Shane is Back in Black, Black Returns with The Nice Guys

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Shane Black is back with The Nice Guys and I decided I’d do this as my first trailer review. Why now? Well I felt compelled because I write detective and P.I. fiction and one of Shane Black’s films really influenced my writing style, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is one of my favorite neo noir films, EVER, and I thought I’d let you guys know what I thought of The Nice Guys trailer.

First it’s classic Shane Black and if you don’t have any idea who Shane is I’m willing to bet that you know his movies. He wrote most of the Lethal Weapon movies, The Last Boy Scout with Bruce Willis and Damon Waynes, The Last Action Hero with Arnold Schwarzenegger, and The Long Kiss Goodnight.

This film seems to be classic buddy cop movie and that is one thing that Black does so well and this movie reminds me a lot of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, here is the hard nosed muscle played by Russell Crowe (played by Val Kilmer in KKBB), then there is the bumbling comic relief partner played by Ryan Gosling (Robert Downey Jr in KKBB), the Damsel in distress, and the odd looking mobsters. The setting is classic Black as well. The setting the gritty Underworld of L.A.

The trailer has just the right amount of Black’s humor and action to tease a great movie.

Is there something that I didn’t like? Sure I think we saw too many if the odd mobsters deaths and I hope we didn’t see too much. Now I will say that I don’t think we saw the twist that Black is known for, not the M. Knight Shyamalan twists, just that moment when the two detectives (or one, sorry I didn’t get a good vibe from Crowe’s character, he could bite it) realize they didn’t have everything figured out like they thought and after one more clue piece it all together for a twist you didn’t see coming.

Did I like the trailer? You bet your happy ass I did. I give my anticipation level for this movie 🔫🔫🔫🔫🔪 out of 🔫🔫🔫🔫🔫

My rating system:
 🔫🔫🔫🔫🔫=best ever
🔫 🔫 🔫 🔫
🔫 🔫 🔫
🔫 🔫
🔫  = should’ve watch a Young Adult Drama
🔪  = 1/2

So I’m thinking of doing more reviews for mystery, suspense, noir, and thrillers. I really enjoy the genre and love to talk about it. What do you think? Would you like to see more of this type of content?

Also check out my any of my novellas and novels anywhere ebooks are sold.

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New project

Started my latest comic series today. I’m loving the dark noir feel of this series.

Branded

When a man wakes up in a ditch next to a major interstate with no knowledge of who he is or who would want him dead he sets out on a quest aided by the only two clues he has, a strange brand on his right forearm and a uncanny ability to kill people with is bare hands with the slightest of ease.

Driver

Available at the end of the month is Driver. The next Pine Bluff Mysteries installment.

Tommy Waters is a down on his luck ex-con when his cousin convinces him to drive the getaway car in a bank robbery, but this easy job turns deadly when his partners are murdered and their stolen money disappears. He is forced to drive for the man he stole from in order to find the money and discover who murdered his friends.

Driver is a noir thrill ride of pure adrenaline and suspense.

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3 Novellas available now

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Two novellas set in the Pine Bluff Universe and Adrenaline Issue #1 are now available for free download. Please check them out. And let me know what you think. They are available at Barnes and Noble on Nook, Apple IBOOKS or many many other devices (coming soon to Amazon Kindle), or download it directly from my Author Page at Smashwords if you would prefer the Kindle version you can download it from there.

Please let me know what you think. I would love to hear from you.

His Father’s Eyes

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His Father’s Eyes is a short story set in the Pine Bluff universe. Tony Corbett comes from a long line of Missouri lawmen but he is about to leave all that behind and run off the the Florida Keys. But just before the man sentenced to death for murder of Tony’s mother over 20 years ago is about to be executed skeletal remains are discovered near the home where his mother was last seen. Tony soon uncovers a conspiracy that casts doubt on his long held belief that his mother received justice and points to the unthinkable.

I’m giving this story away. It will be available at Barnes and Noble, Apple IBooks and many more.

Or you can download the format of your choice here. I hope you enjoy it. If you get it through an ebook site please leave an honest opinion of what you thought.

As Always, Thanks

Available everywhere

As writers we want our stuff to be seen and consumed. I made the mistake for over a year of allowing that market of potential readers to be  greatly reduced by allowing myself to be blinded by the royalty rates of Amazon and Kindle.

As of yesterday Adrenaline Issue #1: Gold Rush and A New Man, Jacob Mallory Mystery #1 are available at every ebook site including Barnes and Noble and Apple iBooks as well as Kindle.

I saw no need in keeping an exclusive with Kindle Direct Publishing when they were not selling enough copies to act as an incentive to stay with them.

