The Kind of Friends is my Kind of Book

51q3xTCEflL._AA160_

“Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead.”

Never has this quote seem more prophetic than in Chris Rhatigan’s The Kind of Friends Who Murder Each Other. Three people share their secrets and all three are willing to kill to keep them secrets.

When Simon, Mackey, and Slade set to drinking one night at the local bowling alley, their conversation follows the typical bar banter; taxes, the high cost of cigarettes, etc. This typical bar banter takes a dark turn when the friends each share a dark secret about themselves. The secrets range in depravity, from breaking into homes to watch people sleep, to being the driver in a hit and run accident and finally to admitting being guilty of murder, the friends each share a piece of their soul without thinking of the consequences.

The problem with their indiscretions become apparent when they each become paranoid that the others now have a bargaining chip over them. They each realize that the only way to rectify their mistake is through the elimination of the other two. Each friend sets out to put their own plan of self-preservation into action, while also watching their own backs.

One of the highlights of this book is the manner in which Rhatigan portrays the decomposition of the narrator’s mind and soul. At the beginning of the book, Simon seems like a stable, hard working man, but as the story progresses we start to see all the cracks that exist within him and we know this story won’t end well for him.

This is noir just the way I like it…a quick hit that leaves a mark. I am very glad to see this book getting re-released and it is apparent that All Due Respect has another winner of their hands. This book is a noir lovers dream and is best consumed in one sitting so you can truly appreciate Rhatigan’s genius.

Highly Recommended

Advertisements

Wake Up…It’s Time to Read Rhatigan

51v6GOJnRFL._AA160_

Wake Up, Time to Die by Chris Rhatigan was one of the most enjoyable reads I have had in a while. Rhatigan has a knack for making you laugh out loud, anticipate the next story yet hope the one your reading never ends, and make you wish he put out a book a day.

This collection had nothing but great stories. When every story is good, it is hard to pick favorites, but in the name of a good review, let me give it a try.

Creator/Destroyer: A great story about a very odd man who fulfills a fantasy to get a life he loves when he kills a man and moves in with the man’s wife and family. All is going well until he begins to get paranoid how easy it is to steal someone’s life and he begins to believe someone is plotting to steal his recently gained life. A great little trip through a paranoid mind.

Man Standing in Front: When the main character wakes up to find a hit man with a gun aimed at him, he imagines the worse. Only in a world created by Rhatigan would a hit man simply follow his intended victim through his day and share conversations with him. Rhatigan has a way of writing plots full of the totally unexpected and this story shows him at his best.

The Things I Need to be a Hitman: When a career change is needed, the main character decides that becoming a hit man is the way to go. The only problem is he has no idea how to make this career change. With careful research and a willingness to do anything to get his name out to those who may be in need to having someone killed for a reasonable price, it is only a matter of time until he is a renowned hit man. This story was a blast from start to finish.

The best story of the bunch is You’re Welcome. This story had me laughing out loud and realizing you never want to get into an insult contest with Rhatigan. This story has the greatest insults ever put to paper! A man becomes obsessed with an unworthy slob he sees in a local store using coupons and being a generally pain in the butt person who mooches off the hard work and good will of others. He makes it his mission to rectify this situation and spends his time following the man to put a plan of revenge into play. A great ending that had me laughing out loud.

I could not recommend this collection more highly. This has everything a reader will need to have a good time and spend a few hours in the warped worlds created by Rhatigan.

Highly recommended.

Watch You Drown by Chris Rhatigan

WYD_Rhatigan

I was going through my unread Kindle books and came across a book I had meant to read a while back and just lost it in my To Be Read pile. I am glad I came across the book because Watch You Drown by Chris Rhatigan was a great read. It is a collection of 14 stories that were all entertaining. There are a few pieces of flash fiction and a bunch of short stories.

The collection opened with a bang and I found In the Hard Nowhere to be a great introduction to the unpredictability of the stories that followed. This tale of a criminal with a conscious has an ending that was far from predictable and mundane.

