Saturday, April 04, 2009

New Story Posted at BEAT to a PULP

BEAT to a PULP :: Preferred Customer :: Mike Sheeter

He Wanted to See the State that Leads the Way

Va. boy drove 1,300 miles to Texas rodeo grounds: "A 13-year-old Virginia boy apparently loaded his family's pickup truck with food, clothes and his dog, hitched up a trailer with two horses in tow and drove nearly 1,300 miles to Texas, police said. The teen's parents found him safe Friday.

Police are unsure why the boy ran away Wednesday morning from his Jetersville-area home. He apparently was well-prepared, even bringing extra propane tanks along."

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Ark. funeral wake turns into brawl over beer - "MAGNOLIA, Ark. (AP) - Sheriff's deputies say a Texas woman started a brawl at a wake in Arkansas when she arrived with a beer can in her hand.

Anna Sindelar, 52, of Splendora, Texas, faces a third-degree domestic battery charges, as does Cynthia J. Hall, 46, of Magnolia, over the fight March 29. Deputies say Sindelar arrived at the Christies Chapel Church with a beer can in hand and that she refused to leave."

Croc Update (Milwaukee Edition)

Milwaukee officials confiscate crocodile, snakes -- "MILWAUKEE - Milwaukee officials are monitoring a crocodile and stash of exotic snakes that authorities confiscated from a local home.

The animals include a five-foot Nile crocodile, a 14-foot reticulated python and four snapping turtles."

You Say Your Kid Seems Jet-Propelled?

CDC: Rocket fuel chemical found in baby formula: "ATLANTA – Traces of a chemical used in rocket fuel were found in samples of powdered baby formula, and could exceed what's considered a safe dose for adults if mixed with water also contaminated with the ingredient, a government study has found."

Pumpkinhead II: Bloodwings

Friday, April 03, 2009

Mike Ripley's Latest Column Now On-Line

Shots Ezine: Getting Away With Murder, The Mike Ripley Column - Get The Latest Trade News and Gossip from the Crime, Mystery and Thriller genres

Among other things, Mike has discovered Jonathan Latimer.

Stephen King Update

Stephen King completes epic novel after 25 years |
Books |
: "It's been incubating for 25 years but Stephen King is finally ready to show the world the 1,000-plus page epic he first attempted writing in the 1980s. Under the Dome, in which an invisible force field seals off a Maine town from the world, is due to be published this November, his publishers have said.

Weighing in at a whopping 1,120 pages, Under the Dome is a return for the bestselling author to the arm-breaking heft of his classic novels The Stand and It. King told an audience at the Library of Congress in Washington DC last year that he'd first had the idea for the book 25 years ago, and made a stab at writing it. 'I tried this once before when I was a lot younger, but the project was just too big for me and I let it go, I let it slide,' he said. 'But it was a terrific idea and it never entirely left my mind. It just kinda stayed there and hung out, and every now and then it would say write me, and eventually I did.'"

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

About 15 miles from Alvin.

Live grenade found by Texas roofers on the job: "Workers removing a roof in Texas nearly had the job done for them by accident.

Police in Texas City said a construction crew found a live World War II-era hand grenade in the attic of a home Thursday.

Police say an FBI bomb technician was called and the grenade was detonated at a shooting range with no injuries."

20 All-Time Coolest Heroes in Pop Culture?

Alias, Jennifer Garner | 20 All-Time Coolest Heroes in Pop Culture | Photos | "Along with their villainous counterparts, the good guys are the undisputed kings and queens of our favorite entertainments. Here, we rank the best of the good; then, click through for the elite of evil."

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

DWI suspect's Ferarri totaled after getting stuck on railroad track | Latest News | "'I'm scared, I'm lost, I'm stranded out on a railroad track,' Sabold told a 911 operator.

'I took a wrong turn somewhere, I'm so lost.'

Sabold told the operator he saw a train coming and the operator told him to get out of the car. He did shortly before the train slammed into his car, totaling it."

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.


Marijuana ingredient may reduce tumours-study | Antiwar Newswire: "LONDON, April 1 (Reuters) - The active ingredient in marijuana appears to reduce tumour growth, according to a Spanish study published on Wednesday.

The researchers showed giving THC to mice with cancer decreased tumour growth and killed cells off in a process called autophagy."

