Category: Authors

CANARY by Scott Snyder and Dan Panosian is Coming!

The CANARY trade paperback by Scott Snyder and Dan Panosian is set to premiere on June 25th.  Here’s the synopsis…

In 1884 a mine collapsed into itself. What was the dark substance found 666 feet underground?

Blending modern horror, historical fact and Western lore, Scott Snyder and Dan Panosian have created a uniquely terrifying thriller with Canary.

During the final days of the Gold Rush, one mining company in Utah pulled up radioactive Uranium, and then the mine then collapsed in on itself. Legends sprung up about the mine being cursed or even haunted.

Now the Frontier is closed and the gold and silver mines have dried up. The country is becoming “civilized,” and yet, in one stretch of the Rocky Mountains, a terrifying, new kind of violence is suddenly emerging. Random killings. People going mad and murdering neighbors and classmates without real cause. When a schoolboy kills his teacher with a hatchet, a famous federal marshal named Azrael William Holt is called in to investigate the killings. What he and a brilliant young geologist uncover is stranger and more horrifying than anything they could have ever imagined.

BRUCE LEE: IN MY OWN PROCESS by Bruce Lee is Coming!

Bruce Lee fans are going to love this.  BRUCE LEE: IN MY OWN PROCESS by Bruce Lee is set to premiere on April 23rd.  Here’s the synopsis…

‘Many of you know that I am a martial artist by choice, an actor by profession, and, by daily actualizing my potentiality through soulful discoveries and daily exercising, I hope to become also an artist of life.’ – Bruce Lee

‘I venture that 95% of people have heard of Bruce Lee. They might not know everything about him, but they know his name. Isn’t that just incredible? And what excites me about this book is that it’s an opportunity for the reader to have a better understanding of why you continue to know his name.’ – Shannon Lee

‘Bruce draws you in with his martial strength and prowess, fascinates you with his aggression and superlative masculinity, and then you go deeper and learn about his philosophy, his depth as a thinker and a scientist, and that really hooks you.’ – Ang Lee

‘Bruce Lee exemplified discipline and finding your own path to success while committed to doing something you love.’ – Tony Hawk

‘Every time he spoke I would shudder because it was like poetry. He was like the first Asian rapper without a beat!’ – Steve Aoki

Bruce Lee’s blockbuster movies, pioneering martial arts practice and motivational philosophy continue to inspire millions worldwide. Published in the fiftieth year of his passing, In My Own Process celebrates Lee’s legacy as a martial artist, actor and philosopher, offering readers the definitive book of his spectacular career.

Collating rare photographs, drawings and writings, In My Own Process opens up the Bruce Lee family archives. A wealth of fascinating items are shared, including handwritten poems; personal affirmations and diary entries; movie scripts; workout regimes; teaching notes; martial arts drawings and philosophical observations. Hundreds of photographs reveal Bruce Lee in action, starring in classic movies such as Enter the Dragon, as well as during private moments away from the spotlight.

Reflecting on key areas of his life, in 1973 Bruce Lee wrote a series of letters titled ‘In My Own Process’. Lee’s writings introduce the chapters of his career, from developing his philosophy of Jeet Kune Do, to his first screen test, to his big Hollywood breakthrough.

Alongside an extensive commentary in Lee’s own words, contributions from today’s leading figures in music, film, and sport examine Lee’s work and legacy, including Oscar-winning movie director Ang Lee, prolific actor and martial artist Jackie Chan, world-renowned skateboarder Tony Hawk, basketball superstar Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and more. Exclusive interviews with Lee’s associates and family members, such as his close friend and training partner, Dan Inosanto, add further personal insight.

In partnership with the family of Bruce Lee, Genesis Publications is proud to present In My Own Process, the official book documenting the life and work of one of the most significant cultural icons of all time.

