Category Archives: Reviews

REVIEW: “QUARRY’S VOTE”

  Understatement of the year: “My big mistake was allowing happiness to creep in.” That’s Quarry talking, and it provides the opening line of Quarry’s Vote (Hard Case Crime/Titan Books, 2015) by Max Allan Collins, a rerelease of Collins’ 1987 novel, originally titled Primary Target. This edition, however, rests behind one of Hard Case Crime’s patented pulp-style covers, […]

REVIEW: “MURDER NEVER KNOCKS”

When you love a great series character, and the author dies, a little of you dies with him, because you know that your beloved character will visit you no more. Many millions of crime fiction fans felt that way when Mickey Spillane passed away in 2006 at the age of 88, because with his departure, […]

BEST FILM OF 2015: EX MACHINA

Below is a review I did a few months ago of Ex Machina, which turned out to be my choice for best film of 2015.   Let me say this right up front: Alex Garland’s dazzling film Ex Machina is, in its own way, as mind-blowing as Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 iconic 2001: A Space Odyssey. I insert the qualification “in […]

REVIEW: “THE GIRL WITH THE DEEP BLUE EYES”

Doak Miller’s done his twenty-five years with the NYPD. Pensioned off, he wants a quieter life, so he moves to Gallatin County, hidden away in the big bend of Florida. He gets his private investigator’s license, hoping to pick up a little off-the-books work on the side. It’s been three years now, time enough to […]

REVIEW: “EX_MACHINA”

Let me say this right up front: Alex Garland’s dazzling film EX_MACHINA is, in its own way, as mind-blowing as Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 iconic 2001: A Space Odyssey. I insert the qualification “in its own way” because Kubrick’s tableau was the enormity of the universe and all of human history, while Garland has chosen a far more claustrophobic and […]

REVIEW FROM THE PAST: “STREET 8”

I got to thinking it’s time to revisit this five-year-old review of an outstanding example of noir fiction. So here it is one more time! STREET 8 by Douglas Fairbairn  Review by Mike Dennis, 2010 “Nobody wants to come downtown anymore. They tell you it’s like coming to a foreign country.” That’s the sentiment expressed by […]

REVIEW: “KILL ME, DARLING”

Just before Mickey Spillane passed away in 2006 at the age of 88, he alerted his wife to the presence of unfinished manuscripts in his office. He told her to “Give them to Max. He’ll know what to do.” “Max” was Max Allan Collins, veteran crime fiction writer of scores of novels and several successful series. Collins […]

REVIEW: “A MOST VIOLENT YEAR”

Every so often you get a film whose title and tag lines promise a certain type of story and draw you into the theater, only to find out those promises had little to do with the movie itself. A Most Violent Year is just such a film. The trailer emphasized its setting in the New York of 1981, […]

REVIEW: “QUARRY’S CHOICE”

Send a hitman to do a job along the Mississippi Gulf Coast, throw in the usual obstacles, including maybe a sexy woman or two, and you might think you’re in for a paint-by-numbers crime novel, hardly worth the time. But this isn’t like any other such novel, because it’s Quarry’s Choice (2015, Hard Case Crime) a page-turner written […]

REVIEW: “THIEVES FALL OUT”

I never much cared for Gore Vidal. He always came off as pompous, insufferably elitist, and wore a perpetual sneer directed at all those around him. Bouncing around between novels, essays, plays, and movie scripts, his writing never seemed to gain focus and never appealed to me. So you can imagine my surprise when I […]