Saturday, January 26, 2008

Book Review: Dan J. Marlowe, The Name of the Game Is Death (1962)

The only redeeming feature of Stephen King's disastrous The Colorado Kid is its dedication page, which plugs Dan J. Marlowe's The Name of the Game Is Death, a noir classic featuring a sociopathic antihero of the Jim Thompson variety. The novel builds to a feverish ending which, to my mind, strains too much for effect--but this opinion may well find me in the minority. Grade: B+

Monday, January 7, 2008

Book Review: Ken Bruen & Jason Starr, Bust (2006)

Highly entertaining neo-noir from Hard Case Crime. Like a vintage Gold Medal PBO, but with curse words. Brisk and bleak with black humor. Grade: B+

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Book Review: Charles Williams, The Big Bite (1956)

A pro football player, forced into retirement by injury, tries blackmail as a new career, and noir ensues. Most of The Big Bite is top-tier Charles Williams, but the narrative is marred by its ending, which comes from a bit too far out in left field. Read A Touch of Death first--a similar Charles Williams novel executed with greater elegance, and easily available from Hard Case Crime. Grade: B