Three Days to Never by Tim Powers Review

Tim Powers’s novels are so unlike anything else that I think John Shirley said it best over at Emerald City “Tim Powers is his own genre”. Or maybe he is the most unpredictable predictable writer alive, either way he is the most consistently originally fantasy writer of the last 30 years.

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Brian loves both kinds of books — fiction and non-fiction. He is an all around book john and reviewing roustabout.

Darkness, Take My Hand by Dennis Lehane Review

It becomes immediately apparent from the opening pages of Darkness, Take My Hand that Dennis Lehane has upped the ante since A Drink Before the War. Darkness, Take My Hand stands in stark contrast to A Drink Before the War as a new level of sophistication permeates the story. The prologue allows Lehane to demonstrate for the first time his desire to toy with our expectations for these characters.

Dennis Lehane

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Brian loves both kinds of books — fiction and non-fiction. He is an all around book john and reviewing roustabout.

The Best Mystery Crime Fiction of 2009

2009 was without question one of the best years for crime fiction in many years, and trust me when I tell you that my top ten has changed so many times in the last six months that I wish I could’ve put together a top 20, or even a top 30, but somehow I managed to narrow it down to ten favorites and five runners up.

Stuart Neville

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Brian loves both kinds of books — fiction and non-fiction. He is an all around book john and reviewing roustabout.

West Coast Blues by Jacques Tardi and Jean-Patrick Manchette Review

Jean-Patrick Manchette was a French crime novelist who wrote 10 novels. He is held in the highest possible regard by his English-speaking audience. To date only two of his novels have been translated. Let me say that again in the off chance that, among my limited readership, a publisher is reading this. Only. Two. Books. To say that crime readers who love the full dark style want more Manchette would be a gross understatement.

West Coast Blues

West Coast Blues is an adaptation of one of those two novels, the 1976 novel 3 to Kill.

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Brian loves both kinds of books — fiction and non-fiction. He is an all around book john and reviewing roustabout.

Top 50 Favorite Novels of the Decade: 2000-2009

Not too long ago I decided to make a list of my top 10 favorite books of the decade, from 2000-2009. I easily knocked out a list with a couple of dozen titles then decided that a decade was a long enough period of time to warrant a list of 50. I pretty quickly got to 49 then realized that two of the books on the list had hardback releases in 1999 so they got cut. I added to the list and had almost 60 books. 50 is a nice round number so I cut, cut, cut and brought it down to 50.

This is by no means a list of the best books of the decade. This isn’t a record of the most influential, those that had the most impact or even the most popular. Just my favorites. I would gladly grab any one of these books today and read it again. And in some cases I have.

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Brian loves both kinds of books — fiction and non-fiction. He is an all around book john and reviewing roustabout.

The Ghosts of Belfast by Stuart Neville Review

Those who believe that the short story is dead and/or irrelevant, and those who don’t see the value in publishing stories in e-zines that pay very little, if at all, to a circulation that is in all likelihood no more than a thousand would be well served to pay attention to the rise of Stuart Neville, because there are lessons to be learned there. Stuart Neville’s story in Thuglit was read by agent Nat Sobel, who signed him and sold his manuscript. Do people read the ‘zines? Yes. Do we know who is reading them? No, it could be anyone. And the more subtle of the lessons is that you never know who is checking you out online.

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Brian loves both kinds of books — fiction and non-fiction. He is an all around book john and reviewing roustabout.

Notes on Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon

I’m picking my way through Inherent Vice, and I’m not even quarter of the way through it yet but I wanted to post some informal thoughts.

By the end of the first chapter I was largely underwhelmed. I thought that the main character, Doc Sportello, was a doofus, and I didn’t care at all what he was going to do or what was in store for his future. This can be a problem when we are talking about a protag.

Inherent Vice

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Brian loves both kinds of books — fiction and non-fiction. He is an all around book john and reviewing roustabout.

A Bad Day For Sorry by Sophie Littlefield Review

When young mother Chrissy Shaw asks Stella for help with her no-good husband, Roy Dean, it looks like an easy case. Until Roy Dean disappears with Chrissy’s two-year-old son, Tucker. Stella quickly learns that Roy Dean was involved with some very scary men, as she tries to sort out who’s hiding information and who’s merely trying to kill her. It’s going to take a hell of a fight to get the little boy back home to his mama, but if anyone can do it, it’s Stella Hardesty.

Sophie Littlefield

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Brian loves both kinds of books — fiction and non-fiction. He is an all around book john and reviewing roustabout.

