Dark and, at times, amusing fiction from award-winning author Dave Zeltserman

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Praise for my Morris Brick thrillers

Here's what some of the best crime thriller writers are saying about my Morris Brick thrillers:

“Whether he’s writing as Dave Zeltserman or Jacob Stone, you can expect the best in suspense writing.” —Max Allan Collins

“Rarely is an author so skilled at portraying such unremitting evil and the poignant, human side of his characters in a single tale.” —Jeffery Deaver

“Jacob Stone is equal parts Thomas Harris, Michael Connelly, Jo Nesbo, and Stephen King. CRUEL will leave you shaking . . . with fear, excitement, and the uncontrollable compulsion to keep on reading.” —Lee Goldberg
“A fascinating and exciting blend of misdirection, topsy-turvy, and violence.” —Reed Farrel Coleman

“A dark and different serial killer novel that will haunt the reader long after the book is closed.” —John Lutz

“Los Angeles has seldom seen such grisly fun. It’s James Ellroy meets Alfred Hitchcock on the psychotic side of the street.” —Paul Levine

“One of the most compelling, thrilling, and truth be told, at times look-away-from-page-frightening serial killer novels I've read in a long, long time.” —Vincent Zandri

Sunday, May 20, 2018

The Interloper on sale!

I've put my crime heist/conspiracy thriller THE INTERLOPER is on sale for $0.99. This is really 3 connected novellas (The Hunted, The Dame, The Interloper) although the 3rd is more the length of an old Gold Medal novel. I think these are a fun read written with a nod to the Richard Stark Parker novels although operating in this near-future dystopia which is explained in the first part, The Hunted.
"The Interloper is a blast of quick reading...the cold deadness of Willis is right on target with Richard Stark's Parker" Bookgasm

"dark tour-de-force of non-stop action and tension" Vincent Zandri, bestselling author of The Remains

"Stark meets Ludlum meets Forsyth in this tight and tricky opener to anew series from the always-innovative Dave Zeltserman." Roger Smith, author of Wake Up Dead

“The Dame reads like a Reader’s Digest Condensed Parker, with all of the elements that we know and love crammed into a scant 70 pages. There are the team assembled to do the job with weaker and stronger members, the execution of the heists, the crosses, and the violence. Zeltserman even plays around with point-of-view shifts similar to those in the Parker novels.” The Violent World of Parker

“Everything Dave Zeltserman writes is gold, and his new Hunted series is no exception.” Evan Lewis

Thursday, May 17, 2018

First paragraph: HUSK

Labor Day weekend is always a good time to pick up students hitchhiking, but that wasn’t why I pulled into the rest stop on the Massachusetts Turnpike. While I had fourteen empty burlap sacks in the back of the van that needed to be filled before heading back home, along with more than enough rope and gags to take care of things, I didn’t expect to be picking up any of them here. While there’s always the chance of finding a hitchhiker at a place like this, it’s a small one and I was expecting that most of the stragglers I’d be getting would be in cities off the Turnpike. Hartford, Bridgeport, and if need be, New Haven. For this trip I hoped to get mostly students. They were generally healthier and leaner than the usual types – the prostitutes, drifters, homeless, and other such stragglers that I’d often have to collect. Students also tended to carry more books, clothes, and money on them than those others, all of which was good to bring back to the homestead. If I ended up needing those others to fill up the back of the van, I would. But I was hoping for mostly students.

Review copies for HUSK are available now at Netgalley

Monday, May 14, 2018

The Glass Floor by Carlos Orsi

The Glass Floor by Carlos Orsi in the current issue of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine (May/June) is an intriguing locked-room mystery. Orsi is a Brazilian author who usually writes in his native Portuguese, but he wrote this story in English for EQMM, and with its grittiness and tone it reminded me of many of the Italian crime fiction I enjoy reading. While this story has the tone of a crime story, it's a locked-room mystery involving a man who is home for his father's funeral who finds himself being asked to solve a seemingly impossible murder--a man who'd been stabbed to death found alone in a room that was locked from the inside. Orsi for the most part plays fair with the reader--there's some stuff that's pulled out of midair, but the crucial elements to solve the mystery are all fair-play. As interesting as the mystery is, what makes this such a fun story to read is the writing and tone. Recommended.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Upcoming horror novel HUSK available for review

“Dave Zeltserman’s Husk is a compelling, quirky, twisty, smart, page-turner mix of horror, satire, and even a little romance with (yeah, I’ll say it) bite. A brutal love story perfect for our dark times.”
Paul Tremblay, author of Cabin at the End of the World

My upcoming horror novel HUSK can be requested by reviewers, librarians, bloggers, etc. now on Netgalley.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Suspect Zero by Benjamin Percy

Suspect Zero by Benjamin Percy in the latest issue of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine (May/June) is a compelling suspense story featuring a railroad train, a serial killer, and a woman alone in a house. Since this is a story about discovery, there's not much more I can say about it without ruining it. But this is a well-crafted story that kept me turning pages wanting to see what would happen next, and it's also a story that demonstrates how versatile Ellery Queen is as a mystery magazine- -this May/June issue has everything from noir, literary crime, amusing crime, traditional mysteries, hardboiled PI tales, and page-turning suspense.

Monday, May 7, 2018

It's Never Just the Wind by Hollis Seamon

It's Never Just the Wind by Hollis Seamon in the current issue of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine (May/June) is more literary fiction than a crime or mystery story. There's a crime of sorts, but this is more a story about the harsh consequences of one's actions. The reader can guess early on how the story is going to progress and end, but that's okay, and it's really the point of the story--the inevitability of it all. One person's bad, reckless choice leading to someone else's worse choice, and so on. Whether this is crime fiction or literary fiction, it's still a strong, powerful story. Recommended.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

The King of Gonna by Rick Helms

The King of Gonna in the current issue of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine (May/June) is a hardboiled PI story that's much more Continental Op than Philip Marlowe, which is fitting because the PI (Eamon Gold) operates in the same San Francisco streets that the Op once worked. The case involves tracking down a miscreant who has skipped bail and is reminiscent of the type of case the Op might've found himself in once upon a time, and the same with Gold's dogged pursuit of his prey, and the mean-streak he shows at the end. While this is in no ways a pastiche, I did at times almost feel like I was reading an Op story, and it doesn't get any better than that! Recommended.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

The Fires of Hell by Paul Halter

The Fires of Hell by Paul Halter in the current issue of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine (May/June) is an intriguing traditional mystery that has been translated from its original French. In the story, an army colonel seeks out a famed criminologist at a London club to tell him about a case he investigated years earlier when he was a police officer. The case involved a series of fires that were being predicted by a local clairvoyant. These appear to be arson except there was no possible way that these could've been set by an arsonist. Halter plays fair with the reader, and there is a rather elegant solution, yet Halter had me fooled. Halter also nicely demonstrates the use of misdirection. Recommended.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Where the Strange Ones Go by Steve Hockensmith

Where the Strange Ones Go by Steve Hockensmith in the current issue of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine (May/June) takes place in 1995 at a shadier than shady video dating company, and focuses on its sleazy owner, a cynical and jaded video operator, and a fresh-faced, straight-laced college student hired to add some lipstick to this pig. There are crimes and amusing video profiles sprinkled throughout this fun and pitch-perfectly written story. Hockensmith doesn't disappoint!