Sunday, 3 February 2013

Beautiful, Naked and Dead by Josh Stallings

Moses McGuire is depressed. He's so depressed that he's considering ending it all. However, his delivery of hot lead to his grey matter is rudely interrupted by a call for help from a friend. Moses jumps on his trusty Norton and heads over to the strip joint where he works to rendezvous with his damsel in distress.

Beautiful, Naked and Dead is the literary equivalent of a Tarantino movie. You have all the ingredients needed: Mobsters, wise cracking characters, fast cars, girls and guns. However, Josh Stallings delivers so much more with this novel than a film could. You believe every single line his characters deliver. There is intelligence to the characterisation that transcends novels usually found in this genre. The crowning glory is Moses himself. Stallings has created not only a truly three dimensional character here but some of snappiest dialogue and downbeat wisdom come from McGuire’s stubborn cranium.

This novel was also, perhaps, the best edited e-book I think I've come across. There wasn't a wasted line or word in it. The next time the literati look down their collective noses at this genre I will, with a smug smile, withdraw from behind my back a copy of Beautiful, Naked and Dead and defy them to find fault with it. This ladies and gentleman is quite simply a benchmark to aspire to. Stallings pick up your phone that's Tarantino on the other end with film options.

Genre:  Crime / Gangster
Publisher:  Heist Publishing
Format:  E-Book & Paperback
Rating:  5/5


  1. It's a stunner!

  2. Thank you for the kind words. Literati are a mercurial lot. The head of a west coast university told a friend he was a huge fan of mine, though he would never admit it to his colleagues. For me, a books a book. "Crime fiction is about us, just with guns." - Charlie Huston (he admitted he may have stolen the quote but doesn't know from where.)

  3. And the next novel with Moses, Out There Bad, is even more stunning when Moses makes a soul killing choice to save a child. Every victory for Mcguie comes at a cost in blood from the bleakest kind of victory. Simply put, Josh Stallings' work is a lesson in how to do it right.