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Adrenaline Issue #2: Passing the Torch will be available the Wednesday February 10th.

An Innocent Man, Jacob Mallory Mystery #2 will be released in August.

Adrenaline: Gold Rush Part 5

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The upper middle class neighborhood of Coyote Village didn’t look the kind of neighborhood where a superhero would live. But that is exactly where one lived, Dr. Richard Thomas aka Dr. Indestructible.

Richard Thomas had been a noted bio-engineer who worked for Nash Industries when he was shot by a man he experimented on, he gave the man his sight and the man tried to take his life. Richard and my father were best friends and Gerald Nash gave him a new body, the real Six Million Dollar Man, more like six billion, but who is counting. Dr. Indestructible sat behind his kitchen table with his wife Mary and his two daughters. I sat across from him. Munching on carrots sauteed in brown butter we glared at each other. Something told me that if he had answered the door and not Mary I would still be out in the sedan with Eli munching on celery sticks. He didn’t speak, he only glared. After we finished our awkward dinner and Mary took the kids upstairs to get them ready for the evening, Richard showed me to his office. I had been here many times. Richard had been the one to take me under his wing when…when it happened.

“How could you?” I demanded.

“Do what Simon?”

“You know what. You killed my uncle.”

“I assure you I did no such thing.”

“You might as well have. Your little proteges did.” He rushed me placing his large had over my mouth and pushing me back hard against his study wall. His black eyes stared into mine, they blinked with lights inside them. I knew that Richard was in there somewhere but I really couldn’t be sure how much of him was real and how much of him was android.

“You will not speak of my life inside my home, you know the rules Simon and just because your uncle died doesn’t give you the right to break that sacred bound we had.”

He released me but I knew he would be on me in a second if I mentioned it again. But I had to. “I’m sorry, know that, but I have to know why they would want Uncle Ed dead.”

“It wasn’t them, I can promise you that.”

“I saw her knife, the one they are calling The Blur. Who are they Richard, tell me.”

“I will not, It is our bond, just as I will never tell your secret.” He sat down behind his desk.

“Do you remember why I came to you?”

“Russell.”

“And what did I tell you?” He asked.

“That you would die before you gave my secret.”

“That’s not the only time I’ve made that promise. You will never get it from me. Think about why you came to me, think about how we have ended up here. You will figure it all out. Trust me when I tell you that your origins are closer than you realize. You can show yourself out.” He said as he pointed to his study door.

Leaving Richards home and driving back to mine I couldn’t help but think of Russell.

*

We left The White House at two a.m. one summer night. After a few drinks I was feeling bulletproof. “When are we going back up? I cannot wait to jump again.” I said.

“Dude it’s your building, you tell me when,” he was along for the ride.

Being the best friend of a Billionaire surely had its perks but the truth was that I wouldn’t have had any other friend and Russell never wanted anything from me. I guess that always made me want to offer it more.

“There is something about the feeling of falling. The feeling just before you pull the cord that I can’t explain. When you going to jump with me?”

“Man that is your thing, I will continue to pick you up when you jump, but I’m not jumping from a building.” We laughed and hugged each other. He rubbed my head like I was his little brother and I had just done something to make him proud.

Screams suddenly filled the night air as we made our way through Sherman Park. We knew it was dangerous to walk through the park at night with the upsurge of violence lately, but it was one more thing for me to get an adrenaline rush from. Besides my father had paid extra police force lately to patrol the area. That however didn’t explain the scream.

High pitched shrills grew louder as we crossed a small creek and got to the heart of the park. Suddenly a rustle of leaves caught my attention to the right.

“Man I told you we shouldn’t have come this way.” He said.

“Oh don’t be a pansy.” I teased.

Screams echoed throughout the park and I bolted into the woods. I could hear the heavy foot of my friend running behind me then suddenly I heard nothing and saw nothing.

When I woke up I could feel a wet warm and sticky substance on my face. I pulled my hand across it lifted it to my face, crimson blood filled my fingertips.

“Russell,” I tried but I didn’t hear myself, the words were quietly falling out of my mouth. All I could hear was a piercing ringing in my ears. I must have been blindsided with a something. Someone must of hit me in the head.

“Russell, where are you?” I stood up and staggered around, searching the woods and the path where we had been but found nothing. I reached into my pocket for my phone to call the police but found only an empty pocket. Searching all my pockets revealed the same thing, I had been mugged.

After I crossed the small creek again it grew so dark that I couldn’t see. I stumbled over something, my foot dragging across something soft. I bent down to get a closer look and found myself staring right into the eyes of Russell, his dead blue eyes.

