Very Quick Review: CITY OF DREAMS by Don Winslow (William Morrow)

WinslowD-C2-CityOfDreamsUSHCDanny Ryan et al dodge the law, the mafia, and their own demons; and take a quick turn through Hollywood…

Hollywood.

The city where dreams are made. 

On the losing side of a bloody East Coast crime war, Danny Ryan is now on the run. The Mafia, the cops, the FBI all want him dead or in prison. With his little boy, his elderly father and the tattered remnants of his loyal crew of soldiers, he makes the classic American migration to California to start a new life.

A quiet, peaceful existence.

But the Feds track him down and want Danny to do them a favor that could make him a fortune or kill him. 

And when Hollywood starts shooting a film based on his former life, Danny demands a piece of the action and begins to rebuild his criminal empire.

Then he falls in love.

With a beautiful movie star who has a dark past of her own.

As their worlds collide in an explosion that could destroy them both, Danny Ryan has to fight for his life in a city where dreams are born.

Or where they go to die.

From the shores of Rhode Island to the deserts of California where bodies disappear, from the power corridors of Washington where the real criminals operate to the fabled movie studios of Hollywood where the real money is made, City of Dreams is a sweeping saga of family, love, revenge, survival and the fierce reality behind the dream.

Danny Ryan and crew return in the sequel to City on Fire, dodging the attentions of the feds, other organized crime families, and their own demons. An engaging continuation of the series. Continue reading

New Books (March-April 2023)

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Featuring: Samit Basu, Ed Begley Jr., Jeff Benedict, Nicholas Binge, Mike Brooks, Alejandra Campoverdi, Rachel Chrastil, Kate Christensen, Julia Langbein, Mark Lawrence, Anna Pitoniak, Tobias Rose-Stockwell, Curtis Sittenfeld, Adam Thirlwell, David Thomson, Don Winslow

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Quick Review: CITY ON FIRE by Don Winslow (William Morrow)

WinslowD-1-CityOnFireUSHCAn excellent start to a new, final trilogy

Two criminal empires together control all of New England.

Until a beautiful woman comes between the Irish and the Italians, launching a war that will see them kill each other, destroy an alliance, and set a city on fire.

Danny Ryan yearns for a more “legit” life and a place in the sun. But as the bloody conflict stacks body on body and brother turns against brother, Danny has to rise above himself. To save the friends he loves like family and the family he has sworn to protect, he becomes a leader, a ruthless strategist, and a master of a treacherous game in which the winners live and the losers die.

From the gritty streets of Providence to the glittering screens of Hollywood to the golden casinos of Las Vegas, two rival crime families ignite a war that will leave only one standing. The winner will forge a dynasty.

I’m a relative newcomer to Don Winslow’s novels, having started with The Force (2017). Since then, I’ve eagerly anticipated each new book, as well as gone back and read some of his older novels. He recently announced that the trilogy that City on Fire starts will be his last — he is retiring from writing to focus on political activism. Based on this novel, it looks like he’s going to be going out on quite a high — City on Fire is an excellent start to a series, and one that hooked me pretty much from the get-go. Continue reading

New Books (November-December)

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Another bumper crop of interesting titles — many of which are due out in May 2022, which is shaping up to be a very good-looking book month! Any of these catch your attention, or already on your most-anticipated lists?

Featuring: Daniel Abraham, Samit Basu, Brian Baumgartner, Holly Black, Mike Brooks, Louise Candlish, Dave Eggers, John M. Ford, Max Gladstone, Garrett M. Graff, David Guterson, Saad Z. Hossain, Liska Jacobs, Catherine McKenzie, Leila Mottley, Chris Pavone, Christopher Rowe, John Scalzi, Peng Shepherd, Tara Sim, Matthew Specktor, Nghi Vo, Don Winslow, Olivia Yallop

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Quick Review: BROKEN by Don Winslow (William Morrow)

WinslowD-BrokenUSHCA must-read collection of interlinked crime novellas

In six intense short novels connected by the themes of crime, corruption, vengeance, justice, loss, betrayal, guilt and redemption, Broken is #1 international bestseller Don Winslow at his nerve-shattering, heart-stopping, heartbreaking best. InBroken, he creates a world of high-level thieves and low-life crooks, obsessed cops struggling with life on and off the job, private detectives, dope dealers, bounty hunters and fugitives, the lost souls driving without headlights through the dark night on the American criminal highway.

