Categories
New Releases

New Releases, July through Octoberish

While I was gone, a few books were released. Here are some. A magazine and journal release article will be out next week sometime.

Home Invasion
by Patricia Abbott
(Down and Out Books)

Home Invasion, a novel in stories, looks at two generations of the Batch family over forty years, and the ways in which alcohol, petty crime, poor parenting, and bad choices have had a negative impact on them.

Each story in the book advances their journey by a number of years. The stories can stand alone but read together tell a tale that is both unique and familiar.

“Home Invasion” examines poverty, poor education, crime, sexual identity, parenting and other contemporary issues.


Everybody Hurts
by Ian Ayres
(Fahrenheit Press)

The last few years have been tough ones for John Sissons and in this 3rd book of the series he’s struggling under the emotional weight.

Even as he does his best to keep his head above water and deal with the everyday pressures of life, he’s forced to revisit  the events of his past and the emotional repercussions which never seem too far from the surface.

With his parents gone, his relationship in difficulties and his job hanging by a thread John must rely on the love and support of those closest to him to steer himself back from a dangerous place.

The author’s dedication at the start of the book set’s the tone in this the most emotionally honest book of this extraordinary series so far.


Kraj the Enforcer
by Rusty Barnes
(Shotgun Honey)

Meet Kraj—pronounced krai—a low-level errand boy and hitman masquerading as a bouncer for Tricky Ricky Gutierrez, nefarious owner of the Twist, a club in upstate Elmira NY. A place that has both a LGBTQIA night and a cowboy country night, this cockeyed corner bar in northern Appalachia supports Ricky’s illegal schemes, and serves as a rural balm for Croatian-war refugee Kraj.

Kraj plies his trade over a short span, moving from petty theft to strong-arming tips from people at the door, breaking up redneck fights, protecting the club’s nubile female staff and collecting gambling debts owed Tricky Ricky. Kraj eventually gets sucked further and further into Ricky’s underworld plans, where he wants to be seen as a man on the come-up, but he has problems moving up in Ricky’s organization will never solve. His sister Ana, missing since the Croatian War for Independence, never strays far from his mind.

Kraj, together with his sometime girlfriend Cami, newly become manager of a franchisee McDonald’s, and his manager Mikael. negotiates his way through underground fight clubs, prostitution rings, drug deals, petty thievery, and of course, murder. Tricky Ricky gives Kraj a great deal of rope and autonomy to operate.

Will he hang himself with it or swing?


Gumshoe Blues
by Paul D. Brazill
(Close to the Bone)

Following the breakdown of his marriage, in a booze-addled flash of inspiration, Peter Ord decides to become a private investigator. Dark farce and tragicomedy soon ensue. Peter must tackle many challenging cases, and when he comes under the radar of a local crime lord, he may have bitten off more than he can chew. With sidekicks, like boozy hack, Bryn Laden, failure is not an option – it’s compulsory.


Lake County Incidents
by Alec Cizak
(ABC Group Documentation)

Welcome to Lake County, a group of small towns near Gary, Indiana, where the macabre and unusual collide with contemporary life and throw ordinary men and women out of their comfort zones and into the unthinkable. In these twelve stories, a ghostly presence leaps off a satellite image on the Internet and terrorizes the real world, a drug allows its users to interact with the dead, a popular energy drink turns consumers into religious zealots, and a couple discovers a window in their bathroom where the sun always shines, even if it’s midnight. These and other disturbing tales await you in Lake County Incidents, a collection of weird fiction steeped in the traditions of the classic pulps, set against the backdrop of the crumbling industrial landscape of rural America.


Guns & Tacos (Season One)
edited by Michael Bracken & Trey R. Barker
(Down & Out Books)

“Tacos de Cazuela con Smith & Wesson” by Gary Phillips: Why does an ER doctor used to dealing with the physical and psychological trauma of gunshot wounds obtain a handgun? What exactly has brought her to this breaking point, and what will be the consequences when she puts her plan into play on the infamous South Side of Chicago?

Three Brisket Tacos and a Sig Sauer” by Michael Bracken: Joseph “Joey D” Garrett owes everything to his Aunt Sylvia, including a stint in the Stateville Correctional Center. When he’s released, Joey returns to the only life he knows, and he soon becomes an instrumental part of his aunt’s plan to rob four banks in a single day.

Before that can happen, though, Joey meets Gloria Sanchez, and she turns his life upside down. Gloria’s everything his aunt isn’t, and their developing relationship makes him think about how life could be if he weren’t so dependent on Sylvia. When he’s forced to choose between the two most important women in his life, Joey finds the answer in a take-out bag from a taco truck.

“A Gyro and a Glock” by Frank Zafiro: Tim never wanted to hurt anyone. He certainly didn’t want to get hurt. Mostly, he just wanted to hang out with his best friend Ernie and enjoy their high. But an overbearing cop and a series of rough drug dealers conspired to make that impossible.

Pressured into becoming an informant, Tim finds himself slipping deeper and deeper into dangerous territory, until there seems to be no way out. Until Ernie tells him about a very special taco truck…

“Three Chalupas, Rice, Soda … and a Kimber 45” by Trey R Barker: A promotion that left a bad taste in a cop’s mouth, another predator online trying to steal the body and soul of a young girl, a girlfriend wearing a badge. And all seen through the eyes of an internet exploitation investigator who’s lost in the horror of the past.

It all comes together in the darkness of Chicago mere hours after a sergeant visits the taco truck. One of two men, a lieutenant or the sergeant, will come out on top, but neither realizes exactly the cost to be the winner.

“Some Churros and El Burro” by William Dylan Powell: Tomas “Chispa” Busch works for the notorious Sangre Cartel of Sinaloa. But as the cartel’s resident IT nerd and electronics consultant, his real passion is fixing things. After annoying one of the cartel bosses, the bookish Chispa is sent to Chicago to deal with a competitor in the MDMA market. His assignment: eliminate the competition within 24 hours, or join them—in a shallow grave.


Snake Pass
by Colin Campbell
(Down & Out Books)

A small-town stickup explodes into the big-time street battle that gets Jim Grant exiled to the States.

