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TENDERLOIN: A Sleeper Hayes Novel ~Court Haslett

Monday, May 29th, 2017

TENDERLOIN is set in 1978 in San Francisco and is a fictional story that tells an actual crime story of that era.  Felt like I was reading ‘Dick Tracy’ books as it has a deft style that conveys a crime story with edginess and noir tendencies.  I could almost hear Garrison Keillor on the PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION reading this story as the P.I. ‘Guy Noir’, Although, it is not funny.  Great Tension!

The TENDERLOIN is a section of San Francisco and the buildings and bars mentioned in the story actually exist.  “Court Haslett has lived in SF for twenty years and conducted meticulous research in order to bring to life not only the gritty details and atmosphere of the TENDERLOIN, but all of 1970s SF.  He interviewed historians, former SF cops, the head of vice in the TENDERLIOIN during the 70s, and residents from that era.  The end result is a spot-on depiction of the iconic skid row culture of that time.” (Promotion material)

Do you remember the People’s Temple organized by the Reverend Jim Jones, who moved 900 of his followers to Guyana and plotted the Jonestown Massacre?  The group was founded in SF and had a building there.  Jim Jones had his fingers in a number of pots and added to the tumultuous, unruly, lawless time in the city’s history.  Lots of corruption going on and the mayor and the police departments were deeply involved.  A number of officials were murdered during this period.

Sleeper Hayes is the protagonist of the story and after the murder of a hooker and friend, whose sister was transported to Guyana, Hayes begins to unravel the mystery and the conspiracies taking place.  Boxing, music, poverty, and politics are a vital part of the story.  The pace is fast and the glimpses into SF’s history are captivating.

Meryl Zegarek Public Relations, INC. sent me a copy of this book for review.

“What a book TENDERLOIN is.  This is a startling debut and surely the dawning of what is going to be a major writer.  Just flat out delightful.”   – Ken Bruen

Court Haslett Facebook
Court Haslett On Amazon

“…his work has been short-listed for the Faulkner-Wisdom Award.”

Related:
The Landgramm Affair
The Condor Song
Coercion

TENDERLOIN: A Sleeper Hayes Novel ~Court Haslett

Monday, May 29th, 2017

TENDERLOIN is set in 1978 in San Francisco and is a fictional story that tells an actual crime story of that era.  Felt like I was reading ‘Dick Tracy’ books as it has a deft style that conveys a crime story with edginess and noir tendencies.  I could almost hear Garrison Keillor on the PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION reading this story as the P.I. ‘Guy Noir’, Although, it is not funny.  Great Tension!

The TENDERLOIN is a section of San Francisco and the buildings and bars mentioned in the story actually exist.  “Court Haslett has lived in SF for twenty years and conducted meticulous research in order to bring to life not only the gritty details and atmosphere of the TENDERLOIN, but all of 1970s SF.  He interviewed historians, former SF cops, the head of vice in the TENDERLIOIN during the 70s, and residents from that era.  The end result is a spot-on depiction of the iconic skid row culture of that time.” (Promotion material)

Do you remember the People’s Temple organized by the Reverend Jim Jones, who moved 900 of his followers to Guyana and plotted the Jonestown Massacre?  The group was founded in SF and had a building there.  Jim Jones had his fingers in a number of pots and added to the tumultuous, unruly, lawless time in the city’s history.  Lots of corruption going on and the mayor and the police departments were deeply involved.  A number of officials were murdered during this period.

Sleeper Hayes is the protagonist of the story and after the murder of a hooker and friend, whose sister was transported to Guyana, Hayes begins to unravel the mystery and the conspiracies taking place.  Boxing, music, poverty, and politics are a vital part of the story.  The pace is fast and the glimpses into SF’s history are captivating.

Meryl Zegarek Public Relations, INC. sent me a copy of this book for review: info@mzpr.com

“What a book TENDERLOIN is. This is a startling debut and surely the dawning of what is going to be a major writer. Just flat out delightful.” – Ken Bruen

Court Haslett Facebook
Court Haslett On Amazon

“…his work has been short-listed for the Faulkner-Wisdom Award.”

Related:
The Landgramm Affair
The Condor Song
Coercion

MISSISSIPPI BLOOD: A Novel – #3 of the NATCHEZ BURNING Trilogy ~Greg Iles

Thursday, April 6th, 2017

“Adrenaline-fueled excitement…A very American epic.”  (Washington Post)

“The endgame is at hand for Penn Cage, his family and the enemies working to destroy them in this exhilarating final volume in the epic Natchez Burning trilogy set in modern Natchez, Mississippi – Greg Iles’s bold and ambitious story of blood and honor, violence and revenge that explores how profoundly the sins of the past haunt the present.” (Book cover)

MISSISSIPPI BLOOD is another book I could not put down.  I read it cover to cover in two sittings during a rainy, windy weekend and then took a deep breath.  The writing is intense and does not let up right to the very last couple of pages – there is no relief in the speed in this whole series. One is compelled to find out who killed Viola Turner, the young black nurse who was raped twice by a gang of KKK men and her brother was skinned alive.  Turner has come home to die but someone has sent her off before she could tell her tale and Dr. Cage is being blamed.  Penn Cage, the mayor, is trying to save his father and find the truth as he loses more of the people he loves.