Gator Update (Moonlighting Edition)

Drought is big business for alligator trappers: "SEFFNER - Julie Harter is pulling double duty these days. She’s a school teacher by day and the rest of the time she’s the only female in the state trapping cold blooded, carnivorous alligators.

“The alligator job is the safer job,” said Harter."

Forgotten Books: A WINTER SPY -- MacDonald Lloyd

Okay, I'll admit it. I'm cheating on this one. Someone's already written about it. What's that you say? You've read every single Forgotten Book blog post, and you don't remember this one? Well, before you go on, click here. Read the post (with which I wholeheartedly agree), and come on back. I'll wait for you.

Back so soon? You didn't cheat, did you? If you didn't, you might be scratching your head and thinking I made a mistake. After all, the link takes you to a review of Isle of Joy by Don Winslow, published in England in 1996 by Arrow books, whereas the photo on my blog is of A Winter Spy by MacDonald Lloyd. It was published in the U. S. by Signet Books in 1997.

And it's the same book as Isle of Joy, though there's no mention of that title anywhere on the cover or copyright page, just as there's no mention of any previous publication. The copyright page does mention Don Winslow, but this book's not included in the bibliography on his website (Isle of Joy is). I don't know what the deal is, but I thought it was interesting. Maybe you don't, but, after all, it's my blog. Also, it's my excuse for talking about the book. It's the same one, all right, but then again, it's got a different title and author's name. It's also a lot easier to find and a lot cheaper to buy than Isle of Joy.

Winslow is one of my current favorites, and this book is extremely good. It's a Cold War spy novel, set between Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve, 1958, back in the days before the world changed. Walter Withers has left the C.I.A. and joined a big private investigations firm. He's asked to bodyguard Madeleine Keneally, the wife of presidential candidate Joe Keneally. You can read the Kennedys into this easily enough. There's no question about who the characters "really" are, and plenty of other familair folks appear. Some of them even go by their own names. J. Edgar Hoover comes to mind, along with Carroll Rosenbloom. (Winslow's description of the NFL Championship Game of 1958 between the Colts and the Giants is both entertaining and highly cynical.)

Winslow takes his time in this book, introducing the characters, setting up the situation, and describing New York City. (The book is a love story in more ways than one. But one of them is about Walter Withers' love for the city. Anybody who lived in New York around 1959 should really like this novel.) By the second half of the book, everything comes together in a series of dazzling single, double, and triple crosses. Winslow has so many balls in the air that you wonder how he'll ever manage them, but he does, with the help of a bit of coincidence here and there. Mostly, though, we learn that, as Freud said, there are no accidents. Everything was planned from the start, or at least set in motion.

One thing I particularly liked was Withers' occasional reading to the very ill wife of one of his colleagues. The book Withers chooses is One Lonely Night, which is an entirely different sort of Cold War novel, the antithesis of A Winter Spy, and I love this comment: ". . . the G-men . . .had little to do until Mickey Spillane alerted them to the communist menace and Hoover started to do his Michael Palmer impersonation and saw Red spies everywhere." This is the first time I've seen Spillane blamed for the Red Scare, and of course Winslow's kidding. At least a little bit.

Why didn't this book sell a ton? I have no idea. Great writing, wonderful characters, loving recreation of a time and a place, a love story, a spy thriller, and more. What do people want, anyway? I know, I know. They want James Patterson, but they're missing a heck of a great read.


Thursday, April 02, 2009

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

GP AirHogs to host 'Octomom Night' | Latest News | "GRAND PRAIRIE -- Games like 'Guess How Many Buns Are in My EZ Bake Oven' will be among the featured events when minor-league baseball's Grand Prairie AirHogs host 'Octomom Night.'

In honor of the Suleman octuplets in California, the independent league club said Wednesday it will also have a Diaper Derby and a stroller race the night of the June 13 game.

Groups of eight or more will be offered half-price admission and if the AirHogs score eight or more runs during the game, every fan will get a ticket to another game."

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Happy Birthday, Emmylou Harris!

Seepy Benton

Some of you might have read my books. In many of the recent ones, there's a character named Seepy Benton. Well, he's written a book of his own. You can buy your copy here.

Buy The Lineup

Support independent publishing: buy The Lineup on Lulu.

Robocroc, R. I. P.