Jim Grant is one of the best cops in Yorkshire but the tactics that earn respect from his fellow officers draw the scrutiny of the brass. When a Discipline and Complaints inspector feels he’s gone too far Grant is placed on suspension.

Stopping at an all-night diner to flirt with his favorite waitress helps ease his mind—until a couple of goons with baseball bats show up. Never one to leave a damsel in distress, Grant takes matters into his own hands.

And it all goes downhill from there.


Marijuana Girl by N.R. de Mexico
Call South 3300: Ask for Molly! by Orrie Hitt
The Sex Cure by Elaine Dorian
(Stark House Books)

Three obscure novels from the golden age of paperback originals featuring the prolific sleaze publisher, Beacon Books. Published between 1951 and 1962, these three novels command high prices on the collectors market in their original editions. Tame by modern standards, they created controversy and scandal when they were first published, and still hold a certain allure today.


The Broken Fixer
by Ralph Dennis
(Brash Books)

The gritty, hard-edged novel of sex, crime, and corruption in 1970s Atlanta…and the man who is paid to hide it all… by Ralph Dennis, author of the legendary Hardman series of detective novels.

Vince Gorman is a ruthless lawyer with flexible morality who makes problems go away for David Wardlaw, an Atlanta real estate developer and the owner of the city’s pro basketball team. Wardlaw doesn’t care how Vince fixes things…as long as it gets done. But now Vince is in over his head… covering up a possibly fatal hit-and-run by the team’s hard-partying star shooter… and competing with Wardlaw’s rivals to bribe, blackmail and intimidate the corrupt politicians who award the city’s rich construction contracts…all while desperately scrambling to keep his own life of dark secrets, relentless womanizing, and soul-rotting compromises from crashing down around him.

This is an edited and revised version of a book previously published in 1975 under the title Atlanta.


A Talent for Killing
by Ralph Dennis
(Brash Books)

“A breathless, lean noir thriller. Every line is razor sharp and without an ounce of fat. Jason Bourne fans will find a lot to like.” Publishers Weekly

Kane was a top CIA assassin until he suffered traumatic physical and psychological injuries in a mission that went horribly wrong. The Agency wiped his memory, gave him a new identity, and retired him to a life of mundane, anonymous domesticity. But his training, and his talent for killing, came back with a vengeance. He created a new life for himself as a killer-for-hire, righting wrongs for people who can’t find peace or justice any other way. He doesn’t know that his memories are fiction, or that he is always being watched, or that he’s been targeted for death by a rogue faction within the Agency.

A TALENT FOR KILLING

In this brutal, fast-moving thriller from Ralph Dennis, the author of the legendary Hardman series of crime novels, Kane finds himself caught between the mob, Cuban revolutionaries, and his own government as he seeks retribution for a man murdered for uncovering small-town corruption…and justice for another man on death row, falsely convicted of raping and murdering a child.


Death of a Sinner
by Derek Farrell
(69 Crime)

Sinners Palace is a reality tv show from the makers of “The Real Househusbands of Colchester”,“Dairy Farm Lock-In” and “Suicide Vest Karaoke”.

The undisputed star of Sinners is Cartier Cobb, a glorious tabloid monster with a vicious tongue and a merciless bullying streak to match. While the cast are assembled for filming in The Marquess Of Queensbury public house it emerges that there may be a murderer in their midst and naturally, Cartier Cobb is convinced that she was the real target.

Aware that the landlord of the pub also has a side-line as a reluctant amateur sleuth, Cartier insists that he helps uncover the murderer she’s convinced is out to get her.

So begins another adventure for Danny Bird and the unflappable Lady Caz as this time they strive to unmask a killer while navigating the sordid, petty and duplicitous world of reality tv.


Forgiveness Dies
by J.J. Hensley
(Down & Out Books)

Upon being released after three years of incarceration in a psychiatric facility, former narcotics detective and unlicensed PI Trevor Galloway has no idea how to begin picking up the pieces of his shattered life. Having lost the woman he loved and exacting revenge upon those responsible, he is irreparably broken, heavily medicated, and unemployable.

When former Secret Service agent Nick Van Metre knocks on Trevor Galloway’s door, the last thing he expected was a job offer. However when the head of Metal Security hands Galloway a stack of photos and asks for his assistance with investigating a series of threats against a controversial presidential candidate, the former detective is stunned.

Galloway initially takes the case, but eventually has to question his own sanity after he reports an encounter with intruders who seem to have left no trace in his home. When Nick Van Metre turns up dead and an attack is carried out against Dennis Hackney, the former detective with a history of extreme violence becomes the focal point of multiple investigations.

Galloway pulls clues from photos and searches for answers while dodging bullets in Pittsburgh and Savannah.

Get set for a mystery told at a breakneck pace, with each of the chapters being linked to photograph in roll of film.

Look for the hints.

Watch for the signs.

Trevor Galloway doesn’t trust himself.

Can you trust him?

The answers won’t be revealed until the final photo is flipped.


Stairway to an Empty Room /
Terror Lurks in the Darkness

by Dolores Hitchens
(Stark House Press)

STAIRWAY TO AN EMPTY ROOM

Monica Marshall’s sister Biddy has been murdered by her husband. Biddy has a daughter, Winifred, and with the husband on death row, Monica agrees to take charge of her. Winifred is anxious to leave the house where she has been living with Biddy. The house and the woman who runs it seem so unpleasant to Monica. But nothing prepares her for Stevens. He is managing a mountain retreat where Monica takes her new charge for a getaway–she hates him immediately. Strangely enough, Winifred recognizes the couple in another cabin. Soon Monica realizes that there is something very strange going on here. Her brakes fail … later she almost drowns in the lake. And Stevens is becoming very protective of young Winifred. What do all these people have to do with Biddy’s death, and what is really going on here?…

TERROR LURKS IN DARKNESS

Kitty has the fright of her life one night when she takes what she is told is a short cut and ends up on a dead end street in the rain. And to make matters worse, there is a savage dog outside her car, causing her to wreck the front end trying to avoid it. Fortunately, the owner of the dog appears and calms the dog, then drives her home. But imagine Kitty’s shock when she finds out that Sunny, the woman who told her about the short cut, is found dead later that night on the same road, her throat savaged. Of course, everyone hated Sunny, but that doesn’t explain her strange death. And now Kitty’s roommate, Ardis, has gone missing … and two of her friends are asking her to lie about what she knows. No wonder inspector Doyle doesn’t believe her story—she has no idea what to believe herself!


