Wednesday, February 21, 2024

#11: She Rides Shotgun by Jordan Harper

A recent parolee finds himself on the wrong side of a prison gang with connections in the outside world, throwing the man's daughter in danger, in Jordan Harper's She Rides Shotgun.

As a contract is put out on both of their heads, the father and daughter go from being virtual strangers to forming an unusual bond.

Uncompromising in its storytelling, Harper's cinematic writing seems pre-built for a movie starring Channing Tatum.  It rockets through a number of brutal set pieces to a slam-bang finale in a meth-cooking empire called Slabtown, run by a crooked sheriff.

Tough in its depiction of violence, but compelling story-wise throughout.  Recommended for discerning readers.

I got this for my beloved Kindle and read it quickly.

Monday, February 19, 2024

#10: Syzygy by Michael G. Coney

On an alien planet, a group of colonists react unexpectedly to a sudden alignment of six moons in Michael G. Coney's Syzygy.  

The moons also impact the previously placid local wildlife, causing further complications including a burst of telepathy among the colonists.  As impulse control lessens and violence brews, the colonists fortunately find a "root" that when chewed causes mellowing effects for all who take it.

Definitely a product of its early 70s writing, but enjoyable for those who can look past some of the dated social perspectives.

I got this one for my beloved Kindle and read it quickly.

Monday, February 12, 2024

#9:The Vanishing KInd by Lavie Tidhar

A b-movie screenwriter comes to a bombed-out London looking for an actress, only to find her wrapped up in a crime network, in Lavie Tidhar's The Vanishing Kind.

Tidhar's book is an alternate history where the Nazis won the war, a popular science fiction plot device, but the author's world-building here is still pretty good.  The slender novel does feature a kind of odd narrative framing device with a British Gestapo agent tailing the screenwriter.

A propulsive and readable story.

I got this for my beloved Kindle and read it quickly.

Saturday, February 10, 2024

#8: There Are No Happy Loves by Sergio Olguin

An investigative journalist and her ex, a lawyer, stumble upon a network of organ traffickers and adoption fraud in Sergio Olguin's There Are No Happy Loves.

This is the third in the series about Buenos Aires-based journalist Veronica Rosenthal and has many callbacks to the first two books in the series.  This one focuses a lot of attention on corruption of church and state in Argentina and is painted on a broad canvas with multiple story threads.

I think Olguin is a solid thriller writer and I have enjoyed this series.

I checked this out from the New Castle-Henry County Public Library in New Castle, Indiana.

Thursday, February 8, 2024

#7: The Border Jumpers by John Benteen

Soldier of Fortune Neal Fargo aims to stop cattle rustling from the Mexican side of the border, but ends up in a double cross, in John Benteen's The Border Jumpers.

Benteen was Ben Haas, who wrote a number of series including this one, more a men's adventure story than a western, taking place around the period of World War I.  

Benteen is known for his very burly storytelling, and this one is no exception, with plenty of gun battles for the cynical protagonist.  Using a bag of rattlesnakes as a weapon is one of the more memorable sequences.

Most Fargo novels are a cut above the typical men's adventure so he is always recommended for fans.

I read this on my beloved Kindle pretty quickly.

Friday, February 2, 2024

#6: Valley of the Lawless by Cole Shelton

Two gun-hands help a town defeat a corrupt sheriff and a cold-hearted cattleman in Cole Shelton's Valley of the Lawless.

Shelton is actually Roger Norris-Green, an Australian writer who penned a number of adventures for "Shane and Jonah," this novel's protagonists, as well as other books.  Shane is the typical steel-eyed black-clad gunman and Jonah his older saddle partner and slight comic relief.

This is a solid little western with steady gunplay and a dash of romance, hitting all the traditional beats.

I got this for my beloved Kindle and read it quickly.