The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a highly original mashup of genres. A “what if” concept mixing elements of Quantum Leap and Groundhog Day written as an Agatha Christie mystery. The conception is compelling, the story more-than-intriguing, and the fast-paced read irresistible. Congrats, Stuart Turton, on one incredible debut. Set in the early 20th century, Aiden Bishop…

The Pictures

Along with the built-in worldwide adoration, actors during Hollywood’s Golden Years apparently had immediate and abundant access to booze, drugs, and illicit women, all of which was enjoyed at a premium. Woe, however, to the john caught, for if the studio’s fixer couldn’t provide an out, the mob would, particularly with a bullet, knife, and/or…

Extinction

The alien invasion plot is an industry standard that is now as boilerplate as Batman’s origin and Netflix’s Extinction upholds this formula in a by-the-books thriller yet manages to present the film in a slick and entertaining way. Yes, there is a plot twist deep in the third act that is satisfying and, believe it or not,…

Ohio

Ohio begins with a funeral and ends in murder. What happens in between is as depressing as a high school reunion, but man, Stephen Markley’s writing elevates the wrist-slashing fatigue into a Stanley Kubrick-like, art-house style circa Clockwork Orange. Still, Ohio is 500-page work that feels like it takes all four years of the riding…

The Colorado Kid

Hey Kids! Want to read about an unexplained mystery as told by two very old New England reporters in a meandering style similar to how your grandfather used to go on about his ’64 Chevy pick-up? Then break out the Coca-Colas and switch on the Mr. Coffee, Uncle Stevie has a book for you. To…

Thrill Girl

Thrill Girl has all the ingredients of a great genre read. Set in 1950’s LA, you got the war-hero-turned-beat-reporter, a leggy blonde, gruesome murders, ex-Nazis, and smoking. A lot of smoking. So much that the pages are saturated with tobacco. Stirred, definitely not shaken, within, author Jack Curran mixes an exciting tale of murder, vigilantism,…

Slugfest: Marvel vs DC

Looking back on 50 years of comic book history, Reed Tucker unleashes his story of the ultimate cosmic combat where punches and fights and battles were not limited to the four-color world of super-heroes and god-like deities, but instead happened between the editors and creators of the two biggest and best of comic book champions:…

ANON: SciFi blast for cliché crime caper

The future can be scary, and that’s exactly how writer/director Andrew Niccol (Gattica) likes it. Niccol’s latest, Anon, directly distributed by Netflix, takes social media privacy scares and concerns and makes those issues a substantial threat as every event every single person sees is stored forever in an Orwell-ian cloud. Anon presents an original, albeit…

The Sisters Brothers

The American West of the 1850s is allotted to history as wild, gritty, untamed, and messy. According to Patrick DeWitt, it is also, well, quirky, at least concerning his picaresque characters, the titular hombres that make up The Sisters Brothers. Eli and Charlie Sister are two assassins sent by their boss, the Commodore, to commit…