Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Book Report:
Bottom Deal

So, I’ve read a pile of books since the last report, but never got around to typing them up. For some reason I have never read Lawrence Block’s Hit Man series - though I’ve read almost everything else he’s written. So, I finally got around to that - and the first book HIT MAN is interesting, so I’ll have an entry on that soon, but first...

BOTTOM DEAL by Robert Gregory Browne.

I don’t know if I’ve ever met Robert in person, because there were some group meet ups ages ago where I met a few dozen people I knew from online all at the same time, but I’ve known him from online for a couple of *decades*. He was probably one of the first people to buy the action book, long ago. He’s a Nicholl Award Winning screenwriter and novelist and a year ago one of his books was made into a TV series pilot for CBS ... which didn’t seem to get picked up. That’s a shame, because the book kicked ass. I’ll talk about it later, but first this novelette (or novella - I really don’t know where the cut off is).

BOTTOM DEAL is about gambling addict ex-Las Vegas Homicide Detective Nick Jennings who has drifted to the wrong side of the law... and gets a call from a woman from his past, Holly. An ex-hooker who pulled a PRETTY WOMAN and married a rich client, got out of the business and lived happily ever after. But now she’s in trouble and says people are trying to kill her. Exaggeration or a serious problem? By the time Jennings finds her, she’s been killed with *his* gun at *his* apartment - and he seems to be the prime suspect. Now he has to find the killer before they get enough evidence to arrest him... but he just keeps finding more damned dead people!

The story is some great hardboiled writing that reminded me of pre-Marlowe Chandler stuff. I read a bunch of crime stuff, but the thing that I miss are those long short stories that are halfway between novel and short. Not a quicky, but also not a novel. There’s almost a movie’s worth of plot - or at least an hour of TV’s worth. This story is also testosterone tough guy stuff - with that great smart ass attitude and banter between the detective hero and the cops who want to arrest him (one is his ex-wife... and her partner who wants to get Jennings to throw a punch so that he can beat the crap out of him and then arrest him for hitting an officer). The story takes us on a tour of Vegas we don’t normally see - the crappy casinos and fleatrap apartment buildings that don’t make the TV commercials. Hey, it’s 99 cents for Kindle and nook - and a fun read.

For more info on: BOTTOM DEAL - on Amazon.

KISS HER GOODBYE by Robert Gregory Browne.

Robert’s novel that was almost a TV series - KISS HER GOODBYE - is about an AFT Agent chasing a Manson-like cult leader who can get so deep into your mind that he haunts your dreams... and maybe controls you. When the AFT Agent’s estranged teenaged daughter gets kidnaped by the cult leader and *buried alive*, he now has the ultimate ticking clock to arrest the cult leader and get him to tell the location of his daughter... but *nothing* goes as planned. The story takes place is Chicago - and like BOTTOM DEAL, Robert shows us places that usually don’t pop up on the average movie or TV show. This book is a real page turner, and the mind control aspects of the cult leader are trippy and take the book into an almost supernatural realm. I read this in paperback when it came out, but now you can get it on Kindle for $3.99 - the pacing is relentless and every time you think you know what is going to happen, something far worse happens. There’s a scene halfway through that is like nothing I have ever read in a thriller before - a “You can’t do that!” moment, because it is so savage. If you think that might be a spoiler about the daughter - boy are you wrong! This story is completely unpredictable! It out TAKENs TAKEN!

For more info on: KISS HER GOODBYE on Amazon.

TRIAL JUNKIES by Robert Gregory Browne.

Robert’s *new* book is TRIAL JUNKIES, which I just bought (for Kindle) but haven’t started reading, yet. It’s currently the #2 Legal Thriller on Amazon... and #81 in *all fiction*. That puts him in the top 100 with all of the best selling writers. He was #1 in Legal Thrillers for a while - which put him *ahead* of the new John Grisham novel! I believe it’s an e-book original - another example of a professional writer going to where the market is. The book is also at $3.99 for Kindle.

Because I have yet to read it, here’s the official Amazon description:


The first book in a new series from ITW Thriller Award nominee, Robert Gregory Browne:


Ethan "Hutch" Hutchinson hasn't seen his old college pals in nearly ten years. Now fate has brought them together again as one of the gang is put on trial for a brutal, senseless murder.

The Chicago police and prosecutor think they have their perp, but Hutch isn't about to sit silently in a courtroom as someone he cares about is wrongfully convicted.


When Hutch and his friends join forces to search for the real killer, what they find shatters every notion they have about friendship, loss and redemption... and may very well cost Hutch--and the woman he loves--their lives.

For more info on: TRIAL JUNKIES on Amazon.

After I read this, I hope to find time to do a book report on it... though I’m way behind on those as it stands... and by then Robert will probably have a couple books in this series!

- Bill

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