FFB: Blood Kin – Hank J. Kirby

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n204119Josh Ryder spent ten years in Yuma for something he didn’t do. Accused of murdering Sheriff Matt Malloy, Josh was one of his deputies, he’d been set up by men in the town who wanted both out of the way. The sheriff couldn’t be bribed and Josh backed him. so he was framed, his own gun used to kill Malloy. A quick trial, though manslaughter was all the jury would convict him(still had friends in town).

To top things off, the warden was Cash Malloy, the less than honest brother of the murdered Sheriff and, while believing the story, he was paid to break Josh, kill him.

Nothing worked.

After ten years, Josh got out and exacted a little revenge on the brutal guard doing the warden’s billing, then disappeared.

The ten years had changed the naive young man. At thirty-one, with the beatings, the several times broken nose, Josh was hardly recognizable. He would use that to get the people that put him falsely in prison.

Originally published as a Black Horse Western in 1997, the book I have is a large print by Linford Western Library for a 1998 edition.

Fugitive Trail – Wayne D. Dundee

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In recent years, I’ve become a fan of Wayne Dundee’s writing. Whether a61P1uPfbE9L._SL1000_ western as here, or one of his crime stories, he manages to inject a freshness and twists and turns into the work.

War veteran Eli Cole comes home to find his wife has taken up with another man. While defending himself, he kills that man and because of the family;s wealth and standing, self-defense becomes murder. Friends help Cole escape, but he know has a ten thousand dollar bounty on his head/

I like Cole and his dog Shadow. He’s the kind of prson who, whatever his own troubles, will step in and help folks in need.

Hope we see more of this duo. Can be ordered HERE.

Speak for the Dead: A Bragg Thriller

23160911BRASH BOOKS is doing a terrific job of reissuing some fine crime novels. The Peter Bragg series is one of the best that slipped by me in the original publications. Can’t read everything I guess, though Lord knows I try.

It’s said that author Jack Lynch modeled Bragg after some aspects of himself> Both ex-reporter from Seattle originally now established in San Francisco. Bragg is a private investigator.

When an escape from San Quentin goes wrong, hostages are taken, two civilian women teaching a class to inmates, and a pair of guards, one wounded. Bragg gets drafted to help. A reporter he’d worked with recommended him to solve a problem.

Beau Bancetti was the leader of a bike club serving time along with three other confederates. The breakout was because Beau’s teenage brother had been arrested in their hometown for murder, something the kid couldn’t possibly do.

Bragg agrees to go look into it to help free the women hostages.

It’s unusual from the start. A police officer is more help than even the boy’s lawyer. Bragg is shot, a young girl murdered, before he starts to put the pieces together. There’s more going on than appears on the surface.

Loved it and look forward to more of these excellent novels. Can be ordered HERE.

Dark Spies – Matthew Dunn

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20604376I’ve always been partial to spy stories and quickly became a fan of Will Cochrane, the British-American, code name Spartan, the only agent of a joint CIA-MI6 operation.

In DARK SPIES, he draws a bodyguard assignment, a CIA agent meeting her Russsian asset in Norway. Disturbing rumors that the man’s cover had been blown drew the bodyguard assignment.

Will lay on a hill with a sniper rifle with scope checking out the scene when he spots a lone man walking in the area. The scope reveals something shocking, a Russian spymaster supposedly killed by a car bomb several years before. As he’s about to take out the man, two things happen. Shots break out in the cabin where the CIA woman is with her Russian asset and, over his radio, Will is ordered to do nothing.

Will ignores that order and takes out a hit team, but not before the asset is executed. Ordered to present himself at either the American embassy or the british for arrest, he refuses.

The CIA woman says before he died, the asset told her there was a Russian mole high in the ranks of the CIA. But that’s all he had time to say.

Suddenly Will has all the police forces in the world hunting for him. A four man hit team out of Russia wants him. And a pair of psychopathic twins are sent looking for him.