“The Strain”: Season 4 (2017) / Z-View

The Strain: Season 4 (2017)

Created by:  Guillermo del Toro, Chuck Hogan

Directors:  J. Miles Dale (eps. 1 – 2, 10); Kevin Dowling (eps. 3 – 4); Norberto Barba (eps. 5 – 6); Thomas Carter (ep. 7); Paco Cabezas (ep. 8); Jennifer Lynch (ep. 9)

Screenplay: Carlton Cruse, Chuck Hogan (ep. 1, 10); Liz Phang (ep. 2, 8); David Weddle, Bradley Thompson (ep. 3, 9); Chuck Hogan (ep. 3); Mickey Fisher (ep. 4); Jeff Wadlow (ep. 5); Paul Keables (ep. 6); Andy Iser (ep. 7)

Stars: Corey Stoll, David Bradley, Jim Watson, Kevin Durand, Jonathan Hyde, Richard Sammel, Natalie Brown, Miguel Gomez, Max Charles, Ruta Gedmintas, Rupert Penry-Jones, Samantha Mathis, Joaquín Cosío, Adriana Barraza.

Tagline: None.

The Plot…

Nine months have passed since the bombs went off.  A nuclear winter envelopes the world.  The strigoi have formed a “partnership” with surviving humans.  Humans donate blood to feed the strigoi.  Despite people disappearing most humans feel the partnership is their only hope.

Setrakian, Fet, Mr. Quinlan, Gus and the others continue to work separately and together to find a way to kill the Master.  If they can do that, the strigoi will be mindless and easier to destroy.  When the group comes up with a suicide plan, there is little doubt that all will not survive… the real question is will the Master be killed.

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan have created a modern day vampire tale with a backstory that extends not just decades, but centuries.  The vampires aren’t the classic creatures of the night seen in countless movies.  And the stakes aren’t just a beautiful woman’s soul.  Here the fate of the world is at risk.

The writers should be commended for creating a huge cast of interesting characters with wonderful backstories.  In different episodes, different characters get the spotlight but viewers don’t get the feeling that it is by the numbers.  David Bradley as Professor Abraham Setrakian, Kevin Durand as Vasiliy Fet and Miguel Gomez as Augustin “Gus” Elizalde continue to shine.  Jonathan Hyde as Eldritch Palmer and Richard Sammel as Thomas Eichhorst, the Nazi vampire acolyte continue to be great villains.  Rupert Penry-Jones as Quinlan makes a great anti-hero.

Although Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan wrote a Strain trilogy of novels, the series doesn’t follow them exactly.

The Strain: Season 4 (2017) earns 5 of 5 stars.

SUGAR ON THE BONES, the 13th Hap & Leonard novel by Joe R. Lansdale, is Coming!

SUGAR ON THE BONES, the 13th Hap & Leonard novel by Joe R. Lansdale is coming!  Here’s what to expect…

PI Duo Hap & Leonard investigate the untimely death of a woman whose family stood much to gain from her passing. It’s a holy mess of a case for the “perpetual bad boy” (New York Times) sleuths in this beloved series.

Minnie Polson is dead. Burned to a crisp in a fire so big and bad it had to be deliberate. The only thing worse is that Hap and Leonard could have prevented it. Maybe. Minnie had a feeling she was being targeted, shaken down by some shadowy force. However, when she’d solicited Hap & Leonard, all it took was one off color joke to turn her sour and she’d called them off the investigation. Wracked with a guilty conscience, the two PIs—along with Hap’s fleet-footed wife, Brett—tuck in to the case. As they look closer, they dredge up troublesome facts: for one, Minnie’s daughter, Alice, has recently vanished. She’d been hard up after her pet grooming business went under and was in line to collect a whopping insurance sum should anything happen to her mother. The same was due to Minnie’s estranged husband, Al, whose kryptonite (beautiful, money-grubbing women) had left him with only a run-down mobile home. But did Minnie’s foolish, cash-strapped family really have it in them to commit a crime this grisly? Or is there a larger, far more sinister scheme at work?

Irreverent, wise-cracking, and full of atmosphere and bite, Sugar on the Bones is not to be missed.

SUGAR ON THE BONES drops July 16, 2024.

THE LAST FEW MILES OF ROAD: A CARTER MCCOY NOVEL by Eric Beetner is Coming Soon!

THE LAST FEW MILES OF ROAD: A CARTER MCCOY NOVEL by Eric Beetner will premiere on February 27th! Here’s the lowdown…

When Carter McCoy learns he hasn’t got long to live, it’s time to take care of something he has wanted to do for years–kill the man responsible for his daughter’s death. But Carter has no experience killing and isn’t even sure he can do it.

