Thursday, May 26, 2011


by Parnell Hall
a Kindle e-book
May, 2011

A Steve Winslow zinger.

Here's an author who can write! He has enough novels out you'd expect that, right? This was my first Steve Winslow mystery. It won't be my last. Fine, distinct interesting characters. Limited cast. A creative defense attorney hard at work for a surprisingly uncooperative client. First she's fired after accusations of theft from her employer, then one of the owners of the firm is shot to death and Winslow's client is arrested. Watching this lawyer both in and out of court is a real treat. The dialog crackles, the pace is next to pell mell and the explanations are precise. There is a good deal of detail, especially at the end. I would have preferred a more succinct closing to the novel with less sniping between attorneys, but it was a small price to pay for a fast, well done story.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Dead Folks

Author: Jon Jackson

Publisher: Grove Press

ISBN: 0-8021-3602-8

264 pages, trade paper

1999 release

Fang Mulheisen rides again. He rides from Detroit to Montana to Salt Lake City and back again. Mulheisen rides trains, planes and cars. He rides with a ditch rider named Sally McIntyre. Jackson tells a really good story, but from some points of view, he’s telling us the oddessy of Fang Mulheisen, broken up into several parts, called novels.

However, unlike some series, you needn’t begin at the beginning in order to understand this one. Nor will you learn secrets that spoil earlier novels about this detective. Jackson’s protagonist is a detective sergeant with the Detroit police department. He’s been around a few years and he’s assigned to Homicide. One of his personal goals is to make some good busts on important members of the local mob. Now, this is difficult to do, but Mulheisen is patient and follows the trails wherethey lead.

A recent hit on a mob guy has led Mulheisen to Montana, where he again picks up the trail of the elusive and illusive Joe Service. Service is an outside mob contractor. He’s called in when the mob needs to investigate it’s own. He and Mulheisen have been dueling for decades. Dead Folks tells the tale of how Mulheisen persists in his pursuit of Service and the result. Along the way a number of people get explicitly wiped out, hence the title. Along the way some of the characters in this book affirm life’s essence in some explicit and sometimes amusing sexual acts, not all of which could be called ordinary, however that word may be defined.

You may have trouble finding copies of this novel. It’s worth the trouble.

Jackson has a sometimes quirky attitude toward life and we see it amply displayed in this delightful novel. Jon Jackson is one of those excellent authors who knows a good story when he tells it. Here is one such.