Thursday, June 8, 2017

Shotgun Weather and a Giveaway

I like it when people I respect post reading recommendations and I like it even more when they include my own work in there, so I'd like to toot my own horn a bit and point out that David Whish-Wilson took a minute on FB to call out "the last ten kick-arse 5-star crime books I've read."

In order of recentness those were:

Reconciliation for the Dead by Paul Hardisty
Marlborough Man by Alan Carter
Dirty Girl by Juliet Wills
Peckerwood by Jedidiah Ayres (!)
Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin
The Worst Woman in Sydney by Leigh Straw
The Devil All The Time by Donald Ray Pollock
The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt
Darktown by Thomas Mullen
Days Without End by Sebastian Barry.

Fucking thanks, a bunch, David. That's two I owe you after the generous blurb you gave Fierce Bitches.

Well, it's summatime summatime, sum-sum-summatime and I get more reading done this time of year while I'm poolside - I'll embrace the cliche. I take those recs seriously and will give a few of my own here (Old Scores and the other Frank Swann titles should go without saying).

First I savored Donald Ray Pollock's The Heavenly Table. Writing this fine just needs to be chewed well and I took my time with every page. Not nearly as dark and ominous as The Devil All the Time this one draws favorable comparison to Patrick deWitt or Charles Portis with its humor and heart and just damn - so grim, so gross - it's laugh or cry time.

Next I got to Kieran Shea's Off Rock which I touched on last week. Shea's three for three with this smart-ass sci-fi adventure pulp. Remember when he wrote crime fiction? Did you dig it? You'll like this too.

Melissa Ginsburg's Sunset City had been on my radar for years. Like a few years before it was published. I'd heard of this sun-bleached tale of pornography and murder in Houston, Texas (which, excuses me, sounds sleazy even without pornography and murder). I enjoyed the tour of the glitz, gilt and grit of that locale.

Stories too. You know I love short stories. Been dipping my toes into the upcoming Hard Sentences - Alcatraz stories from editors David James Keaton and Joe Clifford. More thoughts on that one when it lands, but I'm also working through The Redemption of Galen Pike, a collection of short fiction by Carys Davies. Not straight-up crime, but many of them have a noirish sensibility - darkness blacker upon reflection than a first-reading may suggest. I've re-read several of the (very) short stories and I dig 'em.

Also just fucking love Jake Hinkson's collected essays on film noir: The Blind Alley. You know I love his novels, but put this up there with Barry Gifford's The Devil Thumbs a Ride, Eddie Muller's Dark City: The Lost World of Film Noir and hey even Stephen Hunter's Violent Screen (I like novelists writing about film apparently). You don't have to have a deep knowledge or scholarly interest in film or film noir to appreciate and enjoy Hinkson's insights and observations.

The Colombian Mule is the first in the Alligator books by Massimo Carlotto I've read - after loving the hell out of his Pellegrini books (The Goodbye Kiss and At the End of Dull Day) I'm happy to report that his eye for international criminality remains unflinchingly vicious and bleakly hilarious in this series as well.

Now that it's out I can finally say Jordan Harper's She Rides Shotgun is something you should put your mitts upon right the fuck now. This one delivers on the promise of his short fiction - as good a pummeling about the head and gut as you're bound to enjoy this year.

Released on the same day as Shotgun, Nik Korpon's The Rebellion's Last Traitor which is related to his novella By the Nails of the Warpriest in a way yet to be determined by this sharp tack. Also Joe Clifford's third Jay Porter book Give Up the Dead came out this week - shit, that's a lotta flavor for one week.

My plans for the rest of the summer include ingesting some classics I've recently put my paws upon: Don Carpenter's Hard Rain Falling and Earl Thompson's Tattoo. Plus, how could I not read more Denis Johnson? Fuck, what a loss. So long and thanks for all the books, man.
As well as new books like Court Merrigan's The Broken Country, Thomas Pluck's Bad Boy Boogie, Steph Post's Lightwood, Iain Ryan's The Student, Harry Hunsicker's The Devil's Country and Johnny Shaw's third Jimmy Veeder Fiasco Imperial Valley.

Another new one I've already pleasured myself with? Clayton Lindemuth's Solomon Bull. Lindemuth's is a name I'm surprised I still have to introduce people to. He's got a strong voice and something to say. Something bloody.

So, here's the giveaway opportunity. I'd love to put Clayton's backwood moonshine making, dog-fighting and other violent doings novel My Brother's Destroyer in your hands. You want one, just let me know - I'll mail it to your domicile for free.

For free - c'mon, take me up on it.


Scott Emerson said...

Is the book giveaway still going on? Sounds like a book I'd really enjoy.

jedidiah ayres said...

Yes sir - find my email address on my blogger profile and shoot me your home address.

mtm said...

Barry Gifford's DEVIL THUMBS A RIDE is my all-time favorite film book.

jedidiah ayres said...

Love it. You want a copy of MY BROTHER'S DESTROYER?

mtm said...

That would be swell. I'll email you my address. And thank you.