Saturday, February 22, 2020

Review: The Executioner: Vegas Vendetta

The Executioner: Vegas Vendetta The Executioner: Vegas Vendetta by Don Pendleton
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Mack Bolan stops off in Vegas to relieve the Mafia of a load of cash and ends up rescuing undercover cop Carl Lyons who tells Bolan about some sinister mob activity in town. Bolan decides to stick around, help out a comedian that has been targeted, and take down a Casino-Resort that is mobbed up. The hip 70’s idioms were a gas, the police are called “the fuzz” and independent women are “Women Libbers”. Bolanverse regulars Hal Brognola, Jack Grimaldi, and the deadly  Talifero brothers all make appearances too. Another lean and muscular action thriller in the long running series that is difficult to put down.

Available for Kindle

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Review: Take A Step To Murder

Take A Step To Murder Take A Step To Murder by Day Keene
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Kurt Renner needs money to keep his motor court in business while the expressway interchange gets built. He devises a truly repugnant plan to blackmail a rapist’s rich father, but things don’t go as planned. A rollercoaster of events keeps the book rolling at breakneck pace, and although I liked the plotting, I found that the lack of any sympathetic characters took the heart out of the book. I didn’t really care if Renner succeeded in saving his motor court. Not one of Keene’s better books.

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Review: Strangers in My Bed

Strangers in My Bed Strangers in My Bed by Allen O'Quinn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A good example of rural swamp noir, and a solid coming-of-age story, as kindly brother Willie tries to pick up the pieces when bad brother Elroy comes home from college and creates a unholy mess of everything. Although the title and cover blurbs promise some sleaze the book is not nearly as salacious, consisting of horny hillbillies talking about sex in metaphorical terms with no gratuitous or graphical depictions. The books touches on the discrimination of urban Southerners against the uneducated backwater folks, and some pretty disturbing examples of racism in the Deep South. A talented writer, Mr. O'Quinn wrote three backwoods/swamp novels for Gold Medal and then disappeared. Another great cover by Barye Phillips.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Review: The Paperback Fanatic issue 43

The Paperback Fanatic issue 43 The Paperback Fanatic issue 43 by Justin Marriott
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Plenty of insightful reviews of Fawcett Gold Medal paperback originals from reviewers that are well informed and not particularly wordy, a couple of paragraphs per review. Recommended for all lovers of Gold Medal books.

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Monday, February 17, 2020

Review: Hot Lead, Cold Justice

Hot Lead, Cold Justice Hot Lead, Cold Justice by Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Burn ‘Em” Burnham, a psychotic protege of Quantrill has a vendetta against Trinity Sheriff Caleb York. He plans to rob a Las Vegas bank with his cohorts, kill York, and then hide out in Trinity during a deadly New Mexico blizzard. Faithful deputy Tulley is gunned down, accidentally mistaken for Caleb, and York seeks vengeance. Spillane created the resourceful, noble, and somewhat mysterious character of Caleb York and he’s in great hands with Max Allan Collins. Love interest Willa Cullen and other colorful characters of Trinity are back giving the story great depth and heart. The blizzard was almost a character itself, infuriating travel, and causing havoc, death and devastation. This tightly written page-turner should appeal to all readers of crime and thriller novels, not just fans of historical fiction. Highly recommended.

Pre-order it on Amazon

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Review: A Woman For Henry

A Woman For Henry A Woman For Henry by Allen O'Quinn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Tensions between moon-shining swamp brothers Henry and Del are heightened when Del brings home salacious saloon bride Morna from New Orleans, and a complex plot to ruin Henry's operation begins to unfold. Morna is a formidable femme fatale, brimming with overt sexuality and a boldness that Henry finds difficult to resist, although he secretly pines for local good girl Joanne. Well written enough to make me seek out another book from this very obscure author. Great cover art by Barye Phillips.


Monday, February 10, 2020

Movie Review: Range War (1938)

William Boyd
Not really a range war per se, but rather a greedy land baron trying to sabotage railroad construction that threatens his toll range business model. There's no Gabby Hayes or Andy Clyde here, just horndog Lucky Jenkins and Speedy, a fella that talks slow and who provides some comic relief. Hoppy is engaged by the railroad to track down the bandits that have been stealing the payroll and no surprise, they are under the auspices of the greedy land baron. Like all Hopalong Cassidy movies this one is fun and entertaining, and perhaps more a little more violent than most.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Review: The Searching Rider

The Searching Rider The Searching Rider by Harry Whittington
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A farmer named Kraylor mounts a lone, suicidal revenge mission against a trio of outlaws that murdered his young son. His wife Hetty implores old flame Matt Logan to go after Kraylor before he gets himself killed. This revenge novella is a razor sharp page-turner set amongst the backdrop of a compelling love triangle. Matt Logan is seriously conflicted. Letting Kraylor die would leave Hetty to himself, and of courser Kraylor wants no help from his wife’s former flame. This emotional turmoil propels a fairly standard revenge plot into something transcendental. The action-packed climax is a highlight as well. Recommended.

I don't see this Ace Double half being reprinted anytime soon so I created ebooks from scanned images that I found online in the name of digital preservation. Download them here:

EPUB - The Searching Rider - Harry Whittington.epub
MOBI - The Searching Rider - Harry Whittington.mobi