Thursday, November 8, 2012

B@stard Books: Put Some Hair on Your Chest

Inspired by author Luke Preston's recent blog post of 10 Books to put hair on your chest, I thought I'd put my own spin on the list. The below books contain hard blokes, harsh environments, and violent predicaments.

In no particular order:

Pariah by Dave Zeltserman (2009)
In my review I wrote "Dave Zeltserman sure knows how to write a mean bastard...Nevin is a one man army with no redeeming qualities who you are compelled to read". PARIAH is the second book in Zeltserman's 'man out of prison trilogy' and is the best of a very good bunch.

Hogdoggin' by Anthony Neil Smith (2009)

The second Lafitte novel is pure badass. In my review I wrote "compassion is a commodity [Lafitte] can little afford...a vicious and bloody game of cat and mouse that leaves everything from brain splatter to charred meat" - I hope we see more of Billy Lafitte. 
 The Robbers by Paul Anderson (2012)
The Robbers
With lines like “Think footy and you think Brereton, Dipper, Rhys-Jones and Lockett. The real hard c#nts … Think Victoria Police and you think The Robbers. We still shirtfront the bad blokes.” This is Aussie noir at its best and one of the surprise reads of 2012. Will feature in my 'best of' list.
Shotgun Opera by Victor Gischler (2006)
Shotgun Opera
Worthy of entry for the title alone but its the overtly violent story that gets the nod for this list. SHOTGUN OPERA is one of my favourite Gishler books.
Two-Way Split by Allan Guthrie (2004)
Two-Way Split
In my review I wrote "Guthrie’s debut showcases fragmented moments of cruelty delivered in multi POV episodic-like crime noir." From the book blurb: "This lean and muscular crime caper with a seriously twisted dark side" 'nuff said.
The Last Good Kiss by James Crumley (1978)
This should've been the first book I thought of for a list like this. C.W. Sughrue is a masterful creation which doesn't stray too far from his creators own characteristics. A modern classic.
Quarry by Max Allan Collins (Perfect Crime edition 2011)
The first book (prior to the Hardcase Crime releases) to feature hitman Quarry. In my review I wrote "Max Allan Collins establishes his Parker-like character, in hit-man Quarry as a methodical ice cold killer who fears nothing of bringing death to those he's been contracted to do so." A must have.
I, The Jury by Mickey Spillane (1947)
I the Jury
The first book to feature hard nosed PI Mike Hammer. While not the best in the series, it sets the tone for the hardboiled private eye.
The Bloomsday Dead by Adrian McKinty (2007)
The Bloomsday Dead (Michael Forsythe #3)
In my review I wrote that "The Bloomsday Dead’ is a bullet ridden romp through Ireland's underbelly...a compelling and blood soaked journey from start to finish which culminates in a violent ending true to the trilogies origin." The final installment of the DEAD TRILOGY is pure class.
The Cleaner by Brett Battles (2008)
The Cleaner (Jonathan Quinn, #1)
Quinn is a professional cleaner - the go-to-guy when you want a body removed and a crime scene made to disappear. THE CLEANER is probably the rawest and hard-man-like book of the series. A great protagonist with a deeply disturbing profession.
So there you have it, my take on a list of books sure to put hair on your chest. There are many more (my list is completely different to Luke Preston's for instance) bastard books out there - time to get reading!


  1. I've read 5 out of your 10, with 1 on TBR pile - McKinty. I'm intrigued enough with Quarry and The Robbers to investigate further.
    I've ANS's latest offering with Blasted Heath to read before I decide whether to go for Hotdoggin or not, I found Yellow Medecine a bit disappointing to be honest.

  2. I agree with your comments re: YELLOW MEDECINE, I felt exactly the same but rest assured, the follow-up is fantastic.

    THE ROBBERS is a book I recommend to anyone who likes noir/darker crime fiction. One of the best books of 2012 imo.

    Happy reading :-)