“Hell’s Bay” by James W. Hall

Hell's Bay

“Hell’s Bay” by James W. Hall (St. Martin’s Minotaur, $24.95, 3068 pages, www.minotaurbooks.com)

Hall’s lead character, Thorn, is one of the better of the lone guy, tuff guy series characters Thorn lives the simple life. A virtual monastic bachelor, Thorn avoids people like you would if you knew they were trying to sell you a lifetime supply of Tupperware. He spends most of his time tying and selling fly fishing flies.

Then about 15 pages into every book Thorn decides, against his better judgment, to have an actual conversation with a living breathing human being. These conversations often start out well with the promise of love, sex, romance or at least catching a REALLY BIG FISH.

But never fear within moments things go astray and Thorn ends up battling for all that is right and good.

A real men’s book for real yoga doin’, FIT food cookin’, chick-lit readin’ MEN.

“Nothing To Lose” by Lee Child

“Nothing To Lose” by Lee Child

“Nothing To Lose” by Lee Child (Delacorte Press, $27.00, 407 pages, www.leechild.com)

Grit-lit’s favorite tough guy is back! And as usual, he has nothing to lose.

Reacher is stuck in that place so familiar to many of us; he’s stuck between hope and despair. Unlike many of us aging boomers, Reacher’s problem is not all in his head. Its physical, he’s stuck in the middle of nowhere between two small towns: Hope and Despair.

“Lose” is typical Reacher. Reacher can’t get a ride, so he walks. He wants a simple cup of coffee. He gets accosted by violent locals, arrested for vagrancy and ordered by the local cops to move on. Something clearly stinks and Reacher decides to find out what.

Reacher’s the ultimate hard man. No job, no address, no baggage. And “Nothing To Lose” is the ultimate hard guy book.

“Black Widow” by Randy Wayne White

“Black Widow” by Randy Wayne White

“Black Widow” by Randy Wayne White (G P Putnam’s Sons. $24.95, 337 pages, www.docford.com).

A young woman, Shay, and her bridesmaids held a wild, wild bachelorette party on St. Arc in the Windward Islands. A sleazy blackmailer secretly videotaped the event and was threatening to ruin the lives of everyone involved.

Shay asks her godfather, Doc Ford, for help. A marine biologist by training, Doc is a quiet, peaceful, and deadly violent man who, in addition to marine biology, works as a covert agent for the United States government.

And that’s when things get interesting. Once Doc gets involved you know the bad guys will end up being forced to take just the right medicine.

As always, Doc Ford is a great read. A perfect book for an airline flight either on your way to or returning from your own lost weekend.

“The Fraternity of the Stone” by David Morell

“The Fraternity of the Stone,” ($15. 480 pages. Soft cover.) The brothers from “Rose” join forces to learn why old men are mysteriously disappearing. At first, the disappearances seem to have no connection to each other, but it’s soon evident that the sins of the fathers are being visited upon the sons.

The third book in this trilogy, “The League Of Night and Fog,” will be re-released next spring.

Other Morrell books Grit-Lit recommends included: “Desperate Measures,” “The Fifth Profession,” “Assumed Identity,” and “Extreme Denial.”

Do yourself a favor. Spend your summer with David Morrell. With 29 outstanding books, you can’t go wrong.

“Strong Enough To Die” by Jon Land

Strong enough to Die

“Strong Enough To Die” by Jon Land. (Forge $24.95, 352 pages. Hard cover.) www.tor-forge.com

Land’s books are so good, his last book “The Seven Sins: The Tyrant Ascending” is on its way to being a blockbuster. Movie guys from “Terminator” snapped up the rights.
Now don’t get all mad when you discover that technically “Strong Enough” is not a tough guy book. That’s only because on special occasions, Land’s hero can look mighty good in a dress. His new star, Caitlin Strong, is the first female Texas Ranger. So, she’s tough. Plenty tough.
“You ever shot anybody before today?” he asked her.
“Yup.”
“Kill anybody?”
“Yup. Not that I’m proud of it.”
“You proud of what you did today?”
“Nope.”
“Figured.” Dylan sighed, leaning back with arms crossed. “Why?”
“’Cause I was too late to save your mom.”

“Strong Enough” is a wonderful complex story that touches on several real life issues: torture recovery centers, border control, high tech computer weapons … In “Strong Enough To Die” Land has create a complex and wildly enjoyable thriller.


“The Brotherhood of the Rose” by David Morrell

The Brotherhood of the Rose: A Novel (Mortalis) (Paperback)

If anyone could be called the KING OF MODERN THRILLERS, it would be David Morrell. Morrell’s claim to fame is often summed up in the words “He Wrote Rambo.” This is an incredible disservice to a man who has written many of the absolute best thrillers of all time.

“The Brotherhood of the Rose,” (Random House, $15. 448 pages. Soft cover). Morrell’s first big international thriller.

Two boys in an orphanage are befriended by an elderly man, who unknown to them belongs to the CIA.

He makes the boys love him as a substitute father, and then trains them to be his personal intelligence operatives.

The story is filled with all kinds of authentic CIA history and trade craft.

