Friday, August 24, 2012

Dying Memories by David Zeltserman

A while ago, Mr. Zeltserman told me this wasn't his best book. He felt that another book of his titled Killers Essence was better. I disagree.

Dying Memories, is about a reporter in Boston who is working on a story about a murder. The deeper he digs, he finds out that the murder was part of a grand conspiracy involving the government and a major corporation.  Even though it is a familiar plot line, Mr. Zeltserman does an excellent job in creating a paranoid atmosphere. When reading this, I truly did not know who the main character could trust.

This story harkens back to other stories such as  Three Days Of The CondorThe Parallax View and the granddaddy of them all, The Manchurian Candidate .  But it's not a carbon copy of any ofthese movies or books .

Also, normally I am not a fan of flashbacks in stories.  However, I feel David's use of them really worked in that it really helped to unravel the main character's back story, which was very important to the plot.

 I really like Zeltserman's prose style. I think his economy of language fits the type of story Dying Memories is. I also think though we have seen these type of characters before, they weren't stale; on the contrary, they were very interesting and fresh .

I highly recommend this book, and it can be purchased as an e-book at

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Godchild by Vincent Zandri

Godchild, by Vincent Zandri, is my first foray into his work. It is part of his Jack Marconi series-Jack who is a down on his heels private eye.

What is interesting about Jack, is that he was a former prison warden. This is a unique twist on the private eye story  in that most gumshoes are ex-cops. Other than that, Marconi has all the trappings of the loser/ hero that inhabits the stories of all the greats.

I read one reviewer who stated that the plot was cliché . I disagree with the word cliché.  But, I can't say it is original.  However, who cares? Zandri delivers a story that is pure action and escapism ; and that's what I'm looking for in my crime fiction . Also, his story is full of twists and turns that make it very interesting .

My only quibble with his book is that it was 10 pages too long.  It felt like he was beating us over the head with certain  back story .  But, that aside, I highly reccomend Godchild for any crime and action buffs. It can be purchased at for your Kindle.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Progress on the Lou Blatz story

Not a bad writing session today. I managed to squeeze out 700 words. I think this is a good pace.

Still, my main concern is that this is too much  like a Huey story with just a different character. So what I'm going to do, is finish the story as is. Then I will put it aside, and later on re think the second draft. Currently, I am thinking that I should make it more of a police procedural and do some funny things with that genre. I can look to writers like Ed Mc Bain for inspiration.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Lou Blatz: All That Glitters Is Gold

This is just a progress report on the story I'm working on: Lou Blatz: All that glitters is gold. Little by little, I am shaping the character that is Lou Blatz. What I don't want, is this to be a Huey Dusk story with a different character. So, in the second draft, I will have to go through and give Lou some distinctive qualities. I also want the humor in the piece to be a lot drier than it is in the Huey Dusk
series. The prose style should be a lot more abrupt and brutal. As I've mentioned before, I am channeling David Goodis. As a result, Blatz's world should be more bleak.

What I don't want What I don't want

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Red Baker by Robert Ward

Red Baker takes place during 1985 in working class white Baltimore; actually, it felt like 1982. It starts off with both Red and his rabid friend laid off from the steel mill. This sparks a journey of despair full of stops at bars, fraternizing with hookers, buying drugs and embarrassing his family. His exploits cause him to receive an ultimatum from his wife.

As a result of this, he is successful in finding a low-paying job that barely pays the bills . This depresses Red  even more  and he and his friend  Dog get into more trouble. This trouble culminates into fight with Vinny, a mortal enemy. it also causes him to go in on a scam with a crooked cop His friend Dog  goes in on it too.

Red Baker is a quirky classic which is a book for its time.  I don't think it is as dark as other I've read; but but that's.  It canbe purchased as hard copy or e-book on