Breanna needs to escape her toxic home life or end up living a life of regret. When she happens upon the old man with a rifle, she sees a light at the end of her dark tunnel. Carter may be the answer to her problems, if he lives long enough to help her.

Carter is a man on borrowed time, and what he does with the rest of it could change who he has been his whole life. With the police closing in one step ahead of death, Carter has the opportunity to change Breanna’s life and give her the chance his daughter never had. With his trusty dog, Chester, at his side, Carter’s last act will be the one that defines who he is.

“Who Are You, Louis?” – The Teaser for “Interview with the Vampire” Season 2 is Here!

I’m glad we are getting some more promotional materials for season 2 of Interview with a Vampire.

Deal me in!

Who are you without your past?

ABOUT INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE
A luxury apartment covering an entire single floor of a high rise. Where the Vampire has granted the interview with the man he once judged to be unworthy. And where the journalist Daniel Molloy has hustled, for a second shot at the interview that got away from him 40 years earlier…

Based on Anne Rice’s iconic novel, Interview with The Vampire follows Louis’ epic story of love, blood and the perils of immortality, as told to the journalist Daniel Molloy. Chafing at the limitations of life as a black man in 1900’s New Orleans, Louis finds it impossible to resist Lestat’s offer of the ultimate escape: joining him as his vampire companion.

But Louis’s intoxicating new powers come with a violent price, and the introduction of Lestat’s newest fledgling, the child vampire Claudia, soon sets them on a decades-long path of revenge and atonement. A sensuous, contemporary reinvention of Anne Rice’s revolutionary gothic novel.

Who Are You, Louis? | Interview with the Vampire Season 2 | Premieres May 12 | AMC+

OWNING UP by George Pelecanos

George Pelecanos has a new one coming out.  Actually four new ones if we want to be accurate.  Here’s the lowdown…

Four blistering novellas, drawn together by themes of strife, violence, and humanity; “Every time I read one of George Pelecanos’s novels, I’m left a little awed.” (Dennis Lehane)

When the son of the Carusos is involved in a hold up, the family home comes under siege in the form of a no-knock warrant. Months after the cops destroyed their home, the Carusos struggle to return to normal. Elsewhere, two former inmates reunite by chance on the set of a TV production. Both have found their way on the straight and narrow path, that is, until one sees the potential for an easy grift. A teenage boy must step into the man he’d like to be as a hostage crisis grips his hometown. A woman adrift meets a man tied to her grandmother’s past, an encounter that awakens her to a bloody history that undergirds the place she grew up.

Pelecanos’ portraits are characterized by shades of grey, resisting the mold of heroes and villains, victims and perpetrators, good and evil. At once streetwise and full of heart, Owning Up grapples with random chance, the bind of consequence, and the forked paths a life can take.

OWNING UP by George Pelecanos drops February 6, 2024.

“Room 237” (2012) / Z-View

Room 237 (2012)

Director:  Rodney Ascher

Screenplay: Rodney Ascher

Stars: Archival footage featuring Stanley Kubrick, Stephen King, Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd, Scatman Crothers, Joe Turkel, Barry Nelson, Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman.

Tagline: Some movies stay with you forever…and ever…and ever.

The Plot…

Room 237 features nine segments that explore theories that Stanley Kubrick imbedded hidden messages and themes within The Shining.  Some of the theories include that Kubrick directed fake footage of the first moon landing since we really didn’t land with Apollo 11, cultural assimilation of Native Americans or American Imperialism or Genocide are the real themes of the film.  There are more.

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

If you don’t like one of the theories, don’t worry, another will soon be presented.  A lot of sizzle, but no steak.

Room 237 (2012) earns 2 of 5 stars.

THE BIG BUNDLE by Max Allan Collins / Z-View

THE BIG BUNDLE by Max Allan Collins

Publisher: Hard Case Crime

First sentence…

A middle-aged man taking stock of his life is to be expected.

