Monday, 30 November 2015

LOGGING THE LIBRARY - PART FIFTY-SEVEN

Books, books, more ferkin' books.........

Tub 57........ooh Agatha Christie!

William Boyd, Robert Rotstein, J. G. Ballard, Sam Savage, Eamon Loingsigh,

Eamon "Lynch" - US author.

Sam Savage - sounds like he ought to be playing in a punk rock group.

Lynne Raimondo, Adrian McKinty, John Florio, Carolyn Hart, Francis Beeding,

Carolyn Hart

Second Jersey Leo book

Harry Bingham, Sebastian Faulks, Zoran Feric, Patricia Highsmith, Erec Stebbins,

Lawrence Block, Walter Mosley, Robert Rotstein, Victor Gischler, Barry Fantoni,

Disturbing cover - Mosley standalone novel 

Hit man Keller book 4

Quirky PI book

Blog favourite, though I've not read him for a few years.

G. K. Chesterton, Thomas H. Cook, Elmore Leonard, Graham Hurley, Robert B. Parker,

G. K. Chesterton - 1908 book

Agatha Christie, Bill S. Ballinger x 2, Simon Kernick, Roy Keane,

UK crime

Bill S. Ballinger 50s two-fer.

Peter Corris, Jonathon King, T. Jefferson Parker, Simon Kernick, Quintin Jardine,

Cliff Hardy series book.

Nelson DeMille, Mark Billingham, Peter Spiegelman, Colin Bateman, Paul Thomas,

Bill Pronzini x 4, Ariel S. Winter x 3,

David Cray x 2, Guillermo Orsi,

Three connected books, forming one book, I think!

Tub 57 sorted.


HIGHLIGHTS...... David Cray, Victor Gischler, Elmore Leonard, John Florio, Barry Fantoni, Ariel S. Winter... to name a few


LOWLIGHTS....... not too sure about the William Boyd or the Graham Hurley to be honest - buy in haste - repent at leisure!

FULL LIST OF 50 AS FOLLOWS:


AUTHOR TITLE YEAR SERIES
BALLARD J. G. MIRACLES OF LIFE 2008
BALLINGER BILL S. PORTRAIT IN SMOKE 1950
BALLINGER BILL S. THE TOOTH AND THE NAIL 1955
BATEMAN COLIN TURBULENT PRIESTS 1999 DS3
BEEDING FRANCIS DEATH WALKS IN EASTREPPS 1931
BILLINGHAM MARK LIFELINE 2005 TT5
BINGHAM HARRY TALKING TO THE DEAD 2012 FG1
BLOCK LAWRENCE HIT AND RUN 2008 K4
BOYD WILLIAM THE BLUE AFTERNOON 1993
CHESTERTON G. K. THE MAN WHO WAS THURSDAY 1908
CHRISTIE AGATHA FIVE LITTLE PIGS 1942 HP24
COOK THOMAS H. BREAKHEART HILL 1995
CORRIS PETER MAKE ME RICH 1985 CH6
CRAY DAVID DEAD IS FOREVER 2004
CRAY DAVID PARTNERS 2003
DEMILLE NELSON THE GENERAL'S DAUGHTER 1992 PB1
FANTONI BARRY HARRY LIPKIN PI 2012
FAULKS SEBASTIAN CHARLOTTE GRAY 1998
FERIC ZORAN THE DEATH OF THE LITTLE MATCH GIRL 2007
FLORIO JOHN BLIND MOON ALLEY 2014 JL2
GISCHLER VICTOR THE DEPUTY 2010
HART CAROLYN CASTLE ROCK 1983
HIGHSMITH PATRICIA THE TALENTED MR RIPLEY 1955 R1
HURLEY GRAHAM NOCTURNE 1998
JARDINE QUINTIN SKINNER'S TRAIL 1994 BS3
KEANE ROY KEANE: THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY 2002
KERNICK SIMON THE CRIME TRADE 2004 TB1
KERNICK SIMON A GOOD DAY TO DIE 2005 DM2
KING JONATHON ACTS OF NATURE 2007 MF5
LEONARD ELMORE MR MAJESTYK 1974
LOINSIGH EAMON LIGHT OF THE DIDDICOY 2014
McKINTY ADRIAN IN THE MORNING I'LL BE GONE 2014 SD3
MOSLEY WALTER THE MAN IN MY BASEMENT 2004
ORSI GUILLERMO HOLY CITY 2012
PARKER ROBERT B. SPARE CHANGE 2007 SR6
PARKER T. JEFFERSON THE BLUE HOUR 1998 MR1
PRONZINI BILL THE STALKER 1971
PRONZINI BILL IN AN EVIL TIME 2001
PRONZINI BILL NOTHING BUT THE NIGHT 1999
PRONZINI BILL STEP TO THE GRAVEYARD EASY 2002
RAIMONDO LYNNE DANTE'S WOOD 2013 MA1
ROTSTEIN ROBERT CORRUPT PRACTISES 2013 PS1
ROTSTEIN ROBERT RECKLESS DISREGARD 2014 PS2
SAVAGE SAM FIRMIN 2006
SPIEGELMAN PETER NO WAY HOME 2005 JM2
STEBBINS EREC THE RAGNAROK CONSPIRACY 2012 I1
THOMAS PAUL THE EMPY BED 2002
WINTER ARIEL S. MALVINEAU PRISON 2014 T-YDT1
WINTER ARIEL S. THE FALLING STAR 2014 T-YDT2
WINTER ARIEL S. POLICE AT THE FUNERAL 2014 T-YDT3

