All night long
We would sing that stupid song
And every word we sang
I knew was true
By Steve Weddle
If you're like an estimated 89% of the world population (my estimate, having been out with you people in this mess), you'll be parking in medians and knocking over neighbors as you race for the latest hamster with buggy eyes this Friday.
The day after Thanksgiving has been known as Black Friday ever since Bagsecg the Viking was killed in 871 near Oxfordshire while shopping for TecmoBowl for the original Nintendo.
You don't need to visit the mall this year. Yes, I know how much you like the Orange Juliuses, er, Julii, and buying three Hallmark cards so that you can get the dancing polar bear, but do that some other time. This week, I got ya covered.
In fact, those dudes over there in the right rail have you covered. Mike Knowles, John McFetridge, and Russel D. McLean have each had books come out in the last couple months. What timing, right? Just as you're getting to know these dudes better, they come out with books for you to buy for the holidays. Truly, the world revolves around you. But that's not all. Dave White has a couple of books you need to have -- or need to give as gifts. Why? Because his new one will be out soon.
And speaking of new ones, Jay Stringer's book is fantastic and the work Scott D. Parker is doing is amazing. So let's make a shopping list, shall we?
I've had the privilege of reading two of John McFetridge's books -- DIRTY SWEET and SWAP. McFet, as he's known around the DoSomeDamage compound, started off in a great spot and continues to grow. He writes about Toronto as if it were the crime capital of the world. Heck, it might be. So much goes on here, with these crazy people just one little deal away from hitting it big. Cops and criminals alike get caught up in bad decisions. These are fantastic reads. But don't take my word for it. Check out what the BCS folks say. Or these folks, who say SWAP "might well serve as an eye-opener to McFetridge’s Canadian readers.
You can even check out a collection of McFet's stories up there in the right rail where it says FLASH. SWAP is available in Canada. In a couple of months it will be called LET IT RIDE and will be available in the US of A. If you're a fan of third person stories in which a bunch of people and their stories come together -- or don't -- you'll love these books. Heck, if you like good books, you'll like these. I sure as heck did.
Our other Canadian DSDer is Mike Knowles, whose second book, GRINDER, just came out. If the catalog copy doesn't get you ordering the book, something could be wrong you.
Two years ago Wilson left his old boss alive in exchange for a clean slate, keeping up his end of the bargain and staying off the grid. Then, thousands of miles from the city he once escaped, a man comes calling on Wilson with a gun in hand and a woman in his trunk. Wilson is pulled back into his old life as a "grinder" to work under the radar to quietly find out who is responsible for a dangerous mobster's missing nephews--and this time all bets are off.
And you'll need to hurry up. Word has it that Mike's next Wilson book is due out next year. If you like your crime fiction dark and messy, this is the book for you. Mike has a great way of filling the page with violence and fear and never losing site of the character and narrative. GRINDER is on my TBR pile right, waiting for me to finish THE LOST SISTER, by Russel D. McLean.
THE LOST SISTER is a great follow-up to THE GOOD SON. In this new one, Scottish Private Eye J McNee returns and gets caught up in all sorts of craziness, looking for a missing girl. He faces personal and professional challenges, the likes of which would break most people. There's a good deal of "place" in these books, atmosphere and surroundings that help develop a character who gets more complex with each chapter -- just like the mystery he's unraveling. You'll love it.
Which brings us to an oldie but a goodie. Dave White (I don't mean he's old, despite the fact that he just turned 30.) has been writing Jackson Donne stories for years. You can go back and catch up on the shorts over here. Like McFet's FLASH up there, these are free looks at some solid work. Once you read those stories, you'll want to grab WHEN ONE MAN DIES, the story of Donne, a former junkie cop, who is trying to do a favor and look into a friend's death. He probably should have just flown to Hawaii instead. It doesn't go well for him. When you finish that one, you'll want to get the next one. And I hear there's a third one coming out in the next year or two, which would be great.
OK. So I've given you some choices of books to read and to give as gifts.
SWAP if you're in Canada. DIRTY SWEET if you're not. Then LET IT RIDE in the new year. That's McFet. For Mike, send folks a copy of GRINDER and let them be afraid of you. You could go back and get DARWIN's NIGHTMARE, too.
THE LOST SISTER and THE GOOD SON by Russel are great reads with plenty of mystery and nuance.
And Dave's Jackson Donne work is another good bet. Russel and Dave have the PI books here, while McFet and Mike really look at Canada's underbelly. Like most underbellies, this one ain't pretty.
In the next year or so, you should be able to read Jay Stringer's OLD GOLD. Jay's got a way of building characters quickly and then developing them through the book. Here's an example I'm probably not supposed to share with you:
“You let him threaten you?”
She gave me that Bacall look again, and somehow everything I’d said seemed foolish.
“Do I look like I’d let someone actually hit me?”
I love that part. Man, I can't wait to see this one on the shelves.
And speaking of future works, Scott D. Parker has a couple of projects that I hope he blogs about soon. He's a master of the sci-fi, western, and the mystery. When he gets his book together, you're gonna hear about it everywhere.
OK. That give you enough to shop for this holiday season? Glad to help. Now make with the clicky-click and get ordering.
If you've read some of these, what did you think? If not, what the heck is wrong with ya?