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

When Nate Heller is called in to assist authorities, he has reason for concern.  Six-year-old Bobby Greenlease was kidnapped nearly a week ago.  The kidnappers demanded $600,000 (a record ransom at that time) for the little boy’s safe return.  The ransom amount isn’t the concern.  Bobby’s daddy is a millionaire.  He can easily afford the demand.  Further he’s more than willing to pay for his son’s safe return.  Heller’s concern is the kidnappers are idiots.  They’ve already bungled a drop-off.  Stupid criminals make stupid mistakes.  Heller fears that Bobby is already dead.

Bobby’s dad insists on no F.B.I. or police interference when the cash is dropped off.

I won’t give away the outcome of the case other than to say, when the ransom money is recovered, $300,000 is missing.

Five years later, Heller is called back to revisit the case.  Who ended up with the missing $300,000?  As Heller digs into the evidence he discovers that both Bobby Kennedy and Jimmy Hoffa are interested in his findings.  And not for the same reasons.  People are murdered as Heller get closer to the truth.  He could be next.

+++++

I’m a huge fan of Max Allan Collins’ Nate Heller series.  Heller is a fictional detective who finds himself in the middle of real crimes.  Heller ages in real time as the series progresses. His tales are fiction based on extensive research and historical fact. Heller has been in the mix on everything from the Lindbergh baby kidnapping/murder to the suspicious death of Marilyn Monroe, to the Kennedy assassinations (both Jack and Bobby) and more. It’s fun watching Heller interact with famous (and infamous) folks right out of our history books. Equally enjoyable is Collins’ take on the crimes and what may have really happened.

I’m usually familiar with Nate Heller’s cases.  I wasn’t with this one.  Not knowing how the kidnapping would turn out (and Collins’ excellent writing) kept me turning pages.  Then once the kidnapping is resolved, the mystery of the missing $300,000 comes into play.  THE BIG BUNDLE is like two Nate Heller yarns in one.  It doesn’t get any better.

THE BIG BUNDLE is another great addition to the Nate Heller legacy.  It gets my highest recommendation.

Rating:

FAREWELL, AMETHYSTINE by Walter Mosley!

Any time a new Walter Mosley novel is announced, it is cause for celebration.  If it is an Easy Rawlins tale, the party goes to the next level.  Get ready to go to the next level.  FAREWELL, AMETHYSTINE drops June 4, 2024.  Here’s the synopsis…

Easy Rawlins’ latest client sends him down a warren of memory and nostalgia, blinding him to reason and risk, from “master of the genre,” (Washington Post) Walter Mosley.

January 1970 finds Ezekiel “Easy” Rawlins, LA’s premier Black detective, at 50 years of age despite all expectations. He has a loving family, a beautiful home, and a thriving investigation agency. All is right with the world… and then Amethystine Stoller, his own personal Helen of Troy, arrives. Her ex-husband is missing. A simple enough case. But even as Easy takes his first step in the investigation he trips. He falls into the memory of things past. Little things, like loss, love, a world war, and a hunger that has eaten at him since he was a Black boy on his own on the streets of Fifth Ward, Houston, Texas.

The missing ex, a young white man named Curt Fields, is found dead. Easy’s only real friend in the LAPD, Melvin Suggs, has gone into hiding rather than allow his femme fatale wife to go to the gas chamber. And that’s only the beginning.

Easy finds himself pressed into a reckoning. All of his success cannot succor his heart. The 1970’s have ushered in new expectations of men and women, Black and White, and Easy has to make a choice that will almost certainly hasten a permanent descent, one that might sunder his soul.

Deal me in.

TRIPWIRE by Lee Child / Z-View

TRIPWIRE by Lee Child

First sentence…

Jack Reacher saw the guy step in through the door.

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Jack Reacher lives off the grid, traveling from place to place with just the clothes on his back. Reacher, a few years retired from the military at age 39, is enjoying life in Key West.  For the last few months, he’s made his living digging pools during the day and bouncing at a local strip club at night.

Life is good.

Then one night a private eye named Costello shows up at the club looking for Jack Reacher.  Costello is sent on his way after being told there’s no “Jack Reacher” there.  A little later a couple of thugs show up at the club’s door.  They’re also looking for Jack Reacher.  Like Costello, they’re sent packing,

The next day a P.I. named Costello is found murdered.

