Book review: He Died with His Eyes Open by Derek Raymond (9781935554578)

All the evil in the world is powerless against intelligence and courage.

A dead body of a man is found in London and the detective protagonist needs to find who did it.  What he finds is an interesting oral history of the victim’s life captured by the victim on tapes.  The tapes reveal the loneliness and destitution that the victim endures and the people that play a part of his life and death.

This book was originally published in the 1980’s and the writing is fantastic.  I really enjoyed this noir crime story.  It is stark, gritty and real and you keep wanting to read more.  The great mastery of this story is that you never learn the name of the detective who is investigating the story and you don’t even realize it because it is so well written.  I can’t wait to read the next in the series.

Thank you to Mr. Raymond, Melville House Publishing and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to review this book.

Book review: The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain (9780679723257)

Yes, I read the classics, too.  A tragic love story where a drifter falls in love with a married woman, they plot to kill her husband, their lust gets in the way of common sense, and it ends in tragedy. A very lurid, short story of 1930’s noir that holds the reader to the end.

Book Review: Humpty Dumpty was Pushed by Marc Blatte (9780980139419)

41derFTl+ZL._SS500_“Humpty Dumpty was pushed.  Nothing happens by accident and lightening can strike twice in the same spot.”

Who murdered the big man with the yellow socks?  This story takes us from a hip-hop recording studio to a New York City nightclub to a socialite’s home in the Hamptons.

Detective Salvatore Messina, aka Black Sallie Blue Eyes, is a smart cop with a criminal profiler mind.  He dreams of keeping the streets safe, but this case has got him working to keep his captain, the record producers and the socialites from breathing down his neck AND, as fate has it, his ex-wife is back in New York City.

Scholar, gritty ex-con, has a dream to be a top hip hop executive, but money and the higher ups are getting in his way.  Even his cousin Biz, record producer, can’t help him reach his goal.

Vooko, Albanian nightclub bouncer, dreams about finding his cousin’s killer.  Moving from a war torn country to the streets of New York City wasn’t much of a transition.  It’s bad enough with the language barrier, but the traditions and ways of life are even more challenging.

Kal Kessler, wealthy socialite drug addict, dreams of earning his father’s approval.  Unfortunately, he hangs with “the boys”, enjoys fast cars and hard drugs.

Marc Blatte’s first novel is “da bomb”.  The suspense, colorful hip-hop slang, character nicknames and humorous banter kept me turning the pages.  He has created the first “wonderful hip-hop noir mystery” that even a farm girl from Iowa couldn’t put down.