THE AMATEURS by Marcus Sakey

The titular novices of Marcus Sakey’s recent novel, THE AMATEURS, are four friends, three men and one woman, who band together against the frigidity of Chicago’s winters and the loneliness of urban life to form the Thursday Night Drinking Club. But amateur drinkers these four are not – experts in the art of throwing back martinis, the first thing any of these four do in a time of crisis is reach for a bottle of vodka. If only the same could be said for their foray into the criminal underworld.

August 6, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , , , ,  · Posted in: Thriller/Spy/Caper, US Midwest

THE ADJUSTMENT by Scott Phillips

THE ADJUSTMENT, Scott Phillips latest novel, World War II veteran Wayne Ogden (from THE WALKAWAY) returns to work in Wichita Kansas for Everett Collins, the rich, but lazy owner of Collins Aircraft. Although Ogden is supposed to be the head of the Publicity and Marketing Department, he spends more time finding women, alcohol and drugs for his boss and also helping the women get abortions that his boss has impregnated. Ogden is not above sharing in the alcohol and women despite having a very attractive and pregnant wife at home. He also likes going to the abortion doctor in Kansas City to see his favorite girlfriend Vickie.

August 5, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: Thriller/Spy/Caper, US Midwest

LOLA, CALIFORNIA by Edie Meidav

In this artful, cerebral novel spanning four decades and encompassing the tribal conventions and counterculture movements of the 70′s and 80′s, the reader is plunged into a cunning world of philosophy and hedonism that is best described as baroque rawness or stark-naked grandiloquence. If these terms appear to be incompatible pairings, the reader will grasp the seeming polarity as axiomatic soon after feasting on Edie Meidav’s complex narrative style. A carnal vapor infuses every provocative page of this unorthodox psychological crime thriller.

August 4, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: California, Character Driven, Mystery/Suspense, Thriller/Spy/Caper

THE BAYOU TRILOGY by Daniel Woodrell

WINTER’S BONE was one of the best crime films I saw in 2010. I discovered that it was based on the novel by Daniel Woodrell, and I was surprised that I’d never heard that name before. But I’m apparently not the only one, and the success of WINTER’S BONE is guaranteed to bring this author new readers. Woodrell is best known as a writer of Ozark Noir, but the Bayou Trilogy is, as the title suggests, set in a different geographical region. The trilogy is composed of three novels from Woodrell’s early writing career: UNDER THE BRIGHT LIGHTS, MUSCLE FOR THE WING and THE ONES YOU DO. The protagonist of the trilogy is Cajun cop Rene Shade. Shade hails from the fictional Louisiana city of San Bruno: “a city of many neighborhoods, Frogtown and Pan Fry being the largest and most fabled, and great numbing stretches of anonymous, bland, and nearly affluent subdivisions.”

April 28, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Mystery/Suspense, Noir, Sleuths Series, US South, y Award Winning Author

A SHORTCUT TO PARADISE by Teresa Solana

It’s been a long time since I’ve read such a light hearted crime novel. In fact Teresa Solana’s latest mystery A SHORT CUT TO PARADISEis so amusing, it is very likely to stretch its appeal beyond the usual crime aficionados. The novel, however, is not a cozy, by any means. Instead it’s a satirically funny inside look at the highly competitive world of prize-winning Catalan literature. Some of us may not automatically think of bitter, murderous rivalry between competing authors who seek a lucrative prize, but then again the Booker Prize manages to stir some controversy every year–along with the occasional highly entertaining “what-the-hell-were-they-thinking” comment from judges, authors and readers.

April 4, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Humorous, Mystery/Suspense, Sleuths Series, Spain, Translated, y Award Winning Author

DOPE THIEF by Dennis Tafoya

Dennis Tafoya’s first novel, DOPE THIEF, published in 2009 is an excellent novel and more emotional of a book than I thought it would or could be. Ray, a young man of 30 who has spent time in “Juvie” and prison for much of his life, has found a way to get some money with his friend Manny by stealing from independent drug dealers. These mostly small-time dealers are unlikely to seek help from the police or the mob in getting back their money or drugs. Ray and Manny even have the DEA jackets to scare the dealers into submitting to them. This seems like a good deal for Ray and Manny until they find much more money and drugs than they expected from some hick drug dealers working out of a farm in northern Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

March 26, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: 2011 Favorites, Debut Novel, Mystery/Suspense, Noir