Saturday, 28 November 2015

A FEW SNAPS OF THE LIBRARY! DAN FANTE - RIP

Most people have their books on shelves in a study or a living room, not me. I don't suppose I'm alone in my love for the written word, but maybe I have a few too many.

The library in the loft!

Fortunately the roof is quite high in the vast majority of the attic, so I could go higher than 5, but my confidence in the weight bearing capacity of the loft is getting to be a bit shaky!

An overview!

Tubs 'R' Us

All blue apart from a random grey!

A bit of a pain when the one I want is at the bottom!

Now where did I leave that Agatha Christie?

The unsorted un-photographed tubs!

View from the top!

A line of soldiers!
Sad news....... I heard that Dan Fante passed last week. He was featured recently in a two by post - 2 BY DAN FANTE!

His Guardian obituary is here. Time to read one of his books, I think

Friday, 27 November 2015

BILL PRONZINI - DRAGONFIRE (1982)


Synopsis/blurb………

It's a lazy mid-August Sunday afternoon. The "Nameless Detective" and his old friend Lieutenant Eberhardt are relaxing on the patio, drinking beer and shooting the breeze, when the doorbell rings. As Eberhardt answers the door, Nameless hears two sharp echoing reports - gunshots; they could only be gunshots. Rushing into the house, Nameless glimpses the bloody body of his friend sprawled on the floor - just before he feels a bullet strike his own chest.

While Eberhardt lies in a coma, Nameless is released from the hospital and hits the San Francisco streets, determined to track down the gunman. Facing the toughest case of his career, Nameless doggedly pursues the secret behind his friend's shooting - only to find himself plunged into an action-packed intrigue involving murder, bribery, violence, and the forces of organized crime in San Francisco's Chinatown.

The inimitable Nameless Detective, an overweight private eye of Italian descent with a penchant for pulp magazines, is in top form in this gripping, fast-paced tale.

"Pronzini is a pro."
- The New York Times

My 9th outing with Bill Pronzini and his PI - Nameless was a blast. Is there anything better than a lazy Sunday and reading a great tale cover to cover over the course of a day?

Probably fair to say I enjoyed this one a bit more than the last couple I read, perhaps it was slightly more straightforward as there was a focus on a single case – the shooting of Eberhardt and Nameless – rather than a few cases being juggled by our main man. I was less irritated by the re-emergence of Kerry – Nameless’ on-off, latterly off love interest as a possible on again back story. Perhaps it was Nameless himself being less of a sad-sack love-lost puppy dog that had me reaching for the sick-bag in the last couple of books. This time around he seems more assured and determined.

Nameless digs around Chinatown to get to the bottom of the mystery and butts heads with some of the less salubrious members of the Chinatown community. All this set against the back drop of an official police investigation getting nowhere and Nameless currently with his PI license suspended. 

Roll on book 10 in the series!  (Bindlestiff from 1983)

4.5 from 5


Bought copy – second hand a couple of years ago.

