Paul D. Brazill, author of Gumshoe and Guns of Brixton, has announced the impending launch of BLACKWITCH PRESS. In addition to the titles mentioned, he plans to publish Roman Dalton—Werewolf P.I. and Exiles: A Charity Anthology.
For news and related links: BWP
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Belinda Frisch’s last book, Afterbirth: A Strandville Zombie Novel, blew me away. She is hard at work on a Medical Thriller called Fatal Reaction and shooting for an October release date. From the author:
“Paramedic Anneliese Ashmore’s routine shift takes a startling turn when she answers the call she was never meant to hear—a call to a crime scene where her sister, Sydney, is the victim of an overdose suicide.
The evidence says otherwise.
In the midst of a heated divorce, motive implicates Sydney’s husband and mistress, but while the police focus on the single lead, Ana investigates others.
A mysterious business card and a chain of e-mails between Sydney and her surgeon’s office set Ana on a search for answers about her sister’s recent diagnosis and the life-altering treatment that saved her. The body count rises as Ana closes in on the truth, and on the man of her dreams.
With the help of Dr. Jared Monroe, an unhappily married physician with a bit of a crush, and Dr. Marco Prusak, the biggest detractor of County Memorial Hospital’s new organ transplant program, Ana uncovers a ring of greed and corruption, and exposes the fact that Sydney’s medical treatment may have been the catalyst for her murder. Unfortunately for Ana, she may be next.”
You can learn more about Belinda and her work at: BELINDA FRISCH, AUTHOR
OFF THE SHELF:
Pick-Up, by Charles Willeford, is as dark a crime novel as I’ve ever read. Not due to an overload of violence, profanity or sociopathic behavior, but on a much deeper level. Willeford mined the sediment at the low point the human heart. What he uncovered for this book, first published in 1967, was a month’s worth of existential hell.
The story opens with a down-and-out protagonist by the name of Harry Jordan serving a chili dog to a sailor at closing time. A woman named Helen Meredith stumbles in and Harry is enthralled. Helen is beautiful, drunk, penniless—since she can’t remember where she locked her purse—and just rolled into town without a plan. Harry covers her tab, then buys them a couple drinks. He urges her to go home. Helen refuses. Harry finds a hotel for her and bids her goodnight. Chapter One ends: “On the long ride home I decided it would be best to steer clear of a woman like Helen.” But you know damned well he won’t.
The two hook up again, Helen moves in with him and so begins what can only be a doomed relationship. Helen is an unrepentent alcoholic who has left her husband. Harry is failed artist/art instructor trudging through life, working odd jobs for spending cash, which he blows on whiskey and cigarettes. What follows is a headlong descent into a nightmare of mutual- and self-destruction. It is a bleak narrative, but gripping throughout. Willeford’s style is quick and conversational. His vision is uncompromising. There is violence, to be sure; though I’ve grown calloused to how it’s usually presented these days, the sudden nature and stark brutality of violence in Pick-Up shocked me, one incident almost causing me to set down the book. There is also a murder (or was it?) that seems fated from the outset. Most of the story, however, deals with the manic interior struggle of Harry Jordan, his clutching at glimmers of hope through a rising tide of futility.
I hold with the opinion that Noir is not so much about crime as it is about losers. Pick-Up takes that notion a step further, giving us the tale of a man who ultimately loses by winning.
Available at Amazon (US) HERE