While these days Mr. Michael Bracken is busy editing numerous anthologies that are often nominated and win awards, he is also a very talented writer in his own right. This is just one example from my magnificently massive archive.
Having read and enjoyed very much the novel, Deadly Campaign by this author, I have been looking forward to reading this book for quite some time. But, getting my hands on a copy wasn't easy for a number of reasons. Finally, I got one and I wasn't disappointed in this hard hitting collection featuring private Investigator Nathaniel Rose.
The 103-page book is made up of seven complex stories involving Nathaniel Rose and a recurring cast of characters over a significant period of time. In almost every case, the women are sexy, the violence is hard hitting, and Rose gets the crook by any means necessary.
The book opens with the story "Partners" where Rose is nearly killed when his Mustang explodes. He survives and, with little idea who wanted him dead, starts looking.
"Fair Warning" follows and is a case involving a missing husband, fast food, and a tantalizing wife.
"Heartbreak Hotel" comes next in the book as well as in the book arc in terms of character development and time, and involves a missing fiancée. Simply making photocopies can get one killed it seems.
"Lucky Seven" is another aptly named story. In this case, seven witnesses can all detail for court how they saw a man kill his wife and her lover. The client just needs to know how good the case is, which on the surface, seems simple enough.
"Even Roses Bleed" revolves around a beautiful woman and her need to have her husband dead. Word on the street is Nathaniel Rose would fit the bill nicely, in more ways than one.
Strippers have always been a hallmark in detective fiction but rarely used to such good effect in "Tequila Sunrise and the Horse."
But after all, for any P.I. the cases are "Only Business." Something to remember in the sometimes stormy waters of love.
With an overall story arc linking the stories in this anthology and providing character development, this book is a very good read and more complex than many novels. The writing style is terse and hard hitting and usually in dialogue form. At the same time, scene descriptions come alive for the reader who will quickly become lost in the murky world of Bullets, Booze and Broads.
Material received from the author in exchange for my objective review.
Kevin R. Tipple © 2004, 2010, 2015, 202