The Living End
by Frank Kane
(Stark House Press)

Eddie Marlon is just a kid with a song he wants published, another city kid with dreams of being in the music business. His song is nothing special, but Eddie gets a tip that a local radio station needs help on the early morning shift. Marty Allen hires him to line up the records for his show. But the way Eddie sees it, Marty is a square—he doesn’t go for the bucks that are to be had charging A&R guys to get their tunes on the air. Eddie must have been born lucky because one night Marty needs Eddie to help him get the station boss out of a jam. Then they owe him. And when it’s time to collect, Eddie is right there with a plan. He wants his own time slot and he wants to put on free shows with all the big talent, who will naturally play for free to get the air time. Eddie’s got big plans alright. Because now it’s his shot at the top—and if you want to be on Eddie’s show, you’re going to pay for it!


Boneyard Dogs
by Tom Leins
(Close to the Bone)

“If I can’t find her within seven days, she’s probably dead.”

If you are desperate enough to hire Paignton private investigator Joe Rey, things have already gone from bad to worse – and a happy ending is highly unlikely.

Hired to track down the missing teenage daughter of a demented local lounge singer, Rey’s investigation spirals bloodily out of control, and he finds himself surrounded by the ruined corpses of dead people traffickers. The police are determined to pin the murders on the hapless PI, but as his search unfolds it becomes apparent that the culprit may actually be a man he knows all too well…

BONEYARD DOGS is the blistering sequel to the cult classic MEAT BUBBLES & OTHER STORIES.


40 Nickles
by R. Daniel Lester
(Shotgun Honey)

Carnegie Fitch can be called a lot of things. Ambitious is not one of them.

Months after escaping death in the circus ring at the hands of the Dead Clowns and the feet of a stampeding elephant, he is no longer a half-assed private eye with an office and no license, but instead a half-assed tow truck driver without either. Still, he manages to find ample time to drink lots of diner coffee, hang with fellow down-and-out diner denizens and have all those shiny daydreams about landing that BIG CASE.

Well, careful what you wish for, Fitch.

Because when a wealthy widow hires him to sniff along the trail of a soapbox svengali with a hobo history and several mysterious deaths in his wake, not only will it put Fitch, aka Gastown’s Favourite Punching Bag, in harm’s way as he navigates a twisted road of stolen coins, defrocked dentists, wacky hallucinogens, crooked cops, and cult crazies, but his past, present and future will also come a-calling, each with their own knockout blow to land.

Basically, Fitch will be forced to question damn near everything, sanity included.

Who knew 40 nickels could get a guy in so much hot water?


Chasing China White
by Allan Leverone
(Shotgun Honey)

Derek Weaver’s a junkie.

He’s also homeless and jobless and into his dealer for way more cash than he can hope to repay. So when he’s given an ultimatum by the regional heroin supplier—commit a home invasion and steal enough jewelry to cover that man’s debt or take a one-way trip into the Atlantic on a lobster boat—he makes the only possible choice.

But things go sideways and Derek soon finds himself a multiple murderer on the run from both law enforcement and the mob. Trapped in a diner, using his own brother as a hostage to prevent police from storming the building, Derek begins to realize the only way out of a hopeless situation may come from facing down ancient demons he’s long ignored.

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Allan Leverone comes a noir/crime novella crackling with suspense. Chasing China White explores the limits of blood relationships, family ties, and whether some people’s crimes place them beyond all hope of redemption.


Stool Pigeon
by Louis Malley
(Stark House Press)

It’s Christmas Eve in Little Italy, and Vince Milazzo is called in to investigate the murder of Tony Statella, shot in the head outside of Rocky Tosco’s restaurant. Milazzo has got a personal grudge against Tosco that goes back to their childhood. He knows that somehow Rocky is involved, and is determined this time to bring him down. Even though the murderer turns out to be a kid who was avenging the honor of his sister, Milazzo keeps pushing the Chief for more time. He knows that Rocky is guilty of something, if only he can find someone to rat on him. But every stool pigeon Milazzo talks to tells him the same thing—they don’t know from nothing. Now Milazzo has until midnight to find the connection … or this case might very well be his last.


After the Storm
by Marietta Miles
(Down & Out Books)

Then…

May’s life had been just fine.

Not happy and miles from meaningful, but fine. She lived on an out-of-the-way island fittingly named Folly. She existed as far from other people as she could manage. The distance let her to drift from memories of her careless parents, graying recollections of the life taken from her, and a sea of her own bad decisions.

Hustling here and there as a small-time weed dealer on the crystal coast allowed May to live like a hermit in the off season. Save one cold night in November, just before a killing storm made landfall.

Now…

The island is left unlivable, and May, like so many others, has become a refugee. Drifting and wandering. Blindly trying to start life over. In this foggy chaos she treads to keep her head above water and to steady and buoy poor Tommy, a boy who might be too far gone to rescue.

Meanwhile…

Four hundred miles away, in a small dying town hidden high in the mountains, a disregarded teenager named Curtis and his unwilling sister Vicki run from the consequences of his violent proclivities. In a gassed-up Mustang, they head east, to the crystal coast, where they can hide and start over. Just like everyone else.

After the storm comes a different danger.


Everything Happens
by Jo Perry
(69 Crime)

Jennifer married Jake in a whirlwind of Las Vegas romance, now exactly one year later she’s driving back to Sin City so she can file for divorce and write her loser husband out of her story for good.

Her loser husband meanwhile is confirming his reputation with a string of bad decisions and mis-steps that ensure his life is sent spiralling wildly out of his control.

Cue car chases, kidnapping, double crossing, triple crossing, death, vengeance plus some massively over-priced wedding dresses and you’ve got the recipe for a hugely entertaining slice of richly cinematic noir that will leave you gasping and begging for more.


