Category Archives: Noire

A Review of Night Life: A Novel by David C. Taylor

Night Life: A Novel

by David C. Taylor

I’ve read quite a few mystery books set in the 1950s, but none of them grabbed me as quickly as Night Life did. From the opening pages, Mr. Taylor had me. His descriptive language put me right into the era. I was in New York City in 1954. I was looking around and seeing real life. A life that I never really lived, but a life that I felt part of. Mr. Taylor gives you everything that you ever wished for in a piece of noir fiction. He has well developed characters with lives that you care about set in an authentic landscape. He has hard-hitting, straight forward action, that is mixed together with some of the most ruthless protagonists that you will ever meet. The story has many layers. It’s like an onion, and Michael Cassidy has to peel away the layers to get to the truth. He has to battle the F.B.I. and C.I.A. along with Russian agents and even Senator Joe McCarthy’s public hearings investigating the Communist threat in America. It is a path with twists and turns galore.

This is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. I give Night Life 5 Stars out of 5 and Two Big Thumbs Up! You must track this book down. If you read authentic hard-hitting mysteries, you are going to love this.

I received a hardcover copy of this book from the publisher.

Book Description

David Taylor - Night LifeNight Life first of a transporting historical crime fiction series from David C. Taylor.

New York City in 1954. The Cold War is heating up. Senator Joe McCarthy is running a witch hunt for Communists in America. The newly formed CIA is fighting a turf battle with the FBI to see who will be the primary US intelligence agency. And the bodies of murdered young men are turning up in the city.

Michael Cassidy has an unusual background for a New York cop. His father, a refugee from Eastern Europe, is a successful Broadway producer. His godfather is Frank Costello, a Mafia boss. Cassidy also has an unusual way of going about the business of being a cop-maybe that’s why he threw a fellow officer out a third story window of the Cortland Hotel.

Cassidy is assigned to the case of Alexander Ingram, a Broadway chorus dancer found tortured and dead in his apartment in Hell’s Kitchen. Complications grow as other young men are murdered one after the other. And why are the FBI, the CIA, and the Mafia interested in the death of a Broadway gypsy?

Meanwhile, a mysterious, beautiful woman moves into Cassidy’s building in Greenwich Village. Is Dylan McCue a lover or an enemy? Cassidy is plagued by nightmares-dreams that sometimes become reality. And he has been dreaming that someone is coming to kill him.

Book Details

Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Forge Books (March 17, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0765374838
ISBN-13: 978-0765374837
Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.1 x 9.5 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds

About the Author

david-c-taylorDavid C. Taylor, author of Night Life, was born and raised in New York City. He spent twenty years in Los Angeles writing for television and the movies. He has published short stories and magazine articles, and has had an Off-Broadway musical produced in New York. He now divides his time between Boston and the coast of Maine.

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A Review of Detroit is Our Beat: Tales of the Four Horsemen by Loren D. Estleman

Detroit is Our Beat: Tales of the Four Horsemen

by Loren D. Estleman

I really wanted to like Detroit is Our Beat, but there was just something that was a little bit off. The dialogue was good, it was funny, it felt real, but something was missing. I like my short stories to have a twist, something to grab you, and little bit of point. These stories don’t seem to have that. They have great dialogue, authentic sounding descriptions of Detroit, and they really put across the feel of Detroit during World War II, but most of them have very weak plots. They are more just little snapshots of the antics of the “Four Horsemen”, without the solid storyline that I expect in my short story collections. They are somewhat interesting as peeks into a long-lost era, but not what I was looking for.

I give Detroit is Our Beat 3 Stars out of 5. If you like your short story collections to be more character driven glimpses into recent history, instead of tightly written plot devices, then this will work much better for you than it did for me.

I received a Digital Review Copy from the publisher.

Book Description

Detroit is Our BeatThe place: Detroit. The time: World War II.

While most of the police department is fighting overseas, the four men of the Racket Squad struggle to keep a lid on a powderkeg stuffed with draft-dodging troublemakers, Black Market gangsters, enemy saboteurs, and a mixed bag of racial and ethnic groups working uneasily side by side in defense plants run by the automobile industry.

