Bloody Murdock

I should note the following review is for a book published by Camel Press. Cocaine Zombies was also published by Camel Press and thus you can determine if you feel the review is biased. I feel the need to provided this information for the sake of full disclosure. I do not receive compensation for my reviews. That being said if someone finds the need to send me fruit roll ups and/or candy bars that is ok.

I one problem with reviewing mysteries is that there is the potential to spoil a part of the book for people who have not read it already. Bloody Murdock, however, is not really a “who done it”. The real question is not who but why.

Matt Murdock is a tough private eye who reminds me of a character in a pulp fiction detective novel from the 40’s or 50’s. He enjoys the ladies and the only reason he does not refer to them as dames is because he was born at the wrong time. He also enjoys a cocktail every so often and is no stranger to danger.

The novel starts out with two murders. A young actor and actress are run off the road and killed. Matt Murdock is hired to act as a body guard for a guy who photographed the dead girl. He was also at the party where she was last seen alive. Mr. Murdock is soon fired by his new client who winds up dead soon after.

After being let go from his first job he is hired by the sister of the woman who died in the car. His new client is attractive but has a chip on her shoulder. She is also missing part of one of her legs (a fact that becomes important later in the story).

Mr. Murdock is soon fired from his second employer as well. It appears Matt can’t take a hint because he doesn’t let himself slow down just because he is not wanted. He clearly needs to solve the mystery even if he doesn’t get paid for it.

Mr. Murdock gets shot, attacked by body builders, and rejected by the sister of the woman who was murdered. Yet, despite all of this he still continues his search for the killers. As tenacious as a bull dog and as tough as a bowl of nails he plunges head first into his work.

I don’t want to say too much more for fear of spoiling the surprises. The story does involve the pornographic movie business, snuff films and the darker side of the Hollywood. It also involves guns and tenacity.

If your looking for a book with a protagonist who is as tough as steel but has a heart of gold Matt Murdock is a good choice. The City of Angels and the surrounding areas come alive in this novel. I look forward to reading some of Mr. Murdock’s other adventures.

Fear & Violence

I was reading some comments about the original Wizard of Oz in relation to the new movie Oz the Great & Powerful. One comment mentioned how as a nine year old child they had to stop watching the Wizard of Oz because they were so afraid of the flying monkeys.  I don’t think a nine year old today would find the monkeys nearly so terrifying.

I love a good fright. I enjoy scary movies and I hope my books provide a few chills. That being said children today are far more desensitized to fear and violence than the children of a generation ago. Movies, television and video games have become increasingly scarier and more violent over time. Children are also exposed to violence at a younger age.

Fear can be a good thing. If we felt no fear mankind would certainly have died out long ago. If our fearless ancestors stood unafraid before angry lions they would have been lunch and we would not have been born. Can fear be a bad thing? Of course, fear without purpose can be the cause of many mental problems. These problems include but are not limited to anxiety, depression and paranoia.

It seems as time goes on society has decreased external fears related to flying monkeys and increased internal fears about whatever is bothering us. Movie audiences are like drug addicts. Movies seem to get darker, more gruesome and scarier as time goes on. Yet, I would argue that despite these changes films have less of an impact on their audience. We have increased our tolerance to fear and violence and need more to obtain the same effect.

In the 1950’s the United States Congress argued that evil comic books such as, Tales for the Crypt #40 poisoned the minds of our youth. They argued that reading these types of comics led to Juvenile Delinquency. Today the same comic would be considered mild. It would also be nice if children were reading anything.

You would think given the issues before our Congress today they would be done wasting their time with such silliness. After all we do have an enormous national debt and plenty of issues related to the economy to keep them busy. Yet in January of 2013 Congress was arguing over a bill to research the impact of violent video games. A stark reminder of how far we have failed to go since the 1950’s.The best way to reduce Juvenile Delinquency is to have jobs available for teens and their parents.

It is not unreasonable to conclude there is too much violence aimed at children in games, television and the movies. I’m not nearly so concerned about violence in literature because kids simply don’t read as much as they use to or should. Thus, children reading about violence is still better then not reading. I should also note that I’m not nearly so concerned about the impact on our children by witnessing fictional violence as I am about corporate messaging. I think it was in the movie Supersize Me where more of the children in a classroom could recognize Ronald McDonald than Jesus or the President.

I would argue that as a nation there is probably nothing to do about violence in video games, television, and movies. I don’t want Congress to sensor what games or movies can be produced. Yet, as parents there is a lot we can do to limit our own children’s exposure to inappropriate materials. Obviously if there was not a demand for violent games or movies they wouldn’t be produced. Maybe, we have evolved too far. Maybe without real fear in our daily lives we have had to search for illusory fears. Maybe if we had to run or hide from real, “lions and tigers and bears” we wouldn’t need to watch movies in search of a good fright.

I just hope Oz the Great & Powerful lives up to the hype. I might write a review after I have scene it. If my review excludes flying monkeys I was likely too scared to look.





General Information and Comments

I do read the comments people post. The publisher was kind enough to set up this blog. As such I appreciate questions on how I set up this post but am unable to answer these questions.

Another common topic people comment on are generic compliments. Everyone loves to hear a kind word. Yet, at the same time a compliment like, “I enjoyed the blog” does not help me make it better.

I do find it useful when people make comments that are specific good or bad. Also, if there are topics people would like to see a blog written about feel free to drop me a comment.

If you would like to make a positive comment I would love to know specifically what you enjoyed. I comment is not very helpful if I cant tell if you ever read the post. Negative comments are also appreciated provided they are specific and it is clear you read the post.

I do want this blog to fun and relevant. Thank you for reading this blog. I love to read your comments. Yet, specific and clear comments are the most helpful.