New Man in the House /
Her High-School Lover

by Peter Rabe
(Stark House Press)

NEW MAN IN THE HOUSE

Roger Garland has made a career out of pleasure. He is, in fact, the perfect butler—discreet, deferential and ready to please the family, particularly the women of the house. His new employer is banker Matthew Hornaday. But Garland is much more interested in Hornaday’s teenage daughter, Lorna. Lorna is just discovering sex, and Garland is certain that he can be the perfect teacher. But there is also Mrs. Hornaday to consider. She may be married to a banker, but she was once a Broadway star, and has lost none of her lust for life—or for Garland. If only Mr. Hornaday didn’t distrust him so much, this could be the perfect set-up for seduction.

HER HIGH-SCHOOL LOVER

Laura Vaughn has fallen out of love with her second husband. Her first husband, Pierre, taught her all about life when they were young in France, but archeologist Robert makes her feel like an obligation. While Laura writes letters to Pierre, her teenage son Tony seethes with rage and confusion, resentful of his mother, disdainful of his step-father, mad at the world. And Tony’s friend, Tad Howard, has problems of his own—his parents hate each other, and use him as their punching bag. Each one them is seeking something and someone to make the pain go away. It is only a matter of time before Laura and Tad find each other.


Snowball
by Jimmy Sangster
(Brash Books)

James Reed is an ex-Scotland Yard detective who became the bodyguard, then lover, then husband, then ex-husband of Hollywood superstar Katherine Long. Now he’s a self-styled beach bum, living in the Malibu beachhouse he got in the divorce settlement, and making a half-assed effort at screenwriting. But then Katherine comes back into his life — her rebellious, spoiled daughter Caroline is mired in the Hollywood celebrity drug scene. Katherine thinks James is the only one who can get his former step-daughter out before it becomes a scandal…or worse. The problem is, Caroline doesn’t want out, and his troubles snowball as James becomes an unwilling player in a $2 million scheme involving stolen drugs, high-powered studio execs, and ruthless mob killers


The Spy Killer
by Jimm Sangster
(Brash Books)

He’s No Super Spy

Ex-British spy John Smith is nearly broke, has bad teeth, is lousy in bed, and drinks too much. But he’s no fool. He’s a man who knows his own limitations and works within them. He blackmailed his way out of the secret service years ago and is barely making a living as a London private eye when his ex-wife comes calling and asks him to follow her philandering husband. But that sleazy, all-too-common job leads to some uncommon trouble…and Smith is thrown like a chunk of raw meat into a lion’s den of international espionage, betrayal, and killing. His only hope of surviving is to outwit his clever and brutal adversaries at their own deadly game.

This novel was originally published under the title private I and was adapted into a feature film starring Robert Horton, Jill St. John and Sebastian Cabot.


Cage
by Lilja Sigurdardottir
(Orenda Books)

The prison doors slam shut behind Agla when her sentence ends, but her lover Sonja is not there to meet her. As a group of foreign businessmen tries to draw Agla into an ingenious fraud that stretches from Iceland around the world, Agla and her former nemesis María find the stakes being raised at a terrifying speed. Ruthless drug baron Ingimar will stop at nothing to protect his empire, but he has no idea about the powder keg he is sitting on in his own home. At the same time, a deadly threat to Sonya and her family brings her from London back to Iceland, where she needs to settle scores with longstanding adversaries if she wants to stay alive. With a shocking crescendo, the lives of these characters collide, as drugs, smuggling, big money and political intrigue rally with love, passion, murder and betrayal until the winner takes all in the masterful, explosive conclusion to the Reykjavík Noir trilogy.


Little Siberia
by Antti Tuomainen
(Orenda Books)

A man with dark thoughts on his mind is racing along the remote snowy roads of Hurmevaara in Finland, when there is flash in the sky and something crashes into the car. That something turns about to be a highly valuable meteorite. With euro signs lighting up the eyes of the locals, the unexpected treasure is temporarily placed in a neighbourhood museum, under the watchful eye of a priest named Joel. But Joel has a lot more on his mind than simply protecting the riches that have apparently rained down from heaven. His wife has just revealed that she is pregnant. Unfortunately Joel has strong reason to think the baby isn’t his. As Joel tries to fend off repeated and bungled attempts to steal the meteorite, he must also come to terms with his own situation, and discover who the father of the baby really is. Transporting the reader to the culture, landscape and mores of northern Finland, Little Siberia is both a crime novel and a hilarious, blacker-than-black comedy about faith and disbelief, love and death, and what to do when bolts from the blue—both literal and figurative—turn your life upside down.


Three-Fifths
by John Vercher
(Polis Books)

A compelling and timely debut novel from an assured new voice: Three-Fifths is about a biracial black man, passing for white, who is forced to confront the lies of his past while facing the truth of his present when his best friend, just released from prison, involves him in a hate crime.

Pittsburgh, 1995. The son of a black father he’s never known, and a white mother he sometimes wishes he didn’t, twenty-two-year-old Bobby Saraceno is passing for white. Raised by his bigoted maternal grandfather, Bobby has hidden his truth from everyone, even his best friend and fellow comic-book geek, Aaron, who has just returned home from prison a hardened racist. Bobby’s disparate worlds collide when his and Aaron’s reunion is interrupted by a confrontation where Bobby witnesses Aaron assault a young black man with a brick. Fearing for his safety and his freedom, Bobby must keep his secret from Aaron and conceal his unwitting involvement in the hate crime from the police. But Bobby’s delicate house of cards crumbles when his father enters his life after more than twenty years.

Three-Fifths is a story of secrets, identity, violence and obsession with a tragic conclusion that leave all involved questioning the measure of a man, and was inspired by the author’s own struggles with identity as a biracial man during his time as a student in Pittsburgh amidst the simmering racial tension produced by the L.A. Riots and the O.J. Simpson trial in the mid-nineties.


Dead Cat Bounce
by Robert White
(Fahrenheit Press)

Old Mrs Bello lived above the family grocery store all her life, she worked hard, was frugal and lived an ordinary life. There was one thing that people knew about Mrs B though – she absolutely didn’t trust banks.