Miami Metrozoo's Robocroc dead: American Crocodile that received metal plates and screws during reconstructive surgery has died at Miami Metrozoo -- South Florida "MIAMI-DADE COUNTY - An American crocodile that underwent so much reconstructive surgery with metal plates and screws that he was dubbed 'Robocroc' has died, according to NBC 6.

State wildlife officers found the severely injured, 10-foot long, male crocodile along a roadside in the Keys in December. The animal was brought to Miami Metrozoo where spokesman Ron Magill described the front part of his skull as 'shattered.'

During an extensive surgery on March 17, veterinarians used 4 metal plates, 41 screws and other materials to rebuild the reptile's skull."

All Righty, Then

To urban hunter, next meal is scampering by | | The Detroit News: "Detroit - When selecting the best raccoon carcass for the special holiday roast, both the connoisseur and the curious should remember this simple guideline: Look for the paw.

'The paw is old school,' says Glemie Dean Beasley, a Detroit raccoon hunter and meat salesman. 'It lets the customers know it's not a cat or dog.'

Beasley, a 69-year-old retired truck driver who modestly refers to himself as the Coon Man, supplements his Social Security check with the sale of raccoon carcasses that go for as much $12 and can serve up to four. The pelts, too, are good for coats and hats and fetch up to $10 a hide."

April Is the Cruelest Month

Got caught in the rain while out on the run. Soaked. Rain followed immediately by icy blast of norther that was (according to last night's "AccuWeather Forecast") supposed to arrive this afternoon. Froze. Later today: dental appointment. It's gonna be one of those days. It already is one of those days.

Pass the Carrots

Too much red meat could leave you blind, scientists warn | Mail Online: "Eating too much red meat can raise the risk of going blind by half, research has shown.

Those who tuck into beef, lamb or pork at least ten times a week are nearly 50 per cent more likely to develop the leading cause of blindness than those who eat red meat fewer than five times a week, a study revealed."

Bill Cosby Update

Bill Cosby Will Receive the Kennedy Center's Mark Twain Prize for American Humor - "Bill Cosby, the enduringly familiar funnyman, has been selected to receive this year's Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, the Kennedy Center announced yesterday.

Cosby, 71, has been in showbiz for 50 years, with hit stand-up recordings, sitcoms, Saturday-morning cartoons and best-selling books to his credit. His wide-ranging television work includes 'The Electric Company' to 'I Spy' to 'Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids' to 'The Cosby Show.'"

Boot Hill

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Thuglit Issue #30 Now On-Line

More hard-hitting brass-knucks reading. Click here.

A Couple of Birthdays for April 1

Debbie Reynolds

Jane Powell

Turn off the Lights, . .

. . . the party's over.

CBS Turning Off ‘Guiding Light’ - ArtsBeat Blog - "CBS announced Wednesday the cancellation of the longest-running scripted program in broadcasting history, the soap opera “Guiding Light.”

It has been on radio and then television for 72 years, beginning on NBC radio in 1937 and moving to CBS television in 1952. The last broadcast is scheduled for Sept. 18."

That Settles It -- I'm Writing a Joke Book

Funny men laugh ladies into bed because they're seen as 'more intelligent' | Mail Online: "Having trouble impressing the ladies? Try telling them a joke or two.

A sense of humour makes men seem more intelligent, trustworthy - and a better bet for a relationship, a study found."

40 Years Ago Today

Looking through some old photos, found this one from April 1, 1969. Angela wasn't easy to pose in those days.

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Texas on front line in U.S. battle against border gun trade | Houston & Texas News | - Houston Chronicle: "Texas, particularly Houston, is a central hub for purchasing guns that get smuggled into Mexico and end up in the hands of drug cartels."

Video of the Day

It's from Qualcomm. You just can't go wrong with Crocodeagles. (I think George Kelley owns Qualcomm.)

Link and photo via YesButNoButYes.

An April Fool?

My grandfather, Cox Brodnax, was born on April Fool's Day. (He died on a Friday 13th.) He was nobody's fool, but he was quite a character. I think of him often, but especially on April 1. This photo of him was made in 1939. That's my grandmother in the background.

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Austin ER's got 2,678 visits from 9 people over 6 years: "n the past six years, eight people from Austin and one from Luling racked up 2,678 emergency room visits in Central Texas, costing hospitals, taxpayers and others $3 million, according to a report from a nonprofit made up of hospitals and other providers that care for the uninsured and low-income Central Texans.

One of the nine spent more than a third of last year in the ER: 145 days. That same patient totaled 554 ER visits from 2003 through 2008."