MPD – Psycho No.1 by Eiji Otsuka Review

MPD Psycho was a mini-series that came out in 2002 and was inspired by a Manga that came out in 1997. Dark Horse has been releasing the book in America since 2007. I’ve been meaning to jump into MPD – Psycho for a little while now and I’m finally starting to get caught up on it.

Jesus what a story.

MPD Psycho

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Brian loves both kinds of books — fiction and non-fiction. He is an all around book john and reviewing roustabout.

Level 26: Dark Origins by Anthony Zuiker & Duane Swierczynski Review

Level 26 is problematic at best.

I’m going to take a more personal approach to this review then I have in the past because that just seems like the best approach.

When I first started reading Level: 26 I decided that I was going to play it straight and read the appropriate book section and dutifully watch each video when the book instructed me to. Obviously there are different approaches that readers can and will take and this is the one that I chose feeling that it was intended by the creators.

Level 26

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Brian loves both kinds of books — fiction and non-fiction. He is an all around book john and reviewing roustabout.

Bookspot 2009 Summer 6-pack of Books

Summer is here and BSC has the car packed up and we’re taking a road trip. We called some friends and the only thing left to do is load up the cooler with potluck 6-packs. See who brought the imports, who brought the microbrews, who brought the kennel of Black Labs and who snuck in that skunked case from last year hoping nobody would notice.

Fish around until your hand turns numb, make sure you get the bottom, grab a fresh book, crack it open and enjoy.

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Brian loves both kinds of books — fiction and non-fiction. He is an all around book john and reviewing roustabout.

Craig McDonald Interview – Rogue Males

With Art in the Blood Craig McDonald wrote one of the indispensable non-fiction books of the the mystery/crime fiction genre. How does one follow that up? First, by starting what is shaping up to be, one of the great series of all time with Head Games, then a couple of years later giving us this companion piece.

Craig McDonald

Rogue Males is as equally indispensable as Art in the Blood and manages to surpass it in many ways. The final section The Desert Dialogues: Conversations with James Sallis and Ken Bruen offers up staggering profiles and is worth the price of admission alone.

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Brian loves both kinds of books — fiction and non-fiction. He is an all around book john and reviewing roustabout.

Torn and Frayed – The Electric Mayhem

Philipp Meyer

Saturday’s Child by Ray Banks

Saturday’s Child is the first Cal Innes book. It’s a couple of years old at this point and all I can say is that it kicks 10 kinds of ass. Ray Banks writes with an intensity and energy that marks him as a force to be reckoned with.

I’ll just point out two of the strengths of the book.

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Brian loves both kinds of books — fiction and non-fiction. He is an all around book john and reviewing roustabout.

Some Kind of Ride – Favorite Books of 2008

This will be brief.

As I’ve said before our strength lies in our diversity. If you want a unified chorus of voices singing hosannas to the pre-approved “best” books of the year then stop reading now — but if you want a ragged company of readers; readers with their own identity that shows in the books they choose, read and fight for then welcome home prodigal sons and daughters, the light is always on.

Here are our favorite reads of 2008. From 1959 to 2009 we got you covered.

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Brian loves both kinds of books — fiction and non-fiction. He is an all around book john and reviewing roustabout.

Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse + Vampire A Go-Go by Victor Gischler Review

Accompanied by his cowboy sidekick Buffalo Bill, the gorgeous stripper Sheila, and the mountain man Ted, Mortimer journeys to the lost city of Atlanta — and a showdown that might determine the fate of humanity.

victor gischler

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Brian loves both kinds of books — fiction and non-fiction. He is an all around book john and reviewing roustabout.

Patrick O’Leary Interview + Door Number Three Review

Behind Door Number Three is The Gift of The Impossible Bird…

When I decided to re-read Patrick O’Leary’s novels to see if they were as good as I remembered them to be I also set out to track him down. I wanted to see if he was still writing and if he had anything coming out as it had been awhile since we heard from him. I hoped that his pen wasn’t silent. After some digging around I heard from him and he agreed to talk to me and luckily he’s still writing. What follows is most of our discussion.

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Brian loves both kinds of books — fiction and non-fiction. He is an all around book john and reviewing roustabout.

Post Mortem: Uncovering the Real Ending of The 50/50 Killer by Steve Mosby

I almost feel like this doesn’t need to be said but I’ll say it anyway. This isn’t a review; it’s a critical piece that deals with text specific examples. In other words there WILL be spoilers.

An artist speaks from personal experiences, knowledge and beliefs, and rarely gets to see the finished piece. The work is completed by the viewer’s own intelligence and emotions.” — Peggy Kingsbury

steve mosby

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Brian loves both kinds of books — fiction and non-fiction. He is an all around book john and reviewing roustabout.