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Reviews Written by
Wayne Simmons "HOO-HAA" (Cardiff)

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``Dressed to Kill
``Dressed to Kill
by Milton K. Ozaki
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Surely one of Ozaki's best..., 13 Sept. 2015
Ozaki's fast becoming one of my favs of the old PI tradition and 1954's Dressed To Kill is surely one of his best. We follow Rusty Forbes, an old-school PI cashing in on what he thinks is a run-of-the-mill stolen car job that gets him in with the wrong sort of dame. Soon, ol' Rusty's up to his neck with cops, crooks and even more dames!

Ozaki's strength is in his delivery: the clean, colloquial prose; the hilarious turns of phrase; that sharpness in setting a scene or adding colour to his characters. It all makes for a fast pace and enjoyable read.

My copy of Dressed To Kill is a 1956 reprint (with stunning Walter Popp cover art) but this novel is just begging for the Hard Case Crime makeover.


Fifty-To-One (Hard Case Crime) (Hard Case Crime Novels)
Fifty-To-One (Hard Case Crime) (Hard Case Crime Novels)
by Richard Aleas
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: £6.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Long Live HCC!, 11 Sept. 2015
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Fifty-to-One is a very special book for Hard Case Crime fans, marking the press's 50th release. Rather fittingly, then, it's the story of a down-on-his-luck publisher commissioning the wrong book and finding himself in all sorts of trouble with the mob, the cops and just about everyone else he runs into. We follow the author of said book and wannabe dancer, Trixie, for most of the story, Ardai's style and mood very much like the pulptastic Gabriel Hunt series he edits (and occasionally writes within) as opposed to the darker, neo-noir of his Richard Aleas persona. It's the perfect vibe for this book, a light-hearted homage to the noir and pulp that Hard Case Crime has celebrated since its conception back in 2001. There have been another 50 since then, and some. And here's to many more from HCC!


False Negative (Hard Case Crime) (Hard Case Crime Novels)
False Negative (Hard Case Crime) (Hard Case Crime Novels)
by Joseph Koenig
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Hard Case Crime: every one's a winner., 3 Sept. 2015
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If in doubt, reach for a HCC book. One of few mottos I live by but one that hasn't failed me yet. After a few false starts with some nordic noir titles, I plucked this little gem from the shelf and, man, what a corker it turned out to be.

Basic premise has Jordan, a down-on-his-luck reporter turn to writing true crime after being fired from the newspaper he writes for. Somewhere in the mix is the body of a beautiful woman on the beach, and the search for her killer, but the main thrust of this story is crime writing itself, the book a pastiche or homage to the very genre it's part of.

My first taste of Koenig but not my last and the yet another reason to keep a steady supply of Hard Case Crime titles close to hand. Every one's a winner.


Captives
Captives
by Shaun Hutson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars At his best, Shaun Hutson writes in the style of an ..., 13 Aug. 2015
This review is from: Captives (Paperback)
At his best, Shaun Hutson writes in the style of an offbeat action thriller from the 80s with his break neck pace, many twists and turns and flawed anti-heroes leading the charge. CAPTIVES is one such book.


Honourable Friends?: Parliament and the Fight for Change
Honourable Friends?: Parliament and the Fight for Change
by Caroline Catherine Lucas
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.48

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An entertaining, accessible and sometimes thrilling read, 10 Aug. 2015
Caroline Lucas' Honourable Friends? is not so much a biography, per se. Nor is it a manifesto for the Greens, the party she once led and has since stepped down from to concentrate on her role as its sole MP. No, Honourable friends is more of a critique of the whole political system in the UK, and in particular the archaic goings on at the palace of Westminster.

The story's relayed through Lucas' eyes, portraying her as the wet behind the ears newbie struggling to fit in and get taken seriously. From her first speech to her now infamous arrest and trial for joining an illegal anti-fracking demo, we stumble through those first five years as elected MP with her. And she doesn't hold back, often critical of the quasi-Masonic rites and rituals underpinning UK politics.

Some of her stories are hilarious, like how the party whips would literally shove reluctant MPs through the respective 'Aye' or 'Nay' lobbies to force them to vote in tune with the party line and said MPs having to hide in the toilets to avoid being counted. Some are irreverent, the sly digs at certain personalities or the perfectly captured image of drunken MPs staggering down the corridors late at night to vote on bills they know or care little about. Other stories give a deeply despondent view of contemporary politics, like the many failings of the coalition of 2010 and the corruption seemingly inbuilt to the whole sorry system with donors pulling the strings and shaping or reshaping policy to their liking. But it's not all bad. Ultimately, Lucas comes out of it all surprisingly upbeat. There's potential to work the system from the inside. There are good MPs as well as bad, she surmises. Across all parties.

