CRIMESPREE COOKS WITH ROB HART

The Philosophy of Chili This is not a recipe, because recipes are for nerds.  This is more a how-to manual meant for people who like to eyeball stuff, which is generally how I cook. But in a larger sense, we’re talking about chili. It is the ultimate “anything goes” dish. You can make a killer chili with any kind of meat. You can include beans or no beans. You can amp it up with rare peppers and short rib, or throw in some ground beef and powdered spices from the pantry. At the end, you will still have chili.  Point is, chili can be highfalutin, but it doesn’t have to be, and sometimes it’s better when it’s explicitly not. ...

REVIEW OF TAKE-OUT AND OTHER TALES OF CULINARY CRI...

Someone once noticed that actor Brad Pitt has a scene where he’s eating something in almost every one of his movies. So naturally the Internet compiled the film clips into a video mashup. Similarly, someone realized that several of Rob Hart’s short storied involved food in some capacity: a New York City bagel shop owner, a crime boss named after a drink, even the cut-throat world of food trucks. Rob Hart has established himself as the Brad Pitt of crime fiction. These short stories and more have been collected in his new anthology, TAKE-OUT AND OTHER TALES OF CULINARY CRIME, from Polis Books. While he is best known for his hard-boiled Ash...

REVIEW OF POTTER’S FIELD BY ROB HART

POTTER’S FIELD Rob Hart July 10, 2018 Polis Books   Some people seem to never grow up. For Ash McKenna’s, that meant spending his days in an eternal funk, unable to crawl out of the emotional pit he found himself in after the death of his firefighter father during the 9/11 tragedy. Spiraling out control, Ash kept himself in booze and pills by doing odd jobs for local New York crime boss Ginny Tonic. A self-described “blunt instrument,” Ash would just need to be pointed at a person, place, or thing. Then he’d punch it until it would break. Ash wasn’t a bad guy, but he was an incomplete version of a human being. He was pure Id,...

REVIEW OF THE WOMAN FROM PRAGUE BY ROB HART

It’s a fact that no matter what, people change. Humans are a product of their experiences. The good things and the bad things all go into the messy, bitter stew of our souls. These are the things that make us the people that we are. This is also one of the biggest differences between real life people and the pop culture creations that we all like reading about. Fact-is-fact: After 76 years, Captain America is still Captain America. There may be controversial stories here and there, but at the end of the day, Cap will still be Cap. Fans have been reading about Jack Reacher kicking ass for 21 novels, with the comforting fact that the...

Ten Writing Lessons From Krav Maga

When I started taking Krav Maga my writing pal James Queally asked if I was taking it because I wanted to more accurately write about throwing a punch. I told him, no, that’s ridiculous. I was doing it because I was afraid of my daughter. She’s two and a half now. It’s like living with Leatherface. Peril in every direction. I’ve been doing it for a year and passed the test for P1 (there are five practitioner levels). Not to say I’m proficient in any of this—a lot of the time I still feel like Bambi slipping on the ice, sliding into a snowbank. Turns out though, James was on to something—I’ve discovered a couple of writing lessons courtesy...