Reacher decides to find out more about Costello and the two thugs looking for him.  The trail leads back to one of Reacher’s former commanders, recently deceased, and his daughter, now a fully grown woman.  While Reacher is meeting with her an attempt is made to kill them both.  Reacher has no idea who is behind this or why.  As he investigates, he learns the answer dates back three decades.  As Reacher sorts out the mystery, a rich, badly burned, one-armed sociopath continues to work behind the scenes, torturing and murdering all in his path, to reach his final goal.

+++++
The villain of TRIPWIRE is a worthy adversary for Reacher.  He breaks people mentally and then abuses them physically before slowly killing them.  He’s rich, powerful and has thugs to do his bidding when he doesn’t want to dirty his hand.  Yep, hand.  He has just one.  One the end of his other arm is a sharpened hook.  Which he loves to put to “good” use.

Bravo to Lee Child for creating a satisfying ending that resolves the mystery with enough action to satisfy the most hardcore fan.

Rating:

“Black Angel” (1946) starring Dan Duryea, June Vincent, Peter Lorre & Broderick Crawford / Z-View

Black Angel (1946)

Director:  Roy William Neill

Screenplay: Roy Chanslor based on the novel THE BLACK ANGEL by Cornell Woolrich

Stars: Dan Duryea, June Vincent, Peter Lorre, Broderick Crawford, Wallace Ford, Robert B. Williams and George Ford.

Tagline: DURYEA! …that fascinating tough-guy of “Scarlet Street”!

The Plot…

Martin Blair (Duryea) wants to see his estranged wife, Mavis Marlowe.  It’s their anniversary and he’s sent Mavis a large ruby brooch in an effort to win her back.  Yet, she’s told the doorman to NOT allow Martin up.  Dejected and rejected, Martin goes to get drunk.  He then stumbles to his room, where a friend locks him in for the night.

Later, Kirk Bennet goes up to see Mavis.  He finds her on the floor.  She’s dead.  Kirk notices she’s wearing a huge ruby brooch.  When Kirk hears a noise in the apartment, he realizes he’s not alone.  As he carefully makes his way through the bedroom, he hears someone running out.  Kirk goes back to find the brooch missing and the front door open.  Kirk realizes he’s in a bad spot and runs to the stairwell.  He’s seen as he flees.

When the cops pick up Kirk, it becomes clear that he was having an affair with Mavis, despite being married.  Kirk’s wife, Catherine (Vincent) doesn’t believe her husband is a killer.  Kirk claims Mavis was blackmailing him. This just gives the cops more reason to think he killed Mavis.

Catherine is grasping at straws to find evidence to clear her husband when she meets Martin.  Catherine believes he could be the killer.  Martin says the police thought so too at first.  Except he couldn’t have killed Mavis since he was knock-down drunk and locked in his room when the murder occurred.  Martin takes pity on Catherine and offers to help her find the killer.

Kirk is on death row and the clock is ticking.  What chance does a housewife and functioning alcoholic have of finding the real murderer?  Tick tock tick toc…

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

Black Angel is loosely based on Cornell Woolrich’s novel of the same name.  Woolrich is said to dislike the film because of the changes made.  Since I haven’t read the book, I wasn’t hindered by expectations. I thought I knew how it would play out.  Boy, was I wrong.  I was surprised by twist ending.

This was the last film directed by Roy William Neill.  He died shortly after the release of Black Angel.  Neill is best known as the director of several Sherlock Holmes‘ films as well as the classic Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman.

Dan Duryea, on the other hand, had a career that was heating up.  He’s even the subject of Black Angel‘s tagline.  Broderick Crawford has a small but important role.  Four years later Crawford would win an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for All the King’s Men.

Black Angel (1946) earns 4 of 5 stars.

YOU LIKE IT DARKER by Stephen King

Stephen King has a new book of short stories, YOU LIKE IT DARKER coming out May 21, 2024.  Before we get to the synopsis, how about that cover?  That’s a clever design.  Is it land that looks like an alligator, or an alligator that looks like land?

From legendary storyteller and master of short fiction Stephen King comes an extraordinary new collection of twelve short stories, many never-before-published, and some of his best EVER.

