt. On the run, Rick encounters desperate people who'll kill to keep their pasts buried. Before Rick can save himself and bring down a murderer, he must confront the truth about his own past and untangle his feeling for a woman he can never fully trust.

BOOM! One page shy of 300 and I read this cover to cover in about 2 days flat.

Rick Cahill - ex-cop - with a troubled past, now working in the restaurant business, gets involved with a reporter, who herself has a shady past and a few secrets. Shortly after helping her evade a vindictive associate in his restaurant, the couple wind up in bed together.

A day later and Rick is immersed into another on-going nightmare. Most of the law-enforcement community in his area already think he pulled an OJ – by murdering his wife and skating free. Now Melody’s ex-husband - one of the guys she was in disagreement with the previous night has turned up dead, a few hours after Melody left Rick alone in his bed.

In addition to getting dragged into another murder case, the new life he’s forged for himself in partnership with his long-time friend, “Turk” Muldoon is threatened by the manipulative ex-Vegas casino man – Peter Stone. Stone is holding the proverbial loaded gun to Turk’s head and Rick’s life as a restaurateur just became untenable. Unless of course, he swallows his pride and accepts a role as Stone’s paid gopher.

Career problems soon take a back-seat when an article of Rick’s turns up at the murder site. A genuine mistake, or is someone setting him up?

Police, restaurant, blackmail, extortion, drugs, corruption, politicians, sex-tapes, lap-tops and lock-ups, death, DNA, secrets, hookers and businessmen, gambling, friendship, a dead ex-wife and a bitter family, bad publicity, social leprosy, stigma, TV, media, a ghost from the past, cops with an agenda and an ever-tightening net = frustration and the triggering of a primitive survival instinct.      

Cahill has a choice – flight or fight.

Really enjoyable, a tick in every box – setting, pace, plot, action, character, with a believable hero and satisfying resolution. 
  
Author Matt Coyle just got added to my list of must-read authors.
5 from 5

Bought recently on either Amazon or Abe.

Matt Coyle has his website here.

He's on Twitter - @coylem

His second Rick Cahill novel - Night Tremors should feature tomorrow or the day after!


Thursday, 2 July 2015

COL BURY - MANCHESTER 6 (2012)


Synopsis/blurb….

Manchester 6 focuses on the best and worst of human nature, personified in the gritty urban setting of Manchester, UK. It features a plethora of no-nonsense characters you’d ordinarily want to avoid. The six stories highlight generally decent folk who become embroiled with the lower echelons of society, aka scumbags. Whether it’s the paranoid, spliff-sucking writer who has an online spat, or an ex-soldier hunting a notorious gang, there’s conflict galore. 

Meanwhile, hell hath no fury, like a window cleaner ripped-off of his Christmas tips, and a heroic family man faces Al Qaeda and the decision of his life. When you add to the mix, the luckiest gambler in town having a ball, coked up in a lap-dancing club, and an eccentric ice cream van owner who pushes ‘friendship’ beyond the limit, you know something’s got to give, and, boy, does it! This collection oozes dark wit and has more twists and turns than a snake on speed.

Praise for Manchester 6

“Darkly funny, muscular prose with stark imagery. A must read.” – Richard Godwin, author of Apostle Rising.

“Top selection filled with dark humour, pathos and gritty action.” – Matt Hilton, author of the Joe Hunter thriller series.

“Snappy and powerful with realistic characters.” – Nick Quantrill, author of Broken Dreams.

“Col Bury’s Manchester 6 may well be the epitome of Brit Grit.” – Paul D Brazill, widely published British noir writer.

A short book of stories, but enough here to keep me amused and entertained.

My favourite concerns a window cleaner who snaps and sets in motion a revenge attack on the villain who has ruined Christmas for him and his kids.

Which isn’t to say that the others in the collection are too shabby either.

International terrorism comes to Manchester……. a good neighbour with a genial, generous nature gets taken for a mug…… Dogger Dave and his tiny appendage….plus plenty more besides

Violent, gritty, fast and furious with street language and touches of humour – sprinkled throughout.

There’s a piece at the back of the book where the author explains the inspiration behind the narratives, what conversations and chats inspired certain tales – an interesting peek inside a writer’s brain.

4 from 5

Purchased some time ago on Amazon UK for kindle.

Col Bury’s other selection of Manchester tales - The Cops of Manchester - will be shuffled closer to the top of the pile.    

About the author


Col Bury was born and raised in Manchester, UK, and is the crime editor of award winning ezine, Thrillers, Killers ‘n’ Chillers. His short stories can be found in many anthologies, including, The Mammoth Book of Best British Crime 9. His fiction is scattered around the blogosphere, at the likes of A Twist Of Noir and The Flash Fiction Offensive. A New York agent enjoyed Col’s online stories so much that they’re now working together developing his crime novel series. When he’s not working, being a daddy, writing, reading or editing, Col shoots pool or watches his beloved Manchester City FC.