With blackjacks, brass knuckles, tommy guns, and their bare fists, Lieutenant Max Zagreb, Sergeant Starvo Canal, and detectives McReary and Burke–known collectively as the “Four Horsemen”–battle their way through ten gritty stories in the hardest-boiled town during the twentieth century’s hardest-boiled decade.

Book Details

Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Tyrus Books (May 2, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1440588457
ISBN-13:
Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 6.4 x 0.9 inches
Shipping Weight: 1 pounds

About the Author

LDE_PHOTO_2014Loren D. Estleman graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 1974 with a BA in English and journalism. In 2002, Eastern Michigan University presented him with an honorary doctorate in humane letters. He married the mystery writer Deborah Morgan in 1993. He writes with a manual typewriter.

He is most famous for his novels about P.I. Amos Walker; other series center on Old West marshal Page Murdock and hitman Peter Macklin. He has also written a series of novels about the history of crime in Detroit (also the setting of his Walker books), and a more recent series about Valentino, who tracks down lost films, and crimes related to them. His non-series works include Bloody Season, a fictional recreation of the gunfight at the O.K. Corral, and several novels and stories featuring Sherlock Holmes, as well as contributions to several books on how to write and sell stories and novels. Estleman’s literary works have been recognized and highlighted by Michigan State University in their Michigan Writers Series. (From Wikipedia)

 

 

Here are the winners of the Night Life giveaway!

David Taylor - Night LifeMy lovely wife, Norma Jean, drew the three winning entries last night, and here they are!

Chris M. from OR

Tai D. from CA

Bradly R B. from WI

I have sent your names and mailing address to Emily Mullen, a Senior Publicist at Tor/Forge Books. Thanks Emily for letting me host this Giveaway.

Free Book Giveaway! Win a Hardcover of Night Life by David C. Taylor

Tor/Forge Books is giving Three lucky readers of my blog a chance to win a copy of Night Life by David C. Taylor.

(Limited to readers who live in the U.S. and Canada)

David Taylor - Night LifeNIGHT LIFE, the first title in an electrifying new historical crime fiction series set in 1950s New York, delivers a pulse-pounding murder plot surrounding complex protagonist and war veteran Detective David Cassidy, who finds himself caught between police and mafia ties. Taylor uses his vast experience writing for TV and film to make the vivid, old-time New York setting come alive more than ever before.

Book Description

New York City in 1954. The Cold War is heating up. Senator Joe McCarthy is running a witch hunt for Communists in America. The newly formed CIA is fighting a turf battle with the FBI to see who will be the primary US intelligence agency. And the bodies of murdered young men are turning up in the city.

Michael Cassidy has an unusual background for a New York cop. His father, a refugee from Eastern Europe, is a successful Broadway producer. His godfather is Frank Costello, a Mafia boss. Cassidy also has an unusual way of going about the business of being a cop—maybe that’s why he threw a fellow officer out a third story window of the Cortland Hotel.

Cassidy is assigned to the case of Alexander Ingram, a Broadway chorus dancer found tortured and dead in his apartment in Hell’s Kitchen. Complications grow as other young men are murdered one after the other. And why are the FBI, the CIA, and the Mafia interested in the death of a Broadway gypsy?

Meanwhile, a mysterious, beautiful woman moves into Cassidy’s building in Greenwich Village. Is Dylan McCue a lover or an enemy? Cassidy is plagued by nightmares—dreams that sometimes become reality. And he has been dreaming that someone is coming to kill him.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

DAVID C. TAYLOR was born and raised in New York City. He spent twenty years in Los Angeles writing for television and the movies. He has published short stories and magazine articles, and has had an Off-Broadway musical produced in New York. He now divides his time between Boston and the coast of Maine.

Contest Details

 

Here’s how you can enter for a chance to win:

Send an email to contest at mackela dot com.
In the subject line, enter “Night Life“

In the body of the email, please provide a mailing address so the prize can be sent as soon as possible. (The winning address is used only to mail the prize. All other address info will be purged once the giveaway ends.)

Geographic restrictions: This giveaway is open only to residents of the  U.S. and Canada.

The giveaway will end Monday, April 20th (11:00 PM U.S. Eastern Daylight time). The 3 winners will be selected at random. Winners will be announced here on April 21st. I will also send an email to the lucky winners.

