Barry Eisler has a new book coming out on September 21st. If you’re a fan, you’ll be happy to hear that The Chaos Kind features many of Eisler’s most popular characters…
The assassins of Barry Eisler’s #1 bestseller The Killer Collective are back—and this time, it’s chaos.
Assistant US Attorney Alondra Diaz hates traffickers. And she’s determined to put one of America’s most powerful financiers, Andrew Schrader, in prison forever for his crimes against children.
But Schrader has videos implicating some of the most powerful members of the US national security state. To eliminate Diaz, the powers that be bring in a contractor: Marvin Manus, an implacable assassin whose skills have been forged in intelligence, the military, and the hardest prisons.
Enter former Marine sniper Dox and black-ops veteran Daniel Larison with an unusual assignment: not to kill Diaz, but to keep her alive.
A lot of players are determined to acquire the videos and the blackmail power they represent. But with Seattle sex-crimes detective Livia Lone, “natural causes” killer John Rain, and Mossad honey-trap specialist Delilah, the good guys might just have a chance.
They’re not going to play by anyone else’s rules. They’re not going to play by any rules at all. They want a different kind of fight. The chaos kind.
Stephen King has a new book coming out on August 3rd. BillySummers is described as “…a thrilling new novel about a good guy in a bad job.”
Tell me more.
Billy Summers is a man in a room with a gun. He’s a killer for hire and the best in the business. But he’ll do the job only if the target is a truly bad guy. And now Billy wants out. But first there is one last hit. Billy is among the best snipers in the world, a decorated Iraq war vet, a Houdini when it comes to vanishing after the job is done. So what could possibly go wrong?
How about everything.
This spectacular can’t-put-it-down novel is part war story, part love letter to small town America and the people who live there, and it features one of the most compelling and surprising duos in King fiction, who set out to avenge the crimes of an extraordinarily evil man. It’s about love, luck, fate, and a complex hero with one last shot at redemption.
You won’t put this story down, and you won’t forget Billy.
I imagine that most folks reading this would agree that The Godfather and The Godfather, Part II are two excellent films. I wonder how many of us would agree that The Godfather, Part III, while not on the same level as I or II is still a good film?
Todd Gilchrist at Mental Floss presents 20 Facts About The Godfather Part III. Before you click over, here are my thoughts on three from Gilchrist’s list and one that didn’t make the cut.
ROBERT DUVALL WAS WRITTEN OUT OF THE GODFATHER PART III DUE TO A SALARY DISPUTE. It was a mistake to not bring Duvall back. Then they replaced him with George Hamilton as a new character. It felt wrong and didn’t help the film.
ANDY GARCIA HAD A LOT OF A-LIST COMPETITION FOR HIS ROLE IN THE GODFATHER PART III. Some of the actors in the running included Alec Baldwin, Nicolas Cage, Tom Cruise, Matt Dillon, Val Kilmer, Charlie Sheen, and Billy Zane. I thought Garcia did an excellent job in the role. From those listed my second choice would have been Alec Baldwin.
THE GODFATHER PART III FEATURED MANY FAMILIAR FACES BOTH IN FRONT OF AND BEHIND THE CAMERA. This helped strengthen the film… and only made Duvall’s absence felt that much more.
A Godfather III fact that didn’t make the list is that at one point when it didn’t look like Francis Ford Coppola was going to return there were discussions of getting Sylvester Stallone to direct and star along with John Travolta. While that would have been very interesting, critics would have been all over it with negativity… and we’d have never gotten Coppola’s return.
For Gilchrist’s complete list and his thoughts on each, click over.
Eric Beetner is one of my must-read authors. His latest novel, Two in the Head, came out this week. (My copy is set to arrive Thursday.) If you’re a Beetner fan, then you’ll want to check out his interview at COL’S CRIMINAL LIBRARY. Hats off to Col for a informative and fun interview.
Peter Mark Richman died yesterday at the age of 93 from natural causes. Richman was an accomplished actor who appeared in feature films, television and on Broadway, an author who wrote plays, short stories and novels, and an artist. Talk about being a Renaissance Man.
I’d be willing to bet that you’ve seen Peter Mark Richman perform, even if you don’t recognize his name. Richman has 159 credits on his IMDb resume. I remember him best from the classic Twilight Zone episode The Fear, but that was one of well over 100 appearances Peter Mark Richman made on television. In addition to Cain’s Hundred (which he starred in), you could see Richmond regularly show up on tv shows starting in the 1960s through the 1990s. He had reoccurring roles on Longstreet, Three’s Company, Dynasty,Beverly Hills 90210, and guest appearances on just about every other major television show.