They all have one thing in common. Will Cochrane is to be shot on sight.

It’s all got to do with something called Project Ferryman. Will needs to get into the states, find and expose the mole, and figure out Project Ferryman. All while everyone he meets might want him dead.

18053274MI6 agent Will Cochrane has a nan after him known only as Trapper. He’d escaped from a base in the Middle East after announcing he was going to kill Will. Will’s handlers wanted out of the way and safe.

But Trapper had somehow got hold of his cell number and was taunting him with phone calls.

Will has to get away from the CIA safe house and fins this man first.

Recommended for lovers of spy fiction.

The Amazing Transparent Man(1960)

4b64926c99c1b96f4cd3a6e094831b13THE AMAZING TRANSPARENT MAN was one of two films shot back to back over a two week period. The other was BEYOND THE TIME BARRIER.

This one concerns a rogue American military officer, Major Paul Krenner(James Griffith) who helps break a thug out of prison tp aid him in his experiments. He needed a test subject for his machine developed by a German scientist, Dr. Peter Ulof(Ivan Triesault), held against his will, trying to protect his daughter, also a prisoner, that would produce invisibility. His aim was to make an invisible army that he commanded.

Joey Faust(Douglas Kenney) was the thug and his escape was aided by LauraMV5BMjAzNzk3MzQ5M15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMTE3MTcxMQ@@._V1_SX214_AL_ Matson(Marguerite Chapman).

Experiments had been performed on guinea pigs thousands of times and they were ready for a human subject. Krenner’s ultimate aim was to use Faust to break into a repository and steal more powerful fissionable material to power his machine. Faust had other ideas. Like robbing banks.

Faust steals the material and when he’s supposed to go back for more, he enlists Laura to rob a bank. Things go wrong in the bank as Faust starts becoming visible, parts of him anyway, then back to invisibility. Back and forth.

The film got the MST3000 treatment and for good reason.

amazingtransIn the invisibility chamber stands a safe filled with fissionable material. Krenner rebukes Dr Ulof for leaving the machine to close to the safe. Even made of lead, some rays could penetrate and cause a nuclear explosion. You know where I’m headed right? We get a nice mushroom cloud in the finale, then police and scientists keeping traffic far enough away mot be affected by radiation. But close enough to use binoculars. We see unprotected men wandering through the remains of the house. nevemind tyhat it should have been reduced to atoms being ground zero.

New In The House

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1: Blind Spot – Reed Farrell Coleman: latest ib the Robert B. Parker’s Jesse Stone

2: Silhouette of Virtue(review copy – Jay Richard: It’s 1973. America is in the throes of Watergate, Vietnam, and increasingly heated racial tensions. A small college town in Southern Illinois is terrorized by a spree of sadistic sexual assaults against young Asian women, purportedly by a black man seeking payback for America’s betrayal in Vietnam.
Acting more on suspicion than evidence, the all-white police force arrests a black theater instructor and Vietnam vet. His only African American colleague, philosophy professor Nathan “Ribs” Rivers, finds himself in the unlikely position of leading a coalition of student and faculty groups advocating for a fair trial, despite his own doubts about the suspect’s innocence.

3: Stand Your Ground – William W. Johnstone with J. A. Johnstone: After the President closes Guantanamo Bay to hold civilian trials for the terrorists, some of them are relocated to Hell’s Gate Prison in West Texas. Until a group of fanatical sleeper-cell shock troops launch an all-out assault to “liberate” their jailed comrades. There’s just one problem: they don’t know that Army Ranger Lucas Kincaid is working at Hell’s Gate.

4: SuperFang(review copy) – Kevin Woram: amusing short tale of a bulldog terrier that acquires superpowers from eating a golden mushroom.

5: The Adventures of An Arkansawyer – Charles Gramlich: A memoir where Charles reflects on incidents in his lefe, some amusing, others reflective.