His first novel was published last month - My Kind of Justice.
Website  - here
Twitter @ColBurywriter

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

S.C. HARKER - BINNACLE BAY (2014)


Synopsis/blurb…….

More than a year has passed, yet small-town Police Chief Pat Fitzlaff is still haunted by his failed love affair with Sasha Murdoch. A complaint about a barking dog and the sound of a gunshot at the home Sasha shares with her new husband brings Pat racing to the scene, his instinct telling him something is very wrong. When he arrives at the secluded beach house, he is confronted by an immense hound standing guard near Gus Murdoch’s lifeless body. Gus has been murdered, and Sasha is missing.

Now with the dog, Murphy, his constant companion, Pat begins an investigation that will jeopardize his job, his career and ultimately his life and Murphy’s to catch a clever and heartless killer with a long criminal past and an uncanny talent for disguise.

Best book ever? No but an enjoyable small-town murder mystery with a likeable main character, Pat Fitzlaff and a mysterious dog Murphy. Murphy, a massive hound appears on the scene at the initial murder. 

Gus Murdoch has been killed and his wife, Sasha is missing. Sasha was a previous girlfriend of Pat, our Chief of Police. Sasha was a freelance journalist and was researching a story, involving a couple of missing criminal associates and about $16 million in criminal proceeds.  

With Sasha disappeared, Mayor Logan, the head of the tourist town is keen to see the case closed quickly. Dead husband – missing wife = domestic strife. A further body lends some credence to his theory, especially if you don’t look too closely at the facts. With Fitzlaff refusing to play ball, Logan brings in another investigating detective who is quite happy to wind the case up.

Pat continues to poke and probe and pick away at the pieces, convinced the Sasha he knew wasn’t capable of murder. Friends of both him and our married couple, appear reluctant to disclose information on what Sasha was up to. Fitzlaff with the support of his close-knit team, both of them and with some input from a colleague in another out of town agency, in defiance of the mayor, remains convinced the heart of the mystery centres on our disappeared witnesses. With a few secretive and mysterious residents in Binnacle Bay, offering alternate suspects, he may nail the true killer.

Interesting setting, small-town politics, undue mayoral influence, plenty of secrets, plenty of gossip, a few local eccentrics, a bit of fishing and boating, the possibility of a little bit of romance for our police chief, a bit of retrospective yearning for the one who got away, all in all – a decent mystery albeit at a slightly less frenetic and violent pace than my usual fare.

Fitzlaff in the end resolves the case – and I must admit the author caught me out, though not sneakily. Retrospectively the subtle clues were there, but I missed them…..doh.
Enigmatic mystery author - Sue Harker

Only one mystery remained – where did Murphy get to?

4 from 5

The author was kind enough to send me a copy of this in return for an honest review.

Binnacle Bay is Sue Harker’s debut.


Binnacle Bay has also been reviewed at Kirkus - here.     

Can't find an online presence for Sue or an author photo!

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

2 BY LEE GOLDBERG

A couple this week from author, TV writer and producer and Brash Books owner/publisher – Lee Goldberg.

Both are related to Adrian Monk – a character in the hit TV series in which Lee Goldberg was heavily involved. I was never an avid fan of the series, but it was enjoyable enough when it was on and a not unpleasant way of passing an hour or so.

I reckon I will enjoy these without necessarily being blown away by them.









I have enjoyed the collaborative efforts of Goldberg alongside Janet Evanovich in the past year or so, 
His website is here.

Brash Books are here.








Mr Monk on the Road (2011)

Monk's out on the open highway-but crime is a hitchhiker that won't be ignored.
With his job secure and his wife's murder finally solved, Adrian Monk is feeling strangely...satisfied. He'd like his agoraphobic brother Ambrose to feel the same way, so Monk puts a secret ingredient in Ambrose's birthday cake: sleeping pills. When Ambrose wakes up, he's in a motorhome on the open road with Monk determined to show him the outside world.

But Ambrose isn't the only one struggling to let go. As little crimes pop up along the highway, Monk can't resist getting involved. Now it's up to Monk to stop a murderer from turning their road trip into a highway to hell.






Mr Monk on Patrol (2012)

When the local government of Summit, New Jersey, is hit with a string of arrests, Chief of Police Randy Disher finds himself acting as mayor. With a town to run and a series of robberies to investigate, he calls on Adrian Monk to serve as a temporary policeman.




Monday, 29 June 2015

LOGGING THE LIBRARY - PART THIRTY-EIGHT

Tub 38, books 1851 to 1900.........rough calculation, 10 books a month, 120 a year, 15 years reading minimum logged!

Pre-logging look!

Laura Lipman, Shane Maloney, David Baldacci, Steve Lopez, John Harvey,

Australian crime fiction - Murray Whelan.

Jeffery Deaver, Michael Harvey, Len Deighton, Alistair MacLean, Tony Hillerman,

Native-American crime

English espionage!

Debut novel - Michael Kelly series

Dan Kavanagh, John Del Vecchio,

Julian Barnes in disguise - a 4-fer about a gay PI.


