Evan Buckley

Created by James Harper

Here comes another of those breathlessly hyped, independently published series that seem to spring up overnight, fully formed, that I keep stumbling upon.

It’s not that any such series is automatically bad, of course–but there’s also a breathless sameness about so many of them, from the obligatory centre-aligned sans serif typefaces used for the covers to the pages of court-mandated wisecracks and relentlessly fast-paced action, all quickly churned out, loosely edited (if at all) and offering little credible (or even consistent) character development. 

Harper distances himself from the horde by writing slightly heftier novels, and apparently devoting a little more time to each book than most–only eleven books in three years! And his Amazon pages aren’t crammed with dubious five-star “reviews” that seem to have been scribbled by people who never completed high school.

But I digress…

When we first meet him in the series kickoff, Bad to the Bones (2017), EVAN BUCKLEY is a “maverick” private eye struggling to keep things afloat, and who’s still haunted by the disappearance of his wife five years earlier. Which may explain why he’s not doing particularly well, making bad choices both personal and professional, botching cases and getting beat up rather frequently.

As the series lurches on, the ongoing mystery of his wife’s vanishing act is resolved, but otherwise, Evan remains more or less unchanged–the world continues to dump a Job-worthy load of shit on him, and he remains a mopey, morose and tormented-by-personal-demons kinda guy who drinks too much, and is overly fond of telling us how he feels, as opposed to showing us, all rendered in overheated prose that just tries too damn hard.

For the past twenty-five years, author James Harper has lived in a 400-year-old cottage in the woods with his wife and their cat, a big bad hunter called Armstrong, who features in some of James’ novels.

NOVELS

SHORT STORIES

  • “Fallen Angel”
  • “A Rock And A Hard Place”

FURTHER INVESTIGATIONS

  • James Harper Books
    The author’s official site, where you can download the Buckley short stories “Fallen Angel” and “A Rock And A Hard Place.”
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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