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We're Ken Hebenstreit and Sharlan Douglas, blogging here about the books we love: Mysteries, suspense, crime fiction. If you want to comment on one of our postings, click on its headline.

Archive for February, 2008

2008 Edgar Awards

The Edgar Award winners will be chosen May 1. Read the list of nominees here.

I was particularly pleased to see the pilot episode of USA TV’s “Burn Notice” nominated.  That new series was one of the high spots of last summer. The show was supposed to return to the USA network in June, but the writer’s strike makes that unlikely.

Officer Down by Theresa Schwegel

by Sharlan Douglas

At Christmas I asked Santa for books by Theresa Schwegel and the jolly elf obliged with her first book, Officer Down, which won the 2006 Edgar for best first novel.

The top cops think that our protagonist , Samantha Mack, shot her partner in a raid-gone-wrong. She’s crashing around trying to find the real killer, drinking too much and relying on her married lover and fellow cop to help clear her name.

‘d describe this as more police than procedural.  It captures the politics, paranoia and dark corners of a big city (Chicago) police department but short-changes protocol and rules of evidence.  Nevertheless, Schwegel paces the story well and creates rich details in an award-worthy first novel.

Caught Stealing, by Charlie Huston

by Ken Hebenstreit
OK – this one’s not for everyone, but if you can stand the relentless violence and seriously bad people that populate this novel you’re in for a helluva ride. Take a deep breath before you start reading and then join Hank Thompson and the mess he finds himself in. Hank was a hot baseball prospect in California whose potential career was abruptly ended with an on-field injury and he has been spinning downhill ever since. Now he lives in NYC on the Lower East Side, is a bartender and a drunk. A neighbor asks Hank to cat sit and then disappears. Things quickly turn bad as people arrive looking for the neighbor and turn to Hank for answers that he doesn’t know. The book jacket dubs this neo-noir and if you would like a taste go to the author’s web site (http://www.pulpnoir.com/) and give him a try.