After I reviewed NATCHEZ BURNING, I persuaded 10 friends to read the book.  After I reviewed #2, THE BONE TREE, I persuaded another 10 friends to read book one and then two and wait with me for book #3. There is so much in these stories that I found to be true in my younger years living in the South.  I found that there was an ingrained mythology about events and history that I had no evidence for or could I achieve some foothold in making change.  Such as so many Southern folks did not believe that the Civil War was about Slavery – nope it was about State’s Rights!!!  I found myself teaching a psychology seminar to most of my peers because the psychology that the Professor was expounding was not true or reasonable. This trilogy was about what I believed was going on and actually happening.

It is truly difficult to believe that these things happened when wrapped up in a contemporary suspense story.  It is hard to image that a writer from Natchez, Mississippi could have figured things out and been open to exposing such ideas.  Then again maybe it is the local boy who can render change in his neighborhood with stories better than outsiders.  Just maybe we need him to restructure thoughts about government in general and our last election.  Iles is a master storyteller.

TLC Book Tours  sent me an advanced copy of MISSISSIPPI BLOOD for review – It is definitely 5 Stars.

“Greg Iles spend his youth in Natchez, Mississippi.  His first novel, SPANDAU PHOENIX, was the first of fifteen NEW YORK TIMES bestsellers, including THE QUIET GAME, TURNING ANGEL, THE DEVIL’S PUNCHBOWL, which hit number one, NATCHEZ BURNING, and THE BONE TREE.  Iles’s novels have been made into films and published in more than thirty-five countries.  He is a member of the lit-rock group the ROCK BOTTOM Remainders, lives in Natchez, Mississippi, with his wife, and has two children.” (Cover)

Greg Iles Website
Greg Iles Facebook
Greg Iles Twitter

Related:
Natchez Burning
The Bone Tree

THE BONE TREE: BOOK TWO OF THE NATCHEZ BURNING TRILOGY ~GREG ILES

Monday, September 12th, 2016

Southern Lawyer Penn Cage and his fiancée Caitlin Masters the newspaper publisher have just escaped being set on fire by a ruthless businessman Brody Royal and are still searching for Dr. Tom Cage, Penn’s father, who is being accused of killing a black nurse who worked for him as we finish the exciting book NATCHEZ BURNING, which is the first in the Trilogy by Greg Iles.

TLC Book Tours  sent me book two in plenty of time to keep right on reading this compelling saga about family, about the KKK, about racism, corruption, the brutal history and the on-going conspiracy theories about the Kennedy assassinations and Martin Luther King-the South revealed.

The writing in this story is fabulous and amazingly spellbinding.  As Stephen King says, “ You just want more.

“Greg Iles spent most of his youth in Natchez, Mississippi. His first novel, Spandau Phoenix, was the first of thirteen New York Times bestsellers, and his new trilogy continues the story of Penn Cage, protagonist of The Quiet Game, Turning Angel, and #1 New York Times bestseller The Devil’s Punchbowl. Iles’s novels have been made into films and published in more than thirty-five countries. He lives in Natchez with his wife and has two children.” (From TLC webpage)

GREG ILES Twitter
GREG ILES Facebook
Harper Collins Review

The incredible “hate” over family generations and how it manifests is fascinating to follow and just how does one help families that are so tainted by violence that they can be changed into decent, contemporary people for the future generations?  Will this kind of family system be destine to repeat itself – forever?  Do our social systems have any impact?

I have over the years often found book two of trilogies to be more of a fill in book adding more detail and transitioning to the big finish.  Yes, there is some transition material in this book and yet it is full of new components to the story and more contemporary problems that are proceeding because of the search being brought to the foreground.  It is riveting in it’s own right.  Another 800 pages of thrilling material and the death of new individuals is spelled out as the corruption and dastardly economic systems are spelled out and more and more African Americans lose their land and life in the re-building of New Orleans in the aftermath of Katrina.

I have personally shared 5 copies of NATCHEZ BURNING with friends and the word is – The writing is amazing and thrilling – The pace and details are extraordinary – It is quite the read and perfect timing.

All the things you thought were going on in the South – They are!   It is nearly impossible to put this book down.  THE BONE TREE will not disappoint.

My copy had a reader’s book group guide at the back of the book and plenty of reference and acknowledgement material proves to be extremely interesting.

Book Three will be available March 2017.

Related:
Natchez Burning
The Contractors
Mississippi Blood