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Bloodstains On The Wall: Three Stories From The Dark Side Paperback – March 26, 2011
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"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Learn more
About the Author
After thirty years as a professional musician (piano), Mike Dennis left Key West and moved to Las Vegas in 2006 to become a professional poker player. He turned to writing when his first novel, The Take, was picked up by a publisher in 2009.
His next book, Setup On Front Street, was the first of a series of Key West Nocturnes, standalone noir novels. These books will lift the veil on Key West and reveal it as a true noir city, on a par with Los Angeles, New Orleans, or Miami. The Ghosts Of Havana is the second book in that set. The third, Man-Slaughter, is now available, and the fourth, The Guns Of Miami, will be coming in 2013.
Mike has also introduced the Jack Barnett/Las Vegas series, about a reluctant ex-private investigator living in Sin City, USA. The first entry in that series, a novelette called Temptation Town, is now available. The second installment, Hard Cash, also a novelette, is currently available, as is the third entry, a full novel called The Downtown Deal.
Mike also has a collection of short stories, Bloodstains On The Wall. In addition, his stories have been published in A Twist Of Noir, Mysterical e, Powder Burn Flash, Slow Trains, and The Wizards Of Words 2009 Anthology.
In addition, Mike has an experimental rockabilly novel called Cadillac's Comin', a hard tale of a one-hit wonder who recorded for Sun Records in the chaotic early days of rock & roll.
In December, 2010, Mike moved back to Key West, where he enjoys year-round island living with his wife Yleana, whom he married on a warm December night in 2012 on the rooftop of an apartment building in Havana, Cuba.
Top customer reviews
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I want to say Dennis stretches the genre in the other two stories, but that isn't really true. "The Devil Drives A Big Mercedes" has the characteristics associated with the genre, yet the plot still seemed unique or somehow fresh to me. Maybe that is a factor of what I have or haven't read in the past.
"Block" also fits the definitions I've seen of noir, although it uses a twist or two and a touch of genre mixing to get there. I've found that my reaction is either hot or cold to music and books that are self-referential. If they have a theme on the joys or trials of being a musician or a writer, I'll either hate it, feeling it is too pretentious or has nothing I can relate to, or love it, often because it is a subject the creator understood well. "Block" falls solidly in the loved it category, as does the full collection.
**Originally written for "Books and Pals" book blog. May have received a free review copy. **
Really liked Block - had a Twilight Zone feel to it. Check it out!
What I like the most about this collection is the character development of the sociopath in each story. While completely amoral in nature and having committed some rather horrible acts, there were things about the characters that the average person could still relate to, making the reading of their stories somewhat uncomfortable at times as you could see little bits of yourself in these otherwise awful people. In the second story, The Devil Drives a Big Mercedes, I even found myself sympathetic to the bad guy, feeling his childhood pain that changed him as an adult and made him the way he was.
I picked this book up last night and did not put it down again until I was finished. The stories grabbed you and wouldn't let go!