Good luck!

A Review of A Scourge of Vipers by Bruce DeSilva

A Scourge of Vipers

by Bruce DeSilva

This was a very entertaining, fast-paced and exciting book; but it brings up some thought-provoking ideas. There is an underlying theme of the way that money can corrupt the American legislative process. When different Super-PACs (Political Action Committees) have strong preferences for modifying a bill, they can spend enormous amounts of money to buy influence. Since much of that money may be unregulated, it can be used to buy votes though contributions to the politicians involved or even outright bribes. That money may also be used to buy advertisements in newspapers and then threaten to pull those ads if the paper doesn’t toe the line. The donors can be hidden through multiple PACs contributing to the Super-PAC. That way nobody knows who is behind the influence peddling.

Liam Mulligan is an investigative reporter for The Providence Dispatch. The newspaper is now owned by a large conglomerate whose only goal is to maximize profit. They want to produce a paper where the only purpose of the articles that Mulligan writes is to fill up the empty spaces between the ads. Mulligan is an old school, Pulitzer winning reporter, so he doesn’t go along with the program. He feels that he has to see who is trying to buy this piece of legislation, even though The Dispatch is depending on the ad revenue. The owners care more about keeping the ads than keeping Mulligan.

Mr. DeSilva knows his way around the newspaper business, and also how to write about it in an exciting and suspenseful way. He develops his characters and doesn’t just rely on flat, two-dimensional stereotypes.  Even though this is the fourth book in the Liam Mulligan series, he spends enough time on character development that you feel that you know the major players in the book, but I don’t think that someone who had read the previous books would feel like he was going overboard. He walks a fine line, which makes A Scourge of Vipers a great starting point in the series. I imagine that many readers would like to fall back and read the earlier books in the series after reading this book.

A Scourge of Vipers was a very entertaining and thought-provoking book. I read it very quickly. I didn’t want to put it down. I give it 4 1/2 Stars out of 5 and a Big Thumbs Up! I recommend it to anyone who like their thrillers to challenge the status quo.

I received a review copy from the publisher.

Book Description

a scourge of vipers hc.inddTo solve Rhode Island’s budget crisis, the state’s colorful governor, Attila the Nun, wants to legalize sports gambling; but her plan has unexpected consequences. Organized crime, professional sports leagues, and others who have a lot to lose–or gain–if gambling is made legal flood the state with money to buy the votes of state legislators.
Liam Mulligan, investigative reporter for The Providence Dispatch, wants to investigate, but his bottom-feeding corporate bosses at the dying newspaper have no interest in serious reporting. So Mulligan goes rogue, digging into the story on his own time. When a powerful state legislator turns up dead, an out-of-state bag man gets shot, and his cash-stuffed briefcase goes missing, Mulligan finds himself the target of shadowy forces who seek to derail his investigation by destroying his career, his reputation, and perhaps even his life.

Bruce DeSilva’s A Scourge of Vipers is at once a suspenseful crime story and a serious exploration of the hypocrisy surrounding sports gambling and the corrupting influence of big money on politics.

Book Details

Series: Liam Mulligan (Book 4)
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Forge Books (April 7, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0765374315
ISBN-13: 978-0765374318
Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.4 x 1 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds

About the Author

Bruce DeSilvaBruce DeSilva’s crime fiction has won the Edgar and Macavity Awards; has been listed as a finalist for the Shamus, Anthony, and Barry Awards; and has been published in ten foreign languages. His short stories have appeared in Akashic Press’s award-winning noir anthologies. He has reviewed books for The New York Times Sunday Book Review and Publishers Weekly, and his reviews for The Associated Press have appeared in hundreds of other publications. Previously, he was a journalist for forty years, most recently as writing coach world-wide for The Associated Press, editing stories that won nearly every major journalism prize including the Pulitzer. He has worked as a consultant for fifty newspapers, taught at the University of Michigan and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and lectured at Harvard University’s Nieman Foundation. He and his wife, the poet Patricia Smith, live in New Jersey with two enormous dogs named Brady and Rondo. He is the author of Rogue Island, Cliff Walk and Providence Rag.