Short Mystery Fiction Society Announces Derringer Award Finalists

The finalists for the 2009 Derringer Awards are:

BEST FLASH STORY (Up to 1,000 Words)

Black Pearls by James C. Clar
Incident in Itawamba by Gary Hoffman
No Flowers for Stacy by Ruth McCarty
No Place Like Home by Dee Stuart
This Bird has Flown by BV Lawson

BEST SHORT STORY (1,001-4,000 Words)

Independence Day by Allan Leverone
Regrets, I’ve Had a Few by Allan Leverone
Stalkers* by Lew Stowe
Taste for It by Sophie Littlefield
The Cost of Doing Business by Mike Penncavage
Wishing on Whores* by John Weagly

*tie score in the judging

BEST LONG STORY (4,001-8,000 Words)

Bonnie and Clyde Caper by O’Neil De Noux
Dead Even by Frank Zafiro
The Art of Avarice by Darrell James
The Big Score by Chris Holm
The Quick Brown Fox by Robert S. Levinson

BEST NOVELETTE (8,000-17,500 Words)

Haven’t Seen You Since the Funeral by Ernest B. Brown
Jack Best and the Line in the Sand by Steve Olley
Panic on Portage Path by Dick Stodghill
Too Wise by O’Neil De Noux
Vegetable Matters by Terry W. Ervin II

As If You Needed Another Excuse

Could going to the gym be making you fatter? | Mail Online: "The awful truth for every would-be slimmer is that going to the gym is unlikely to make you thin. It may even have the opposite effect: it could actually make you fatter. This will have personal trainers chewing their smelly insoles in fury, but there is sound science behind the theory that gym-going could actually impede weight loss."

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Jalopnik - Dallas Mercedes Driver Parks In Wet Concrete - Mercedes In Concrete: "Houstonians view people from Dallas, Texas as rich, class-obsessed morons. This photo of a Dallas citizen who decided to ignore the bright orange warning cones and park in freshly-poured concrete only confirms this theory."

Photo at link; hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Trinity is Still My Name

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Pushing Daisies Update

This hardly seems fair.

UK to show Pushing Daisies finale before US: "UK audiences will get to see the final episodes of Pushing Daisies before US viewers, following a decision by ITV to air the full series of the axed ABC drama.

Pushing Daisies, starring Anna Friel, was cancelled by US broadcaster ABC after the tenth episode of the final 13-part series was aired.

But an ITV spokesman said the broadcaster will continue to air the series, meaning UK audiences will be able to watch the final three episodes ahead of American fans."

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Texas Politics: Hasta la vista, Vista?: "State Senate budget writers are playing Arnold Schwarzenegger when it comes to Microsoft's Windows Vista.

As in, 'Hasta la vista, baby' to new agency purchases ofVista information technology under a budget provision added by Sen. Juan Hinojosa, D-McAllen.

If the provision stays in the budget, state agencies couldn't buy Vista technology unless they first get written approval from the Legislative Budget Board.

The provision is meant to block agency purchases of the technology, said Hinojosa, Senate Finance Committee vice chairman: 'Don't buy it, because it's not worth it.'"

Monte Hale, R. I. P.

Singing cowboy Monte Hale dies at 89: "Monte Hale, a singing cowboy whose tall frame, strong voice and handsome looks led to dozens of film roles in westerns during the 1940s, has died. He was 89.

Hale died Sunday at home in Studio City, Calif., after a lengthy illness, said Yadhira De Leon of the Autry National Centre of the American West.

Born in San Antonio, Texas, Hale picked up the guitar as a teen and was discovered as a player at a war bond rally during the Second World War, according to a press release from the centre.

Recommended for a screen test in Hollywood for Republic Pictures, he hitchhiked from Texas to California. He ended up snagging a part in The Big Bonanza (1944), then signed a seven-year contract with Republic."

I saw him on many a Saturday afternoon.

The Lost City of Z -- David Gann

I'm a sucker for Amazonian adventures, dating from my days of reading Bomba the Jungle Boy. So I naturally wanted to read The Lost City of Z as soon as I heard of it.

David Gann, a writer for The New Yorker, became interested in the story of Percy Fawcett, one of the last great English explorers, and decided not only to write about Fawcett but to try retracing his final expedition of 1925, the one from which Fawcett never returned. Fawcett was seeking a legendary lost city when he entered the jungle for the last time, and lost cities are another thing that I enjoy reading about.