*

….yet another jewelery heist has led to the death of a Rosu Security Officer near the Boneyards in New Haven…CLICK…Rosu Security Officer stabbed in heist is only the latest death in the crime spree…CLICK….this marks the seventh Rosu Security Officer to be attacked in a crime spree officials are calling the worst the city has seen since Gerald Nash introduced his bill….CLICK…”they are going down, we will catch these criminals. And that is exactly what they are, just because Mr. Rosu has ran some less than ethical businesses in the past there is no evidence that this business is anything other than a legal up standing business.” That was Detective Henry Parker, the head of the new ‘Anti-vigilante task force set up by Mayor Natalie Blume…CLICK…

I find it disconcerting that everyone thinks that The Romanian has turned over a new leaf, this business is far from legal, it has to be a front for his extortion scheme, the one that most likely cost my uncle his life. He had nothing to do with Rosu other than he was just one more victim of his greed.

The funeral appears to be over,” Eli said as the few people that had came dispersed. I stepped out of the car and walked slowly through the falling leaves to the hole that held the box that held my uncle. My father hadn’t even came back for the funeral. He said he had too many things to finish up at the ranch.

I bent down and picked up a hand full of dirt and tossed it into the open grave.

“He was very proud of you.”

Her voice was sweet. I turned to see Katrina standing a few feet away leaning against a tree. Her blond hair blew in the autumn breeze and her short black skirt showed her firm legs. I had forgotten until now that Ed had told me that she used to be a gymnast in college. She was beautiful and her Eastern European genes showed on her small frame. She certainly was stunning.

“I know, I only wish I could have helped him.”

“You did your best Simon. He would have never blamed you for anything.”

I thanked her and was on my way. I was headed back to my car when I realized she would be without a job. What an odd thing to think. I couldn’t let that happen, he loved her like a daughter. I turned to her, I dug the keys out of my pocket and tossed them to her.

“What is this?” She asked.

“The White House.” I said.

“What about it?”

“He left it to me. I don’t want to work it, it’s yours, I don’t think I could step foot in there again.”

She tossed them back. “Me either, thank you though.”

“Will you be okay, money I mean?”

“I’ll make it.” She said.

I walked back to her and handed her my card. “My cell is on there, call me sometime, I mean if you ever find yourself needing a job.” She wrapped her long slender arms around my neck. Then a small framed woman walked up beside her.

“Simon, this is Allison Berry, my roommate.”

“And girlfriend,” Allison added casually.

“Oh, I had, I mean…” I stammered.

“It’s okay, really,” Katrina said.

We all parted ways and I went to my estate across The Coyote in the Hills.

*

Staring out my window onto the city I found it difficult to concentrate as my mind flowed from Ed to Russell to the vigilante’s and to Dr. Indestructible. What had he meant about our origins? How could I be remotely close to these women, these murderers, these thieves? I had to have answers and I had only one idea on how to get them. I had to ask them. The buttons beeped as I dialed the number from the card I held in my hand.

“Hello, I have reconsidered your offer.”

“Oh, well I’m glad you have come to your senses Mr. Nash, I will swing by your office tomorrow to work out the details. I’m sure this will be a fantastic working relationship.” His voice was like nails on a chalk board as I thought about sleeping with the enemy. But partnering with The Romanian seemed the only way to draw The Calico Cat and The Blur to me.

ADRENALINE: GOLD RUSH PART 4

Time grinds to a stop when your bored. I really hate sitting behind this desk and pretending to care what goes on in the floors below me. Truth be told I have no idea what is even going on anymore. All I can focus on is the two women in the street a couple days ago. They were good, green, but good.   

I looked up from my computer to see Tyler Dixon, CEO of Nash Industries, standing in my door. His shirt pulled tight and tucked into his pants with his large belly hanging over his belt. Once Dad left, my first order of business was to make a no dress code rule, business casual, I hate wearing suits.   

“You have a visitor, Chrisof Rosu.”   

Oh, I know the name, Mafia Don Chrisof Rosu is very well known in New Haven and a major opponent of my fathers efforts to clean up the city. His real name is not nearly as well known as his alter ego however, The Romanian.   

“I really don’t have time for him.”   

“Well you really don’t have a choice.” Mr. Rosu staggers around Tyler Dixon and waltzes into my office and pulls up a seat in front of me before I can say anything.   

“I heard about your father retiring, wish him a congratulations for me the next time you speak to him.” I do not respond to him. “However, I am here on a business call rather a social one. I would like to talk to you about using my company, Rosu Security, for all your security needs.”   

