Saturday, July 18, 2020
Prodigal Son: Come for the Premise, Stay for the Twists
Friday, July 17, 2020
Beau Travels to Idaho
When you want someone found, you call bounty hunter Jake Halligan. He’s smart, tough, and best of all, careful on the job. But none of those skills seem to help him when a shadowy group starts taking his life apart piece by piece.
First Jake comes home to find a dead body in his gun safe. He thinks it’s a warning—and when you drag people back to jail for a living, the list of people who want to send that kind of message is very long indeed. With backup from his sister Frankie, an arms dealer and dapper criminal, Jake plunges into the Idaho underworld, confronting everyone from brutal Aryan assassins to cops who want his whole family in jail.
But as Jake soon discovers, those threats are small-time compared to the group that’s really after him. And nothing—not bounty hunting, not even all his years in Iraq—can prepare him for what’s coming next. Jake’s about to become a player in the most dangerous game ever invented…
Boise Longpig Hunting Club is a wild ride into the dark heart of the American dream, where even the most brutal desires can be fulfilled for a price, and nobody is safe from the rich and powerful.
Praise for BOISE LONGPIG HUNTING CLUB:
“Nick Kolakowski spins a ripping pulp yarn of smart-ass bounty hunters and bad-ass crime queenpins caught in the Jean-Claude Van God-Damnedest take on The Most Dangerous Game since Hard Target, but with no bad accents.” —Thomas Pluck, author of Bad Boy Boogie and Blade of Dishonor
“Bounty hunters, a Monkey Man and Zombie Bill, explosions, sharp violence and even laughs. Kolakowski brings the goods with this one!” —Dave White, Shamus Award-nominated author of the Jackson Donne series
“A bounty hunter, his underworld criminal sister, and a dead body stuffed in a gun safe. What could possibly go wrong? In Boise Longpig Hunting Club, Nick Kolakowski unleashes a sordid and delightfully twisted tale of double crosses, revenge, and good ol’ redneck justice. Like the bastard child of Joe Lansdale
Buy it HERE
Tuesday, July 14, 2020
Bosch Impressions, post George Floyd
As I take in the episodes, though, I'm quite aware that I'm watching a series that is before the George Floyd killing and all the recent calls to defund and reform the police. This is to take absolutely nothing away from the show, which, again, over the years, has become one of my favorites. All crime novelists should get the kind of adaptations, on film or TV, that Michael Connelly has gotten with Bosch. And this season's storyline, from what I've seen so far, involves sovereign citizens, both white and black, who are conspiracy theory types with a huge mistrust and hatred of the federal government and the "deep state". There's no question of the material not being relevant, in tune with the times.
There's something odd, however. And this is hardly an oddness limited to Bosch. But is there any fiction that has it both ways like crime fiction does? I'll explain. Crime fiction of a particular type in effect prides itself on its so-called realism, its ability to look without blinking at the darkest of human darkness. Crime writers often all but say that they're just trying to "keep it real". If there are words more overused when describing crime fiction than "gritty" and "grittiness" -- words used as praise by the way -- than I don't know what they are. This goes for police procedurals as well as for works you'd categorize without question as "noir". But in countless series, in print and on television, series of which precious few are as good as Bosch, you get as your characters these total pros who represent a fairly idealized kind of realism. I mean, the investigators in these works are more realistic, say, than Hercule Poirot or the cozy sleuths of the world, but they stand out, quite often, for having a measure of exceptionalism. Damn, if only every cop was Bosch or Jerry Edgar. If only every metropolitan police chief was like Lance Reddick's Irving. Now there's nothing wrong with any of this; people go to fiction to spend time with characters who are "real" enough to be relatable but still have something beyond the ordinary about them.
But in order to grapple with what's "really" going on (and by that I don't mean every single police officer in existence is racist or a militaristic thug), I would imagine that people who write these sort of stories are going to have to show more of a different side of law enforcement in the post-George Floyd world. Or show us more of the tension, if there is any, between those in law enforcement who aren't racist and on the thuggish side and those who are. Or show us how a cop who may have started out one way, with the best intentions, may get warped by years working in a particular job, with its hazards and pressures and organizational demands. And what about when the cops, pissed off by politicians, do a work slow-down, and the ever-present influence of other cops who don't have the best intentions? Police will always solve crimes and a well-told crime tale will always be interesting, but there's so much else going on now in connection with cops and their place in our world that seems worthy of deep exploration. For starters, I would think the George Floyd incident, and by extension, the many horrible incidents similar to it, and the police protest movement and the variety of characters participating, however seriously, in that movement, should provide writers with a ton of stuff to ponder and write about in their procedurals.
I don't know. These are just a few thoughts that popped into my head as I was watching the new season of Bosch.
But I do wonder: how "realistically" will crime writers grapple with what is going on right now? I guess as readers we'll find out.