Thursday, August 01, 2013

Rag Baby - Mark Ellis

Mark Ellis is best known for his science fiction and action/adventure work (he's the creator of the highly successful series OUTLANDERS and served as its principal writer for many years) and for his excellent comic book scripts for THE WILD, WILD WEST, THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E., and THE JUSTICE MACHINE, among many others. But he started out to be a hardboiled crime writer, as he explains in this post on his blog, and he's reviving those early efforts, starting with the excellent novella "Rag Baby".

Bonaparte "Bone" Mizell is a retired DEA agent, security consultant, and unofficial private eye who's hired by a strip club owner and gangster to deal with a blackmailer. Soon enough, in classic hardboiled fashion, Bone finds himself involved in a twisty yarn including murder, drugs, and a deranged Iraq war vet who seems to have come back from the dead. The plot has enough surprises to be effective, but where Ellis really shines is in the relentless pacing of the story, the vivid depiction of its scruffy central Florida setting, and its rugged, likable hero. I suspect Bone Mizell will be making a return appearance in the future, and I'm certainly looking forward to reading more about him. For now, if you're a fan of hardboiled crime fiction, I recommend you check out "Rag Baby", which is available in a very affordable e-book edition. 


Anonymous said...

After reading his great blog post and seeing all the right names there - and a favorite of mine, "cracker" (his word) Florida, how can I resist?

Jeff M.

bobby v. said...

I just bought the book and it is a good read so far. Thanks James.