When she died at the age of 88 there was only one question on everyone’s lips – what happened to the family money?

Despite frantic searching from her surviving relatives, not a single cent was ever found and the missing family fortune passed into local legend.

Butchie Parmenter doesn’t believe in legends.

Experience has taught Butchie not to believe in anything except himself, so when good fortune unexpectedly lands at his feet he grabs the opportunity with both hands, determined not to let go. No matter what.

Butchie should have figured that nothing worth having ever comes easy and if something looks too good to be true, it usually is.


A Grifter’s Song Volumes 1 and 2
edited by Frank Zafiro
(Down & Out Books)

Long time grifters Sam and Rachel love two things: each other and the grift. On the run from the mob, the two lovers move from one con to the next, winning some and losing others, but always finding a way to survive.

Volume 1: Episodes 1-3 of Season One begin with The Concrete Smile by series creator and editor, Frank Zafiro. Sam and Rachel try to con the owner of a concrete business in St. Louis, but their past is catching up to them as fast as the stakes of the con are rising. Will they hit it rich, or crash and burn?

JD Rhoades pens Episode 2, People Like Us. When the pair team up with Sam’s old mentor, Aunt Sally, in Raleigh to pass off a phony Civil War relic, it looks like a straightforward job. But things get complicated in a hurry when the buyer, a white supremacist professor, becomes enamored with Rachel, while a contract killer closes in on the couple.

Episode 3, The Whale by Lawrence Kelter, shifts the scene to Manhattan, where Sam poses as a long-absent club member at a posh gentleman’s club. As the two grifters weave their complicated tale to land a big investor, it becomes clear that they are not the only ones working a con. The only question is, whose side are the interlopers on?

Volume 2: Episodes 4-6 of Season One begins with The Movie Makers by Gary Phillips. Sam and Rachel try to con an action movie star in Hollywood, posing as a producer and a self-help guru. But the Armenian mob gets involved, leaving us to wonder if Rachel and Sam will score, or end up on the cutting room floor?

Colin Conway pens Episode 5, Lost in Middle America. When an old friend of Sam’s asks for help, the pair is hesitant to engage, especially since the man is a former pimp in Lima, Ohio. But the promise of riches in a safe deposit box convinces them both to assist ‘Bigs’ in his quest for revenge against a younger version of himself.

Episode 6, Losing Streak, officially closes out Season One. Jim Wilsky paints a picture of Sam and Rachel on the tail end of a string of bad luck. Their desperation for a win drives them to do business with an arms dealer who is into more than just Saturday night specials.


Everybody Lies in Hell
by David Zeltersman
(Eraserhead Press)

​​Hell can be a tricky place with all of its rules. Mike Stone, hell’s lone practicing private eye, thinks he has it figured out, and more often than not, solves the cases that come his way. It’s not easy, though. Not with the fact that everyone in hell lies. And not with having to worry about a barbaric warlord from a long-forgotten time after his head. Or a compatriot of Vlad the Impaler wanting to purify his soul in a chamber of horrors for all eternity. Or that his circa 1992 Brooklyn private hell might be absorbed at any moment by a more aware soul. And then there’s that creepy Mortuary Man and whatever his agenda might be.​​​​

When Stone takes on a young woman as a client who wants him to find out who murdered her, it turns out to be his most dangerous case yet, and what he discovers might just be Hell’s biggest secret.

Categories
New Releases

Indie Crime New Releases: Week of June 2

Seven Ways to Get Rid of Harry
by Jen Conley
(Down & Out Books)

Danny Zelko, 13 going on 14, needs to get rid of his mom’s boyfriend, Harry. The guy is a creep. Drinks too much, locks Danny out of the house, gets in Danny’s face and calls him Danielle.

Of course everyone blames Danny. It’s his fault he gets into fights at school. It’s his fault he can’t control his anger. It’s his fault Harry is such a jerk. Danny isn’t such a bad kid–he has his own lawn business, makes his own dinner, even takes out the garbage and closes up the house without being asked. All he wants is for his mom to be like she used to be–a real mother who acted like one. Because Harry makes her stupid. When she gets around him, she forgets about her kids. Disappears with him, doesn’t stick up for her own son. And the prospect of spending another day with this man makes Danny feel helpless and broken.

So when Danny’s sister, Lisa, reveals that Harry and their mom are getting married, Danny, never the one to cower, decides to do something. That’s right, one way or another, he will get rid of Harry.

Set in 1983, New Jersey, Seven Ways to Get Rid of Harry is packed with Danny’s friends and enemies, a few fist fights, heartbreak and fury, and a little humor too.

Praise for SEVEN WAYS TO GET RID OF HARRY:

“Seven Ways to Get Rid of Harry is a poignant nostalgia trip to being thirteen in the 1980s that also has a sharp bite. It tugs at your heart-strings while making you laugh out loud. Never has the attempt to get rid of your mom’s evil boyfriend been so charmingly portrayed. A must read!” –Lee Matthew Goldberg, author of The Mentor and the Desire Card series

“Jen Conley brought me back to my childhood with this gripping debut. Danny Zelko battles with his mother’s abusive boyfriend amidst the helplessness, confusion, and tumultuous friendships of his formative thirteenth summer. Sometimes harrowing, often funny, this is a great and necessary read for anyone who wants to understand what it’s like for boys in that liminal stage, when faced with the challenge of a bad role model.” –Thomas Pluck, author of Bad Boy Boogie

“Very few writers can do what Jen Conley does, striking the perfect balance between voice, character, and setting. But technical proficiency isn’t what makes the book so special. Her story of a screwed-up kid learning to live without his father is heartbreaking, hopeful, at times hilarious, but above all, flat-out powerful. This book will be placed in the YA section, but it is so much more. Maybe it’s because, with this book taking place in 1983, Danny Zelko would’ve been born the same year as I was. Maybe it’s because I, too, had problems with authority, fitting in, and loved all things Pink Floyd. All I know is I couldn’t put the book down. The story and dialogue are strikingly authentic, and the prose zips along. Mostly, though, I just wanted to put my arms around the kid and tell him that, yeah, thirteen sucks, and, no, I’m not gonna lie; it doesn’t necessarily get better. But the bastards won’t always be able to keep you down. As long as you keep fighting, kid.” –Joe Clifford, author of the Jay Porter thrillers

