Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Tough As Leather by Jochem Vandersteen is a collection of short stories featuring Noah Milano, an L.A. security specialist/private investigator. Milano is cut from fairly standard fictional PI cloth yet has his own distinctions; he's young, hip, digs rock and roll music … oh yeah, and he's the son L.A.'s most popular mob boss. At one time he was his father's top "fixer" for mob problems. But now, as the result of a promise made to his dying mother, Noah has broken away from the family business and is operating on the right side of the law … mostly.
Vandersteen is a Dutch writer who does a nice job of capturing the L.A. scene. Once in a while there is an awkwardly-turned phrase, but these are few and far in between. Other-wise The stories are fast-paced and exciting, with some clever plot twists. Milano is engaging, can be tough when he needs to be, tender when it's called for, and he gets off some good wisecracks as well. The author (who also puts out a very informative blog — ) has done his homework on the genre, is clearly enamored of it, and has created his own noteworthy "son of Spade".
The twelve stories presented here as a Kindle eBook are bound to be appreciated by hardboiled PI fans and the price is a steal almost worthy of hiring Milano to investigate the crime.

Jochem has also just released a one-shot Milano story, Honey Trap, which deals with blackmail and theft within the perfume industry, an interest and seldom-used plotline.

If you have not yet discovered Vandersteen and/or Milano via their many appearances on various web zines, either or both of these eBook releases are a good way to correct the oversight.

Persevere --- WD

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