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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There's a new master in town ..., September 27, 2013
By 
Charlie Stella (Fords, New Joisey) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Grind Joint (Paperback)
Grind Joint (about a casino going up in a small town) features local police and the nasty politics within the department, an up and coming real estate mogul who has bought his way to power, the one mistake he's made (partnering with the wrong people--the Russian mob), some wonderful relationships between the well-rounded cast of characters and some of the poorer folk and dialogue as good as any out there surrounded by some superb narrative.

There is a home feel to the book that I had an unfair advantage with (having read a prior novel with the same core characters). Doc Dougherty is a smart cop very protective of his own (including his family and home town--Penns River). He has an out-of-town cousin Nick in Penns River for a quick visit. The two are dynamic characters and as real as you'll find in literature anywhere. There are other cops, civilians, witnesses, drug dealers, etc., but nothing is shirked in the development of these characters; none of them are picked from a formula/stereotypical shelf. King does a magnificent job of distinguishing one from another and each will tug at the strings of your heart in one way or another.

Frankly, this is masterful writing; a book that should be picked up post haste because if features terrific writing.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Author Knows Dialogue, July 28, 2014
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This is a cop book with plenty of action. What makes it better than most is the author's outstanding ability to make the characters and the neighborhoods depicted seem so real. I am not from Pennsylvania, but am prepared to accept locales and people from there based on the excellent presentation of this writer.

The story? A completely believable contest between thugs and the police who must try to control them. A low cost casino (grind joint) is being opened in a town that is not sure the casino is wanted. As it turns out, for the very reasons some people have voted against it, the casino, run by a member of the Russian Mafia, brings murder and lawlessness to town. The fight of lawman against mafia man is not only realistic, but packed with action.

The dialogue in this story is very realistic sounding. It is not often that I get to praise an author for making dialogue true to the ear, but this is one of those times. I want more Dana King, and I want it soon!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Opened up a new genre for me, June 19, 2014
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I don't ever read crime/mob books, but Grind Joint has convinced me to branch out into the genre. I enjoyed the police procedural aspect, and the different points-of-view, which swept me up and kept me turning pages. It was a human story -- and a story about a small town down on its luck -- along with a crime story. Great characters. Loved the villain.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Old school, January 16, 2015
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I had a couple of thoughts while reading Grind Joint which I’ll try to link together (probably poorly so be warned). The Friends of Eddie Coyle is highly regarded as one of the best crime novels ever (the movie is a classic too) but Higgins’s fiction has seemed to have fallen out of favor some. Writers now aren’t talking about his work in the same way that they talk about others. Also a certain kind of crime fiction seems to have fallen out of favor too; fiction with a bigger cast of characters on both side of the law, usually has some mob focus (think Higgins, think Dead City by Shane Stevens). In fact, a well known publisher has “Books about organized crime aren’t our thing.” in their submission guidelines. It seems like there are a couple of writers that are influenced by Higgins and have written or are writing these types of books. Grind Joint is one of them. Grind Joint has cops, small town mobsters, a PI, an old spook, and many others. We see all of these characters deal with a murder case, turf wars, political machinations, home invasions and so much more. King has said that he’s been influenced by The Wire (itself a visual fiction of the type talked about above), and it shows.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GRIND JOINT NAILS IT, February 25, 2014
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This review is from: Grind Joint (Paperback)
It is hard to imagine a novel that so perfectly nails the miieau in which it is set. And this is not the stereotypical NY/NJ or LA setting. We are in western Pa and things are not good. Unemployment is high, people are stressed and a casino is moving into town. This is a mob story at its very best. The on- the -nose voice never waivers. The characters are rich, varied, funny, scary, real. Dana King should be well known. Make it happen by reading this.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Check This One Out, December 16, 2013
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This review is from: Grind Joint (Paperback)
One of the chief pleasures (among many) of Dana King's GRIND JOINT is his unerring sense of place and people. King doesn't just know western Pennsylvania ; he inhabits it in every sense of the word. The same can be said for his skill with the conventions of the crime novel. GRIND JOINT is a great read and doesn't disappoint on any level. Readers will be glad to have made the acquaintance of Doc Dougherty and to have walked the streets of Penns River. Highly Recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The dialogue in this novel is fantastic. The characters are varied, July 15, 2014
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The dialogue in this novel is fantastic. The characters are varied, dynamic and interesting. Numerous subplots keep the ball rolling, and the good guy wins. What more can you ask?
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5.0 out of 5 stars This author ROCKS!, July 15, 2014
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Oh, yeah! I've read a few Dana King novels now and each one is golden. They start as they mean to go on, with plenty of action, great characters, and keeping the reader guessing. All the top stuff!
I was lucky enough to get quite a few of Dana King novels for free (why do these top notch authors give their work away for free? As soon as you read his work, you'll be hooked too! Maybe that is why...)
In this novel, police detective 'Doc' Dougherty and his cousin, PI Nick Fuorte (hope I spelt that correctly!) go up against the town's money men & movers and shakers who wish to open a casino in the town of Penns River, plus Doc has to tangle with the partner in all of this, a shady Russian gangster and his spoilt psychotic son, who makes the kind of baddie we all love to hate. It is a police procedural in a way, if you like police procedurals where the police throw the procedures out the window...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, July 7, 2014
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Grind Joint is the best crime novel I've read in some time. Lean and gripping, with a palpable sense of place and great interaction between characters, both major and minor. King is in a very select group of authors when it comes to dialogue--not only in the crime field, but across the genre spectrum.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great second book in series., July 7, 2014
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This is the second book in the series and I can hardly wait for another. Worst Enemies was the first book and then I read this and it was very good. Ben "Doc" Dougherty is a detective at Penns River and is a bit unorthodox. I love the way he thinks and am looking forward to more books in the series. Wish they could keep he and his cousin in the same town because they work so well together. Please continue the series, I love them all.
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Grind Joint
Grind Joint by Dana King (Paperback - November 21, 2013)
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