Blood and Mascara

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Pub Date Jul 09 2024 | Archive Date Oct 31 2024

Description

Iris is watching Bronze.

Bronze is following Carolyn.

Carolyn is sleeping with Billy.

Now Billy is dead and a killer is coming for them all.

Washington, DC, 1997:

A city stumbling toward recovery after a decade of violence, drugs, AIDS, and exodus. Bronze Goldberg—a soft-boiled private detective in a hard-boiled world—scrapes out a living stalking the steps of cheating spouses while bearing the trauma of the past like an open wound. But his latest assignment, surveilling the indiscretions of a stunning femme fatale, has entangled him in the murder of an up-and-coming congressman and made him the target of an unstoppable assassin. Meanwhile, the spiraling chaos of Bronze’s dangerous adventures has attracted the obsessive attention of his landlord, Iris Margaryan, a brilliant romance novelist who may hold the missing piece in the puzzle of Bronze’s fatal past. Can Bronze survive long enough to reach the ultimate truth?

A gripping noir mystery—both intensely provocative and darkly thrilling—Blood and Mascara descends into the depths of the human soul before exploding in an ending too shocking to ever forget.

Iris is watching Bronze.

Bronze is following Carolyn.

Carolyn is sleeping with Billy.

Now Billy is dead and a killer is coming for them all.

Washington, DC, 1997:

A city stumbling toward...


Available Editions

EDITION Paperback
ISBN 9798989986804
PRICE $17.00 (USD)
PAGES 292

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Featured Reviews

Your average PI knows that violence is always a possibility. For Bronze Goldberg, it’s little short of a certainty. Finding himself squarely in the sights of an assassin, Bronze can’t be sure who is really pulling the strings. Key political and industrial figures are caught up in a maelstrom of deception and vested interests and Bronze is the bullet awaiting a target.

Dizzyingly violent and written with such flair and panache, Blood and Mascara is absolutely what I want from a PI novel and a whole lot more. Outstanding.

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Read This Book!
"Iris is watching Bronze.
Bronze is following Carolyn.
Carolyn is sleeping with Billy.
Now Billy is dead and a killer is coming for them all."
This very neatly sums up all you need to know about the plot. The writing that tells this story is breathtakingly excellent. At under 300 pages every sentence is exquisite and precise.
The highest compliment a reader can give to a modern hardboiled detective novel is to compare it to the Golden Age of Sam Spade, Lew Archer, Phillip Marlow, and The Continental Op, and rate the novel as worthy. Blood and Mascara brings the classic formula into the 21st century with a protagonist, Bronze, who is flawed, courageous, a sucker for beautiful troubled women; a hero with a target on his back and grief in his heart.
Blood and Mascara is easily one of the best books I've read this year. It's hard to believe this is Colin Krainin's first adult novel, the writing is that good. I can only hope that this is the first in a series of Bronze books.
I was so blown away that I've waited two weeks to write this review to see if the details of the writing remained. It's a book I will certainly reread. Bronze is a palladian for the ages.
A huge thank you to NetGalley for this ARC. My review is independent of the publisher or the author.
READ. THIS. BOOK!

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In a market saturated with "thrillers" designed to keep the attention of those with a sixth grade reading level, Blood and Mascara is a delight. Unapologetically razor sharp and intelligent, I was riveted from the first chapter...what a delight Bronze and Iris were to encounter.

This book should be wearing a fedora.

Thank you to the publisher for gifting me a copy. It is my pleasure to write an honest review and I will be looking for much, much more from Mr. Krainin.

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Flawed, fatal, fabulous! This book was amazing and will stay with me for quite some time. Bronze is a great character that I hope to encounter again his trials and thought processes are detailed here in such a way as to drag you along for the ride. I became another character in the book, one that felt confused, scared, and invested in what was happening but also unaware of where the story was headed. Stick with this one, I think you’ll be glad you did

Thanks to #netgalley, #pulplit (the publisher) and the author for this arc to read.

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A genuine treat for fans of the classic detective novel. The writing is precise, the characters are sharp, so much intrigue and mystery. Colin Krainin has made a fan out of me!

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4.5 stars-
I’ve read thousands of books over the years and they all seem to come with their patterns and expectations. As a reader, we expect things to happen in a particular way while the author’s job is to make their story stand out in the most unique way possible.

This author has created a story that requires the reader to slow down and actually absorb the words and try to decipher their meaning and significance.