Believe me, it's a lot more fun to read about them than it would be to look for them. Fawcett went on a number of expeditions into the South American jungles, and the hardships he and the others who went with him endured are almost beyond belief. There were times when they were near starvation. Maggots crawled in their sores. Worms even crawled under their skin. They got fevers. They were attacked by native tribes. And so on. You get the idea. Amazingly, they'd survive, recuperate, and return.

Grann had the advantage of modern technology, but his own trip was no picnic. Far from it. His own story is interspersed with chapters about Fawcett, and the whole thing is a fascinating adventure. Because I don't keep up with Amazonian exporation, I was surprised by the concluding chapter about the lost city itself. Gann doesn't find out what happened to Fawcett, but he learns a lot. I need to read more about this subject.

If you like true-life adventures, you can't go wrong with this one.

A Review

Benjie Potter, occasional commenter and a former student of mine from the old days at HPU, has a nice review of Murder in Four Parts on his blog. Thanks, Benjie!

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

I haven't read Alexander McCall Smith's books in this series, but the TV movie of the first one came on last night just as I snapped on the set, so I thought I'd watch it. I'm glad I did because I liked pretty much everything about it: the scenery, the colors, the music, the acting, the humor, and the leisurely way the story unfolded. I like a movie that takes its time, at least when it's as well done as this one.

The mystery aspects were nothing special, and in fact I was way ahead of the story on at least a couple of them. It didn't matter, though, because the movie was really about the people: Precious Ramotswe, JLB Matekoni, Happy Bapetsi,
Petal Siphambe, and the rest. I love their names and the slightly formal way of speaking all of them have. I supposed that's characteristic of South Africa, and it works well in the movie. Apparently there's a second movie to come, and I'll be watching that one for sure.

How to Live to 100

Money Central - Times Online - WBLG: Fifteen tips on how to live to 100: "Follow this checklist of 15 tips and you could add up to 77 years to your life. Sound too good to be true? Not according to new research from Norwich Union. The insurer's actuarists have crunched some numbers that shows simple things like enjoying a good laugh and eating well can give a huge boost to your longevity."

Blackbeard Update

EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS: Blackbeard Pirate Relics, Gold Found: "March 30, 2009—A brass navigational instrument known as a chart divider is among artifacts recently recovered from a shipwreck thought to be the Queen Anne's Revenge, the ship of the infamous 18th-century pirate Blackbeard, archaeologists said in March 2009.

Some of the newfound relics add to evidence that the ship belonged to the pirate. ''We feel pretty comfortable that that's what this is,' said Marke Wilde-Ramsing, director of the Queen Anne's Revenge project for the North Carolina Office of State Archaeology."

They Call Me Trinity

Monday, March 30, 2009

Thriller Awards Nominees

The International Thriller Writers proudly announces its nominees for the 2009 Thriller Awards.

Hold Tight by Harlan Coben
The Bodies Left Behind by Jeffrey Deaver
The Broken Window by Jeffrey Deaver
The Dark Tide by Andrew Gross
The Last Patriot by Brad Thor

Calumet City by Charlie Newton
Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith
Criminal Paradise by Steven Thomas
Sacrifice by S. J. Bolton
The Killer's Wife by Bill Floyd

Between the Dark and the Daylight (Ellery Queen Magazine) by Tom Piccirilli
Last Island South (Ellery Queen Magazine) by John C. Boland
The Edge of Seventeen (The Darker Mask) by Alexandra Sokoloff
The Point Guard (Killer Year Anthology) by Jason Pinter
Time of the Green (Killer Year Anthology) by Ken Bruen

David Morrell honoring his influential body of work

Brad Meltzer
for his outstanding charitable contributions

The Thriller Awards Banquet & Presentation is an event you don't want to miss. Register now for ThrillerFest 2009!

Recipients will be recognized and winners announced at ThrillerFest 2009, July 8-11, Grand Hyatt, NYC. The Thriller Awards Banquet will be held Saturday July 11. For more information, registration and tickets, visit

My Copy Arrived Today

Got yours yet? Click the book to order.

T.S. Eliot/George Orwell Update

T.S. Eliot nixed Orwell's 'Trotskyite' Animal Farm: "LONDON (AFP) – US-born poet T.S. Eliot refused to publish British novelist George Orwell's 'Animal Farm' because of its 'Trotskyite' and unconvincing viewpoint, according to a newly-released letter.

