First there was Phillip Marlowe, then there was Lew Archer,and now there is Malcolm Cutter. January Justice is some non stop thrill ride with a detective for today. I am now a devoted fan. It is rare to read a detective story that keeps you on edge, has twists and turns that are unexpected and, ultimately, leads to an exciting finish. Bravo Athol Dickson. – Amazon Review
To say anything about January Justice by Athol Dickson requires an immediate disclaimer. For almost a year now I have been Dickson’s publicist meaning anything I say might raise suspicions that I speak well of his writing for self-serving reasons. As a result I have effectively disqualified myself as a reliable reviewer of his work, at least to those who do now know me well.
With that in mind, let me instead offer a few snippets from the reviews of lest biased readers:
As usual, author Athol Dickson did not disappoint with January Justice. The style is a bit of a departure from his other works, and while many authors couldn’t make that work, Athol did … This is a suspense novel. Unlike other novels I have read recently, January Justice has great tension in it. The tension carries to the end with little frustration, because the twists and turns make sense and flow within the story line … It has been a LONG time since I’ve found an author whose work doesn’t frustrate me on one level or another. If anything frustrates me at all about this author, it’s that I have to wait to read the next novel! – Claudette
Along the way, the characters became living people – with quirks just odd enough to make them memorable but not so over-the-top as to make them unreal. And the plot? Twists and turns and surprises abound. I still have a crush on Malcolm and a craving for Simon’s tomato soup. Well done, Athol! – Cathy
A tough guy with a soft side, Malcolm Cutter reminds me a bit of Lee Child’s Reacher in that Cutter seems to find trouble and then root out the bad in the name of good. Further, in this novel Cutter gets himself in dire situations but does not seem to mind, maybe partly because he’s still reeling over the death of his love and partly because he is trying to decide himself the point of living. Dickson’s plot is deep and tangled, yet plenty interesting enough to keep the pages turning. The settings of Southern California and Guatemala, with just a bit of West Texas thrown in, keep the cast moving around interesting places. I like to read tough-guy suspense novels and this one keeps up with the best of them. – MB
I first met the author on the book shelves of Barnes and Noble as I was intrigued by the cover art and first paragraph of River Rising. My next encounter with Athol was during a phone interview in which I clumsily forgot about time zones differences and woke him up at 6:00 AM. Since then I have read and reviewed every word he has ever published, interviewed him numerous times, become his publicist and spent several hours a week in phone conversations, and finally had the privilege to meet in person as he and I and our wives met for dinner here in Florida.
And now here I am, working to get the word out to the world about a totally different kind of novel from this man I have come to know so well. This is a classic murder mystery that would make Raymond Chandler proud. There’s a dashing yet damaged leading man with the haunting memory of the love of his life leaping to her death, nefarious elements of crime out to get him as well, an eclectic pair of side-kicks to watch his back, a mysterious woman he can’t quite figure out, and a drive to make things right whatever that may cost.
January Justice is the beginning of a new journey in his writing but the Athol Dickson I know best is still the master of profound suspense. If you want to call me biased, then guilty as charged.
A master of profound suspense. Athol Dickson’s mystery, suspense, and literary novels have won three Christy Awards and an Audie Award. Suspense fans who enjoyed Athol’s They Shall See God will love his latest novel, January Justice, the first installment in a new mystery series called The Malcolm Cutter Memoirs. The second and third novels in the series, Free Fall in February, and A March Murder, are coming in 2013. Critics have favorably compared Athol’s work to such diverse authors as Octavia Butler (Publisher’s Weekly), Hermann Hesse (The New York Journal of Books) and Flannery O’Connor (The New York Times). Athol lives with his wife in southern California.