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Joe Hartlaub

Biography

Joe Hartlaub

Senior Writer
josephhartlaub@gmail.com

Joe Hartlaub is senior writer/reviewer for Bookreporter.com and has been with the site since 1997. In addition to reviewing for Bookreporter.com, Joe has had a number of short stories published in the crime and horror fields and is an actor, having had a supporting role in the critically acclaimed film LA-308. An entertainment attorney specializing in music and publishing, Joe lives in Westerville, Ohio with his family, who permit him to do a number of things that he probably shouldn't. He describes himself as a boring guy who lives a very interesting life. He has been a vociferous reader since he was four years old, starting with the Dick Tracy and Little Orphan Annie comic strips, before graduating to the Hardy Boys mystery series (the original one) before being thoroughly corrupted by Mickey Spillane and Richard Prather.

Joe Hartlaub

Reviews by Joe Hartlaub

by Philip Norman - Biography, Music, Nonfiction

For half a century, Eric Clapton has been acknowledged to be one of music's greatest virtuosos, the unrivalled master of an indispensable tool, the solid-body electric guitar. Winner of 17 Grammys, the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame's only three-time inductee, he is an enduring influence on every other star soloist who ever wielded a pick. Now, with Clapton's consent and access to family members and close friends, rock music's foremost biographer returns to the heroic age of British rock and follows Clapton through his distinctive and scandalous childhood, early life of reckless rock 'n' roll excess, and twisting and turning struggle with addiction in the ’60s and ’70s.

by Mike Lupica - Fiction, Mystery

Sunny Randall is "on" again with Richie, the ex-husband she never stopped loving and never seemed to be able to let go, despite her discomfort with his Mafia connections. When Richie is shot and nearly killed, Sunny is dragged into the thick of his family's business as she searches for answers and tries to stave off a mob war. But as the bullets start flying in Boston's mean streets, Sunny finds herself targeted by the deranged mastermind of the plot against the Burke family, whose motive may be far more personal than she could have anticipated.

by Timothy Hallinan - Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller

Los Angeles burglar Junior Bender and his girlfriend, Ronnie, are in desperate need of cash to hire a kidnapper to snatch Ronnie’s two-year-old son back from her ex. A nameless woman in an orange wig has offered Junior 50 grand to break into the abandoned house of a recently deceased 97-year-old recluse, Daisy Horton, and steal a doll from her collection. Junior figures there must be something hidden inside the doll that can get him in a heap of trouble. It doesn’t take long for him to realize that he’s not the only one looking for the doll. When an old friend ends up murdered, Junior decides he will stop at nothing to figure out who the woman in the orange wig is, and why she wants the doll badly enough to leave a trail of bodies in her wake.

by Oakley Hall - Fiction, Hard-boiled Mystery, Mystery

It begins on Death Row, with a condemned man refusing the services of the lawyer assigned to defend him. It begins with a beautiful woman dead, murdered --- Vassilia Caroline Baird, known to all simply as V. But the story this novel tells begins years earlier, on a struggling farm in the shadow of the Great Depression and among the brawling "cat skinners" of Southern California, driving graders and bulldozers to tame the American West. And the story that unfolds is a lyrical outpouring of hunger and grief, of jealousy and corruption, of raw sexual yearning and the tragedy of the destroyed lives it leaves in its wake.

by James Patterson - Fiction, Suspense, Thriller

A leader has fallen, and Alex Cross joins the procession of mourners from Capitol Hill to the White House. Then a sniper's bullet strikes a target in the heart of DC. Alex Cross' wife, Bree Stone, newly elevated chief of DC detectives, must solve the case or lose her position. The Secret Service and the FBI deploy as well in the race to find the shooter. Alex is tasked by the new President to lead an investigation unprecedented in scale and scope. But is the sniper's strike only the beginning of a larger attack on the nation?

by Ken Bruen - Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller

After much tragedy and violence, Jack Taylor has a new woman in his life, a freshly bought apartment, and little sign of trouble on the horizon. Once again, though, trouble comes to him, this time in the form of a wealthy Frenchman who wants Jack to investigate the double-murder of his twin sons. Meanwhile, Jack is roped into looking after his girlfriend’s nine-year-old son, and is in for a shock with the appearance of a character out of his past. The plot is one big chess game, and all of the pieces seem to be moving at the behest of one dangerously mysterious player: a vigilante called “Silence,” because he’s the last thing his victims will ever hear.

by Jason Starr - Fiction, Suspense, Thriller

Jack and Maria live in a claustrophobic Manhattan apartment with their eight-year-old son. While they both love Jonah, they don’t seem to have much else in common. When Jack finds out about a new extramarital dating app, he quickly meets Sophia, who goes by the online name Fugitive Red. Jack and Sophia hit it off and have a steamy online affair. When Jack agrees to rendezvous with Sophia at her townhouse, he discovers her dead and immediately becomes a person of interest in the murder. Convinced that Sophia’s husband is the killer, Jack sets out to prove his innocence and save his marriage. Instead, he leaves a trail of dead bodies in his wake. Worse, he discovers that he has been the victim of a sinister scheme that may cost him his life.

by Randall Silvis - Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller

Products of their run-down Pennsylvania mining town, three brothers grapple with their lives in decline. Harvey drives a delivery truck; Stevie works odd jobs; and Will is a struggling bar owner whose wife, Laci, is edging toward desperation when her boss offers her more money…for a price. Then, in this tight circle where prosperity is rare --- and hope, even rarer --- comes a breaking point in a simple but indefensible slight. When Harvey gets shafted by his brother-in-law in a deal over a vintage Indian motorcycle, he enlists the help of Stevie and Will to set things right. But the revenge plan goes awry, and the three men stumble upon a shocking secret that, if revealed, would upend their lives.

by Joe Ide - Fiction, Mystery

A series of high-profile wins in his hometown of East Long Beach have made Isaiah Quintabe (IQ for short) so notorious that he can hardly go to the corner store without being recognized. Dodson, once his sidekick, is now his full-fledged partner, hell-bent on giving IQ's PI business some real legitimacy. So when a young painter approaches IQ for help tracking down her missing mother, it's not just the case Isaiah's looking for, but the human connection. And when his new confidant turns out to be connected to a dangerous paramilitary operation, IQ falls victim to a threat even a genius can't see coming.

written by Helene Tursten, translated by Marlaine Delargy - Fiction, Humor, Short Stories

Ever since her father's untimely death, Maud has lived in the family's spacious apartment in downtown Gothenburg rent-free, thanks to a minor clause in a hastily negotiated contract. That was how Maud learned that good things can come from tragedy. Now in her late 80s, Maud contents herself with traveling the world and surfing the net from the comfort of her father's ancient armchair. Over the course of her adventures --- or misadventures --- she will handle a crisis with a local celebrity who has her eyes on Maud's apartment, foil the engagement of her long-ago lover, and dispose of some pesky neighbors. But when the local authorities are called to investigate a dead body found in Maud's apartment, will Maud finally become a suspect?