Posts Tagged With: noir

book review | Driven by James Sallis | Drive 2

james salis driven drive ryan gosling movie review bookAuthor: James Sallis
Title: Driven
Series: Drive 2
Genre: Crime; Noir
Pages: 158
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

Never have I ever reread a book so short so many times, because plot was too messy to properly follow. That was my experience with “Driven” by James Sallis, sequel to “Drive“.

About the Book: Driver enters new life, having ran from the previous chaos and danger, the double-crossings. And all goes truly well up until someone finds him again. Pushed to run with his life getting systematically destroyed, driver is preparing to face whoever is doing this and find out why.

My Opinion: I really hate scattered plot. Especially those that are more philosophical monologues than any distinct action. So while the book is well written, even if lacking in some kind of order, and there’s even good plot twists, it just got too dull and became too much work too soon.

Not for me, no. A 3 out of 5.

Categories: 3-5, Books: Crime, Books: Everything, Books: Other Fiction, Crime Books, murder, Mystery Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Bloodlist by P.N. Elrod | Vampire Files 1

bloodlist p n elrod vampire filesAuthor: P.N. Elrod
Title: Bloodlist
Series: Vampire Files 1
Genre: Vampires; Mystery
Pages: 160
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

A detective novel of former journalist turned vampire going against gangsters who killed him. Such is “Bloodlist” by P.N. Elrod, the first in Vampire Files series, and, I admit, it was pretty good.

About the Book: Jack can’t remember what exactly happened. He just knows he was killed, and is now driven by vampire instincts and desire to find what was on that mysterious list gangsters demanded from him all the way to his death. After all, he was a journalist in his first life. Down this hellish road, luckily, he meets allies: an almost sherlockian detective, and, naturally, a girl…

My Opinion: While not the best detective you will ever read, it will sure do its best to entertain. Noir atmosphere, gangsters and cigar smoke, charming women hiding their strength, a disguise master detective, and… a vampire.

The book was easy to read, entertaining, and not too predictable either. I can give it a very firm 4 out of 5.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Crime, Books: Everything, Books: Horror, Books: Other Fiction, Crime Books, Detective Books, mafia, murder, Mystery Books, Nosferatu Books, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | This Rough Magic by Josh Lanyon | mystery

this rough magic josh lanyon a shot in the dark lgbt book coverAuthor: Josh Lanyon
Title: This Rough Magic
Series: A Shot in the Dark 1
Genre: Detective mystery; LGBT Literature
Pages: 173
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

When I’m too lazy to make myself a TBR, I allow algorithms pick me a book. This time it was “This Rough Magic” by Josh Lanyon. And since I’ve never heard of it, and knew nothing about it, it came as a surprise.

About the Book: During a party in Sheridan house, someone stole a priceless Shakespeare folio. Their father puts up an ultimatum of three days: return it or police will get involved. But Brett, worried, and rightly so, that his sister might be involved in the theft, hires a private detective. Who turns out to be so good, he finds not just the folio, but all of the hidden and buried secrets too…

My Opinion: It’s one of those nice classic noir detectives filled with cigar smoke, and scent of martini, with sunny sounds of tennis being played outside permeating a scene or two. I like these, but rarely do I find good ones. And this one’s an LGBT one too, adding a great bonus which makes me curious about the next one in the series.

A good, easy to read book. I can give it a firm 4 out of 5.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: LGBT, Books: Other Fiction, Crime Books, Detective Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature, Mystery Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Derek Landy – Skulduggery Pleasant: Playing with Fire [#2]

playing_with_fire  Alrighty, here comes the second book on my favorite skeletal detective, Skulduggery Pleasant: Playing with Fire, by the marvelous wordsmith Derek Landy (ISBN 0007257031; 320p.; Goodreads). Author seems to have improved even more on his character speech and jokes, and Skulduggery seems to have improved on throwing tricks out of his sleeves! Or fists, for that matter! And from my praises, I hope, you already know how I’ll rate this book.

In the war long ago, those who followed the vicious gods called Faceless Ones were defeated, but not eradicated. A truce was made, fragile and as it turned out – not very lasting. Some lingered on the dark side out of sheer convenience, a quick way to gain power, others just liked to be bad. But then there were those who believed in their gods with zealous fever. And one of those madmen just got out of prison, and is very up for the task of “fixing” the world by calling his gods back into it. How did he get out of the damned place? Who helped him and why? Sounds like a case for Skulduggery Pleasant and Valkyrie Cain!

If this is my last book of 2015, then I end the year well (even if my read list is hitting the lowest of the low). I think I finally again found a book series that I can follow without grinding my teeth! So I give the book 5 out of 5 and rest my case.

Small warning: killing is brutal and detailed in this. There’s no torture scenes, but you can imagine the pain a man feels when his skin rips off anyway. Also: skeletons, giant spiders…

Categories: 5-5, Books of Occult, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, Fantasy Books, Gothic Books, Nosferatu Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Derek Landy – Skulduggery Pleasant

924062 Sometimes, when I get into a streak of books in same genre and category, I notice myself get irritated by how repetitive two books can be, being by different authors, written in different times, and sets. Yet, sometimes those same similar books can also leave me with whole different opinions, even if I did feel the irritation there and here. “Skulduggery Pleasant” by Derek Landy (ISBN 00077241615; 368p.; Goodreads) is one of those exceptional types. It sits in the shelf of “same type“, with books like Bartimaeus, Nicholas Flamel, and others, yet unlike the latter (I loved Bartimaeus, I do hope there’d be more one day), Skulduggery left me with a pleasant opinion. Devil’s in the details, ’tis true.

Skulduggery Pleasant is a detective with a very noir feel about him. He’s nothing but a skeleton with a great fashion sense, great magic abilities, and a sharpest non-existent tongue. He solves mysteries for a living, and while having a reputation of being a good detective, he’s neither well liked, nor well trusted. Thus, a dilemma arises when he finds himself in a need to convince the authorities to take action against a very old enemy of his, a powerful sorcerer who is after an artifact their world believed to be only a fairy tale. They know Skulduggery has an agenda. But the niece of his best friend, who was murdered trying to protect that artifact, has no agenda at all. Might they believe her? Would he dare putting someone so dear to his best friend at risk? Or is saving the world worth any means?

The books is written in this wonderful language, full of plays on words, fancy talk, wits, simple jokes, and so on. I promise, there’s nothing to not understand either. It’s smooth, and it’s easy. I give it 4 out of 5, and I will read the other two I already have. Well done indeed.

Categories: 4-5, Books of Occult, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, Fantasy Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at