Reading at KGB Bar 8/12

downloadI’ll be reading at the KGB Bar in Manhattan, one of the best literary hangouts in the city, with my fellow Mystery Writers of America authors Rich Zahradnik, Annamaria Alfieri, Lokke Heiss, Sterling Savage, and Sylvia Di Saverio. It’s a topically themed space with a fine selection of Russian beers that are hard to find elsewhere, on the Lower East Side near lots of great places to eat. It’s at: 85 E 4th St, New York, New York 10003

The readings begin at 6:30pm and end when James Bond kills us all with a swizzle stick.

I’m also up at Sleuth Sayers today: Sometimes a review is a plum, other times it’s the pits…


Buried Under Books reviews Bad Boy Boogie

Buried Under Books reviewed my Jay Desmarteaux crime thriller BAD BOY BOOGIE:

“Jay is a complex man and the author truly brings him to life, this ex-con with a hard outer shell that’s slightly penetrated by the life he finds on the outside after 25 years on the inside. There’s a considerable amount of graphic violence, including sexual, here but it’s understandable although this man’s sense of justice is often very different from yours and mine. This is a book that could have resided in the old black & white, hardboiled days just as well as today and I suspect I’ll remember Jay and his story for a long, long time.”

Read the full review at Buried Under Books.

beyond copacetic

If you haven’t read my review of James Lee Burke’s The Jealous Kind, it’s one of his best. You know who read it? Mr Burke himself. It’s an honor to hear from a literary hero of mine. He commented on my Books page.

2016-09-07 15_03_06-Thomas Pluck _ unflinching fiction with heart.jpg

Hap and Leonard, and Joe schooling me

I’ll be reviewing the new Sundance series based on Joe Lansdale’s books, Hap & Leonard, for Criminal Element. The first episode gets the tone and the characters just right. Hop on over to Criminal Element for my full review. I’ve been a fan of the disastrous duo since Savage Season, all the way to Vanilla Ride. I have some catching up to do, there’s a new one called Honky Tonk Samurai that just hit the stores.

Here’s Joe putting me in a fingerlock at Bouchercon in Albany, 2013.


SignWave: An Aftershock Novel by Andrew Vachss

When the Burke series ended, Andrew Vachss wasted no time in crafting another gripping series: Dell and Dolly, a former legionnaire and a retired nurse from Doctors Without Borders who escape into the Pacific Northwest, only to find a battleground just as treacherous as the African war zone in which they met: suburban America.


Kirkus calls the books “meditations on the Zen of violence,” but to me they capture the fierce flame of unforgettable characters. Dell and Dolly are warriors to the core, and Dell has no compunctions about putting heads on pikes to warn invaders aware from their village–though he does so figuratively, with Vachss’s trademark paranoid spycraft, a realistic imperative for anyone operating in our surveillance society.

Each book explores a different facet of the dark heart of town life: Aftershock focused on rape culture in high school, and one girl’s explosive response; Shockwave, on the permanent homeless population, those who care for, or prey on them, and the equally hidden racial hate groups that operate among us; and Signwave moves up the food chain to pit Dolly vs. a hedge fund manager who comes to town promoting “Art” and “Culture” while “protecting the environment,” who may be a lot more than he seems.

Vachss excels at exposing abusive power relationships that our society has come to accept as normal, and baring them for what they are. Signwave is no exception. The trip through Dell’s mind is worth the price of admission- you never get a better “tour guide through hell” than when you’re reading a Vachss novel- but the poignant barbs that expose the rotten core of corruption we have come to embrace are what drives this new series, as dark and gripping as anything he has ever written.

Releases in June. Preorder your copy here. Read an EXCERPT on Andrew Vachss’s website.

Or, to quote Andrew from Facebook, ask your local library to order you a copy.