Look, up in the sky, it's a bird, it's a plane, it's Satyr Man? ( On a side note, does anyone know if the author is this guy?)
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Saturday, June 21, 2008
The Max (Hard Case Crime, 2008) picks up right where Slide left off. Max has been sent to Attica after being convicted of drug dealing, and Angela has made it to Greece, where she is hanging out and spreading herpes. After a rough start, Max adjusts to prison life and hangs onto all his trademark delusions, and Angela hooks up with an English con-man with an uncanny resemblance to author Lee Child. Throw in a failing crime writer with an unhealthy obsession with Laura Lippman and a vengeance obsessed Greek, and it makes for a volatile cocktail. No prizes for guessing who the only person left standing at the end is.
The Max is funny and anarchic, but it is not quite as good as Slide, which was a wonderful satire. There are still laugh out loud moments, but not as many. The Max is also not that entertaining as a stand-alone. Readers should read the first two books before approaching this one. The authors drop in just enough explanation to prevent readers who are not familiar with the series from getting lost, but not enough for them to fully appreciate the humor in the characters’ situations. Of course, even if you’ve read one of the previous books and hate Starr and Bruen’s series, or you aren’t inclined to start at the beginning, you could always just buy The Max for its cover, which is wonderful and stands out even among Hard Case’s consistently great artwork.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Make it OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies. This spoof of the French novel/movie franchise just made it across the Atlantic, and it's a spot on parody of spy movie conventions mixed with some rather biting political humor. When I think comedy, I don't usually think of the French, but this film made me glad to fork over nine bucks each for tickets. There's a fight scene involving chickens used as projectiles, which is worth the price of admission all by itself. This is a movie for all the people who thought Austin Powers was vulgar garbage.
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Sunday, June 8, 2008
Over at Conelrad, a site that has a disturbing and fascinating collection of the cultural detritus of the Cold War, there is a book report of sorts on the Soviet invasion apocalypse/free love adventure Red Rape by Connie Sellers. Sellers was apparently quite prolific.
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Sunday, June 1, 2008
Sheldon Siegel knows that courtrooms aren't given to drama, but that the legal profession, in certain situations can be. His latest legal thriller, Judgement Day (MacAdam Cage, 2008), is heavy on the thriller and light on the legal. The sixth outing for San Francisco lawyers and exes Mike Daley and Rosie Fernandez, finds the pair taking a last minute death penalty appeal of Nathan Fineman, a one-time mob lawyer who ended up taking the fall for the murder of two heroin dealers. Fineman, never popular with the law and order crowd, maintains he fell from a window trying to escape the same gunman that killed the dealers, and that the police planted the gun. Complicating matters is the fact that Mike Daley's father was one of the cops at the scene of the crime. Figuring out if Fineman is innocent and who would want to set him up is no easy task, since he had a lot of enemies, and so did his clients.
Siegel's style is minimalist. He is heavy on the dialogue and light on exposition, so the book moves at a good clip, gathering momentum all the way. When the inevitable courtroom arrives it continues the story's momentum rather than bringing it to a stop. Seigel doesn't break out any real surprises, but he does turn in a solid thriller that keeps up the suspense right to the end.