Saturday, December 25, 2010

Book Report #6 of 26

London Boulevard
by
Ken Bruen

Another good read from an Irish crime author known for his violent and dark novels.

In this book Mitchell is released from prison.  He then walks a fine line between is old life and the new one he's trying to create.  He does not want to go back to prison but his old life keeps tugging at him; dragging him into situations that he barely has control over.

Much of his past is revealed to be not like he thought it was and once the body count starts we are lead in one direction only to have the whole story take a tilt that is surprising and satisfying.  In many ways the ending gave a real feeling of just what Mitchell was dealing with all along.  His revelations through out the story were not all that surprising to the reader, because we've read some of it before but the twist ending gave a real sense of how all of the previous surprises really felt to him.

It was a very satisfying read.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Book Report #5 of 26 - The Bobbly Gold Stories by Anthony bourdain

The Bobby Gold Stories
by
Anthony Bourdain

This was an interesting novel suggested to me by my sister Janick.

Anthony Bourdain is a world-famous chef.  He's been on the Food Network and now the Travel Channel and is best known for eating outrageous foods from around the world.  He's very charismatic and, I'm sure, pisses many, many people off.  He's obviously very intelligent and self-confident to the point of arrogance.  But he's also very compelling to watch.

My sister told me, a few weeks ago, that he is also an author of crime fiction.  "You've got to be kidding. He's a cook!.  What could he possibly write about?"  I already knew that he'd written a few memoirs but fiction is another kind of writing. 

The Bobby Gold Stories is his third novel. It could easily have been published by Gold Medal Books if this were the 50's.  The book is short, 165 pages, and the first two chapters will grab you by the throat and shake you around the room.  The pacing is lightning fast and the atmosphere is so authentic you can hear and smell the locations the book is set in.

Set in modern times, in New York City, the book follows Bobby Gold from prison to being an enforcer for a small-time crime boss named Eddie Fish.  Fish owns a night club that Bobby runs security for, Fish is also a loan-shark and Bobby has to sometimes "encourage" payment from his customers.

Bobby Gold is good at what he does, even though he doesn't like the job as much any more.   But Bobby's life is about to change when he meets Nikki; a cook in the night club.

The story is fun, the dialog jumps off the page and the story is interesting in that it does not go where you'd expect.  One of the things I like about the book is what it leaves out; you can be in the middle of an action scene and Bourdain just fades out and skips ahead a few months.  This has the combined effect of keeping you reading to find out how things ended up and you get the feeling that Bourdain was thinking, "You know how this goes, blah, blah, blah.  Let me tell you what happens next."  But the effect was a good one; the story was told in a fresh way which I enjoyed.

The best moment, for me, that set the tone of the whole book was chapter 2.  Oh my God!  That was tense.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Book Report #4 of 26

by

 Wow! 

This was N-O-I-R. 

Nice and dark; filled with interesting characters.  

Joe Hope is an enforcer for a loan-shark named Cooper.  The phone rings and Joe's world turns upside-down when he hears that his daughter has been found dead, an apparent suicide.  To make maters worse, on the heels of this news, he is also framed for a murder.



Joe must find out who did this to him and why and he'll do it on his own terms.

The book is set in modern times, it's not a reprinted pulp from the 50's but a contemporary thriller set in Edinburgh, Scotland.  

At the final climax of the story my heat was racing and I had to put the book down for a few minute, make myself a pot of coffee and catch my breath before I could finish the story.

This book was a lot of fun and you can bet I'll be looking for my from this author.