The Marshall Grade series is American noir of the minimalist, dark kind, bought to you by New Zealander Ben Sanders.
The first book AMERICAN BLOOD (reviewed at Reviewing The Evidence) introduced the central character of Marshall Grade. Grade is a classic lone wolf, vigilante machine, with no discernible soft spots and a past littered with dodgy characters. Hence his long list of enemies and a contract killer on his tail. Flushed out of hiding when somebody as close to being a friend as you can get is kidnapped, it becomes obvious that somebody's after him. Equally as importantly, you simply don't mess with people who have helped Grade in the past. Period. (Yes I know, pathetic current day political reference...).
Leading on straight from the action in AMERICAN BLOOD, it's actually not that necessary to read the earlier book first. There are some absolute givens here - the good guys are really good, and the bad guys are really bad. Everybody's violent, everything is action packed and very few people are coming out of this upright or at the very least unscratched.
Having said that, there are some inklings of resolutions to elements from AMERICAN BLOOD in MARSHALL'S LAW built into a conclusion that's not just action-packed, but violent, desperate, and very bloody. Needless to say it's hard boiled of the most solid kind. In your face, with little concession to explanation, or even dialogue, it's the action, the carnage that is centre-stage.
You really have to give author Ben Sanders points for his execution and control of that American styled noir environment. Everything works from the settings, to the dialogue and vernacular, all the while avoiding any feeling of contrivance or style over substance. It's very much that darker than dark, violent, hard-boiled, whatever it takes type of action thriller that will really appeal to fans of this style of novel.