Blood flowed to my face setting it afire, my blood pressure shooting through the roof. I glance at my wrist watch and check my pulse. Seventy and rising.    “You have some nerve walking into my office after the hell you put my father through offering to ‘secure’ my buildings, are you out of your mind? I will not even dignify that request with an answer. Please show yourself out of my building Mr. Rosu.”   

“Very well Mr. Nash, but I am sincere about your father, please tell him for me.” He stood and tossed a card on my desk, “In case you change your mind.”    Tyler Dixon stood watching through the door. As Christof passed him, his eyes darted to the floor.   

                *      *     *     *    *

….witnesses claim the two masked perpetrators attacked the security guards around twelve a.m. this morning taking them by surprise. They made off with an estimated two hundred thousand dollars in jewelry and cash. They wore matching blue ‘costumes’ and blue masks covering their eyes. They are considered armed and dangerous. Police are urging citizens to stay clear of the two….    

Clicking off the t.v. I had heard enough. I knew the two women in the video surveillance photo’s they placed on the screen, although I didn’t really like the two names they gave them, I really don’t understand media given names sometimes. That is why I had picked my own and let them know. Calico Cat and Blur seemed to be a lot better than the last time I had laid eyes on them.   

Light from my phone lit up the office. I rarely leave work anymore because of all the stuff I have to do as a real job, one that pays the bills, the one that puts food on a lot of people’s tables. I contemplated ignoring it until saw it was from The White House. Not that White House but my uncles bar. I hadn’t been to see him in months and I’m sure is worried about me. Truth is I was worried about him as well.   

“Yes,” I didn’t mean for it to sound so short.   

“Hello, I am calling for Simon Nash,” it was a female voice I didn’t recognize.    “This is he.”   

“I didn’t know who else to call.”   

“What is wrong?”   

“Can you come to the bar?”   

“I’ll be right there.”   

The beeped and the light went out as I turned it off. I turned off my computer and was in my car in a matter of seconds. What was going on? What could possibly be so important that Uncle Ed would have a server call me?

    *    *    *     *     *     *     *     *     *

Eli La Croix pulled the car to a stop a couple blocks from The White House. He had no choice, police cars lined the streets ahead and the unofficial entrance into Haven Village, was blocked by street barricades and yellow tape. A police office walked up to the window and my driver lowered it.   

“We are sorry but those two psychopaths are tearing up Haven Village.”   

“We need to get over to The White House,” Eli said. “The owner called my boss who is his nephew, he is worried about him.”   

“Go around, up Grand and come in from behind, there shouldn’t be anyone up there.”   

“Thank you, Officer,” Eli said rolling the window up again.   

It took us a little longer to get there but as we pulled up to the bar I jumped out before Eli had the car in park. I was in the bar before Eli was out of the car. I was at the bar before Eli was to the door. I was the first to see him laying on the bar, a knife in his chest. His had clutching a snub nose revolver as it hung limp over the bar. Eli was at my back grabbing me as I tried to get to my uncle. The one man I truly thought of as a father. Blood pooled beneath him and soaked the hard wood bar as it mixed with spilled beer and cigarette ashes.    “Simon we need to go back outside and call the police,” Eli said.   

I knew he was right, I knew that I didn’t need to compromise any evidence that be left behind so I scanned the small bar as quickly as could without moving. It appears to be a burglary gone wrong. His register drawer stood open, no money inside but a trail to the door, he probably drew his gun and fired at the men, firing because near the front door there were two bullet holes in the large storefront windows. Also near the front door, on the bare concrete floor lay two drops of blood.   

Lights and sirens quickly filled the window and it felt like slow motion as the police officer came through the door, we drew his weapon and badge, I could see his mouth moving but I heard nothing, my mind flooding with images of my Uncle standing behind that bar, the one place he truly loved to be.   

I turned slowly and looked one more time at the knife sticking out of my uncles chest, I knew that knife, I had seen it before. It belonged to Blur.   

“Mr. Nash, my name is Detective Henry Parker, I work for the NHPD, I am going to have to ask you to step outside.” He ushered me to the door as the CSI guys came in and started putting numbered cones down and flashing pictures of the scene. I didn’t need photographs, the images would be burned into my memory forever.   

Sitting outside in the cool autumn night I couldn’t help but wonder why would they want Edward White dead? Why did they want to rob him? They had been hitting high end jewelry shops and art galleries. Not small time bars on the north end of Haven Village, they couldn’t have gotten more than a hundred dollars from his register.    There was only one man that I knew could help me, and I knew exactly how to get him.

ADRENALINE: Gold Rush Part 3

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In the weeks that followed Edward and Katrina had been visited by the goons on several occasions finally forcing him to concede and take the ‘protection’. I sat across White’s on the roof of Mia Bella, a swanky Italian restaurant that all the movers and shakers liked to patronize.   

