Tag Archives: Hard Case Crime


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 […]


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 […]


I wasn’t sure what to expect when I opened Samuel Fuller’s Brainquake (Titan Books/Hard Case Crime, 2014) to the first page. And then I read the opening line: Sixty seconds before the baby shot the father, leaves fell lazily in Central Park. Hook goes in mouth. Paul Page is sitting on a bench in Central […]


Imagine several cars plowing full speed ahead from all different directions toward a common intersection. Only now imagine that, instead of going in straight lines toward the center, their routes are long and curvy, allowing some of them to pass each other like ships in the night. In some cases, they even ride two abreast […]


It’s tough out there for the professional hitman. You’ve got to pick up and go to a strange town on a moment’s notice, locate your target, and stake him out for a week or so, following his every move, learning his habits, in order to minimize the margin of error. Then, if you work alone, you […]


Eighty-nine percent chance of success. Eighty-nine percent. Sounds pretty good, right? In other words, for every one hundred trials, you will succeed eighty-nine times and fail eleven times. In gamblers’ parlance, that makes you an “odds-on” favorite, a proposition on which you would be well-advised to risk money. But how about risking your freedom? Or […]


Between 1966 and 1972, Michael Crichton wrote eleven novels, all of them under pen names, with the exception of The Andromeda Strain (1969). “John Lange” was his favorite pseudonym and that was the one he used when he wrote the Edgar-nominated Grave Descend (1970), a fast-moving tale of sunken yachts, hammerhead sharks, and assorted unsavory characters. The novel […]


Covers. Every author’s favorite subject. Especially when the cover design for his/her novel is imminent. I would imagine that during this uncertain period, more Tums are consumed per capita among crime fiction authors than at any other time. And for good reason. Covers are the source of great anxiety. Will it be dynamite? Will it […]