Thursday, 26 November 2015

DAVID WHISH-WILSON - LINE OF SIGHT (2010)


Synopsis/blurb………

When a brothel madam is shot on a Perth golf course in 1975 it should be a routine murder enquiry. But it isn't. In fact there's barely an investigation at all, and Superintendent Swann thinks he knows why. Heroin is the new drug in town and the money is finding its way into some very respectable hands. It's the brave or the foolish who accuse their fellow cops of corruption, and sometimes not even Swann is sure which he is. Especially when those he's pointing the finger at have mates in every stronghold of power in the state big business, organised crime, the government. He might have won the first round by forcing a royal commission, but the judge is an ailing patsy and the outcome seems predetermined. If that's not enough to contend with, Swann's teenage daughter has disappeared, he doesn't know whether she's alive or not, and the word on the street is he's a dead man walking. Line of Sight is classic crime noir, a tale of dark corruption set in a city of sun and heat.

My first taste of author David Whish-Wilson but not my last. Line of Sight takes us to mid-70s Perth – a city under the control of corrupt politicians and a bent police force. Drugs, prostitution and tax fiddles are the means of enrichment and if the odd brothel madam gets murdered in the meantime, to preserve the status quo, it’s one of the costs of doing business.

Frank Swann, a discredited cop with a missing teenage daughter tries to bring the whole charade down. Unfortunately he’s a man with few friends to watch his back. A Royal Commission may be the opportunity to blow the whistle, but with limited terms of reference, disappearing evidence, witnesses frightened into perjuring themselves or retracting earlier statements, the smart money is on failure.

We feel Swann’s isolation as he desperately tries to join the dots up concerning Ruby Devine’s murder. He’s an interesting protagonist; his heart in the right place though he feels guilt at having disappointed and failed his family. Flawed would be a fair assessment – he’s not above dispensing a beating to coerce information from a witness and he’s similarly stoic when on the receiving end.

Great setting, fantastic characters, pace, tension, paranoia, violence and a quest for justice. What I also liked was Whish-Wilson’s trust in his readership to join up the dots with an understated style of narration. Not everything is telegraphed.

Apparently the story is based around a true case. If so, it’s all the more scary because of it.  

5 from 5 

David Whish-Wilson has a couple of other books that sit on the stacks – Down in the Zero - a second Frank Swann book and The Summons – a tale set in Berlin in the 30’s. I’m reliably informed there is a third Swann book due in 2016 – happy days!


David Whish-Wilson has his website here and he’s on Twitter - @DaveWhishWilson


The author was kind enough to send me a copy for review. I’m just sorry it took me so long to get to it….2 years, ouch!

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

WALTER RHEIN - RECKLESS TRAVELER (2015)


Synopsis/blurb…….

Reckless Traveler: an autobiographical novel of adventuring in South America, sure to delight anyone with a passport. > > PerĂș and beyond: Through the alchemy of travel, youthful folly may bring disaster or wisdom . . . and more. > > The instructional travel guide for aspiring backpackers: learn how to bribe police, avoid malaria, and find employment abroad -- and what to do (and not to do) when armed mercenaries detain your charter bus. > > Awaken your inner explorer with Walter Rhein's Reckless Traveler, expat tales from a decade of discovery.

Another bit of a reading departure for me with Walter Rhein’s Reckless Traveler, an amusing anecdotal diary of his adventures, both mundane and otherwise from spending 10 years in Peru.

I think I enjoyed it in part because it wasn’t full of dramatic episodes fraught with peril and danger. We just accompany Walter as he immerses himself in an alien culture and the difficulties that presents.

Problems with language and interpretation, meeting people, finding accommodation, navigating the city, acquiring the necessary bartering skills, adapting to the cuisine and coping with minor hindrances – bed bugs, mosquitos/malaria. Unavoidable interactions with immigration on a quarterly basis and the obvious delight petty bureaucrats worldwide seem to take from messing with those they purport to serve.

What comes across is the warmth of the Peruvian people in general and our narrator’s genial disposition, as well as a willingness to adapt. He learns the language – not itself without an odd experience or two; before subsequently supporting himself by teaching English.

Just an enjoyable all-round trip.  

One passage of prose – relating less to Peru and more a memory from his childhood – struck me.

In Lima, the day passed, while everything I did brought back some vivid recollection from childhood. 

A thousand forgotten images came alive. Memories long locked away, lost in a sense, came forth due to the strangeness of my new surroundings. The exotic culture of Peru shook my thought patterns free from where they had settled, and gave a new twist to anything and everything I could recall.

I basked in it.

