“Killing The Blues” by Robert Parker, “Act Of Deceit” by Steven Gore, “Ticket To Shadowland” by Timothy Craig, and “Bye Bye, Baby” by Max Allan Collins

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Killing the Blues

Fans of Robert Parker’s Jesse Stone series will be delighted with the latest novel, “Killing The Blues.” Parker’s estate selected Michael Brandman to keep the series alive. A long time Parker collaborator, Brandman has maintained the dialog driven style that made Parker’s books best sellers.

In this example, Jesse visits an underworld figure.

“I’m here to see Gino Fish,” Jesse said.

“Do you have an appointment?”


“Mr. Fish isn’t in.”

“And if I had an appointment?”

“Who knows?”

“What’s your name?”
“Steven. What’s yours?”


“Do you have a last name, Jesse?”


“Does Mr. Fish know you?”

“Why don’t you ask him?”

“Because he’s not in.”

“Look, Steven, this is an old game. You say Mr. Fish isn’t in. I ask you to tell him I’m here. Again, you say he isn’t in.”

“I’m following you so far.”

“But here’s where it gets complicated, so pay close attention. My next line is: If you don’t go inside and tell Mr. Fish that I’m waiting to see him, I’m going to call the state homicide commander, who will in turn send ten squad cars packed with dozens of police personnel right to this very door.”

“Why didn’t you say so?”

“Can we move this along now, Steven?”

Definitely classic Parker.

“Killing The Blues” (G. P. Putnam’s Sons. $25.95, 288 pages, hard cover.) http://www.facebook.com/RobertBParkerAuthor

Former international detective, Steven Gore, author of the popular Graham Gage series, brings us a compelling new character former detective, Harlan Donnelly.

Because of his background, Gore’s stories, feel real. It’s easy to imagine what a real detective feels, walking down dark hallways and knocking on doors, never knowing what’s on the other side.

Donnally’s dying friend’s request leads him into a battle against a broken justice system where the falsely pious and the wealthy abuse the young and the poor.

The third excellent thriller from the author of “Absolute Risk” and “Final Target”, “Act Of Deceit” is an aces up winner. (Harper, $9.99, 341 pages, trade paper. www.stevengore.com


If Jesse Stone and Donnally aren’t enough for you, check out “Sanctus.”  A huge, bold thriller, Sanctus is a bloody, twistedly perverse story about a battle against a secretive group of heretical, conspiring monks.  Set in modern day Turkey, “Sanctus” is 484 pages of the most engaging writing I’ve read in months. “Sanctus” by Simon Toyne (William Morrow, $25.99, 484 pages, hard cover). www.harpercollins.com.

“Ticket To Shadowland” by Timothy Craig (Cogito $24.95, 240 pages, hard cover). www.cogitomedias.com

Debut author, Tim Craig, brings as a classic 1940’s detective novel with a twist.

A beautiful woman appears at Detective Tom Hale’s office with a story he doesn’t much believe. Her murder, just hours later, draws Hale into a maelstrom of murder, espionage, and international warfare that’s way above his pay grade.

The prologue, shortened for space, sets everything up. The scene is the White House, October 1940.

“How did he die?” The president was still digesting the new just given him.

“We don’t know with certainty, Mr. President.”

Franklin Roosevelt looked at the two naval officers seated in front of him. The look, as usual, was hard to read.  …

“Why did he die?” the President finally asked.

The two advisors were suddenly uncomfortable. They understood the meaning of the question.

“We don’t know that either, Mr. President,” the senior man said softly.

A darn good way to spend twenty-five bucks.

Bye Bye, Baby

“Bye Bye, Baby” by Max Allan Collins. (Forge $24.99, 334 pages, hard cover.). www.maxallancollins.com

Written with the style and feeling of a Mike Hammer novel – which should be no surprise as Collins was selected to carry on Mickey Spillane’s iconic series – “Bye Bye” has everything you could want in a hard-boiled mystery. Marilyn Monroe, John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and Joe DiMaggio all make appearances. Plus there’s R rated sex at the Playboy Club! What’s not to like?

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