Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Mike's Hardboiled Mystery Picks

Mike, out at the Enterprise Library, always has a great hardboiled mystery on tap. He's the man to see if you need to feed your gritty mystery addiction. Each month, Mike suggests three wonderful books in the down and dirty mystery genre.

Here are Mike's picks for the month:

C. J. Box, - Open Season:
Joe Pickett is the new game warden in Twelve Sleep, Wyoming, a town where nearly everyone hunts and the game warden - especially one like Joe, who won't take bribes or look the other way - is far from popular.

When he finds a local hunting outfitter dead, splayed out on the wood pile behind his state-owned home, Joe takes it personally. There had to be a reason that the outfitter, with whom he'd had run-ins before, chose Joe's backyard woodpile to die on. Even when the "outfitter murders," as they have been dubbed by the local press after the discovery of two more bodies, are quickly solved, Joe continues to investigate, uncomfortable with the easy explanation offered by the local police.

As Joe digs deeper, he discovers that the outfitter brought more than death to his back door: he brought Joe an endangered species, thought to be extinct, which is now living in his woodpile. If word of this gets out, it will destroy any chance for InterWest, a multinational company, to build a natural gas pipeline across the state. The closer Joe comes to the truth behind the outfitter murders, the endangered species, and InterWest, the closer he comes to losing everything and everyone he holds dear.

Joe Lansdale - Savage Season
A rip-roaring, high-octane, Texas-sized thriller, featuring two friends, one vixen, a crew of washed-up radicals, loads of money, and bloody mayhem.

Hap Collins and Leonard Pine are best friends, yet they couldn't be more different. Hap is an east Texas white-boy with a weakness for Texas women. Leonard is a gay, black Vietnam vet. Together, they steer up more commotion than a fire storm. But that's just the way they like it. So when an ex-flame of Hap's returns promising a huge score. Hap lets Leonard in on the scam, and that's when things get interesting. Chockfull of action and laughs, Savage Season is the masterpiece of dark suspense that introduced Hap and Leonard to the thriller scene. It hasn't been the same since.

Dan Simmons - Hardcase

Joe Kurtz has been wronged one too many times. So when he takes out the drug-dealing thug who killed his girl-friend, the ex-P. I. gets to cool his heels for eleven years in Attica. While there he meets "Little Skag" Farino, the son of an aging Buffalo, New York, mob boss. In exchange for protecting the kid's manhood against any unwanted jailhouse affection, Kurtz gets an audience with Little Skag's father upon his release from prison.

Semiretired Don Byron Farino is still clinging to what dwindling power he holds on the New York organized-crime scene. He enlists Kurtz's help to track down the Family's missing accountant - a man with too much knowledge of Family business to have on the loose. But someone doesn't want the accountant found. As the story twists and turns, and the body count rises, Kurtz no longer knows whom he can trust. Everyone seems to be after something, from the mob boss's sultry yet dangerous daughter, to a hit man named the Dane, an albino killer who is good with a knife, and a dwarf who is armed to the teeth and hell-bent on revenge.

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