I found that revisiting old memories changes their nature. The advantage of an adult perspective takes the sting out of old wounds. Words remembered as being spoken in anger are revealed, upon examination, to be no more than a friendly jest. Revisiting instances of harboured guilt often expose that the action was not taken as a cruelty. All our perceptions are magnified and distorted by the mists of memory. The passage of time reveals we are neither as good nor as evil as we might have come to believe.

Such exploration is liberating.

4.5 stars from 5



Walter Rhein is on Facebook here and Twitter - @swordreaver    

Walter Rhein was born in northern Wisconsin. After earning a degree in English literature, he began traveling and teaching English in various parts of the world. He currently splits his time between South America and Wisconsin. He has also written in the fantasy-sci-fi genre.

The author supplied me a copy of Reckless Traveler for review.                         

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

2 BY TOM KAKONIS

Tom Kakonis is one of my favourite authors and Michigan Roll is one of my favourite books of all time. In truth I've probably read only 4 of the 7 books he has published, which kind of makes sense to me, because once they're gone they're gone and there's nothing left to look forward to. Only a re-read of course!





















Kakonis has written about 7 books to date, including a couple which came out in the 90s under the pseudonym of Adam Barrow. Disillusionment with the publishing game caused him to put down the pen for a number of years, before publisher Brash Books brought him back into the game.
After a gap of about 15 years – Treasure Coast came out in 2014. Since then Brash have republished all his titles including the two pseudonymously published – Flawless and Blind Spot.  


Treasure Coast was read and reviewed a year ago - here

Gamblers, low lives, mobsters, psychopaths and damsels sometimes in distress - sometimes playing a game....my kind of books!

His 7 books are.....

Timothy Waverly series

1. Michigan Roll (1988)
2. Criss-Cross (1990)
3. Double Down (1991)
4. Shadow Counter (1993)


Novels

Treasure Coast (2014)
Flawless (2015) 
Blind Spot (2015)

Michigan Roll (1988)

Ex-con, professional poker player Timothy Waverly travels to Traverse City, Michigan for a break... and falls into bed with a seductress named Midnight. She's an out-of-towner, too, there to rescue her self-destructive brother, who has stupidly ripped off a fortune in cocaine from a vicious Chicago mobster. Now she is being chased pursued by Shadow, a hemorrhoidal hitman who gleefully specializes in torture and rape, and Gleep, his muscle-bound henchman. The odds are stacked against her, but Waverly is a gambler who knows how to play them...

"A sure narrative voice, a richly shaded hero and heroine, nightmare-vivid villains, and a plot paved with switchbacks and big curves add up to classy, if brutal, crime entertainment: this one cooks," Kirkus Reviews

"Aptly compared to Elmore Leonard, Kakonis builds exquisite tension." Publishers Weekly

"Original, brutal, nightmarish. Kakonis is a sharp new gambler in the literary crap game. He just takes the pot,"

I've read Michigan Roll two possibly three times and when I couldn't find my dog-eared paperback copy, after reading Treasure Coast - I went out and bought another one!


Shadow Counter (1993)

Timothy Waverly, an ex-con and ambitious card shark, is up to his ears in trouble in Las Vegas as he becomes involved in an ingenious basketball point-shaving scam and matches wits with a calculating psychopath, with his sister's life at stake.

Monday, 23 November 2015

LOGGING THE LIBRARY - PART FIFTY-SIX

I must admit whilst I feel foolish about the number of books I have it is fun rediscovering titles and authors I have forgotten about, though unless I actually read them what's the point........

Tub 56!

Donald Westlake x 4, Richard Stark x 1 - same thing really!

Dortmunder series book

Alan Grofield - a mate of Parker's!

James W. Hall, Bill Fitzhugh, Donald Westlake, James Patterson, Garry Disher,

Aussie crime - a Wyatt series book,

Joe Nelms, Russ Litten, Carl Hiaasen, Max Pemberton, Harper Lee,

Scream if you want to go Faster!

New-to-me author

Thomas Perry, Anthony Price, Steve Redgrave, Stuart MacBride, Adam Hall,

Roddy Doyle, John McFetridge, Kim Zupan, David Cray x 2, Donald Westlake, Thomas F. Murphy,

Michael Dobbs

Dr. David Audley series book,

Stuart Pawson, Dallas Murphy, Elmore Leonard, Karin Slaughter,

Henry Porter, Stuart Pawson, Chris Petit,

David Peace, Anthony Price, Charles Perry, Leonardo Padura x 2, Kevin Power,

"Powerful and disturbing"

Another Audley series book,

Thomas Perry, Urban Waite, Charlie Higson, Marcus Trescothick, 

90s UK comedic crime!