With his trademark blend of insight, humanity, humor, action and the highest level of literary craftsmanship, Winslow delivers a collection of tales that will become classics of crime fiction

I’m a relative newcomer to Don Winslow’s novels. Since reading The Force, however, he has become a must-read author for me. Broken is his latest book: a superb, gripping collection of six novellas. Each takes a different look at the crime, mystery and/or thriller genres. One of my most-anticipated books of the year, I’m very happy to report that it absolutely met my very high expectations. I thoroughly enjoyed this. Continue reading

New Books (April)

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In these uncertain times, books are perhaps more important than ever (at least, they are in my opinion). To that end, I am going to try to publish more content on CR than normal (I know — I’ve “closed” it down a number of times, I just can’t stay away). Below is a list of books I’ve bought or received for review (and one I’m pre-approved for but haven’t downloaded because I know I won’t be able to read the format, but wanted to flag anyway because I’m really looking forward to reading it). As you’ll notice, a few of these aren’t out for some time, but I guess publishers have decided to send them out sooner to give people plenty of time to read them.

Featuring: Robert Jackson Bennett, Tom Bissell, Tom Bradby, Mike Brooks, K.A. Doore, Gardner Dozois, Dan Drezner, Lindsay Ellis, Scott Eyman, Marc Freeman, Ryan Gattis, Grady Hendrix, Stark Holborn, Richard Kadrey, Nicole Krauss, Hari Kunzru, Dinah Lenney, Sam J. Miller, Tamsyn Muir, John Niven, Karen Osborne, Alex Pavesi, Ross Payton, Wayne Santos, Elissa R. Sloan, Jonathan Strahan, Peter Swanson, Michael Swanwick, Breanna Teintze, Don Winslow, Chris Wraight

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New Books (June 2017)

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Quite some time since I last posted about new books I’ve received, so this is something of a bumper selection. Hope you find something that piques your interest.

Featuring: Brad Abraham, Guy Adams, Alan Alda, Sam Bourne, James Bradley, Adam Brookes, Terry Brooks, Melissa Caruso, Michael Connelly, Joseph Finder, Jack Ford, Jeffrey Ford, Dana Fredsti, John French, David Burr Gerrard, Lee Matthew Goldberg, Allegra Goodman, A.J. Hartley, Grady Hendrix, Jon Hollins, Joseph Kanon, Ann Leckie, Fonda Lee, Edan Lepucki, Attica Locke, Gail Z. Martin, Emma Newman, Jeff Noon, Lauren Oliver, Melissa F. Olson, Kathy Reichs, Anne Rice, Anthony Ryan, Brian Thomas Schmidt (ed.), Anna Smith Spark, Ferrett Steinmetz, Neal Stephenson, Jonathan Strahan (ed.), David Walton, Angus Watson, Aliya Whiteley, Don Winslow, Kenneth Womack

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Review: THE FORCE by Don Winslow (Harper Collins/William Morrow)

WinslowD-TheForceUKPossibly the best thriller (or novel) of the year?

Everyone can be bought. At the right price…

Detective sergeant Denny Malone leads an elite unit to fight gangs, drugs and guns in New York. For eighteen years he’s been on the front lines, doing whatever it takes to survive in a city built by ambition and corruption, where no one is clean.

What only a few know is that Denny Malone himself is dirty: he and his partners have stolen millions of dollars in drugs and cash. Now he’s caught in a trap and being squeezed by the Feds, and he must walk a thin line of betrayal, while the city teeters on the brink of a racial conflagration that could destroy them all.

Don Winslow’s latest novel is a haunting story of greed and violence, inequality and race, and a searing portrait of a city on the edge of an abyss. Full of shocking twists, this is a morally complex and riveting dissection of the controversial issues confronting society today.

The Force is the first of Winslow’s novels that I’ve read. It will definitely not be the last. There was a lot of pre-publication buzz surrounding this novel, and I can certainly now see why: it’s superb. On almost every level, this novel is a triumph. Continue reading

Upcoming 2017… William Morrow

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Here’s a little more than a handful of highly-anticipated upcoming novels from William Morrow. I’m sure there will be more added as the year progresses, but these stood out for me at the time of writing.

Featuring: Christopher Farnsworth, Glen Erik Hamilton, Greg Iles, Sheena Kamal, Matt Richtel, Simon Toyne, Don Winslow

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