Written in multiple timelines from multiple points of view, I have to admit it took me a few too many chapters to get into the rhythm of the story. The characters are diverse with the main character seemingly telling this story from either a drunken haze or with a wee bit of mania attached.

Bouncing in between timelines, and from character to character, is admittedly a bit difficult. But once I hunkered down and just powered through, the story became much more clear. Short reading stints are not recommended! IMOHO

This is a murder investigation/mystery from a PI point of view. The author also incorporates seemingly random character points of view as well with minuscule details that circle back the deeper we progress into the story.

The author does not shy away from vivid, gruesome detail, and his imagery is cringe-worthy at some points. This book is definitely not one you read quickly, but one that you have to go with the flow and not overanalyze. The plot plays out as it unfolds layer by layer.

I have to say I felt bad for the main character, Bronze. He is a twisted soul with an amazing heart buried deep inside. The author depicts him perfectly. He is wounded and does not want to inflict that on those he cares about.

The other characters all offer key pieces to the overall plot in subtle detail which will come together at the explosive ending.

Blood and Mascara is a stunning murder mystery full of spins and detail which keeps the reader off balance in a slow methodical method. Take time to absorb and read between the lines. It is twisty and confusing, yet an intricate story with multiple timelines and pov’s. Gory and raw. Brilliant in its own way – this one is art.

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This author has a wonderful way with words, and the characters are "characters". You have a journalist turned private eye, a landlady that is an author, an international assassin, and politicians. What is the thread that weaves all these people together? You are compelled to keep reading to find the answer. I received this from Net Galley.

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What an amazing book. It was written with a pulp fiction flair. I was piecing together the different scenes throughout the book. As they started falling into place, I was stunned on more than one occasion. It was such a refreshingly new suspense thriller and I loved every second of it. It moved fast and I couldn’t piece it all together until the very end, which had such an impact. A must read!!

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"Blood and Mascara" by Colin Krainin is an extraordinary novel that captivates readers from the very first page. Krainin's masterful storytelling weaves a complex narrative filled with vivid characters, gripping tension, and unexpected twists. The book delves deep into themes of identity, resilience, and the blurred lines between reality and illusion, making it both thought-provoking and thrilling.

Krainin's prose is both elegant and evocative, painting scenes with a cinematic quality that brings the story to life. His ability to create atmosphere and build suspense is truly remarkable, keeping readers on the edge of their seats throughout. The characters are richly developed, each with their own distinct voice and compelling backstory, making them feel incredibly real and relatable.

"Blood and Mascara" is a testament to Krainin's talent as a writer. It's a novel that challenges and entertains in equal measure, leaving a lasting impression long after the final page is turned. This book is a must-read for anyone who appreciates finely crafted literature and a captivating, multi-layered story. Highly recommended.

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Because this starts in Iris' point of view, you could almost think this is a romance. Except that on the first page she isn't just thinking of Bronze, she is thinking of him bleeding. But that thread of almost romance runs through the story.

This is gritty noir fiction at its best. The kind that made me think of Bogart. Perhaps part of the reason I had that image in my mind the entire time is that Bronze reminded me very much of Rick from Casablanca. That elusive broken male that every woman wants and can't have. That broken male who wants every woman but pushes them all away. Not exactly the makings of a classic romance.

But this certainly had all the making of a great noir. The mystery is gritty and dark. You can almost hear Sam Spade growling at the beauty that walks through his door. Wanting her and hating himself for wanting her.

Throughout there is a comment on humanity, on trying--and perhaps failing--to do better, be better.

Very enjoyable read.

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This is a dark mystery with graphic scenes of violence and mention of rape. That being said, those scenes are essential to the book and not just gratuitous violence. It ends up being an excellent mystery/thriller. It’s a book about a recovering alcoholic reporter who has become a PI and in the course of his job learns something critical to a murder mystery. I found it a bit of a slow starter because I was distracted by the beautiful descriptions and meanderings of some of the early characters. After it took off, I went back to read the first couple of sections and they made better sense. Once the action started, it was a page turner and I stayed up until 4 am to finish it. I just couldn’t think of sleep until I found out what happened. Listening to the actual thoughts of the individuals….talk about character development, oh yes. And as an added bonus, it provoked me to thinking deep thoughts. I won’t take philosophy straight up but I can be seduced into it from a flanking position. I’d highly recommend this book. When I finished, I felt it one of the best mysteries I’d read in a couple of decades and that’s up against most of the bestsellers.

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