Monday, February 17, 2014

Quick Notes: Street Raised, White Hot Pistol, The First One You Expect, Dead Pig Collector

I've been using my down time at work to read short novels and novellas lately. So I've been able to make a little dent in the old TBR. Here's some quick thoughts on a few of the books I've read lately. 

I read this back when it was originally published a few years ago. This new version has been heavily trimmed from that version. I was a fan then and remain one now. This is a lean and mean book filled with by god actual crime fiction characters (as opposed to mystery characters). The other thing that comes through is a genuine sense of place.

Two side notes - 1) Because I  had read the original version there were a couple of times where I was wondering where a particular scene was and *maybe* there were one or two sections that were cut a little close to the bone. 2) If you are a fan of this novel you should definitely track down a copy of the original. If only to spend more time with these characters (because it was a substantial trimming).

Highly Recommended

White Hot Pistol by Eric Beetner

White Hot Pistol sits squarely in Beetner's wheelhouse, which is out of the pan and in to the fire fiction. There's a lot of action, a lot of moments designed to keep you reading, and a lot of action. There was one of those moments early on where there is no Earthly good reason for the protag to do what he does, except that if he doesn't the story would have ended right then. Once you get past that set up moment you get a slick, action packed, violent, family revenger.

Note - This is the first title from Bookxy, a new line of novellas, and it only available directly from them.   


A modern kind of spiritual cousin to Crimson Orgy by Austin Williams in the way that it shows the reader the seedy side of low/no budget film making. To the extent I have a complaint it is only that I think there is more story there. I think Cesare could pull a reverse Hansen (his label mate) and expand on this later on if he wanted to. But that's not a real complaint, just an observation. While the end does come quick it does pack a punch and it has a great final line.


This is a bout a freelance body disposal guy. Which is a great start of an idea. Dead Pig Collector however is very dry. There is no real suspense, tension, drama, or even story really. It is a dry recitation of how to properly dispose of a body with a last moment attempt to zing the reader. Could be worth a buck for some readers if they know what they are getting in to but Ellis is capable of (and has done) better.

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