Richman’s features films include The Strange One, Black Orchid, Naked Gun 2 and Friday the 13th, Part 8, and Vic (a short film co-written and directed by Sage Stallone). Starting the in the 1990s, Richman began doing voice work for Batman: The Animated Series, Spider-Man: The Animated Series and Superman: The Animated Series.
Mr. Richman appeared on Broadway, had several of his one-act plays, novels and short stories published. He also had 17 one-man exhibitions of his paintings.
Peter Mark Richman was married to his wife, Helen for 67 and they have five children. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Peter Mark Richman’s family, friends and fans. What an amazing creative life he led.
Eric Beetner’s new book, Two in the Head, drops in less than a week. Here’s the synopsis…
When Samantha awakes she is half buried in bricks and the smoke still swirls in the air. The car bomb didn’t killed her-small miracle. Her unfocused eyes see a figure coming nearer. A shape she recognizes somehow. As the person passes by the orange glow from the car fire’s light, she sees the face. Her face. But how? The other Samantha stands over her and regards her twin. Something is off about this new face. It is her, sure, but harder somehow. The new Sam turns and walks away, back toward the building she came out of before her car exploded. Back to see the two drug kingpins in the top floor offices. And somehow Samantha knows-back to take the deal she just turned down.
Samantha Whelan is a DEA agent, and not always a straight and narrow one. She’s been taking bribes and doing favors for Calder and Rizzo-twin brothers and big players in narco traffic in southern California-for years. She turned down a deal that night, a deal to make her millions, but it meant killing her fiancé, an assistant district attorney building a case against Calder and Rizzo. And it meant betraying her DEA brethren more deeply than she had so far. It was too much. So Calder and Rizzo tried to blow her up.
What happened then…she split. Samantha became Samantha and Sam. Two halves of the same person. The good side and the bad side. The two opposing forces living within her for so long were now free to fight it out to see who will win control.
So begins a nightmarish rocket ride for Samantha to save her life and the lives of everyone she holds dear before Sam, her bad half, can burn it to the ground.
Praise for TWO IN THE HEAD:
“Two In the Head is a straight shot between the eyes. A gangbusters plot, punch-drunk pace, and gut-punch action propel this black hearted thriller from Eric Beetner.” -J. Todd Scott, author of TheFarEmpty and LostRiver
Regular readers know that Eric Beetner is one of my must-read authors. If Beetner isn’t for you, you probably haven’t tried one of his tales. Perhaps Two in the Head would be a good place to start.
William Link, best known as co-creator of Columbo, passed away on Sunday, December 27th from congestive heart failure. Mr. Link was 87.
William Link often partnered with Richard Levinson to write, create and produce everything from radio scripts to teleplays and feature films. In addition to co-creating Columbo, Link along with Levinson and Peter S. Fischer created the popular and long-running television program Murder, She Wrote. Link and Levinson also created Mannix in addition to other tv series. Link and Levinson’s television movies included My Sweet Charlie, That Certain Summer, and (my favorite) The Execution of Private Slovak starring a young Martin Sheen. Their scripts for feature films included The Hindenburg; Rollercoaster; and Steve McQueen’s last film The Hunter.
Link and Levinson won numerous awards throughout their long partnership including two Emmys, two Golden Globes, four Edgar Allan Poe Awards and many others.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to William Link’s family, friends and fans.
Although Capote would go on to write other shorts stories, novels and teleplays, he became best known for being famous. Capote was popular on the talk show circuit. He was flamboyant and loved telling stories. I look forward to seeing The Capote Tapes and someday pulling In Cold Blood off my to-be-read bookshelf and reading it.
In the 35 years since his death, Truman Capote has remained a source of curiosity to many. His works, including ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ and ‘In Cold Blood’, have maintained their place in the literary canon of great twentieth century American literature and still appeal to readers across the globe today.
‘Answered Prayers’ was meant to be Truman Capote’s greatest masterpiece, an epic portrait of NYC’s glittering jet-set society. Instead, it sparked his downfall. Through never before heard audio archive and interviews with Capote’s friends and enemies, this intimate documentary reveals the rise and fall of one America’s most iconic writers.
It’s been announced that Ace Atkins will have a new Quinn Colson novel coming out on July 13, 2021. TheHeathens will be the 11th novel in the best selling series and I can’t wait. Here’s the synopsis…
Sheriff Quinn Colson and his former deputy Lillie Virgil find themselves on opposite sides of a case for the first time after a man is found dead and three delinquent teens go on the run.
