Revenge Is A Red Head

 

Rating: 4/5 

I am running out of space for physical books, I own everything Hard Case Crime has put out: everything by Chuck Palahniuk, Chandler and for some reason most of the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter novels, to name a few of my eclectic collection.

So to save space and money (in most cases) I went out and purchased myself a kindle. Amazon’s algorithm counting every hard boiled novel, decided to present Revenge Is A RedRevenge is a Redhead by [Beloin Jr., Phil] Head as a “You Might like this, PS we are not spying on you” recommendation.

Less than an English £1 and 93 pages long I thought what can go wrong?

Phil Beloin Jr didn’t was a word on the page, pacing his story with edgy dialogue, action and just a bit of smut. The story follows, down on his luck Rich son of a cop, who  finds himself with out a home and part-time professional clothes remover and lady of the night Cherry Pop. Who meet at a “Gentlemen’s club” Rich has less than 75 cents in his pocket. Cherry takes a shine to him.

what happens next would somewhat spoil the plot so we will skip over that. Someone is wronged and revenge is sort.

Beloin creates two likable characters, who engage the reader and in the end you want to root for our duo even when they are slashing, shooting or beating people to death and in sometime even sleeping with them to death. According to Cherry it is not a bad way to after all the the french have a word for it.

if you like short punchy reads, good characters and modern noir then Revenge Is A Red is for you, if you liked Money Shot by Christa Faust then it is a must.

 

 

 

The Moving Target

Rating 3.5/5

Detective noir has always interested me ; from my first taste by reading James Ellroy’s The Black Dahlia, the total immersion that was in playing Rock star games L.A Noire or watching the Monroe’s first screen outing in The Asphalt Jungle and Jessica Alba’s performance in The killer inside me. You can forget your Law and Orders where although flawed the good guys always come out whiter than white and are never in any peril. True detective fiction for me was gum shoes from the 1930 to the 1950’s , well the genre has a whole. I like my detectives as I like my eggs hard boiled (Not sure if that has ever been used before so I am claiming it).

After my bold claims above it turns out I haven’t read any Ross MacDonald and I knew nothing about his ex cop come private dick Lew Archer. Archer embodies the genre as much as Spade and Marlow. MacDonald writes with the rhythm and pace that has become synonymous with noir.

And with his embodiment of both character and style MacDonald give us Archer’s first case. Moving target. Moving Target see our detective Archer on the case of the missing oil tycoon Ralph Sampson. Archer has his suspects Mrs Sampson, Ralph’s Daughter Maranda Sampson, Alan Tagget Sampson’s personal pilot and Maranda’s love interest and there is a fading movie star and psychic who could also be involved. There is even a cult leader who lives on a mountain.

All the tropes are there Archer encounters heavies, men with secrets, thugs and where would a hard boiled detective be without the femme_fatale? Archer encounters enough of them.

This isn’t your down-town L.A story Archer moves around suburban L.A visiting dive bars and seedy hotels. MacDonald keeps his detective away from the hustle and bustle of the bright lights, proving that suburban L.A can be just as dangerous,

Archer is a likeable character and MacDonald is not scared to have his Character knocked out, shot at or worse.

The story may be formulaic but MacDonald and Archer keeps the reader gripped enough through the story. With enough twist and changes in direction to keep the story fresh with out being confusing , but at the end of it and the dust settles it is a kidnapping story and they can only turn out a few ways.

With the above said it is a worth wile read. Archer has the right balance of forthrightness , flaws and sarcasm to be enjoyable.