I usually avoid best of the year type lists, because I don't read enough to make a serious assessment, but I've looked back at my reviews for 2009, and I've decided that if you don't read the following books you are a loser and suck.
Allan Guthrie's Slammer is the book of the year. At first, I thought Zeltserman had the top spot locked up, but this one wins out on review. It's a real leap forward for Guthrie. As I said in the review, it's "Guthrie's first grown up novel." In terms of Guthrie's writing and storytelling, it's an improvement on a style that was already worthy. If this is a glimpse of things to come, I can't wait.
Speaking of Zeltserman, Pariah, was great. It was pretty much perfect in every respect. You can't ask for more than perfection, can you?
While, Of All the Bloody Cheek, was published a long time ago, and reprinted many years ago, I just got around to reading it this year. I've never read anything quite like this comic hitman novel, and I doubt I ever will. Augutus Mandrell is quite the creation, and it is a pity he has been forgotten. Murder doesn't have to be serious.
Snitch Jacket by Christopher Goffard is another novel I came to late, but is still a must read. The story of loser and his friendship with a fake Vietnam vet, it's funny and touching and repulsive all at the same time. A cut above.
And last, but not least, The Big Wake Up by Mark Coggins. The pulpy nature of this one combined with a more realistic element really worked for me. I want to read more August Riordan mysteries, so mission accomplished Mr. Coggins.
Saturday Morning Western Pulps: Western Trails, November 1939 - This great cover by Rafael de Soto from WESTERN TRAILS was also used on one side of an Ace Double Western (see below). WESTERN TRAILS and later Ace Book...
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