The Byrd clan is one of the wildest families in Tibbehah County. The three kids are the ire of school resource and truant officers–they peddle pot and steal car parts, doing what they can to survive with a mother who sometimes disappears for months on end. But when their mother returns with a new husband, a registered sex offender, a homicide soon follows, and the kids hit the highway.
U.S. Marshal Lillie Virgil is convinced the Byrd kids are guilty of murder, and sets off on a cross-country hunt to track them down and bring them to justice. Back in Tibbehah, Sheriff Quinn Colson isn’t so sure. And as he digs deeper into the case, he comes to think there may be a larger conspiracy at work.
If you’ve missed out (or are interested in getting started) here our the Quinn Colson novels in order of publication.
The cover above is to Barry Windsor Smith’s Monsters. As many of our readers know, BWS is considered to be one of the greatest artistic geniuses to have ever worked in comics. Smith’s last comic work was in 2005 and many thought he had retired. Little did we know that he had been working on Monsters for 35 years.
35 years in the making, the most anticipated graphic novel in recent comics history!
The year is 1964. Bobby Bailey doesn’t realize he is about to fulfill his tragic destiny when he walks into a US Army recruitment office to join up. Close-mouthed, damaged, innocent, trying to forget a past and looking for a future, it turns out that Bailey is the perfect candidate for a secret U.S. government experimental program, an unholy continuation of a genetics program that was discovered in Nazi Germany nearly 20 years earlier in the waning days of World War II. Bailey’s only ally and protector, Sergeant McFarland, intervenes, which sets off a chain of cascading events that spin out of everyone’s control. As the titular monsters of the title multiply, becoming real and metaphorical, literal and ironic, the story reaches its emotional and moral reckoning.
Monsters is the legendary project Barry Windsor-Smith has been working on for over 35 years. A 380-page tour de force of visual storytelling, Monsters’ narrative canvas is both vast and deep: part familial drama, part political thriller, part metaphysical journey, it is an intimate portrait of individuals struggling to reclaim their lives and an epic political odyssey across two generations of American history. Trauma, fate, conscience, and redemption are just a few of the themes that intersect in the most ambitious graphic novel of Windsor-Smith’s career.
Monsters is rendered in Windsor-Smith’s impeccable pen-and-ink technique, the visual storytelling with its sensitivity to gesture and composition is the most sophisticated of the artist’s career. There are passages of heartbreaking tenderness, of excruciating pain, and devastating violence. It is surely one of the most intense graphic novels ever drawn.
Any time a new Joe Lansdale novel is announced there is reason to celebrate. So, depending on how you party, get ready!
MoonLake by Joe R. Lansdale will premiere on June 22, 2021. I’m set to jump on board, but if you need a little more info…
Edgar award-winning author Joe Lansdale returns with a standalone novel following the gripping and unexpected tale of the lost town and dark secret that lie beneath the glittering waters of an East Texas lake.
Daniel Russell was only thirteen years old when his father tried to kill them both by driving their car into Moon Lake. Miraculously surviving the crash— and growing into adulthood— Daniel returns to the site of this traumatic incident in the hopes of recovering his father’s car and bones. As he attempts to finally put to rest the memories that have plagued him for years, he discovers something even more shocking among the wreckage that has ties to a twisted web of dark deeds, old grudges, and strange murders.
As Daniel diligently follows where the mysterious trail of vengeance leads, he unveils the heroic revelation at its core.
Any time Jonathan Maberry has a new book coming out there is reason to celebrate. When it is a Joe Ledger tale, then it is time to party like you made your inside straight draw. As you can see from the cover above, Maberry is back with a Joe Ledger yarn called Relentless.
Rogue Team International joins Joe Ledger in a new hunt that spans the globe and journeys deep into the terrifying landscape of the human heart.
JOE LEDGER’s world has been torn apart. The people closest to him have been savagely murdered and Ledger is on the hunt for the killers. His already fragile psyche has cracked apart, allowing a dangerous darkness to overwhelm him.
His hunt takes him deep into the world of the deadly black market weapons sales, and standing in his way are a new generation of private military contractors. These mercenaries have been enhanced with cutting-edge cybernetics and chemical enhancements, transforming them into real-world super soldiers. Stronger, faster, harder to hurt, and fitted with built-in weapons. They are beyond anything Joe has ever faced.
