Sunday, September 22, 2019

#53: Kill McAllister by Matt Chisholm

McAllister's trail boss is killed, and the cattle run off, changing McAllister from cowpoke back to gunhand in Matt Chisholm's Kill McAllister.

Chisholm was an insanely prolific Australian writer named Peter Watts who wrote several western series characters, but none I have liked as well as McAllister.  These stories are lean and hard-bitten, but often feature colorful characters and situations.

This one is a bit more epic than some, taking McAllister on a long journey through a hard winter to get vengeance on the rustlers.

I got this in a big lot of paperback westerns from a friend and read it quickly.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

#52: February's Son by Alan Parks

Harry McCoy is a cop in tough 70s Glasgow, hunting a mentally unraveling gangster while trying to hold his own past at bay in Alan Parks' February's Son.

This is the second of the new series from Parks, and picks up just a few weeks after the end of the last novel with McCoy back on the force, but with his own past--and abuse at the hands of various adults--still very much present.

McCoy works on one crime spree while he and his old friend, a crime boss in his own right, begin to hatch a separate revenge plot based on finding a childhood tormentor.

Parks writes a very hard-boiled story, and this one--with gruesome violence and sexual abuse--is for discerning readers, but worthwhile.  I am interested in this series thus far.

I was sent this novel by World Noir and read it quickly. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

#51: Warlight by Michael Ondaatje

After World War II, two British youngsters are left by their parents in the care of a mysterious lodger they call The Moth; years later, the young man reflects on all that happened, and all that was revealed, during that unusual time in Michael Ondaatje's Warlight.

This is a literate novel, with espionage overtones; first in the past and then in the present, as the young man works for a British spy agency himself, and gradually learns the fate of his mother, father, and other characters swirling around in his youth.

The espionage elements are interesting, but perhaps not as rewarding as the musings on family, on time and place, and on the secret, unknown lives of the people around you, especially as children.

I like Ondaatje's writing, and a good audiobook read by Steve West added value.

I checked this out from the Morrisson-Reeves Public Library in Richmond, Indiana.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

#50: The Hummingbirds by Ross McMeekin

An aging film star, her unscrupulous producer husband, and the gardener who lives in the guest house make a volatile triangle in this literate California Noir.

Ross McMeekin's The Hummingbirds would read like a pretty traditional thriller except for the extended, ultimately creepy, backstories of both the producer and the gardener, whose troubled early lives play into a hair-raising final act.

Although the storytelling framework is pretty traditional, McMeekin pushes hard on the interpersonal elements, and that raises the stakes enough to provide interest throughout.

I checked this out from the Morrisson-Reeves Library in Richmond, Indiana.