Folks, I have to say I am jealous! Just kidding. But the Call Me Smitty series is something I wish I wrote. And that is because Smitty is one of the most hard-boiled characters out on the market today.
Now, about Smitty. His name was formerly Johnny. One day while at the bank, Johnny finds a discrepancy of about 30 Gs in his account. He finds out his twin brother stole the money from him. It gets better for us, and goes down hill for Smitty from there on. He arrives at home and finds his brother and his wife naked, and entangled in each others arms like"living mummies."
He hits his brother in the face with a tire iron and knocks him unconcious. He drags his wife outside and puts a gun to her head and pulls the trigger. The gun dry fires. He doesn't kill her, but instead walks away in a sobbing rage. This is the day he is no longer Johnny; intead, he is Smitty! Part vigilante. Part cold-blooded assassin.
Other than the opening, we don't get too much back story on Smitty. Although, I really don't care. B.R. creates such a gloomy dismal atmosphere with his brutal poetic language. Because of this, I am able to suspend my disbelief and ride along on this roller coaster of mayhem and destruction.
The book is made up of several short stories. They are almost like vignettes or bloody slices of life. I love that format and I think it really appeals to the modern reader with their busy schedule and fast-paced life style.
I hate to do this, because again, Stateham has made this series his own. However, if I was grabbed by the shirt and held up against the wall and forced to compare him with another author, I would blurt out on Richard Stark and possibly Mickey Spillane. But again, he is no carbon copy of either.
I can't get out of here without saying something about his publisher http://www.trestlepresspublishing.com/. It is run by Giovanni Gelati who from what I have seen has a great business plan in that he is putting out some of the pulpiest modern day pulp out there to date. He has struck gold with Stateham.
I intend to follow this man's career for as long as he is writing.