Tag Archives: mystery

New Awesome Indie: Regulation 19, by P.T. Hylton

regulation19The only way “Regulation 19” could have been better is if it was called “Regulation 20”. An incredibly memorable read, it mixes elements of thriller, mystery, sci-fi, and (possibly) fantasy. As Einstein once said, “When you mix sci-fi and mystery together and dribble in what may or may not be fantasy, you’ve got yourself a damn fine novel.” And I agree.

The plot:

I’m not telling you the plot. The plot is a mystery, to be honest. That’s what’s so damn maddening about this book—I never knew where the story was going beyond what I’d just read. Every page brought new information. Every chapter was like this gargantuan mystery/thriller/sci-fi (fantasy?) looming above me, laughing, and taunting and saying, “Try again Mr. Smart Guy!”

Ok, quick point on the plot and I shall say no more: it’s about a town in Tennessee. Something’s happened regarding the town. There are good guys, there are bad guys, there’s a REALLY bad guy, and that’s all I’m going to give you. Except for one thing: one of the characters is named “Frank.” You learn this right up front, so that ain’t gonna help you.

The writing:

P.T Hylton eschews both plodding pseudo didacticism and/or the emollient locution typifying some of indie-publishing’s more inchoate scribblers—and after you’ve read the book, I’m sure you’ll feel the same way. Furthermore, he writes like his ass is on fire. He writes so well he makes me want to slap my momma’s English teacher. P.T. Hylton’s writing is “invisible” – you don’t know you’re reading a book, you just know you can’t stop grinning and your wife’s given up on you coming to bed anytime soon. Hylton’s pacing is so maddeningly sneaky and miserly in the way he parcels out the juicy bits that I’m just a tad jealous of him. Everything in the book furthers the plot. Not a moment is wasted on nonsense because there simply isn’t time for that. If you go back and watch those Jim Butcher videos about scene->reaction->scene->reaction, Hylton seems to have channeled Butcher in the way he approached “Regulation 19”. When I interview him, I’m going to ask him about it. Also, he had near perfect editing. What’s not to love?

Depth of character:

The characters in the story all had their own voices and motivations. There weren’t any talking heads saying stuff like “as you know, bla bla bla can run 60 miles an hour” or whatever. There’s also a sort of manliness to the guys in the book, which almost makes me think P.T. Hylton was either in the military at some point or possibly in prison for armed robbery. Probably a military prison. When I do my interview with him, I’ll ask him about his “jacket” (he’ll know what I mean).

Disclaimer:

P.T. Hylton reviewed my book, “Kick”. He also did a book giveaway featuring my book. I kinda wish he hadn’t done these nice things. I would have told him not to if I knew his book was gonna be so amazing. I’m telling you all this because I believe in full disclosure. Would I have read his book if I hadn’t followed his blog, if one thing hadn’t led to another? Probably not. There are simply too many books out there to choose from, and these days I don’t get as much reading in as I’d like (sorry James Patterson, I’ll read something by you one day, I swear). But I have read it, and on my honor I promise you this was one of the most memorable sci-fi/mystery/(possibly fantasy) books I’ve read in a long time.

Awesome Indie Project:

One of the rules of the Awesome Indie Project is that if I know someone even slightly, or if they’re friends or whatever before I pick up their book, then I can’t add them to the list. This was meant to keep me from giving-in to the natural desire to help my friends. The problem is, awesome indies like P.T. Hylton get skipped over for the crime of being nice to me. I don’t want people to stop being nice to me or stop approaching me and saying, “Hey John, what’s up?” So I need to nix this rule. Just keep an eye out for the disclaimers, and give P.T Hylton a chance—he’ll blow your mind.

Without further adieu, I’m adding “Regulation 19” to the Awesome Indie list.

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King Kong ain’t got nothing on “Hyperlink from Hell”

I’m so lucky.  I get this in the mail either tomorrow or the next day, in paperback.  I read it as an ebook and I think my IQ jumped 25 points that week.  Because it’s a thinking sort of novel.  A literary mystery with a Tootsie center, which begs the question: how many licks does it take to solve this murder mystery? (Answer: 378 pages, the print length of the book).

I’ve gotten permission to post an excerpt from the book. A little background though:  the base story is about an insane asylum assistant who reads the biography of an ex-patient, looking for clues as to why her boss, the asylum director, is in a near catatonic state.  The excerpt below is from the biography. The murder part of the murder mystery is best explained by reading the book.

Excerpt Begins:

“Oh, enough about you! Let’s talk about me,” Monique said. Above her head, a string of outdoor lights — the ones shaped like chili peppers — shivered in the sudden breeze and went out.

“All right,” I said, tapping my last-ever cigarette on the rim of her piña colada. “What would you like to know about yourself?”

Hoping my breath was awful, I leaned toward her and leered. At least, I think it was a leer. I probably should have practiced that, because she didn’t even flinch. Instead, her mind wandered over to the poolside bar with her drop-dead body in tow.

“A Quaalude for me, and a Quickie for the gentleman.”

Monique was sipping her way through the cocktail alphabet, and I’d promised to join her at “Q.” Oh, I knew she was cheating. She had to be. No one could survive all that booze, so her drinks were probably virgins. So what? If we made it to “S,” she’d promised me a double round of Sex on the Beach under the Tequila Sunrise.

Don’t blame me. It was Monique’s idea of a birthday present.

Ah, Monique, I bet your real name is Monica, I thought, taking another drag. I’d told her to call me Dave, my best friend’s name. She just kept calling me “Sugar.”

I turned to watch her chat with the bartender, who might — in even dimmer light — have been as handsome as a bullfrog. Now, he could give lessons in leering. Whatever alternate universe Pedro came from, he had guts, balls, chutzpah. Whatever ugly guys have when they hit on gorgeous women.

Maybe he has a big attribute, hidden by the bar.

My Rolex buzzed the hour: three AM. I took one last puff and stubbed out my butt in the World’s Most All-inclusive Ashtray — where transfer-printed, grass-skirted pygmies danced the hula in the shadow of Angkor Wat.

Where was I, and what was I doing there?

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