“Seven Ways to Get Rid of Harry is a dark, heartfelt and hard-to-put-down novel. Conley’s stark, realistic prose transports readers to a time and place when we were all 13 going on 14, and crafts the kind of YA story that feels exceedingly real and unique with a healthy dose of noir. Seven Ways to Get Rid of Harry is the kind of book that slithers into your brain and never leaves.” –Alex Segura, author of Dangerous Ends and Blackout


Rag and Bone
by Joe Clifford
(Oceanview Publishing)

Perfect for fans of Dennis Lehane

Having spent ten months on the run after he was framed for the murder of an estate-clearing associate, handyman Jay Porter returns to his hometown of Ashton, New Hampshire. During his time as a fugitive, he searched for a hard drive―evidence that would put his longtime nemeses Adam and Michael Lombardi behind bars. But he came up empty handed.

He has nothing. No hard drive, no hope. He hasn’t spoken to his ex-wife and son in almost a year and he’s broke. With his reputation tarnished and employment opportunities nonexistent, Jay takes a charity assignment from old friend/flame Alison Rodgers and learns of a fire at Alison’s former rehab farm. Jay is convinced that the Lombardis started a fire as a scare tactic to pressure Alison to sell. As Jay begins to look into the origins of the fire, he hopes he will finally be able to put away his enemies. But he soon discovers that evil isn’t so easy to define, and that sometimes we need to take the law into our own hands if we want justice.


Mr. Zero
by Mark Slade
(Close to the Bone)

Barry London is a Fixer by trade, lent out by his boss to other crime lords. He is sent to his hometown of Geneva, New Jersey to deal with corrupt cops at war with each other over a missing video, dealing with an ex-girlfriend who happens to be a cop, the wife of a good friend who also wants to sleep with him, both looking to tame the wild and rough London. On top of all that, London finds himself looking several murders and Firebug who torched a nightclub. The key to it all is cracking the mystery of Mr. Zero.


Bang Bang You’re Dead
by Nick Quantrill
(Fahrenheit Press)

Worst Laid Plans
by Aidan Thorn
(Fahrenheit Press)

BANG BANG YOU’RE DEAD

Fresh out of prison, Sam is back home and determined to turn his life around. Be the man his family needs him to be. But it’s not so easy going straight when you’re friends with Jonno.

Drawn into a drugs deal involving petty local gangs, things quickly take a turn for the worse when he discovers the notorious Nolan brothers are involved.

With simmering rivalries coming to the fore, Sam has to decide between new and old loyalties. And with old sores over his brother’s death being picked at, it’s not so simple. Especially when you have a gun in your pocket.

WORST LAID PLANS

Vinnie Travers, lead singer with The Down & Outs literally doesn’t know what’s hit him when his path crosses with four young lads on a night out in a borrowed Mercedes.

Andy Dickson, home alone while his parents are on holiday, is left trying to figure out how a simple night out with some mates ended with a dead body flung hastily into the backseat of his dad’s car.

But it’s not until the next morning that the fun really begins…

“Crime fiction hasn’t been this cool for decades. There’s something so irresistible about a Tête-bêche in your hands, flipping it over and over. A book with two covers, always beginning. This is pulp publishing at its most seductive.” – Chris Black, Senior Editor, Fahrenheit 13.”


Ain’t Worth a Shit
by Robert Essig & Jack Bantry
(Sinister Grin Press)

From Jack Bantry, editor of Splatterpunk Zine and author of The Lucky Ones Died First and Robert Essig, author of Death Obsessed, In Black and People of the Ethereal Realm comes a story of gut-wrenching noir.

Issy has become used to her new life in the UK, away from poverty in her native land. New beginnings weren’t without struggle, and sometimes the past comes back when you least expect it.

Mark dealt a little weed on the side, just enough to get him a few bucks and provide some for personal use. No big deal. Not until he makes a little mistake. Sometimes even the smallest error can turn into a dire situation.

There’s another world under the veneer of city streets in London’s Leicester Square, streets people walk every day without suspicion. Issy and Matt find out about this world in the worst ways imaginable, and they must fight for their lives to get out.

In this underworld, people Ain’t Worth A Shit!


Unamerica
by Cody Goodfellow
(King Shot Press / Broken River Books)

NEVER WORK, NEVER DIE

Buried half a mile beneath the desert sands of the US-Mexico border, exists a secret city that holds the promise of everything that draws refugees and immigrants to America––liberty, luxury and excess. . .

In this Terminal Autonomous Zone, two prophets will rise—one, a reckless seeker who believes the psychedelic mushrooms he’s discovered will spur a revolution in human consciousness; the other, a fire-and-brimstone preacher endowed by strange angels with a power that heals the sick and raises the dead—and as rival factions emerge around them, a march toward war begins . . .

“Unamerica is madness. Timely, familiar, brilliant—but most of all, terrifying—madness.” —ROB HART, author of The Warehouse

“Goodfellow satirizes the excesses of capitalism, religion, and drug culture in this macabre dystopian fantasy… a wild, trippy journey through a horrifying nightmare version of America.” —PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

#thisisunamerica

A BROKEN RIVER BOOKS X KING SHOT PRESS COLLAB


Killer Impact
by Linden Chase
(Fahrenheit Press)

As Tranquility comes to terms with the bloody repercussions of the events documented in Killer Intent, Zane King reluctantly sets off on a mission to finally find out the truth about the island.

Accompanied by self-acknowledged psychopath Travis and amoral mercenary Blaine, it’s fair to say Zane doesn’t rate his chances of success very highly.

And as expected, things don’t go smoothly, anything but.

Will Zane finally confront the shadowy forces behind the Tranquility experiment?

Will he find the answers he needs?

Will anyone live to tell the tale?

In this thrilling conclusion nothing is as it seems, and nothing can be taken for granted as The Tranquility Trilogy stabs, shoots, strangles and gouges its’ way to a bloody and wholly satisfying conclusion.

