If you’ve ever read and enjoyed Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer stories from the old days of pulp mysteries, you’re sure to enjoy Dark Fantasy by David H. Fears. I just finished reading a free review copy, and couldn’t put it down until it was done. I even went back and re-read a few chapters – just for the hell of it.
Mike D’Angelo, aka Mike Angel, is a private detective in the mold of Mike Hammer, but with a few distinctive differences. For one, he has a partner, former NYPD detective Rick Anthony, an erudite, girl-chaser who serves as the contemplative counterpoint to D’Angelo’s tendency to kick in doors and crack heads. Their office manager, and D’Angelo’s love interest is the irrepressible Molly, who in her own way is as tough as nails, as sweet as honey, and is someone you probably want to think twice about getting cross-wise of.
When Rick gets a call from a strange woman informing that one of the Avery Twins – beautiful fashion models – can be found dead in a Portland apartment, the two private detectives find themselves in the middle of one of their stickiest cases. It gets even stickier when the model agency retains them to work alongside the cops in investigating the murder – and, the cops would prefer they kept their noses elsewhere.
Dark Fantasy has everything you’d expect to find in a hard-boiled, gritty story about no-compromise PIs who just want to see justice done for the little guy. Dialogue that is pure 1960s schmaltz, hard-drinking, chain-smoking, girl-chasing, and bad guys who’d just as soon stick a shiv in your gut as say hello. After reading this story, you might think twice before visiting Portland, Oregon; or at least make sure to update your insurance policy before you go. Non-stop action, even when they’re doing nothing but conversing, it’ll keep you thumbing pages to see what happens next – welcome back to the world of mystery as conceived by the masters of yore.
Matt Grudge and Leslie Crow are friends and partners in a detective agency – Alternative Investigations: Matt Grudge and Leslie Crow. These two tatted, pierced and dressed-off-the-markdown-rack PIs are also known as the grunge operatives because of their distinct counter-culture, back-to-the-nineties style. They find themselves facing the case of their lives – in fact, the case that could end their lives – when Dee-Dee Magnolia, famous tattoo artist, and Leslie’s friend, is murdered.
In Skin Deep Motive, Aaron Hilton introduces us to Portland’s grunge culture and the deep, dark secrets that it hides. We get not just the sights and sounds, but the smells and thoughts of a social milieu that is alien to most of us, and thanks to Hilton’s masterful prose, we come away thinking we understand it.
Truly grungy dialogue and snappy narrative takes the reader on a roller coaster ride through the underbelly of human emotions and intrigue. You’d better be sure you have a good long block of free time, because when you pick this book up it’ll stick to you like tar on a sunbaked street sticks to the bottom of your shoes.
I received a free copy of this book to review. It’s like certain chemical substances, though – instantly addictive and causing you to lust for more.