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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Edgy Stories For Edgy Times, September 12, 2011
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This review is from: Crime Factory: The First Shift (Paperback)
THE FIRST SHIFT is everything readers of crime fiction could hope for in an anthology: a chance to discover talented new writers as well as enjoy new works from writers whose works they're already familiar with. This is the one to buy for yourself and for anyone you know who loves noir and crime fiction. Once again, New Pulp Press continues to be the alternative to anemic mainstream publishing. Check this one out.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must own for fans of gritty crime, September 26, 2011
This review is from: Crime Factory: The First Shift (Paperback)
Anybody keeping up with this zine knew long before it came out that this would be one phenomenal collection.

Edited by Keith Rawson, Jimmy Callaway and Cameron Ashley, Crime Factory: The First Shift scorches the earth from start to finish.

I enjoyed every story, but here are a few that stood out...

"Stinger" by Dennis Tafoya. Holy f---, talk about starting out right. A classic noir tale of a woman who gets dragged down deeper and deeper. And the last paragraph is simply excruciating. Like a third-degree burn, you won't be forgetting this one anytime soon.

"Of Course You Realize, This Means War," by Jimmy Callaway. Any story with a Bugs Bunny reference is good in my book. Callaway is consistently hysterical and he doesn't fail us here. He has a brisk, unique, very readable style that I can't get enough of.

"Ravine" by Steve Weddle. Dealing with how a character changes or fails to change is very difficult. I often find that characters who change too much aren't believable -- in my opinion, people don't tend to change much, so in fiction it comes off as forced. But in this story, Weddle makes a smart move -- he tests a change his character has already gone through. The result is a tight and engrossing piece with a phenomenal last line.

"Budget Cuts" by Dave White. I have a particular affinity for this story as I will soon join the ranks of public school teachers. (White is a middle school English teacher in New Jersey.) Paul Brown is a teacher who speaks his mind. This is dangerous when there are Tea Party psychos around who like to do more than just bitch about property taxes. A tense and exciting read.

"Green By" by Chris F. Holm. For some reason, I like reading about stoners. Especially when they have really dumb ideas like breaking into a drug dealer's greenhouse cause they're fresh out of bud. Of course, it's not easy as they think.

And I didn't even get around to excellent contributions from writers like Hilary Davidson, Patti Abbott, Kieran Shea, Ken Bruen, Roger Smith and so many others.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great collection, November 1, 2011
Noirguy (Los Angeles, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Crime Factory: The First Shift (Paperback)
With the crime factory name on it you know it will be quality but I really think this collection goes above and beyond. It is all over the map of dark crime fiction and that is a good thing. From the darkly funny (Jimmy Callaway's story) to the dark and twisted (any of them really but take Keith Rawson's for a start) to things as wild and varied as a western by Jed Ayres and the truly bizarre creature in Greg Bardsley's shocking tale.
A great intro to dark fiction by some real up and comers and some wounded vets in the genre. Well worth picking up.
Kudos also to the great way it is out together. This is not some slapdash pulled off the web and bound anthology. This is a well designed, well edited collection that is a great addition to my bookshelf.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hope There's a Second Shift!, January 10, 2013
James N Simpson (Gold Coast, QLD Australia) - See all my reviews
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Crime Factory The First Shift is one of those rare collections of various author short stories where pretty much each story is of really high quality. Usually these collections have one or two great stories, a fair few readable but nothing special tales, and the rest fillers. I was pleasantly surprised with this one, the cover looked pretty home computer software made amateur style, so I didn't expect much and to be honest and only got this because it has a Dave Zeltserman short story I hadn't read before, but I am happy to tell you I was wrong. Midway through and towards the end there are a few lesser quality stories which crop up every now and then but the others are so good the collection maintains its top rating.

Various authors cover a range of different genres covering moral to actual crimes. Twenty eight short stories. Some are set in the modern day, some in the past such as the old West, some are a bit sci-fi such as a thumb sized monkey man who thinks a new boyfriend for his owner is cutting his grass, behind the scenes look at an office worker who returns after being wrongfully fired with a gun, auditioning a getaway driver where if you fail you die, an evil prophet, the floor announcer voice in an elevator telling a guy to commit a crime (this was my favourite), teen drug addicts thinking robbing a greenhouse of a drug dealer is a good idea, a teacher entering his home finds a knife to his throat because he opposes budget cuts to his school and a variety of other crime related topics.

Having loved the First Shift, hopefully there will be a second, third, fourth shift and even more to come in the future. Since the product description page doesn't list the stories, and like me you might buy various author collections just for a particular author and you're wondering what their story is, just in case you've read it before, here are the 28 stories.