But he is not the Joe Ledger they expected to fight. He is defined by the Darkness now. The attempt to destroy him―to break him―has backfired. Instead his enemies have turned him into a far more fearsome weapon.
The next book in the red-hot Reckless series is here!
Bestselling crime noir masters Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips are back with another new original graphic novel featuring troublemaker-for-hire Ethan Reckless.
It’s 1985 and things in Ethan’s life are going pretty well… until a missing woman shows up in the background of an old B-movie, and Ethan is drawn into Hollywood’s secret occult underbelly as he hunts for her among the wreckage of the wild days of the ’70s.
“No one does crime fic like Brubaker and Phillips, and their collaboration has never felt more new. Explosive. Vital. And yes… reckless.” – Damon Lindelof (LOST, HBO’s WATCHMEN)
Another hit graphic novel from the award-winning creators of PULP, MY HEROES HAVE ALWAYS BEEN JUNKIES, CRIMINAL, and KILL OR BE KILLED — a must-have for all Brubaker and Phillips fans!
And look for the next standalone book in the Reckless series in October!
James Randi aka The Amazing Randi died on Tuesday at the age of 92. Mr. Randi began his career as a magician (that’s where the Amazing part of his name came from). He was a different kind of magician though.
Sure, he could perform mind-reading stunts, bend spoons just as those who claim to do so via mental powers, escape from padlocked chains and the like, but The Amazing Randi claimed no supernatural powers. In fact he offered his own money (eventually getting the amount to one million dollars) own money to anyone who could show scientific evidence of supernatural powers. No one ever collected.
James Randi became famous for debunking spiritualists, mind readers and the like who claimed supernatural powers to defraud people. He had his own radio show, television specials and was a popular guest on television shows. Randi was also the author of ten books. By all accounts he was a fun guy to be around.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to James Randi’s family, friends and fans.
Before we get into my review of Tax Collector, let me say that I’m a David Ayer fan and after seeing the poster and trailer for Tax Collector back in July, I posted them both saying that I looked forward to seeing the movie.
ComingSoon.net recently had a contest for a free DVD of Tax Collector. I entered and won a copy. That copy is what I am reviewing.
Tax Collector (2020)
Director: David Ayer
Screenplay: David Ayer
Stars: Bobby Soto, Cinthya Carmona, Shia LaBeouf, Jose Conejo Martin, Cheyenne Rae Hernandez, George Lopez and Brian Ortega.
The Pitch: “David Ayer is ready to make another movie!”
Tagline: From the Creator of “Training Day” and “End of Watch”
The Overview: Beware of Spoilers…
David Cuevas (Soto) and his crime partner, Creeper (LaBeouf) are tax collectors for a crime lord known as The Wizard. They collect a 30% tax on all illegal gang activity in the city. If the money isn’t on time or the count comes up short, Cuevas and Creeper resolve the issue so it doesn’t happen again.
Cuevas is living a double life of sorts. He has a beautiful wife and two children. He wants to be a good husband and father. The life Cuevas lives has given him a nice house, lots of money and respect, but the things he does to earn them are hard to justify. While Cuevas is a religious man, his partner, Creeper has come to terms with who they are and what they do.
Things go smoothly until a Conejo (Martin), a rival gang lord, returns to the city with intent to take over the Wizard’s operation. Conejo meets with Cuevas and offers him a choice: join Conejo or Cuevas and his family will be killed.
To tell more would be to give away too much. The movie contains more than a few twists, but it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone going to see Tax Collector that there are scenes of brutal violence. If you’re a fan of David Ayer, then you know what to expect.
As a screenwriter, Ayer got my attention with Training Day. As a director, it was with Street Kings. Then as a writer/director he brought us Harsh Times, End of Watch, Sabotage (one of Arnold’s best), and Fury just to name a few. Ayers’ films take us into a world where men are placed in violent situations and there are consequences to their actions.
I’ve never been a big Shia LaBeouf fan, but man, he owns every scene he is in. His character, Creeper, is a stone cold killer, and LaBeouf was perfect for the part. Remember No Country for Old Men and the character Anton Chigurh played by Javier Bardem? Remember the universal praise Bardem rightly received? I’d rate LaBeaouf’s performance at the same level.
Other standout performances include Cheyenne Rae Hernandez as Gata and Jose Conejo Martin as Conejo. It was also cool to see George Lopez playing against character and Brian Ortega from the UFC in a supporting role.
I really liked the Tax Collector. If you’re a David Ayer fan, you probably will as well.
Hope to Die
(Matthew Scudder Mysteries) by Lawrence Block