The Downside

The Downside

Mysterious Book Report No. 316

by John Dwaine McKenna

The MBR is kicking off the New Year 2018 with one of the best caper novels to come our way since The Sting was made into a movie back in 1973.  It features one of the most unique bad guys in current crime fiction.  His name is Finn and he’s a professional thief who calls himself the last of the hard hats, that’s because he only steals big things . . . like a tractor-trailer load of new luxury automobiles, or heavy machinery . . . even a couple of railcars full of exotic ores for processing high strength steel.  Finn’s a guy who
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The Ghosts of Galway

The Ghosts of Galway

Mysterious Book Report No. 315

by John Dwaine McKenna

We’re winding up the year here at the Mysterious Book Report with one of our favorite Irish authors.  His name is Ken Bruen; a writer who’s witty, campy and filled to the brim with what can only be called Irish Noir.  It’s a mixture of delicacy, violence, grief and guilt as depicted by his iconic, unforgettable and utterly devastated character named Jack Taylor. In his newest adventure, The Ghosts of Galway, (Mysterious Press, $25.00, 330 pages, ISBN 978-0-8021-2733-4), Jack is recovering from a failed suicide attempt.
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2017 Best Books of the Year

John Dwaine McKenna’s

2017 Best Books of the Year

It’s the holiday season and Christmas is just two weeks away . . . which means . . . It’s time for the MBRs Best Books of the Year List. The emphasis this year is on debut novels by exceptional talents.  They’re presented here in no specific order, the list is not weighted, which means that number ten is equally as significant as number one.  So, Merry Christmas to all, we hope you get to read some, or all, of these awesome novels and receive plenty of others under your tree as gifts!

Best Books of the Year 2017

MBR # 271        
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The Smack

The Smack

Mysterious Book Report No. 314

by John Dwaine McKenna

The mean streets of Los Angeles are the setting for a new kind of novel that combines action with the troubles of the real world.  It’s about people on the hustle, people who swindle others out of their money . . . they’re called griftersGrifters have no conscience, no guilt, they’re only interested in parting the suckers from their money.  Have you ever gotten a telephone call about a free vacation, an inheritance from an unknown relative, or a plea for help from an imaginary grandchild?  If so you’ve been targeted for a sca
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The Shadow District

 The Shadow District

Mysterious Book Report No. 313

by John Dwaine McKenna

Iceland, positioned at the top of the world between Europe and North America, is a land of active volcanoes, long winter nights and some of the best noir writers in the world.  Case in point . . . the newest crime fiction thriller by international best-selling author Arnaldur Indridason is a meticulously plotted murder mystery that combines elements of an unsolved World War II homicide with a present day suspicious death. The Shadow District, (Thomas Dunne/Minotaur Books, $25.99, 344 pages ISBN 978-1-250-12402-9) by Arnaldur Indridas
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The Ways of Wolfe

The Ways of Wolfe

Mysterious Book Report No. 312

by John Dwaine McKenna

I always look forward to any new work by James Carlos Blake, because he’s a master of noir.  He’s not the most prolific of authors, but he’s surely one of the most polished in all of crime fiction.  He’s tackled historical figures such as John Wesley Hardin, Poncho Villa and John Dillinger, among others, with such an adroit touch that extreme violence seems almost like an ordinary occurrence or normal behavior.  His books are masterpieces in my opinion.  Lately, he’s invented a fictional family called the Wolfe’s, who live on the bord
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