James Patterson/Howard Roughan x 2, Tony Parsons, Leonardo Padura, Charles Portis,


Butcher Boy series book 3



HIGHLIGHTS.... Westlake-Stark, Garry Disher, Anthony Price, Thomas Perry, John McFetridge, Joe Nelms, David Cray,

LOWLIGHTS.... I've kind of inherited the Patterson and Patterson collaboration books from my son clearing out his stuff. I expect they'll entertain me to a greater or lesser degree if I get around to reading them, but I'm not eagerly anticipating them.

FULL LIST OF 50 AS FOLLOWS: 


AUTHOR TITLE YEAR SERIES
CRAY DAVID LITTLE GIRL BLUE 2001
CRAY DAVID WHAT YOU WISH FOR 2002
DISHER GARRY THE FALLOUT 1997 W6
DOBBS MICHAEL THE EDGE OF MADNESS 2008 HJ2
DOYLE RODDY PADDY CLARKE HA HA HA 1993
FITZHUGH BILL THE ORGAN GRINDERS 1998
HALL JAMES W. RED SKY AT NIGHT 1997 TPI6
HALL ADAM QUILLER'S RUN 1988 Q12
HIAASEN CARL NATURE GIRL 2006
HIGSON CHARLIE HAPPY NOW 1993
LEE HARPER TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD 1960
LEONARD ELMORE PRONTO 1993 RG1
LITTEN RUSS SCREAM IF YOU WANT TO GO FASTER 2011
MACBRIDE STUART BROKEN SKIN 2007 LMCR3
McFETRIDGE JOHN TUMBLIN' DICE 2012
MURPHY THOMAS F. EDGE OF ALLEGIANCE 2005
MURPHY DALLAS LUSH LIFE 1992 ADM2
NELMS JOE THE LAST TIME I DIED 2013
PADURA LEONARDO HAVANA BLACK 2006 MCM2
PADURA LEONARDO HAVANA BLUE 2007 MCM3
PADURA LEONARDO HAVANA FEVER 2009 MCM5
PARSONS TONY ONE FOR MY BABY 2001
PATTERSON JAMES CAT AND MOUSE 1997 AC4
PATTERSON/ROUGHAN JAMES/HOWARD SAIL 2008
PATTERSON/ROUGHAN JAMES/HOWARD HONEYMOON 2005 H1
PAWSON STUART LIMESTONE COWBOY 2003 CP9
PAWSON STUART SOME BY FIRE 1999 CP6
PEACE DAVID NINETEEN EIGHTY 2001 RRQ3
PEMBERTON MAX TRUST ME I'M A JUNIOR DOCTOR 2008
PERRY THOMAS RUNNER 2009 JW6
PERRY THOMAS THE INFORMANT 2011 BB3
PERRY CHARLES PORTRAIT OF A YOUNG MAN DROWNING 1962
PETIT CHRIS THE HUMAN POOL 2002
PORTER HENRY BRANDENBURG 2005 RH3
PORTIS CHARLES TRUE GRIT 1968
POWER KEVIN BAD DAY IN BLACKROCK 2008
PRICE ANTHONY COLONEL BUTLER'S WOLF 1972 DDA3
PRICE ANTHONY OTHER PATHS TO GLORY 1974 DDA5
REDGRAVE STEVE A GOLDEN AGE 2000
SLAUGHTER KARIN FAITHLESS 2005 GC5
STARK RICHARD LEMONS NEVER LIE 1971 AG4
TRESCOTHICK MARCUS COMING BACK TO ME 2008
WAITE URBAN THE TERROR OF LIVING 2011
WESTLAKE DONALD THE GETAWAY CAR 2014
WESTLAKE DONALD GOOD BEHAVIOUR 1986 D6
WESTLAKE DONALD JIMMY THE KID 1974 D3
WESTLAKE DONALD THE DAMSEL 1967 AG1
WESTLAKE DONALD THE BLACKBIRD 1969 AG3
WESTLAKE DONALD THE DAME 1969 AG2
ZUPAN KIM THE PLOUGHMEN 2014