Here’s what readers have to say about The Tranquility Trilogy

“A gut-wrenching thriller that keeps the reader on edge throughout.”

“It is gripping, bloody, violent and exciting and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next.”

“Not for the faint hearted…”

“A terrifying glimpse into the heart of darkness…”

“Gripping to the very last page…”

“The Beach meets Lord of the Flies…”

“This thrilling trilogy is galloping towards a climatic finale…”

“Bloody and Brilliant. Or just Bloody Brilliant. Both work…”


Scared to Breathe
by Kerena Swan
(Bloodhound Books)

When Tasha witnesses a stabbing at the train station in Luton, she is compelled to give evidence in court that leads to Dean Rigby being convicted. But when Lewis, Dean’s brother, vows revenge, Tasha is afraid and no longer feels safe in her own home.

Tasha’s partner, Reuben, hopes to marry her and start a family soon. But Reuben is concerned about Tasha’s state of mind and urges her to see a doctor

When Tasha is left a derelict country house by her birth father, she sees an opportunity to escape Luton and start a new life. After visiting Black Hollow Hall she sees it as the perfect opportunity to live a life without fear.

At first Tasha feels liberated from her troubles. The gardener, William, who is partially paralysed but employed to maintain the grounds of Black Hollow Hall, is welcoming.

But soon Tasha realises the Hall is not quite the idyll she imagined.

When she discovers that a woman jumped to her death there years ago following the murder of her husband, strange events begin to take place and Tasha fears for her safety.

Have the Rigby family found her?

Is someone trying to scare her into selling the house?

Or is she suffering from paranoia as Reuben suggests?

As Tasha’s sanity is put under pressure she begins to wonder if Black Hollow Hall is going to be her salvation or her undoing…

Kerena Swan is also the author of the unmissable psychological thriller Dying to See You. Scared to Breathe is a compelling thriller which will appeal to fans of authors like Clare Mackintosh, Cara Hunter and Shalini Boland.


Into the Night
by Sarah Bailey
(Corvus)

The hotly anticipated sequel to The Dark Lake, this is perfect for fans of The Dry, police procedurals, and classy, clever crime fiction.

Senior Detective Gemma Woodstock is a small-town policewoman working on the biggest homicide cases in Melbourne. When an up-and-coming movie star is stabbed to death while the cameras are rolling on his new blockbuster, Gemma, eager to prove herself, is assigned to the case.

With the whole thing caught from multiple angles, how hard can it be to catch the crazed culprit? And who would want to hurt Australia’s adored boy-next-door? As Gemma uncovers the deadly underside of fame, her investigation turns into a dangerous game against those with money, power and everything to lose…


The Serpent’s Mark
by S.W. Perry
(Corvus)

From the author of The Angel’s Mark, a Walter Scott Prize Academy Recommended Read 2019

‘S.W. Perry’s ingeniously plotted novels have become my favourite historical crime series.’ S G MacLean

‘A rattling good read.’ William Ryan

Treason sleeps for no man…

London, 1591. Nicholas Shelby, physician and reluctant spy, returns to his old haunts on London’s lawless Bankside. But, when spymaster Robert Cecil asks him to investigate the dubious practices of a mysterious doctor from Switzerland, Nicholas is soon embroiled in a conspiracy that threatens not just the life of an innocent young patient, but the overthrow of Queen Elizabeth herself.

With fellow healer and mistress of the Jackdaw tavern, Bianca Merton, again at his side, Nicholas is drawn into a sinister world of zealots, charlatans and dangerous fanatics…


The Woman on the Cliff
by Janice Frost
(Joffe Books)

DISCOVER THE NEW STANDALONE MYSTERY FROM BEST-SELLING AUTHOR JANICE FROST

SHE WILL RISK HER LIFE TO FIND THE TRUTHThe body of Moira Mackie, a St Andrews University student, is found on a clifftop path. Her ex-boyfriend is found days later, hanged in his uncle’s garage with a suicide note confessing that he killed her. The case is abruptly closed.

Thirty years later, Ros Maitland has seemingly moved on from the horrific murder of her housemate Moira. Then her daughter takes up a place at the same university, and old demons reawaken.

Was Moira murdered in a lover’s quarrel? Or was her death part of something far larger, uglier and more calculated?

WHAT REALLY HAPPENED THAT TERRIBLE NIGHT?

Policeman, Innes Nevin, investigated Moira’s death and has been haunted by it ever since. It was his first murder case, and he knew it had been closed too soon.

Innes and Ros must delve back into the painful past to finally bring the truth to light.

THEN COMES A BRUTAL TURN OF EVENTS. SOMEONE WANTS THEIR INVESTIGATION STOPPED AT ALL COSTS.

In an electrifying standoff, Ros must risk everything she cares about.

CAN SHE FIND THE TRUTH ABOUT THE DEATH AND ESCAPE WITH HER LIFE?

A rising talent of crime fiction, perfect for fans of Angela Marsons, Rachel Abbott, Ruth Rendell, Or Mark Billingham

PRAISE FOR JANICE FROST’S ‘DEAD SECRET’
“A brilliant new detective writer who will have you reading all night. ” Chris Child

“I couldn’t put this story down; the amount of intrigue was breathtaking.” Karen

“Excellent twists and turns plus a few moments where I was completely gobsmacked” Jaffa


Ungentlemanly Warfare
by Howard Linskey
(No Exit Press)

A soldier and a spy, an officer but not quite a gentleman, Captain Harry Walsh is SOE’s secret weapon.

Loathed by his own commanding officer, haunted by the death of his closest friend and trapped in a loveless marriage, Harry Walsh is close to burnout when he is ordered to assassinate the man behind the ME 163 Komet, Hitler’s miracle jet fighter. If Walsh fails, there is no prospect of allied victory in Europe.

