“The Cold Cold Ground,” by Adrian McKinty

Take Ed McBain's 87th Precinct thrillers. Add first-person narrative from a smart, and funny, lead detective. Mix in a few large vodka gimlets and dark stouts, then set it all down in Ireland in 1981, when hunger strikes and protests lit a spark on the unrest fueled by political militias, gang violence and terrorism. All …

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“The Devil All The Time” by Donald Ray Pollock, or Good Lord, this is a bleak and depressing book …

I am going to buck the trends, and not join those who love this book. There is much to like. Pollock's prose is terrific, at times starkly poetic. The images are concise, and cutting, and won't leave your head anytime soon. The man certainly can write. And yet ... Damn, this is a depressing read. …

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“Pirate Latitudes” reviewed, or how I wish Crichton had given this one a heavy rewrite

"Pirate Latitudes" was written early on in Michael Crichton's quest to become a famed novelist. It was put away while he built his reputation and fortune with works such as "Jurassic Park," "Eaters of the Dead," "The Andromeda Strain" and others.  It was dug up after his death, like a buried treasure, and published.    …

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