The story Skinny Latte was a great tale of revenge against an overbearing parent and, again, had an ending that I didn’t see coming. This ending was as funny as it was shocking.

Anyone who has ever worked in the service industry will love Service with a Smile. Since I have worked in that industry, I felt for the main character and felt his patience slipping away with every interaction he had with the customers within the toy store he worked at.

My favorite offering in this collection was Kleptomaniac. This story is a great cautionary tale that proves your past is never to far in your rear view mirror.

All in all, this is a great collection of fast paced stories. I notice that it is not available on Amazon any longer and it doesn’t seem to be available on the publisher’s website either. This deserves a reprint and perhaps All Due Respect Books may put it out as a reprint in the future. I will keep my fingers crossed because this collection deserves some attention.

Recommended.

All Due Respect 5 is Kicking A** and Taking Names

51TRoftCE+L._AA160_

What the hell is going on over at All Due Respect Books? Did someone sell their soul to the devil in return for the ability to only put out books that satisfy any lover of dark noir? Or is it just that Mike Monson and Chris Rhatigan have a keen eye for talent and are set on consistently publishing the best noir short stories, novellas, and novels coming out today? I am not sure which explanation to believe, but I am grateful for whatever is causing the influx of great books that are beginning to flood my TBR pile.

I can’t even begin to choose my favorite story from this badass collection. It starts with an excerpt from Steve Widdle’s upcoming novel. This sets the tone of the collection very nicely. It is a fast rolling selection and makes me excited for the novel to come out. After reading Widdle’s “Country Hardball”, I have been anxiously waiting for a novel to come our way.

Keith Rawson is showing that he pens some of the best short stories you can select. This story is a fun drug fueled ride into paranoia and insanity. I liked the beginning, loved the middle, and was dreading the ending, as I didn’t want the ride to end. Great ending to this one!

Paul D Brazill joins the party with a great tale of revenge. His main character, Godard, has his eye on revenge and retribution against a bent copper from his past. After getting the location of his adversary through the forceful beating of another old nemesis, the story really gets dark. Like I said before, hard to pick a favorite from this great collection, but this one certainly would be in my top choices. Excellent story!

I have long loved the stories I have read from Angel Luis Colon and this story continues that trend. Any story that opens with a gun to someone’s head and only gets better, is a story that you have to read. Sean Clarke is a classic noir character. Any man who is “20 G down with a 10% vig” and goes double or nothing is my kind of character. After he loses (not a spoiler for any true noir lover) he ends up with nothings and self –assesses himself be stating “ well nothing being my life”. Very strong stuff here and I am on pins and needles awaiting Colon’s upcoming novella.

The 5th story is by Garrnett Elliott and has themes of redemption and second chances. The beauty of it is in the hands of a noir author, those themes always lead to more trouble. Elliott doesn’t disappoint us and takes us on a fantastic ride filled with sex offenders, bales of drugs, and loads of bad choices.

Gabino Iglesias joins the party next with a character who wakes up in a strange hotel with a busted-up face and no memory of what happened. He knows he has a car that has 5 kilos of stolen drugs in the trunk and that he has a need to get moving before it’s too late, but he doesn’t count on the bad trip Iglesias has in store for him. I thought this story was a n exciting story with a great twist of an ending.

Want to know what the worst thing about the tale by Joe Sinisi is? It’s the last fiction offering of this collection. But, oh boy, does the collection close with a bang. This tale had some disturbing images within its plot and I thank Mr. Sinisi for that. He did the collection proud, as this story of a woman on a quest to find an old flame was a great read!

Take all these great stories and add reviews for Nigel Bird, Westlake, and Brewer and you have a must own collection here.

My TBR pile is extensive on any given day, and it just got bigger, as ADR just recently released a new one by Jake Hinkson and just published Uncle Dust by Rob Pierce. Guess what two books just jumped to the top of my TBR pile? I am in love with All Due Respect Books! Keep them coming!