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Thomas Pluck
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March 22 2018

Review: Second Story Man by Charles Salzberg

Second Story Man by Charles Salzberg is a thrilling novel that develops into a cat-and-mouse contest between the two lawmen and a master burglar (available March 26, 2018). I love a good no-good...
March 20 2018

Why You Should Be Watching Hap & Leonard

Because it’s Joe Fucking Lansdale. That really should be the end of this article. If you don’t know the work of Joe R. Lansdale, Hap & Leonard is a wonderful introduction to...
March 13 2018

Review: This is How it Ends by Eva Dolan

This is How it Ends by Eva Dolan is a standalone psychological thriller that examines friendship, suspicion, and betrayal (available March 13, 2018). Best known for her Zigic and Ferreira crime...
February 19 2018

Review: Down the River unto the Sea by Walter Mosley

Down the River unto the Sea by Walter Mosley is the first book in a new series featuring Joe King Oliver, a disgraced former cop turned private detective in New York City (available February 20, 2018). Walter...
January 2 2018

Review: Robicheaux by James Lee Burke

James Lee Burke’s most beloved character, Dave Robicheaux, returns in Robicheaux—a gritty, atmospheric mystery set in the towns and backwoods of Louisiana. My favorite James Lee Burke...
November 1 2017

Review: World Enough by Clea Simon

World Enough is an intriguing, hard-hitting, intricately-plotted mystery set in Boston’s clubland and marks an exciting new departure for cozy author Clea Simon. It's only rock 'n...
October 30 2017

The Deuce Season Finale, 1.08: “My Name Is Ruby” Episode Review

Take what comes. But show no ambition. Sandra learns that corruption and power are perpetual motion machines. Her source won’t go on the record. He’s taken a deal of his own and...
October 23 2017

The Deuce 1.07: “Au Reservoir” Episode Review

Well, I am a degenerate. I can be a nitpicky viewer, and last time I pointed out the lack of heroin in The Deuce’s fairy tale of New York. And what do you know? We get an overdose this...
October 16 2017

The Deuce 1.06: “Why Me?” Episode Review

After last week’s emotional high point, you have to expect a low, and this is an enjoyable coast toward the inevitable. We learn the why behind the “No Go Zone” of Times Square....
October 9 2017

The Deuce 1.05: “What Kind of Bad?” Episode Review

She was an American Girl, raised on promises… We see a lot of promises broken this episode, ones made to others and to themselves. Maggie Gyllenhaal breaks our hearts as Elaine runs...
October 2 2017

The Deuce 1.04: “I See Money” Episode Review

The last shot of the wonderful opening credits sequence always makes me gag; that barefoot splashing into a filthy Times Square puddle. Walking in sandals in New York City is still a gamble, and...
September 25 2017

The Deuce 1.03: “The Principle Is All” Episode Review

They found the smoke! Abby needs a job. She’s following the want-ads, and the office she interviews at is full of old white men and looks hazier than a dirty fish tank. But I’m getting...
September 18 2017

The Deuce 1.02: “Show and Prove” Episode Review

“There’s not enough smoke.” That’s one criticism I overheard about The Deuce, HBO’s 8-episode series set on 42nd Street in the ‘70s. Everyone lights up, but...
September 7 2017

Back in the New York Groove with The Deuce

As nostalgic as I am for the '70s and ‘80s Times Square, I’m glad that George Pelecanos and David Simon’s new show The Deuce wastes no time getting the first mugging out of...
June 20 2017

Review: The Force by Don Winslow

The Force by Don Winslow is a haunting and heartbreaking story of greed and violence, inequality and race, crime and injustice, retribution and redemption that reveals the seemingly insurmountable...
April 26 2017

A Field Guide to Sociopaths, Psychopaths, Narcissists, and Other Abusers: An Interview with Zak Mucha

Fiction is about getting inside the heads of people, whether they are like us or unlike us. When writers depict a sociopath, how close can they get? Is it possible to represent a mental state we...
April 12 2017

A Dangerous Dance: A Conversation with Alex Segura & Thomas Pluck

You’d be hard-pressed to find crime-fiction protagonists more different than Jay Desmarteaux and Pete Fernandez. One is a grizzled ex-con, the other a washed up ex-journalist struggling to...
March 29 2017

Review: Conviction by Julia Dahl

Conviction by Julia Dahl is the 3rd book in the Rebekah Roberts series. The 3rd book in Julia Dahl’s Rebekah Roberts series makes me feel like a schmendrick for not having read the first two...
March 22 2017

Review: Bad Boy Boogie by Thomas Pluck

Bad Boy Boogie by Thomas Pluck is the 1st book in the new Jay Desmarteaux Crime Thriller series. Jay Desmarteaux walks out of prison after 25 years with a new set of rules learned from mentors...
February 23 2017

Reviewing the Queue: Jumpin’ Jack Flash (1986)

When discussing the oeuvre of Whoopi Goldberg, it’s important to remember that she started off with an incredible performance in The Color Purple. While it hasn’t always been downhill...
February 6 2017

Review: The Freedom Broker by K. J. Howe

The Freedom Broker by K. J. Howe is the 1st book in a new series featuring the elite kidnap and ransom (K&R) specialist Thea Paris (available February 7, 2017). I love a book where the author...
January 20 2017

Take Me Down to Kickback City: The Noir of Ian Rankin and Rory Gallagher

I didn’t even know who Rory Gallagher was until I got a postcard from Ken Bruen. To my shame, my knowledge of Irish music is limited. I loved the Pogues but didn’t realize Van Morrison...
December 2 2016

Review: In Sunlight or In Shadow, Edited by Lawrence Block

In Sunlight or In Shadow: Stories Inspired by the Paintings of Edward Hopper, edited by Lawrence Block, is a newly-commissioned anthology of seventeen superbly-crafted stories inspired by the paintings...
November 10 2016

The Peepland Times Square Tour with Christa Faust

Hard Case Crime—look for the yellow label, the label of quality!—has expanded into comic books. And they did it with a bang, with titles from noir kingpins Christa Faust and Gary Phillips...
October 5 2016

Review: Stranded by Bracken MacLeod

Stranded by Bracken MacLeod features an apocalyptic storm and a crew's fight to survive the elements (Available October 4, 2016). Stranded by Bracken MacLeod is a gripping existential horror...
September 16 2016

“Brandy Crusta” Cocktail for Bouchercon 2016!

Bouchercon 2016 is this weekend, held in the New Orleans, Louisiana—a city with a rich history of cocktails and imbibing. There are so many great books up for an Anthony Award (including...
September 16 2016

Things to Do in Carcosa When You’re Dead

If you’re going to Bouchercon in New Orleans, I’m afraid you won’t have any luck finding the King in Yellow or Lost Carcosa. But you can still have a lot of fun exploring a state...
September 12 2016

Review: Hell or High Water (2016)

I wouldn’t say there’s been a dearth of good crime films lately; we haven’t had a renaissance, but we have gotten some good ones. It’s not a genre that is considered a genre—crime...
September 6 2016

13 Books to Read If You Loved Stranger Things

Great news! They’ve confirmed a Season 2 of Stranger Things. I loved the first season of the Netflix original series. Only eight episodes long, but it never feels rushed. The Duffer Brothers...
August 30 2016

Review: The Jealous Kind by James Lee Burke

The Jealous Kind by James Lee Burke is a Holland Family novel and an atmospheric, coming-of-age story set in 1952 Texas, as the Korea War rages (Available August 30, 2016). My experience with...