Bad Boy Boogie

Bad Boy Boogie

Mysterious Book Report No. 296

by John Dwaine McKenna

For all of my adult life, New Jersey was a place I landed in and took off from at Newark International, rented a car and headed up the Garden State Parkway, bound for the family homestead in the Catskills.  Jersey was a place overcrowded with traffic, bad roads and wretched, impatient, sue-happy drivers . . . somewhere I wanted to pass through as fast and expediently as possible.  Then came The Sopranos on HBO, and years later, Boardwalk Empire, plus another network show about the Shore which showed the Garden State in a more enterta
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Crime Song

Crime Song

Mysterious Book Report No. 295

by John Dwaine McKenna

Last winter, in MBR No. 275: The Second Girl, we introduced our audience to an ex-Washington D.C. cop turned crime-fiction writer named David Swinson, who’s created one of the best anti-heros to come down the pike in, I dunno, like forever.  He’s a retired D.C. cop turned private investigator named Frank “Frankie” Marrs.  The fictional character is a man with a habit, a former Narc, now a narcaholic, always jonesing for a snort or a swig, or a 1 mg Klonopin to even things out.  He’s a man who’s living a lie.  He wants to stay on the
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Sorrow Road

Sorrow Road

Mysterious Book Report No. 294

by John Dwaine McKenna

The green rolling hills of West Virginia are the nearest thing to Heaven that I know though the times are sad and drear and I cannot linger here they’ll keep me and never let me go . . . are the opening words to a song that was made famous by Emmylou Harris.  It was written by a folksinger, poet and one-time rail riding hobo named Utah Phillips—and it expresses his appreciation of, and love for, the incredible beauty of our thirty-fifth state. But, just like the rest of Appalachia, there’s
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The Freedom Broker

The Freedom Broker

Mysterious Book Report No. 293

by John Dwaine McKenna

This week’s MBR is an international thriller by a debut author that takes off with the first sentence like an F-18 Hornet under full military power, and never, ever, ever stops accelerating!  And hey . . . I can almost hear you thinking . . . That’s a pretty bold statement Johnny, and, like Animal said to Joker in the movie FULL METAL JACKET, “You can talk the talk . . . but can you walk the walk . . .” Oh yes. I can. And this start of a series is one hot summer read you just don’t want to miss if you crave original, action-adven
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Celine

Celine

Mysterious Book No. 292

by John Dwaine McKenna

In order to be successful, today’s crime fiction writer must be able to come up with a unique, new and different kind of detective that readers haven’t encountered before.  Let’s face it, we’ve all seen Sam Spade, Spenser, Marlowe and Miss Marple many many times already . . . as well as an endless number of clones, look-alikes and downright rip-offs of iconic characters like Hieronymus Bosch, Joe Pickett and Jack Reacher.  You know the type: tough, scuffed, and jonesing for alcohol or drugs . . . maybe both.  It’s a hard task in today’s turbocharged, fa
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The Lioness is the Hunter

The Lioness is the Hunter

Mysterious Book Report No. 291

by John Dwaine McKenna

The battered city of Detroit, Michigan seems like the perfect setting for a beat-down, cynical and wise-cracking private eye who’d be considered a real loser . . . if he wasn’t so damn good at solving the toughest cases in the face of near-impossible conditions.  His name is Amos Walker and he’s as hard-boiled as they come, an anachronism from the golden age of pulp fiction in the ‘30s, ‘40s and ‘50s when the shamus’s were always lonesome, the dames were smokin’ hot, sultry, and often duplicitous.  In his latest caper, T
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