An anthology, built around pulp/noir, could easily become an accumulation of catchy expressions and yesteryear's themes. Pulp Ink 2 blows right past all that bidness into a highly varied, delightful collection. From several gritty tales heavily wrapped in excellent prose to others who drum up some outstanding turns of phrase while hammering out graphic yarns, the entire work is a must read. Excellent editing spreads the collection across the spectrum of humor to violence to gore to uncertainty to downright terror. Fail not to add PI-2 to your library.
If you start reading Pulp Ink 2 with the expectation of finding only the world of Noir you will be surprised -- that's not what PI-2 is concerned with. There was more to the world of pulp fiction than the honored tropes of PIs, femme fatales and sirens in the night. No, PI-2 is concerned with the other facets of Pulp -- the rainbow of other genres that the pulp magazine industry encompassed in its colossal scope. Each story is its own kind of cat. Every one of them will (if you're old enough or obsessed enough to remember them) conjure up one of those great old pulp magazine covers. In short, whatever you're expecting, prepare to be amazed. Like I said, these tales are their own kind of cat; some stalk, some purr and every single one of them has very sharp teeth.
At least that's how I felt. There was still plenty to like here, and plenty of variety. Plus, the themes and tone of this collection differed from "Pulp Ink 1." So I was by no means unhappy I read this collection and encourage getting it -- it's great entertainment value. Yet I thought a few more stories were slightly wide of the mark, and (with a few exceptions) the hits didn't engender quite the same reaction as the best of "Pulp Ink 1" did.