6: Again, Honorable Whoredom At A Penny A Word – Harlan Ellison: another collection of some the author’s best early work.

7: Vic and Blood – Harlan Ellison: three tales, one the author’s award winning A Boy and His Dog, parts of his larger in progress novel.

8: Dark Spies(ARC) – Matthew Dunn: the fourth volume in the Will Cochrane spy series where our hero is being hunted by the world with a shoot to kill order, all because he violated an order to let a fellow agent not be killed by a Russian hit crew.

and the ebooks:

9: Run From Nightmare – Maxine O’Callaghan

10: Bad News and Trouble – Maxine O’Callaghan: Before Kinsey Millhone, Sharon McCone and V.I. Warshawski, there was Delilah West, the sensitive, gutsy and resourceful private eye who shattered the boundaries of mystery fiction…starting with the ground-breaking short stories in this collection.

11: Music For The Dead(review copy) – Luis Gutierrez Maluenda: 1940s New York, jazz clubs, and Mike winowsky, a tough, cynical private eye with a love for the music and bourbon.

12: The Cost of Doing Business(review copy) – Jonathan Ashley: Jon Catlett, a misanthropic literary obsessive, is facing the loss of the only thing in the world he loves; his used bookstore, a haven for fellow weirdos, outcasts, misunderstood geniuses and malcontents. Jon has several other problems, the least of which are his love affair with a bi-polar femme fatale heiress to a thriving northern steel company or the exponentially growing opiate habit he has developed. When Jon, during a deal gone wrong, accidentally kills a fellow drug addict, getting away with murder turns out to be the least of his worries. The steps he and Paul, the obsessive-compulsive manager of Jon’s store, must take to cover up the killing result in the two cornering Louisville’s blossoming heroin trade.

13: Counterspy – Matthew Dunn: a novella in the Will Cochrane series. MI6 agent Will Cochrane is living in Washington, D.C. when a dangerous terrorist, codenamed Trapper, escapes from a top secret CIA military base. Trapper comes after Will—saying he is the one who killed his leader—but Will knows there has to be more to this story. Will gets close enough to shut the man down, but when he does, that act opens the door to yet another, much more dangerous surprise . . .

Carnosaur Weekend( Kyler Knightly and Damon Cole Book 1) – Garnett Elliott

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91lql2gEszL._SL1500_Kyler Knightly and his uncle Damon Cole are sort of time police. As members of the Time Corps, It’s their job to keep the time lines stable to preserve the world as it should be in their time. The Zigma Projector was their mode of travel through time. Kyler was a Dreamer, a psychic, transferred to field agent. He had visions as he slept that usually proved true.i
In CARNOSAUR WEEKEND, the pair find themselves in the Cretaceous Period at a modern resort built by developers for the super rich. The aim was to turn the past into a vacation spot. What that might do to the time lines no one wanted to consider. Kyler and Damon were out to shut it down and trace the real estate company responsible.

Dinosaurs in a science fiction tale have always been a favorite.

THE ZYGMA GAMBIT tells the tale of how Kyler was promoted to field agent when a vision showed his uncle lying dead in a future jaunt. He waylays Damon in order to stop his vision.

THE WORMS OF TERPSICHORE is a tale of the future and giant killing centipedes on another planet.

Loved these three tales and look forward to more. It is numbered Book 1 after all.

Recommended The latest from BEAT TO A PULP.

Kill Or Die(Uccidi O Muori)1966

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10511As usual with westerns in the spaghetti genre, this film had a variety of titles depending on the market. In the U.S. alone, it had four different ones(presuming theatrical release, VHS, and DVD. KILL OR DIE, KILL OR BE KILLED. RINGO AGAINST JOHNNY COLT, and GOD HOLDS THE BULLET. The print I watched on Youtube was the second, though the tilte on the film was the Italian.

It’s a story of two families feuding, not a terribly original plot, but serviceable for what followed.

