Book Review: Diesel Therapy by Greg Barth

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All Due Respect and Greg Barth are at it again! Diesel Therapy is book two in the Selena series and does not disappoint.

We find Selena paying for her crimes from the first book. She finds herself in a Federal Prison at the beginning of the book and that is paradise compared to what is to come. She soon finds herself in Diesel Therapy, a method of torturing prisoners…legally. They shackle and handcuff the prisoner, who is then transported from one institution to the next. As we learned in book 1, Selena is a tough cookie, but Diesel Therapy breaks her down. One night Selena meets a girl from back in her home town in a small town jail. She soon learns, the cause of Selena’s troubled youth is still going on. Revenge on those causing young women their pain drives Selena. This includes her Father and Uncle, as well as a handful of the evilest men you will ever come across outside a horror book.

Will Selena escape or get out of her tortured prison to seek revenge? Will she find help along the way?

The look at a violent and evil backwoods Southern breed of men is pretty dark on its own, double that with the torture Selena is going through makes for another gritty and dark pulpy noir story. If this sounds like a brutal story, I actually think book 1(simply titled Selena) is even darker and more violent. If you want to journey into the depths of the darkness, start with Selena and continue with this book. Selena is a character I look forward to reading more of, and we will not have to wait long, as book three is scheduled for release later this year.

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Book Review: Quarry’s Cut by Max Allan Collins

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Quarry’s Cut is the fourth book in the Quarry series by Max Allan Collins. This one is an interesting installment in the series, but we will get to this in a minute. This story starts with pure coincidence…or is it? Quarry is eating dinner at his favorite local restaurant, when he looks out the frosted window to see his ex-partner getting gas. When he finds his ex-partner, Turner, is renting a room that has a view of Quarry’s little A-frame home on the lake, Quarry thinks he is Turner’s next hit. Though this might be enough for a short, under 200 page novel, you would be wrong.

Quarry soon enters a porn shoot and things seem to degenerate into a classic 70’s or 80’s slasher movie plot. In fact this book was originally titled Slasher. On reading this I figured Collins was inspired by movies like Halloween and the slasher films that followed, but since this book was published in 1977, a year before the release of Halloween, I would be wrong. Maybe he was inspired by the Italian giallo films of the early 1970’s and threw his hitman Quarry in the middle of one of these film plots to stir things up?

Collins hits on a number of topics in this book, like a homosexual romantic triangle, a serial killer, the porn industry and let’s not forget hired hitmen. This is a bit weaker book then the first three Quarry books, but no less entertaining and worth reading. It is a fun pulp noir that probably was a lot fresher back in 1977. A must read for Quarry fans and I can not wait to start a new Quarry book soon and looking forward to the new television series!

Book Review: Revenge is a Redhead by Phil Beloin Jr

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I recently read a blog that was talking about how pulp literature has become back in favor.  This is good news for noir fans!  Pulp was popular with the working man, because it was short, cheap and talked to the downtrodden.  We had magazines like Black Mask and The Strand and they published their issues on cheap pulp paper, hence the name.  The literary world used slick glossy paper for there publications causing them to be to expensive for some.  Today we have the internet, and especially E-readers.  This makes it easy for independent publications to put out pulp like stories on the cheap.  I also read somewhere that noir stories don’t sell, people want happy ending and likable characters(I guess nobody told Gillian Flynn that?).  Anyway some noir authors had no outlet to get there work out to the public, but now thanks to small independent publishers and E-readers we can get great stories that may never of had a home 10 years ago.

One of these publishers was kind enough to send me 6 books to read and see what I thought.  All Due Respect is a small publisher specializing in pulp and noir books and I thank them for letting me check out there library of work.  Of course I grabbed the slimmest volume first to read.

That book is Phil Beloin Jr’s Revenge is a Redhead and it is only 90 pages, but I could not put it down and read it in one night.  We have two main characters in this short but sweet read.  We have a homeless man with 70 cents in his pocket and a gorgeous femme fatale hooker that moonlights as a stripper when they need somebody to fill in.

Our protagonist is named Rich, but he is far from rich.  We find him in a strip club enjoying the scenery and find out he is flat broke.  He was just kicked out of his father’s house and took off in his beat up Olds and plans on going until the fuel runs out.  He changes his mind and stops at the club instead.  He spends what little money he has on a beautiful redhead stripper named Cherry.  Rich leaves the club and goes to the nearest homeless shelter for a meal and a cot.  Soon our hero wakes up in an unusual situation and it just keeps getting worse from there.  This short book is packed with great dialog and some amazing character development.

This book is pure pulp with a shocking scene on every other page.  Some might find this book a bit offensive…so if your easily offended don’t read it.  If your not…buy this for a quick read of pure entertainment.  I look forward to reading the rest of the books from All Due Respect and look forward to what else they publish in the future.

Here is a link so you can see what else they offer and check back here for more reviews in the near future.

http://allduerespectbooks.com/

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