"You know what? The bastard blows me out of the water. This guy writes Maine like Ardai writes New York. If you're not reading him, you don't know what you're missing." --Chris F. Holm, author of "The Collector" series, The Killing Kind, and Red Right Hand.

"A refreshingly new voice in noir." --Ed Kurtz, author of Nothing You Can Do and The Rib From Which I Remake the World.

"A glorious boilermaker of noir and East Coast gothic. The action is taut as a sprung snare and Bagley tightens the screws with every page." -- Laird Barron, author of Swift to Chase and Blood Standard.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

My Favorite Reads of 2011

Over at Pulp Pusher, I named Frank Bill's Crimes in Southern Indiana as my favorite book of 2011.  Now, I'd like to mention a few other books that I think were among last year's best.

The Adjustment by Scott Phillips.  Post-war America as experienced by a jaded veteran with a penchant for hookers, booze and putting the hammer down on anyone who crosses his boss...until the boss fucks with him. 

Choke Hold by Christa Faust.  Angel Dare is back.  'Nuff said.  Read it.

The Devil All the Time by Donald Ray Pollock.  This one made me feel the same as when I first read William Gay.  Violent.  Sad.  Gut-wrenching.  I read it twice.

Road Rules by Jim Winter.  I'm not much of an e-book guy, but Road Rules was worth a bit of eye-strain.  Winter has served up a tasty slice of gonzo noir.

El Gavilan by Craig McDonald. This might be 2011's most relevant crime novel.  The battle over immigration rages through a small Ohio city.  I don't know of any other writer who had tackled the issue in such a clear-eyed, compelling manner.