Book Review: The Hard-Boiled Detective 1 by Ben Solomon

The Hard-Boiled DetectiveThe Hard-Boiled Detective 1
Ben Solomon
The Hard-Boiled Detective, August 2014
ISBN: 978-0692269947
Trade Paperback

Sounds. They’re stuck in your head. A muzzle blast from a .38. Garfield’s rasp. Bogart’s lispy rhythm and Cagney’s high-pitched rants. The sea, restless, running past Key Largo punctuated by blasts of tommy guns echoing off the greasy walls of that Chicago garage on St. Valentine’s Day, so long ago. And of course you remember the looks, the swaying hips, the invitation to whistle from the women who graced and sometimes motivated the greed, the sex and the violence in the hard-boiled crime story.

Well, here they all are, reborn in slinky, sly and quippy dialogue and crashing plot, pulsed by dangerous swinging saps, out of control thugs, cops and robbers. From the slimy Mr. Jupitor to the gunman with the roscoe in the dark doorway behind Jimmy Shin, the action never lets up and the dialogue races on.

Here they are, eleven tales of the hard-boiled, urban warrior, stalking his targets down the soft summer ribbons of asphalt, and always with a smart retort, even as the pistol fires. Ben Solomon has got it just right.

Richard Prather would be pleased, I think.

Reviewed by Carl Brookins, March 2015.
The Case of the Purloined Painting, The Case of the Great Train Robbery, Reunion, Red Sky