hard-boiled

Don't Look for Me

By Loren D. Estleman
3
Rated by Don M.
Sep 9, 2016

In Don't Look for Me, private investigator Amos Walker is hired to track down a missing wife. He has no solid leads, so he starts at the herbal remedies store that she frequented. All of a sudden, people are tailing him and people are dying! Raymond Chandler once said that when he didn’t know what to do, he would send a man through the door with a gun in his hand. I get the sense that Estleman's approach is the same.


Estleman holds true to the private eye formula, and he plots well, but I think he tries too hard when it comes to dialog. Nonetheless, I enjoyed his latest effort. 

Killers

By Howie Carr
4
Rated by Don M.
Mar 26, 2016

I really enjoyed this book! This is Howie Carr’s second novel and I am as impressed with this one as I was with the first. In what could be a nod to Hemingway, he titled this novel “Killers”, although Hemingway’s short story is “The Killers.” The author employs two alternating narrators to very good effect. One is Bench McCarthy, a businessman/killer who runs his own show but answers to Sally Curto, head of the local crime organization. Bench and Sally are under attack and they don’t know why.  The other narrator is Jack Reilly, a private investigator hired by political forces trying to find

Green Hell

By Ken Bruen
3
Rated by Don M.
Jan 21, 2016

It’s not often that you open a book to find the main character quoting author James Crumley. But Ken Bruen is clearly a student of the genre; references to the history of hard-boiled fiction keep dropping, which is a very nice treat for the reader. 


Jack Taylor, a functioning alcoholic, has been kicked out of “the Guards” (Irish National Police) and now makes his living as a private detective. The story is set in Galway and begins when Boru Kennedy, a young American, comes to Ireland to research his thesis on Beckett. But, with Jack’s help, Boru becomes sidetracked by Taylor’s pursuit of a

The Sundown Speech

By Loren D. Estleman
4
Rated by Don M.
Dec 24, 2015

The Sundown Speech is the twenty-fifth Amos Walker novel by Loren D. Estleman, and he still has it.  He has set the story in Ann Arbor, a useful change of scenery for our private detective, who is usually based in Detroit. A married couple has invested money in a filmmaker’s latest venture, and they think they have been swindled. They hire Walker to get their money back, but when Walker investigates, he finds the filmmaker dead. Estleman has plenty of fun with the college town culture of Ann Arbor, and you’ll have plenty of fun with the characters, sparkling dialogue, and plot of this novel.

Dark Times in the City

By Gene Kerrigan
3
Rated by Don M.
Jul 14, 2015

Hardboiled has been transported to Ireland and the result is thoroughly enjoyable! 


Kerrigan writes with a spare, bare bones style that packs a punch. At a bar in Dublin, the path of ex-con Danny Callaghan crosses with small-time crook Walter Bennett. Bennett is the target of murder attempt gone wrong, and Callaghan is inadvertently involved. The criminal kingpin who ordered the hit decides to use him for his own purposes. Why Callaghan is being used isn’t immediately apparent but he has ended up in the middle of a gang war. Callaghan must now walk a tightrope between the criminals and the

The Glass Key

By Dashiell Hammett
4
Rated by Don M.
Mar 19, 2015

Ned Beaumont is right hand man to Paul Madvig, who runs this anonymous city. Beaumont is the fixer and the general election is coming up will be a close one. Madvig is a political cohort to Senator Ralph Bancroft Henry and is in love with Henry's daughter, who does not return the feeling. When a senator’s son is killed, the pressure is on city officials to solve the murder and Beaumont is right in the thick of it.


Written in 1931, The Glass Key still holds up today. It is set in a violent world inhabited by ruthless people. The dialogue still sparkles and the story still works, making Dashi

Aug 15, 2012

There is a new player in town! Hardboiled has a great new addition in P.G. Sturges. This is the debut novel of the son of the director, Preston Sturges.  The Shortcut Man is an entertaining ride into the sleazy side of L.A. by an ex-cop turned private eye, Dick Henry, who gets involved with a porn king and his treacherous wife, and it is a rollercoaster of a ride.  Sturges’ writing and plotting are squarely in the best standards of the hardboiled genre.  He already has a second novel out entitled Tribulations of the Shortcut Man.

Hard Knocks by Howie Carr

0
Rated by Don M.
Mar 15, 2012

I am always on the lookout to find new hard-boiled mysteries/thrillers so I happened onto this book while browsing and decided to give it a try.  I’m glad I did.  What a fun read!  Jack Reilly is a retired cop just trying to make it through the day.  His “brudda” is in prison and complicates his life no end.  So he ends up doing a favor for his brudda’s friend and the next thing you know, the guy gets popped right after talking to Reilly.  See where I am goin wit dis?  Did I mention the story takes place in Boston? Anyway, there are more twists and turns in this tale than a giant rollercoaster