Eliot, working at British publishers Faber and Faber, sent a rejection letter to the young Orwell in 1944 dismissing the book, which went on to become a classic of modern English literature."

A Splitting Headache

6-inch spear removed from diver's brain: "SAO PAULO, Brazil - Surgeons successfully removed a 6-inch fishing spear from the brain of a man who was struck while diving off the coast of Rio de Janeiro, doctors said Sunday.

Emerson de Oliveira Abreu apparently fired the spear, which ricocheted off rocks and penetrated his own head so deeply that only the tip was showing, family members and authorities said."

Hat tip to Angela Crider.

Gator Update (Broom Handle Edition)

Man Bitten By Gator In Back Porch - News Story - WFTV Orlando: "LAKE COUNTY, Fla. -- An alligator bit a man on his forearm Sunday night in Lake County. James Gaff told officers that a two to three-foot alligator was on his back porch was bitten when he tried to remove the gator. Gaff believes the alligator got inside the porch through an open door.

A report stated that Gaff's wife pried the alligator off her husband’s arm with a broom handle and they threw the alligator back into the canal that was behind their home."

Gator Update

And again I ask, what is it about druggies and gators?

Pasco Deputies Answer Call, Get Surprise: Gator In Fish Tank: "Deputies responding to an argument at a New Port Richey home Sunday morning found something completely unexpected – a live alligator in a fish tank.

They called the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which told them to photograph the gator and release it into a nearby lake, Pasco sheriff's spokesman Kevin Doll said. Deputies did just that.

They also arrested Aaron Nicholas Emrick, 30, of 11761 Purdue St. He charged with unlawful possession of an alligator, battery of a law enforcement officer, possession of drug paraphernalia and resisting arrest without violence."

Found: Oldest Fossilized Brain

No, it's not mine.

Found: Oldest fossilized brain ever is uncovered in Kansas: Scientific American Blog: "A 300 million-year-old fossilized fish brain was discovered during a routine computed tomography (CT) scan, according to a study published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Until now, scientists assumed that brains rarely—if ever—turned into fossils."

Mark Twain Update

BBC - Today: "They can't keep Mark Twain quiet.

The centenary of his death takes place next year but he is in the news again with the publication of a 'new' short story, The Undertaker's Tale in The Strand magazine.

This in turn heralds a new whole new collection of fiction and non-fiction, Who is Mark Twain?, to be published next month."

5 Great Men Who Built Their Careers on Plagiarism |

5 Great Men Who Built Their Careers on Plagiarism | "5 Great Men Who Built Their Careers on Plagiarism."

When I do it, it's called "linking."

Spring Issue of Mysterical-E Now On-Line

Stories, columns, interviews, more great stuff. Click here: Mysterical-E

My Name is Nobody

Sunday, March 29, 2009

New Reading at CrimeWav

Allan Guthrie reads "The Turnip Farm."  Unlike me, this guy has an accent.

Sucker Punch -- Ray Banks

This is the second novel to feature Cal Innes (two more have already been published in England, I believe). Cal is now off probation after a prison sentence, and while he still has his bad back and prescription pain pills, he's more or less happy in his work at Paulo's gym. You know it can't last, though, and sure enough Mo Tiernan shows up. Ass-kicking ensues. You think that's the end of it? Surely not.


Later, Paulo asks Cal to babysit a fighter who's going to Los Angeles to fight in a tournament. It's the fighter's big chance, so you just know Cal's going to screw things up. The question is, how will he do it? Is the competition rigged? Is the guy Cal meets in a bar on the up and up? Is the fighter going to behave himself? What about the attempted bribe?

This is almost more of a character study than a crime novel, and you might wonder just when the bad stuff's going to occur. It does, so wait for it. In the meantime, enjoy the company of one of life's pill-popping losers while he tries to get his life straight. The book's funny and ferocious at the same time, and you'll keep hoping that Innes will pull things off even as you know he won't.


While you won't have to have read
Saturday's Child to appreciate this sequel, it would probably be better if you had. Either way, if you're a fan of hardboiled crime fiction and tough-guy writing, you'll probably find yourself smiling to know that there are at least two more books about Innes coming to this side of the Atlantic fairly soon. Check this one out now.

Vanishing Point