Claire is a tough, no-nonsense paramedic who is called back to her home town to take care of her injured father. The sordid skeletons come rattling out of the closet as Claire is forced to confront her abusive childhood. Can any book live up to a title as good as Die, You Bastard, Die!? Jan Kozlowski’s blisteringly violent rush of grindhouse Gothic actually does. A corker!
Lenny is a ‘mark’ A long time wrestling fan who wants ‘in’. Paul O’ Brian’s fantastic debut crime novel opens with Lenny in a more than somewhat dazed and confused state after being involved in a car accident. The smartly woven story then moves backwards and forwards across the US and from the early ‘70s to the late ‘60s, and then back again, until it reaches a magnificent adrenaline pumping finale. Blood Turns Dollar Green has a rich cast of characters including a supposedly mute and South African giant, and a colourful cornucopia of gangsters and low – lifes. Brilliant.
Mike returns to his home town – the scene of a childhood tragedy – and picks at the sores of the past in Mark West’s marvellously written horror novella. West moves the story back to the ‘80s –when the town was being stalked by a serial killer – and then hurls it forward as Mike attempts to confront his inner demons. Full of atmosphere and aching with a sense of nostalgia and missed opportunities, What Gets Left Behind is chilling and moving story of regret.
Everett is a man with a dark and destructive history who is living a life that approaches normality – an artist wife, a young son, a house in the country. But then The Widow steps out of the past and forces Everett to return to his old, violent ways. Pearce Hansen is a splendid writer who has created a powerful, strange and affective kind of urban fairy tale with oodles of hardboiled action and social commentary to boot.
D I Ben Jordan returns for a second hard-hitting outing in J J Toner’s cracking Find Emily. Jordan has handed in his notice but is called in to find a missing child, the daughter of a big shot Irish businesswoman and a former American football star . Jordan know that he has maybe 24 hours to find the missing child and Toner breathlessly drags us along with him on his frantic search that includes encounters with the IRA, a sex traffic ring, corruption and much more. Find Emily is the sort of gritty, realistic crime thriller that would be topping the best seller lists, if there were any justice in the world.