Created by Joe Stein
“I started to leave when I remembered my gun.”
— Garron in Cold Fire, Calm Rage
London ex-fighter GARRON is a real piece of work, a man with a “wrecked past” and a “bleak future.” He gets by working odd jobs, essentially as a heavy-for-hire, although if the law comes calling, he prefers to say he’s a bodyguard or maybe a rent collector.
His clients tend to be slightly hinky businessmen and/or criminals, and his world is definitely on the mean streets end of the spectrum, full of fences, crooked cops, gun dealers, bookies, thugs, junkies, hookers, etc. — all the usual suspects. Whatever it takes to pay the rent on the Camden Town flat that he shares with an un-named cat.
Still, Garron tries to keep himself out of trouble. But wouldn’t you know it? Something always seems to go wrong… and Garron has to make like a detective.
What marks this story isn’t so much the much-touted “gritty realism” of the setting, but Garron’s all-too-human flaws. In fact, sometimes I wondered if maybe he’d taken one too many shots to the head, given his sometimes questionable decisions (which often seem to lead to more shots to the head), and his penchant for worrying — particulalry about his on-again, off-again relationship with his (sometimes) live-in girlfriend, Jenny. But it makes him not just an occasionally unpredictable character (and narrator) but also a refreshing one.
Author Joe Stein is from North London and his first job was in a scrap-yard, stripping copper out of electrical cables. From there, he says it was “only a short eighteen-year jump to writing.”
- Cold Fire, Calm Rage (2004) | Buy this book
- Another Man’s World (2007) | Buy this book. .Kindle it!
- That Twisted Thing Called Truth (2011) | Buy this book | Kindle it!
- Through Another Night (2014) | Buy the book | Kindle it!
- Cold Fire Calm Rage by Joe Stein
The Thrilling Detective review by Kieran Carey.
- Joe Stein – Author
The author’s official web site.