Humour

Tim Relf, William Boyd, Chuck Culpepper, Danny King, Howard Jacobson,

Danny King - Crime diaries series

Garry Disher, Brian McGilloway, Richard Stark, Robert Mason, Leonard B. Scott,

Short stories

Parker series by from Westlake's alter-ego!

Donald Bodey, Joe T. Heywood, Fred Vargas, Robert Campbell,

Jimmy Flannery series book,

French crime

Vietnam novel,

Vietnam book, Michael J. Fox - autobiography, George MacDonald Fraser,

Another Flashman book,

Tom Cain, Gerald Seymour, Len Deighton,

Series espionage,

English author


Biography about a boxer falsely imprisoned.

Martin Beck series book,

East European intrigue

John Irving memoir,

Helen MacInnes book originally from the 30's

James Reasoner, Garry Disher, Jonathan Tulloch,

Sports fiction


James W. Hall, David Loyn

Short stories

Dan Vyleta, Tess Gerritsen,

Laidlaw series book,

Ron Rash - US Literature?


Hal Challis series book,

Classic Forsyth

Post-logging look!



HIGHLIGHTS........ A few here from my Vietnam reading period, I wouldn't mind reading or re-reading, Steinhauer, MacInnes, Vyleta and Irving look promising, as does Deighton

LOWLIGHTS....... Baldacci again, I'm no longer a fan of house-brick books,

FULL LIST OF 50..........


AUTHOR TITLE YEAR SERIES
BALDACCI DAVID THE SIMPLE TRUTH 1998
BODEY DONALD F.N.G. 1985
BOYD WILLIAM ARMADILLO 1998
CAIN TOM THE SURVIVOR 2008 SC2
CAMPBELL ROBERT W. NIBBLED TO DEATH BY DUCKS 1989 JF6
CULPEPPER CHUCK UP POMPEY 2007
DEAVER JEFFERY BLOODY RIVER BLUES 1993 JP2
DEIGHTON LEN SPY STORY 1974 HP5
DEIGHTON LEN SPY LINE 1989 BS5
DEL VECCHIO JOHN THE 13TH VALLEY 1983
DISHER GARRY STRAIGHT, BENT & BARBARA VINE 1997
DISHER GARRY THE DRAGON MAN 1999 IC1
FORSYTH FREDERICK THE DAY OF THE JACKAL 1971
FOX MICHAEL J. LUCKY MAN 2002
GERRITSEN TESS BODY DOUBLE 2004 JR+MI4
HALL JAMES W. PAPER PRODUCTS 1990
HARVEY MICHAEL THE CHICAGO WAY 2007 MK1
HARVEY JOHN LAST RITES 1998 R10
HEYWOOD JOE T. TAXI DANCER 1985
HILLERMAN TONY PEOPLE OF DARKNESS 1980 JC1
HIRSCH JAMES S. HURRICANE FIGHTER: THE LIFE OF RUBIN CARTER 2000
IRVING JOHN THE IMAGINARY GIRLFRIEND 1996
JACOBSON HOWARD WHO'S SORRY NOW? 2002
KAVANAGH DAN PUTTING THE BOOT IN 1985 D3
KAVANAGH DAN FIDDLE CITY 1981 D2
KAVANAGH DAN GOING TO THE DOGS 1987 D4
KAVANAGH DAN DUFFY 1980 D1
KING DANNY THE BANK ROBBER DIARIES 2002 CD2
LIPPMAN LAURA BALTIMORE BLUES 1997 TM1
LOPEZ STEVE THE SUNDAY MACARONI CLUB 1997
LOYN DAVID FRONTLINE: REPORTING FROM THE WORLD'S DEADLIEST PLACES 2011
MACDONALD FRASER GEORGE FLASHMAN AND THE MOUNTAIN OF LIGHT 1990 F9
MACINNES HELEN ABOVE SUSPICION 1939
MACLEAN ALISTAIR WHERE EAGLES DARE 1967
MALONEY SHANE THE BIG ASK 2000 MW4
MASON ROBERT CHICKENHAWK 1983
McGILLOWAY BRIAN BLEED A RIVER DEEP 2009 IBD3
McILVANNEY WILLIAM STRAIGHT LOYALTIES 1991 JL3
RASH RON THE WORLD MADE STRAIGHT 2006
REASONER JAMES TEXAS WIND 1980
RELF TIM STAG 2004
SALLAH/WEISS MICHAEL/MITCH TIGER FORCE 2005 N
SCOTT LEONARD B. THE HILL 1995
SEYMOUR GERALD THE UNTOUCHABLE 2001
SJOWALL/WAHLOO MAJ/PER THE ABOMINABLE MAN 1972 MB7
STARK RICHARD BREAKOUT 2002 P21
STEINHAUER OLEN THE BRIDGE OF SIGHS 2003 YB1
TULLOCH JONATHAN THE SEASON TICKET 2000
VARGAS FRED SEEKING WHOM HE MAY DEVOUR 2004 CA2
VYLETA DAN PAVEL & I 2008