Stinger by Dennis Tafoya
Two Men and a Car by Andrew Nette
Amateurs by Jedidiah Ayres
Half-Jack by Roger Smith
Glory B by Josh Converse
The Decider by Charlie Stella
Microprimus Volatitus by Greg Bardsley
Lady Killer by Hilary Davidson
In the Stretch of Dare by Kieran Shea
Prophet Wells and the River of Swine by Nate Flexer
The Prevailing Wind by Cameron Ashley
Experience Preferred by Patricia Abbott
The Method by Chad Eagleton
Bedlam by Ken Bruen
Of course You Know, This Means War by Jimmy Callaway
The Mind Prison by Dave Zeltserman
The Ravine by Steve Weddle
Through the Shadow of Roosevelt's Nose by Craig McDonald
Laughing at the Dead Man by Keith Rawson
Shafted by Leigh Redhead
2 984 000 Pounds of Pressure by Anonymous 9
Hearing Voices by Jonathan Woods
Juan Hundred Ounces by Liam Jose
Budget Cuts by Dave White
Green By, by Chris Holm
Luz Verder by Frank Bill
The Ladder by Adrian McKinty
Hundred Proof by Scott Wolven
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Factory Of Crime Stories, November 9, 2012
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I'm a fan of crime fiction. The harder boiled the better. I thoroughly enjoyed this collection and recommend it to my fellow crime fiction fans and to those wanting to check out the genre.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bite-size crime chunks that still catch in the throat, April 9, 2012
This review is from: Crime Factory: The First Shift (Paperback)
"The First Shift" is testament to the initial hard work of Dave Honeybone and the vision and innovation of Cam Ashley, Andrew Nette and the Crime Factory crew. They have managed to compile a diverse set of short stories into a blistering anthology, featuring some new talent and some well-renowned hands. The offerings range from darkest noir to seriously twisted fiction (one such memorable story involves a psychotic pet pygmy monkey). Highlights include the wonderful "Shafted" by Australian author Leigh Redhead, which gives fans a pre-cursor to how her character Simone Kirsch got her PI start. Also, a typically dark offering from Irish writer Ken Bruen tracks the vengeance of a released psychiatric patient. Bring on the "second shift"!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely sizzles from start to finish, November 21, 2011
The amazing team at Crime Factory Magazine - Keith Rawson, Cameron Ashley, and Jimmy Callaway - have put together an anthology of twenty-seven stories featuring an almost embarrassingly rich bounty of talent. Of course it would be unwieldy for me to review all twenty-seven stories, not to mention take the fun out of you discovering some of them on your own, so here are just a few of the ones that were highlights for me...

"Glory B." by Josh Converse - Ever wondered how robbery crews get together? I mean, do you have to be friends for life, or do you just answer an ad in the newspaper or something? Converse's taut tale takes a snapshot look at the process through which potential getaway driver Quinn auditions for a robbery crew's boss. Quinn has three attempts to impress with his driving skills and get a mock getaway right. Mess any one of them up and Quinn not only won't be driving the getaway, he won't be driving anymore period.

"Microprimus Volatitus" by Greg Bardsley - You will either find this to be wickedly funny or bizarrely offensive. The story involves a love triangle. Randy begins dating Razelle, at first not aware that she's been living with Helmut for four years. And though she thinks of Helmut as just a roommate, Helmut is passionately in love with Razelle, which of course causes an intense conflict when Randy hits the scene. Oh, did I mention Helmut is a tiny little monkey the size of a canary? Yeah. And he's determined to do whatever it takes to get Randy out of the picture, including going to war. I found the story wickedly funny; I'm just weird that way.

"The Method" by Chad Eagleton - Terrence Bledsoe, a "fixer" for the rich and famous, receives a call to help sweep things under the rug when an actress who already has legal and P.R. problems gets in a car accident out in the desert one night. It doesn't help matters that she's on her way home after visiting her boyfriend, an A-List Hollywood star. When he arrives, however, Bledsoe's not convinced things went down the way he was told... who's really doing the acting, and what's really getting fixed?

"The Ravine" by Steve Weddle - "The Ravine" absolutely knocked my socks off. Roy Alison's road in life has been more than a little bumpy. Drug addiction, a car accident involving fatalities, a bar fight gone wrong, a stint or two in prison. He's been through a lot in his thirtyish years. We meet him working as a drone for Caldwell Parish, acting as a process server of sorts delivering notices to residents about violations of the municipal code. Having worked hard to overcome "the darkness" in himself, Roy comes face to face with a man with a shotgun determined to test Roy's resolve to stay on the straight and narrow. Author Steve Weddle does with character development in "The Ravine" in 7 pages what a great many authors can't do in an entire book. Simply brilliant writing.

"Green" by Chris F. Holm - Stoners aren't the sharpest tools in the shed, let's just get that out of the way. They do, however, make for a highly entertaining story in this offering from Holm, especially when their stoner logic determines that ripping off a greenhouse out in the country is the most efficient way to replenish their stash. After all, how hard could it be to bust the glass out of a greenhouse and rob from a hippie with a grow license? Plenty hard it turns out, as what starts off as an amusing misadventure goes horribly off the rails.

Featuring stories from established authors and hungry up-and-comers alike, Crime Factory: The First Shift absolutely sizzles from start to finish.
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Crime Factory: The First Shift
Crime Factory: The First Shift by Roger Smith (Paperback - September 17, 2011)
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