Unfortunately I wasn’t here for a social call, I was here to watch the goons that had entered my uncles bar twenty minutes ago. Suddenly I got a feel of eyes on me, studying me as heavily as I studied the goons.   

Then I heard the soft steps of a familiar foot. Dr. Indestructible knelt beside me, his voice soft and comforting. He placed his hand on my shoulder and let out a sigh. 

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“You watching over your friends I see.”    “Someone has to.”   

“They’re heating up again. With Gerald gone they feel they have free reign and with the police failing at every turn they may just be right.”   

“I can’t let that happen.”   

“You can stop anytime, Adrenaline. You only got into this for the rush, remember?”   

Too bad he had a point, I had only gotten into this for the rush, the thrill, the high that I got from the adrenaline rush that came from vigilantism. I was nothing like the good Dr., he had to do this, compelled by an inner drive that I wasn’t about to try to understand.

Dr. Indestructible had been the first ‘superhero’ I had heard of in New Haven. He patrolled the streets at night with an iron fist and the respect of the city.  Unfortunately he went too far one day and had to begin to fly under the radar after a goon for a local Italian Mafia family pulled a gun on him and he pulled the mans throat of his neck. Caught on camera Dr. Indestructible became what he fought so hard to destroy. I knew he hadn’t had a choice but the incident became a public relations nightmare.   

“Yeah but things have changed.”   

“That was your handy work in Mexico wasn’t it?”   

“You could tell?”   

“Why didn’t you ask for my help?”   

“I had to do it alone.”   

“Yeah you’ve changed.” He nodded to the bar, “how many men in there?”

“Two.”   

“Piece of cake,” he said.   

His black hood hung over his full black mask and his black gee made him look like a ninja assassin perched beside me. I on the other hand stood out like a sore thumb, blue jeans, a dark grey hoody and a white blood stained hockey mask. My knifes sheathed at my thighs and my gun on the small of my back. I reached for the Kali Sticks that crossed my back as the door to Whites opened and two beefy goons exited counting a stack of cash. The Dr and I stood ready to leap the two stories onto them when suddenly out of the dark alley just below us two figures bolted toward the men.   

One held a sword and the other two small knifes about six inches in length. The one with the knifes moved like lightening, her feet peddling underneath her, in one quick leap she was atop a small car and she bounced to the side of a van with her right foot, she spun in a twist of the body and landed on her feet just inches in front the two men. The girl with the sword strutted up behind the two stunned men.   

“Give us the money,” the one with the knife says.   

The two men laughed and stuffed the money into their pockets. “Yeah, I don’t think that’s going to happen.” One of the goons, the one that put the gun to the back of my head swung his fist wildly and connected with knife girl’s face which sendt her flying into a cargo van. The alarm began ringing, echoing off the surrounding buildings.   

I started to leap when my friend placed his hand on my chest, holding me back like a mother places her hand across a child when a car comes to a sudden stop. He shakes his head at me. “I think they have it under control.”   

Sword girl swung her weapon landing it behind the mans knees. He screamed out in pain as his body collapsed to the sidewalk. The goon who followed Katrina outside that night turned and raised his hand. A black Colt 1911pointed at her. He pulled the trigger and I could see her chest explode with a burst of power. She flew into the building behind her with the force of an erupting sun. Her head slammed into the brick wall, and she slid down nearly lifeless.   

“It doesn’t appear that they have it under control.” I stood and leaped from the edge of the building landing flat footed onto the roof of a semi truck parked below. Taking another leap I landed about ten feet from the scuffle. Knife girl keyed up and pulled her two knifes, she darted for the shooter, taking a running jump along the brick wall she kicks off into a somersault in the air. Thrusting the knifes downward they bury deep into both sides of the shooters neck. The gun slid slowly from his hand landing with a thud on the ground.   

A rustling turned my attention to the sword girl, her chest held the slug from the shot. I look up toward the Dr. who stood staring, watching like a father lion witnessing his cubs taking down their first antelope. Sword girl stood in her dark blue costume, long blond hair flowing behind her in the breeze and a blue mask covering her eyes. She stepped slow and deliberate, taunting the attacker. She raised her sword above her shoulder, pointing toward his groin. Swiftly with the force of a train, she sliced and blood poured from his leg. His body shivered as he laid on the sidewalk. She severed his femoral artery, he’ll be dead shortly.   

The two women in their matching costumes jet off into the dark, I looked back up at Dr. Indestructible, but he was no longer perched atop the building. The night which had quickly grown silent was broken by the sound of sirens. I decided it best to leave.