Crime-On-Crime Review Series #17: Bomb, by Les Edgerton

41ttO0Fp0GL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_(Editor’s note: This review was penned by author Dietrich Kalteis, who is also Crime Syndicate’s Guest Editor for Issue Two!)

Les Edgerton unleashes his driving style along with his first-hand knowledge of the underworld in his eighteenth book, Bomb, just released from Gutter Books.

Charles “Reader” Kincaid masterminds a complex and perfect crime by planning to strap a dirty bank president with a remote-controlled bomb. Reader is after the millions of drug dollars he knows are laundered through the bank every week. At least that’s what we’re supposed to think. The only mistake Reader makes is killing ex-cop Grady Fogarty’s brother, who gets in his way up in Ohio when Reader tries to get his hands on a remote-control system for the bomb he plans to build.

As Reader continues to set his plan in motion, the story shifts to New Orleans and takes one surprising twist after another. It turns out Charles “Reader” Kincaid is after much more than just getting his hands on the stolen millions. After he takes off for Louisiana, Grady follows a thin trail of clues, always getting closer and dead set to avenge his dead brother.

Edgerton’s terrific way with dialog springs his quirky characters to life in the colorful setting of New Orleans. And let me tell you, the man knows how to drive the pace. I love the way he strings in backstory without ever slowing the story. Here he builds the Reader character by telling us: “He’d spend hours outside with a sewing needle, a length of thread attached to it and a clear jelly glass full of water. He’d sit on the sidewalk and wait for the ants to come by. One by one, he’d stab the needle through their heads, impaling them, and then drop them into the water, holding on by the thread. Watch their legs wiggle. Sometimes, it took ten minutes for one of them to drown. Sometimes, he’d wait until the instant they quit moving their feet and take them out, let them revive. Then do it all over again. It wasn’t glee he felt, any more than he felt glee at the feel of the man pinioned beneath his knife now.”

When a friend of Edgerton’s first read the story, he said Les had invented the perfect crime, advising him to either commit the crime or publish the book. We can’t be sure how the former might have turned out, but I know you’ll agree, he made the right choice. Bomb is a two-fisted crime story, masterfully told, that offers a great set-up and powerful characters, with enough plot twists to keep any reader guessing and sitting on the edge of their seat right to the very last page. So, do yourself a favor and go out and get your hands on Bomb. (Find Les Edgerton online HERE)

images-1The Deadbeat Club is Dietrich Kalteis’s second novel, released by ECW Press in October, 2015. His third novel, Triggerfish will be released in June, 2016. His debut novel, Ride the Lightning, won the bronze medal in the 2015 Independent Publisher Awards for Canada West Regional Fiction and was hailed as one of the best Vancouver crime novels. More than 40 of his short stories have been published internationally, and his screenplay Between Jobs was a finalist in the Los Angeles Screenplay Festival. Online at


Fast Women and Neon Lights: Eighties-Inspired Neon Noir Anthology: Meet the Authors

Neon Noir Anthology Facebook event headerSo as many of you have read or heard online by now, our first themed anthology has been announced! In addition to the three issues of Crime Syndicate we put out each year, we will also be putting out one themed anthology each year, which includes a handful of submission-based stories alongside solicited stories from some of our favorite authors writing crime fiction today.

This year’s theme is “Fast Women and Neon Lights: Eighties-Inspired Neon Noir.” You can read more about the theme and guidelines as well as where to submit HERE, but in the meantime we’re proud to announce the participating authors.

The anthology will feature a forward written by pulp fiction writer and “B” movie aficionado, Will “The Thrill” Viharo. We’re thrilled to have Will on the project (pun intended), as his encyclopedic knowledge of old movies, styles, genres and aesthetics is second to none, and  his work was a portion of the inspiration for this anthology. Will will also be contributing his own short story to the mayhem as well!

Authors who are contributing stories include:

Tom Pitts

Dietrich Kalteis

Sam Wiebe

Kat Richardson

Steve W. Lauden

Eryk Pruitt

Greg Barth

Jen Conley

Chris Dewildt

Sarah M. Chen

Will Viharo


Crime Syndicate Editor-in-Cheif Michael Pool will be editing the anthology, as well as contributing a story to the fun. We have several more authors TBA, as well as a minimum of five slots in the anthology to be filled through submissions (Submit HERE). We’re incredibly excited for this theme, and you can expect amazing, ridiculous stories that absolutely make you pine for the eighties!