“You like it darker? Fine, so do I,” writes Stephen King in the afterword to this magnificent new collection of twelve stories that delve into the darker part of life—both metaphorical and literal. King has, for half a century, been a master of the form, and these stories, about fate, mortality, luck, and the folds in reality where anything can happen, are as rich and riveting as his novels, both weighty in theme and a huge pleasure to read. King writes to feel “the exhilaration of leaving ordinary day-to-day life behind,” and in YOU LIKE IT DARKER, readers will feel that exhilaration too, again and again.

“Two Talented Bastids” explores the long-hidden secret of how the eponymous gentlemen got their skills. In “Danny Coughlin’s Bad Dream,” a brief and unprecedented psychic flash upends dozens of lives, Danny’s most catastrophically. In “Rattlesnakes,” a sequel to CUJO, a grieving widower travels to Florida for respite and instead receives an unexpected inheritance—with major strings attached. In “The Dreamers,” a taciturn Vietnam vet answers a job ad and learns that there are some corners of the universe best left unexplored. “The Answer Man” asks if prescience is good luck or bad and reminds us that a life marked by unbearable tragedy can still be meaningful.

King’s ability to surprise, amaze, and bring us both terror and solace remains unsurpassed. Each of these stories holds its own thrills, joys, and mysteries; each feels iconic. You like it darker? You got it.

THE ABRUM FILES: A BISHOP RIDER BOOK by Beau Johnson

THE ABRUM FILES: A BISHOP RIDER BOOK by Beau Johnson

First sentence…

I tell him I was a child when my father is ripped apart.

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Marcel Abrum was the worst kid of predator, a human trafficker.  Rich and powerful, he thought that made him safe. But when Marcel Abrum brutally murdered Bishop Rider’s wife and sister, he discovered the truth,  Bishop Rider extracted a payback on Abrum equal to the horrors Abram had inflicted on so many women and children,

Then Bishop Rider made it his mission to hunt human traffickers and end their lives in ways that would make his name whispered in fear by those who targeted the weak.  Along the way others joined Rider’s cause. But nothing prepared Bishop Rider for the day when Jeramiah Abrum, the son of Marcel Abrum became a part of Rider’s group.  It took time for Rider to fully trust Jeramiah.  But the fire for vengeance that burned in Rider also blazed in Jeramiah.  For years they worked together brutally wiping out pedophiles and human traffickers.  The mission looked to be over when Rider’s cancer finally finished him.

But it wasn’t.

Jeramiah Abrum decided the operation would continue.  He and other like-minded individuals would carry on Bishop Rider’s work.  They would hunt down and brutally murder those that preyed on the weakest members of society.

THE ABRUM FILES: A BISHOP RIDER BOOK by Beau Johnson is a series of short stories detailing the work of Jeramiah Abrum.  It’s violent, brutal and bloody.  One reviewer called it “chainsaw noir”.  I like that description.

Every review speaks of the book’s violence.  It permeates each story.  Thankfully, Johnson adds just the right amount of humor to take the edge off. He also has his main character, Jeramiah Abrum, realize that he’s not a good guy.  He’s wanted by the police.  The ways he kills are terrible.  But Jeramiah is doing these things to perverts and criminals who do much worse to their victims.  It’s old school, medieval, old testament justice.  And I like it.

The stories are self-contained.  When all are read the bigger picture forms.  Johnson has a unique format that usually takes us right to the start of the criminal’s certain demise.  It’s amazing how many unique ways Johnson comes up with for Rider to get justice.  The book is a fast read.  Because of the brutality and violence readers may want to pace themselves.

This was my first book by Beau Johnson.  It won’t be my last.

Rating:

Meet Eric Beetner!

Eric Beetner has made his living in the film and tv industry for over 30 years.  In addition, Beetner is a musician, an artist and a writer.  He’s written over 30 novels and 100 short stories.  If you’re a regular reader here, you know I’m a huge fan of Eric Beetner’s crime yarns.

Over at Canvas Rebel, Eric Beetner talks about his career, the “mission” of his creative journey, the importance of resilience and more.  It’s worth a read.