Harry Walsh is ruthless, unorthodox and ungentlemanly. He is about to wreak havoc…

Praise for Howard Linskey

‘One of the single most dramatic events of the Second World War, Linskey makes the mission of Jan Kubis and Joseph Gabcik impossible to put down’ – Northern Echo

‘Linskey delivers a flawless feel for time and place, snappy down to earth dialect dialogue mixed in with unrelenting violence and pace’ – Times


The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes
edited by Graeme Davis
(Pegasus Books)

This masterful collection of seventeen classic mystery stories, dating from 1837 to 1914, traces the earliest history of popular detective fiction.

Today, the figure of Sherlock Holmes towers over detective fiction like a colossus―but it was not always so. Edgar Allan Poe’s French detective Dupin, the hero of “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” anticipated Holmes’ deductive reasoning by more than forty years with his “tales of ratiocination.” In A Study in Scarlet, the first of Holmes’ adventures, Doyle acknowledged his debt to Poe―and to Émile Gaboriau, whose thief-turned-detective Monsieur Lecoq debuted in France twenty years earlier.

If “Rue Morgue” was the first true detective story in English, the title of the first full-length detective novel is more hotly contested. Two books by Wilkie Collins―The Woman in White (1859) and The Moonstone (1868)―are often given that honor, with the latter showing many of the features that came to identify the genre: a locked-room murder in an English country house; bungling local detectives outmatched by a brilliant amateur detective; a large cast of suspects and a plethora of red herrings; and a final twist before the truth is revealed. Others point to Mary Elizabeth Braddon’s The Trail of the Serpent (1861) or Aurora Floyd (1862), and others still to The Notting Hill Mystery (1862-3) by the pseudonymous “Charles Felix.”


Assassin of Shadows
by Lawrence Goldstone
(Pegasus Books)

The latest historical thriller by New York Times Notable mystery author Lawrence Goldstone plunges readers into the dramatic events surrounding the assassination of President William McKinley.

Just after 4 p.m. on September 6, 1901, twenty-eight year old anarchist Leon Czolgosz pumped two shots into the chest and abdomen of President William McKinley. Czolgosz had been on a receiving line waiting to shake the president’s hand, his revolver concealed in an oversized bandage covering his right hand and wrist. McKinley had two Secret Service agents by his side, but neither made a move to stop the assailant. After he was apprehended, Czolgosz said simply, “I done my duty.”

Both law enforcement and the press insisted that Czolgosz was merely the tip of a vast and murderous conspiracy, likely instigated by the “high priestess of anarchy,” Emma Goldman. To untangle its threads and bring the remaining conspirators to justice, the president’s most senior advisors choose two other Secret Service agents, Walter George and Harry Swayne. What they uncover will not only absolve the anarchists, but also expose a plot that will threaten the foundations of American democracy, and likely cost them their lives.

As in his other brilliant novels combining history and fiction, Lawrence Goldstone creates a remarkable and chilling tableau, filled with suspense and unexpected turns of fate, detailing events that actually might have happened. As Publishers Weekly observed in its starred review of the “exceptional thriller,” Deadly Cure, “Goldstone again blends fact and fiction seamlessly.”


Baby’s First Felony
by John Straley
(Soho Press)

Shamus Award–winner John Straley returns to his critically acclaimed Cecil Younger detective series, set in Sitka, Alaska, a land of perfect beauty and not-so-perfect locals.

Criminal defense investigator Cecil Younger spends his days coaching would-be felons on how to avoid incriminating themselves. He even likes most of the rough characters who seek his services. So when Sherrie, a returning client, asks him to track down some evidence to clear her of a domestic violence charge, Cecil agrees. Maybe he’ll find something that will get her abusive boyfriend locked up for good.

Cecil treks out to the shady apartment complex only to discover the “evidence” is a large pile of cash—fifty thousand dollars, to be exact. That is how Cecil finds himself in violation of one of his own maxims: Nothing good comes of walking around with a lot of someone else’s money.

In this case, “nothing good” turns out to be a deep freeze full of drug-stuffed fish, a murder witnessed at close range, and a kidnapping—his teenage daughter, Blossom, is snatched as collateral for his cooperation. The reluctant, deeply unlucky investigator turns to an unlikely source for help: the misfit gang of clients he’s helped to defend over the years. Together, they devise a plan to free Blossom and restore order to Sitka. But when your only hope for justice lies in the hands of a group of criminals, things don’t always go according to plan.


Murder in Bel-Air
by Cara Black
(Soho Press)

Cara Black’s riveting 19th installment in her New York Times bestselling Parisian detective series entangles private investigator Aimée Leduc in a dangerous web of international spycraft, post-colonial Franco-African politics, and neighborhood secrets in Paris’s 12th arrondissement.

Parisian private investigator Aimée Leduc is about to go onstage to deliver the keynote address at a tech conference that is sure to secure Leduc Detective some much-needed business contracts when she gets an emergency phone call from her daughter’s playgroup: Aimée’s own mother, who was supposed to pick Chloe up, never showed. Abandoning her hard-won speaking gig, Aimée rushes to get Chloe, annoyed that her mother has let her down yet again.

But as Aimée and Chloe are leaving the playground, Aimée witnesses the body of a homeless woman being wheeled away from the neighboring convent, where nuns run a soup kitchen. The last person anyone saw the dead woman talking to was Aimée’s mother, who has vanished. Trying to figure out what happened to Sydney Leduc, Aimée tracks down the dead woman’s possessions, which include a huge amount of cash. What did Sydney stumble into? Is she in trouble?


Cold for the Bastards of Pizzofalcone
by Maurizio de Giovanni
(World Noir)

Book 3 in de Giovanni’s bestselling “Bastards of Pizzofalcone” series is set in contemporary Naples during season of cold winds, political hijinks, and murder.

A heinous, double murder in a squalid apartment on the wrong side of town pits Inspector Lojacono, Di Nardo and the rest of the motley collection of cops known as the “bastards” of the Pizzofalcone precinct against their superiors, the press, and the local political hierarchy. Only by bringing the killer to justice can they save their reputations and the department.

De Giovanni is one of the most versatile, prolific, and successful Eurpean mystery in Europe. His award-winning and bestselling novels, all set in Naples, offer a brilliant vision of the criminal underworld and the lives of the cops in Europe’s most fabled, atmospheric, dangerous, and lustful city.