The movie opens with a funeral procession being interrupted, a gang of men appearing atop a ridge and peppering the coffin on a wagon full og bullet holes. The entire party scatters but for one young woman. Lisa Drummand(Elina De Witt) is burying her father, supposedly killed230px-Uccidi_O_Muori_DatabasePage in an accident. The shooters are led by Chester Griffith(Alberto Farnese, billed as Albert Farley). The Griifiths don’t like the Drummonds, except Chester wants to marry Lisa, who wants nothing to do with her. Chester has already killed off two suitors and let it be known that it was hands off where Lisa was concerned.

The stage is set when a mysterious man(Rod Dana, billed as Robert Mark) rides into town riffing on Clint Eastwood down to the poncho. But he doesn’t wear a gun or carry a rifle in a boot on his saddle. He totes and plays a violin for donations. The only name he gives is Jerry. He runs afoul of the youngest Griffith, a spoiled young man named Spot(Fabrizio Moroni), drunk in the saloon with three Griffith hands. He demands that the fiddle player keep going 150px-Handvollblei-1-until he decides he’s heard enough. A fight breaks out and Jerry is holding his own, even to cramming his fists into heavy glass mugs and using them as boxing gloves. Doing well until one of the hands picks up a gun, Jerry snatches one out of a nearby holster and kills the man.

The Sheriff(spaghetti western veteran Andrea Bosic) witnesses it all witness it all and tells Jerry he should leave town. Jerry makes it as far as the Drummand ranch where he stays to help out. In addition to Lisa, family members, Cousin Steve(Tony Rogers) and Granny, an irascible suspicious old woman.

The head of the Griffith clan, Jonathan(Furio Meniconi, billed as Men Fury) is145px-Fur_eine_handvoll_blei furious that his favored son and three hands could do no more against Jerry than get one of them killed. He sends Spot and four men back to town to kill the stranger. All it does is get them killed, Spot as he’s sent home, snatching up a gun.

Old Jonathan is really pissed now and tells everyone to keep it away from Chester, afriad he might lose him as well. He hires a black clad killer(Gordon Mitchell, another spaghetti vet) to kill Jerry. Tall and skinny, we’ve already seen a wanted poster for a “Black Slim.” But depending which spot yoy look, the character is named Baltimore Joe or Ringo. Ten grand to kill Joe. Mitchell only gets two brief scenes where he gets his ass kicked by Jerry and shot full of holes by the same. The Ringo name comes from the Sheriff identifying him as such. I’ll get to the reason in a bit.

images (2)The finale is set when Jerry is being escorted, voluntarily, out of town by a pair of deputies. Chester, after agreeing to the Sheriff just to let him go, ambushes the trio with his men, saving Jerry for some special torture. He leaves hin, after a beating, buried up to hid neck. An old desert rat, out hunting, finds and rescues him, nursing him back to health, all the while keeping his ears open in town.

Jerry is accused of murdering the deputies and five thousand is put on his head.

Meanwhile, Chester plays the innocent, puts his best on for Lisa, and convinces her to marry him. She, tired of all the violence, thinks it the best she can do. Chester’s plan is to get all the Drummands together for the wedding and murder them all right after. “Lisa can remain in mourning the rest of her life!”

Things never work out as planned though.

The Sheriff had finally figured out whi Jerry really was, the man knownp_0ff554442711260645e0b6edb69a260eaf525c9a as Ringo. Tired of all the killing, he wanted to leave it all behind. The Sheriff helps out by identifying the body of Baltimore Joe as Ringo.

Tanio Boccia was a serviceable, if uninspired director. A mediocre script doesn’t help matters. Obviously an attempt to play off the popularity of the pair of Ringo folms starring Giuliano Gemma, Rod Dana was a decent actor, though never rising to the level of the better known Gemma.

Give it a C, one maybe only for spaghetti western purists. I’m one of those.

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