Kraj plies his trade over a short span, moving from petty theft to strong-arming tips from people at the door, breaking up redneck fights, protecting the club’s nubile female staff and collecting gambling debts owed Tricky Ricky. Kraj eventually gets sucked further and further into Ricky’s underworld plans, where he wants to be seen as a man on the come-up, but he has problems moving up in Ricky's organization will never solve. His sister Ana, missing since the Croatian War for Independence, never strays far from his mind.
Kraj, together with his sometime girlfriend Cami, newly become manager of a franchisee McDonald’s, and his manager Mikael. negotiates his way through underground fight clubs, prostitution rings, drug deals, petty thievery, and of course, murder. Tricky Ricky gives Kraj a great deal of rope and autonomy to operate.
Will he hang himself with it or swing?
Praise for KRAJ THE ENFORCER:
“Kraj is a human wrecking ball, hiding a tactical mindset, along with his sense of humor. Barnes’ Croat knockaroud guy is masterfully subtle, yet amplified by the colorful characters around him.” —Scotch Rutherford, Switchblade Magazine
“Rusty Barnes leads us on a pulpy underworld adventure populated by toughs, scumbags, henchmen, double-crossers, pimps, and con men of the first water with his latest collection The Kraj Stories. Opening the book is stepping into the cage and each turn of the page is a quick jab to the face. You’ll close the book and find yourself with a bloody nose, a crushed larynx, and, if you’re really lucky, that you’ve been set on fire.” —Eryk Pruitt, author of What We Reckon
Three months after a shootout with the renegade Pittman family robbed him of his brother, Matt Rider is trying to put his life back together. His wounds are many, his sworn enemy Soldier Pittman may wake up and begin to tell what he knows, his wife is on the knife edge of sanity, and his teen daughter has gone missing with the son of his sworn enemy.
In a whirlwind series of killings, thefts and rash decisions, Rider ends up muling drugs across the Canadian border for the Pittman family in order to save his daughter and wife from an even worse fate, even as he betrays them. Rider must choose between what is best for his conscience and what his sometimes murderous instincts tell him: kill them all.
Investigating a deer-poaching incident that lands him in deep trouble—with a broken ankle and multiple bullet wounds—wildlife conservation officer Matt Rider finds himself at odds with members of the renegade Pittman family, including clan leader Soldier Pittman.
When a large sum of Pittman’s drug money comes up missing, Soldier Pittman is convinced Rider stole it. Rider’s instincts are to call on his trusted brother Randy and his friend Dean Blackwell to help him out, but none of them imagine the lengths to which Soldier Pittman will go to get his drug money back.
Praise for RIDGERUNNER:
“Rusty Barnes has done it again. Ridgerunner is a well-oiled, perfectly crafted shotgun of a novel, one that delivers just as much heart as it does gunpowder. No one else working today can showcase so much humanity in such dark places. It’s a genuine thrill to see what Barnes can do with twenty-six letters and a handful of characters.” —Sheldon Lee Compton, author of The Same Terrible Storm and Brown Bottle
“With Ridgerunner, Rusty Barnes has earned a place at the table with hardscrabble-noir poets like Woodrell, Wolven, and—yes—Thompson. This short novel packs a wicked punch that will leave you shaken and wanting more. Drop whatever you’re doing and get your hands on it.” —Patrick Shawn Bagley, author of Bitter Water Blues
“Rusty Barnes has something special here—the narrative equivalent of a fist to the gut, followed up with a well-placed kick in the teeth. You’re going to want to get yourself a snack to go with Ridgerunner, because once you start reading this book you’ll forget to eat. It’s a non-stop thrill ride from page one as Barnes blends mayhem and heart in equal doses, giving the reader a tour into the souls of men and their vices, exposing the lengths they’ll go to protect what’s theirs.” —CS DeWildt, author of Love You to a Pulp
“A guttural and unrelenting survey of a people and place that is not lawless, but, rather, governed solely by its own backcountry creed. Ridgerunner blurs the boundaries between lawmen and outlaws. Barnes has delivered the stuff of fine fiction.” —David Joy, author of Where All Light Tends to Go
“Barnes starts his story with a fast boil and wrenches up the gas on every page, never relenting until the lid pops off and scalds the hell out of you. Ridgerunner is brutal, satisfying, and left me looking forward to his next book.” —Samuel W. Gailey, author of Deep Winter
“Jim Burke says he works the pages till, when you pick them up, they crackle in your hand. That’s Rusty Barnes’ Ridgerunner. From the first line it crackles: it’s alive, moving about, and won’t be still.” —James Sallis
A curated collection of photography from European and American artists, interview with award winning Fabien Nury on noir comics thriller "Black Rock", and some of the best voices in mystery and suspense are among the other highlights.
The issue features:
Stories by Walter Mosley, Brendan DuBois, Jill D. Block, Brodie Lowe, Rusty Barnes, Erica Wright, J.B. Stevens, Matt Phillips, Tom Larsen, and Jack Smiles.
Revisit of the classic essay "The Passing of the Detective".
Interviews and Reviews by Dan Fesperman, Fabien Nury, and Jerry Holt.
Photography by Michael Hemy, Marta Bevacqua, Tom Butler and more...
This issue also features a preview of new Tyler Cross noir comics and a deep dive into the recent work of Scandinavian legend Gunnar Staalesen.
An elegantly crafted quarterly issue, our Summer 2018 issue will make a perfect companion or gift for avid mystery readers and fans of literary crime fiction.