Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Ninety-Nine Days and Counting

It takes a lot to get a Pittsburgh boy to look forward to going to Cleveland. In fact, until now, I couldn’t think of a thing. (Except when my job paid me to go.)

As Delbert McClinton says, don’t nothing last forever.

This year’s Bouchercon conference will be held October 4 – 7 at the Cleveland Marriott Renaissance. For those unfamiliar with Bouchercon, it is the largest gathering of the year for crime fiction writers and their fans, and is about cool as stuff gets for people like me. Where else can you see established best-sellers sharing a drink with midlisters, wanna-bes, and readers? No place I can think of.

If you’re into crime fiction, take a look at the web site. Panels have yet to be announced, but you can see who will be there and scope out the logistics. If you run into me there and mention you saw this blog post, I’ll give you a free copy of one of my e-books, Wild Bill or Worst Enemies. Your choice.

See you there.

Monday, June 25, 2012

In a Toronto State of Mind

I find myself taking my summer writing hiatus more seriously than usual this year, as I noticed over the weekend I haven’t even done much in the way of blog posts. I’ll catch up a little this week.

John McFetridge’s books are once again available for Kindle, as IPG and Amazon have ended their pissing contest. For those who those who may be unfamiliar with John’s work, well, dumb ass, get over there. He’s writing a series that’s not really a series, four novels that all take place in the same fictional universe, sharing characters and chronology, but not written as one to follow the other. He may have found the way to keep a series fresh. We’ll have to wait to see, since most people think four volumes is about when things get dicey, and four is the current number of his Saints of Hell stories. (“Saints of Hell” is the name of the biker gang playing a key role in all the stories.) The first three stories (Dirty Sweet, Everybody Knows This is Nowhere, Swap) have been bundled into a set and are available for $11.16, which is a measly $3.72 per book. This is an even better deal than the $2.99 it costs for either Wild Bill or Worst Enemies, because, frankly, John is a better writer. His latest, Tumblin’ Dice, is also available. You don’t get them, it’s your loss.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

New Mystery Reader Weighs in on Worst Enemies

“I finished reading this book on a gurney in an Emergency Room with crying kids, a car accident victim and a loud drunk keeping me company, and barely noticed them. If that’s not a recommendation, I don’t know what is! Download this book to your e-reader today; you won’t regret it.”

Frankly, I’m pretty happy about that.

For the entire review, click here. New Mystery Reader is an excellent resource for author interviews and reviews. A broad-based staff provides appropriate insights into a wide range of crime fiction. And I’m not just saying that because of this review. Or because I am an occasional contributor. Go look for yourself if you think I’m bullshitting you.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Breaking Cover

I don’t care much for high body count thrillers. The authors always ratchet up the tension too much and too artificially. Too many coincidences are allowed to get the hero both into and out of trouble, and the hero (or heroine, let’s be fair) always has time to get into some steamy sex between shootouts while on the run, preferably with someone he or she should not have trusted. (And anyone smart enough to have survived that far in the book would not have.)

So why did I like J.D. Rhoades’s Breaking Cover as much as I did? Maybe it’s because he doesn’t do any of that shit. The story is well=prepared and executed, and nothing happens that defies belief. The characters are realistically drawn and true to themselves, and the action—when it transpires—flies straight and true.

Maybe best of all, Rhoades is content to provide a satisfying ending, not undoing all his previous good work to contrive a happier one. Hollywood would probably change a few things at the end, why is one of the reasons I spend so little time at the movies anymore.

On the other hand, Breaking Cover would be a bitch to make a movie from, as much ground as it covers. Make a hell of a cable mini-series, though.