ONE MORE BODY by Josh Stallings

Heist publishing
Release date: October 6th, 2013

Ever since I discovered Josh Stallings I have constantly wondered why he isn’t more known. Stallings is like an indie punk band whose records are only known to the hippest few who are in the know. That is a cool thing but at the same time you know that if there ever was a band that deserved to be playing arenas, it’s this one. However, Stallings isn’t for everyone. He pulls no punches. If you are of the squeamish nature and dare to enter his world, he will hold you by the scruff of your neck and force you to take a long look at some serious demons.

One More Body is the 3rd book in the Moses McGuire series. McGuire is an ex-marine, former strip club bouncer, descendant of Vikings and what I would call a sort of freelance vigilante. The man is an old school dinosaur. You never know where he is going but you can always tell where he has been by the trail of destruction he leaves in his wake. He is a deeply flawed man but instead of ignoring those flaws, he embraces them. Those flaws make him who he is.

At the opening of One More Body, McGuire has washed up on the beach in Mexico. During his last run around the block, he was forced to do some pretty reprehensible shit that he was physically able to walk away from but not mentally. McGuire has been treating himself with liberal doses of Tequila and Vicodin to try and keep the memories at bay. One day on the beach he is approached by LAPD Detective Rollens. A teenage girl named Freedom has been kidnapped and forced into prostitution. The LAPD doesn’t care and neither does anyone else really. Rollens offers McGuire a deal. Find the girl and he gets to stay out of prison. McGuire likes the deal but he also knows this may be a chance to regain pieces of his soul and humanity he lost the last time around. Moses is then back on the streets of L.A. ready to go to war for the soul of a young girl. He enlists the help of familiar faces from previous books and adds a few new ones to his cast of characters. Moses then begins to take apart certain criminal organizations with the subtlety of a sledgehammer.

Josh Stallings is definitely an author on the rise. I love the fact he is not afraid to get brutal with his readers. Something I have hated in many other books is how writers will be afraid to do just that. They dance around it afraid to offend or horrify. I’ve always felt to tell a successful story you can’t be afraid to lead a reader where they may not be willing to go on their own. As I said before, the Moses McGuire series is 3 books in and I haven’t detected a false note yet. Yes, some moments could easily be considered over the top but that also depends on your definition of over the top. This series is the darkest I’ve come across in forever. The stories have a true rock and roll nature to them. Before, I referred to Josh Stallings as an indie punk band. It’s about time gets picked up by a major label.

Dave Wahlman