“The Shimmer” by David Morrell

The shimmers

In his just released novel, “The Shimmer,” (Vanguard Press $25.95 326 pages. Hard cover.) www.davidmorrell.net, the lead character is a private pilot. In order to get things right, Morrell earned his license and says, “Becoming a pilot is a highlight of my life.”
The central theme in “Shimmer” is that a vital life skill is learning to see what is really there. Not what you believe is there. And not what you see at first glance. But what is really there after careful, thorough inspection.
In “Shimmer” Morrell introduces us to a unique natural phenomena that has defied scientific explanation for more than 100 hears. In west Texas, outside the small town of Marfa, magical lights occasionally appear. They bob, weave, float, waver, blink, glow, appear and vanish. Some people can see them all the time. Some people can see them some of the time and some people never see them. Some people are transported by the lights and others think they are no big deal.

Morrell uses these lights and there varied affects on viewers to tell a totally engrossing tale involving a vanished wife, a massacre and a deadly government secret dating back to the First World War. More cannot be said without giving away the tremendous story and exciting ending.
Two of Morrell’s best books are being re-released by Random House. Both are exceptionally worthwhile,

“Gone Tomorrow” by Lee Child

gone tomorow

“Gone Tomorrow” Lee Child. (Delacorte Press $27, 421 pages. Hard cover.) www.LeeChild.com.
“Gone Tomorrow” is Reacher at his finest. For those of you who don’t know, Reacher is the classic lone wolf.

He travels light. Sleeps where he can. And when he needs a weapon he usually just steals it from a crook.
In “Gone” Reacher sees a New York subway suicide. And he knows that something is not right. BAM! He’s in the middle of a mess that both the feds and Al-Queda want to keep secret.

Reacher winds up being hunted by both sides. Which, typical Reacher, is exactly what he wants.

David Morrell King of the Modern Thriller

If anyone could be called the KING OF MODERN THRILLERS, it would be David Morrell. Morrell’s claim to fame is often summed up in the words “He Wrote Rambo.” This is an incredible disservice to a man who has written many of the absolute best thrillers of all time.
At ThrillerFest 2009, Morrell received the prestigious award of ThrillerMaster. This is the industry’s top honor having been won in the past by Grit-Lit favorites: Clive Cussler, Robin Cook, Sandra Brown and Katherine Neville.
In an industry where the average writing career lasts about 15 years, Morrell has been creating impossible to put down books for over 40 years. And he does it the hard way.

No easy, 15 book hero based series where the same good-hearted but deadly hero fights the good fight, overcomes evil and wins the dame. While he has some repeat characters (for example, Rambo appeared in more than one novel) Morrell works hard to bring us the new, unusual and stories.
Grit-Lit was delighted to learn that Morrell believes in our “Three Sacred E’s”, supporting the concept that books should Enlighten, Educate and Entertain.
Noted for his research, Morrell graduated from the National Outdoor Leadership School for wilderness survival. In practical terms that means he spent 35 days living wild in the Wyoming mountains.

That’s thirty-five days without toilets, toilet paper or, EGADS, a reliable food supply. In addition he has trained in firearms, hostage negotiation, assumed identities, executive protection, anti-terrorist driving and knife work (and we aren’t talking about cooking). This is not a man you want to get in a fight with.

The shimmers

In his just released novel, “The Shimmer,” (Vanguard Press $25.95 326 pages. Hard cover.) www.davidmorrell.net, the lead character is a private pilot. In order to get things right, Morrell earned his license and says, “Becoming a pilot is a highlight of my life.”
The central theme in “Shimmer” is that a vital life skill is learning to see what is really there.  Not what you believe is there. And not what you see at first glance. But what is really there after careful, thorough inspection.
In “Shimmer” Morrell introduces us to a unique natural phenomena that has defied scientific explanation for more than 100 hears. In west Texas, outside the small town of Marfa, magical lights occasionally appear. They bob, weave, float, waver, blink, glow, appear and vanish. Some people can see them all the time. Some people can see them some of the time and some people never see them. Some people are transported by the lights and others think they are no big deal. Continue reading

Jon Land, Lee Child, Andrew Grant Wonderful Heroes — Tough Guys and a Tough Gal

Looks like I won’t be going to work for at least the next 2 months. Just discovered that one of Grit-Lit’s all time favorite authors, Jon “The Legend” Land, has written 28 novels. TWENTY-EIGHT! And I’ve only read 9 of ‘em.

That’s 19 books I’ve gotta read RIGHT NOW! And no, you can’t have my copies when I’m done. They are going to their place of honor on my bookshelf next to the other superlative tough guy novels by John D. MacDonald, Randy Wayne White, Robert Parker, James W. Hall, Andrew Vachss, Stephen Hunter, Ian Fleming, David Morrell …
Sleep was all ready pretty much back burnered anyway.

What with the NBA play-offs–40 Games In 40 Nights–which of our country’s enemies came up with that? Forty days of nonstop basketball could bring the American economy to its knees faster than a whole new round of sub-prime loans.
But wait, there’s more good news–more up-all-night books including an outstanding new Jack Reacher by Lee Child and a great new tough guy novel by Andrew Grant. Plus the 19 new-to-me-books by Jon Land.

Strong enough to Die

“Strong Enough To Die” by Jon Land. (Forge $24.95, 352 pages. Hard cover.) www.tor-forge.com

Land’s books are so good, his last book “The Seven Sins: The Tyrant Ascending” is on its way to being a blockbuster. Movie guys from “Terminator” snapped up the rights.
Now don’t get all mad when you discover that technically “Strong Enough” is not a tough guy book. That’s only because on special occasions, Land’s hero can look mighty good in a dress. His new star, Caitlin Strong, is the first female Texas Ranger. So, she’s tough. Plenty tough. Continue reading