Honourable Friends? is an entertaining, accessible and sometimes thrilling read for those curious about the inner workings of parliament.


Animal Rights: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
Animal Rights: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
by David DeGrazia
Edition: Paperback
Price: £4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Foundation in the ongoing Animal Rights Debate, 9 July 2015
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Excellent overview of the main ethical and philosophical arguments for and against animal rights. While quite an academic read, author DeGrazia presents the content in a way in which non-academic readers will still find accessible.

The main thrust of the book is to examine whether animals should have moral status and, if so, how that should direct our treatment of them within the food and agriculture industry, as pets and in zoos and within research. DeGrazia, who is openly pro animal rights, summarises three main POVS: the utilitarian, the sliding scale model and the strong animal rights view, applying these to each scenario while also giving the reader a feel for what the current lay of the land is within each scenario.

DeGrazia's candid accounts of how animals are currently treated within factory farming and research, in particular, make for somewhat harrowing reading. That said, this is a book concerned with facts as opposed to emotions, giving equal time all sides of the debate while still allowing the author to present his own preferred opinions and reasons for those. Although written in the early 2000s, it still remains accurate, for the most part, in terms of current practice - a fact that, in itself, is quite worrying.

At just over 100 pages, Animal Rights: A Very Short Introduction provides Excellent overview of the main ethical and philosophical arguments for and against animal rights. While quite an academic read, author DeGrazia presents the content in a way in which non-academic readers will still find accessible.

The main thrust of the book is to examine whether animals should have moral status and, if so, how that should direct our treatment of them within the food and agriculture industry, as pets and in zoos and within research. DeGrazia, who is openly pro animal rights, summarises three main POVS: the utilitarian, the sliding scale model and the strong animal rights view, applying these to each scenario while also giving the reader a feel for what the current lay of the land is within each scenario.

DeGrazia's candid accounts of how animals are currently treated within factory farming and research, in particular, make for somewhat harrowing reading. That said, this is a book concerned with facts as opposed to emotions, giving equal time all sides of the debate while still allowing the author to present his own preferred opinions and reasons for those. Although written in the early 2000s, it still remains accurate, for the most part, in terms of current practice - a fact that, in itself, is quite worrying.

At just over 100 pages, Animal Rights: A Very Short Introduction provides an excellent foundation in the ongoing animal rights debate and a solid knowledge of the overriding themes within such a debate. A high recommend.


Does the Noise in My Head Bother You?: The Autobiography
Does the Noise in My Head Bother You?: The Autobiography
by Steven Tyler
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.83

3.0 out of 5 stars Steven Tyler's (semi) autobiography is pitch perfect when capturing the man's voice, 26 May 2015
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Steven Tyler's (semi) autobiography is pitch perfect when capturing the man's voice. This is both a blessing and a curse for the book, on the one hand feeling like a genuine memoir, yet on the other disappearing up its own arse for too many pages at a time. Overall, a solid read, though, with just as much time spent on the music and art as the drugs (well, almost). A must for Aerosmith fans.


Alice Cooper: Golf Monster - How a Wild Rock'n'roll Life Led to a Serious Golf Addiction
Alice Cooper: Golf Monster - How a Wild Rock'n'roll Life Led to a Serious Golf Addiction
by Alice Cooper
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shocktastic!, 28 April 2015
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Excellent convo with the weird and wonderful Mr Cooper. Shock rocker, alcoholic, golfaholic and born again Christian: he definitely goes against the grain. I've always liked Alice and this book does nothing to change my mind on him. A true gentleman and great ambassador for the world of rock n' roll.


The Seventh Sign
The Seventh Sign
Offered by jim-exselecky
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Neo-classical goodness..., 18 April 2015
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This review is from: The Seventh Sign (Audio CD)
It's Yngwie. Nuff said!


No More Hell To Pay
No More Hell To Pay
Price: £12.00

5.0 out of 5 stars New Stryper, old danger..., 18 April 2015
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This review is from: No More Hell To Pay (Audio CD)
Killer old school Stryper sound.


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