That Twisted Thing Called Truth

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Okay, I’ll be honest with you: I admire Joe Stein as a writer and above all as a human being. Joe is a friend, a darn good friend and I feel that, as a friend, I could write a review, but wonder if it would not be considered as biased? I know it wouldn’t be, it would be honest, but would you?

Well, for every question there is an answer, for every problem a solution (they say). See below:

Review on

To be honest – and I try to be as honest as possible when writing a review and advising to our readers why a book is worth buying – that I wasn’t sure what to expect from ‘That Twisted Thing Called Truth’. To be honest (again) it isn’t my usual fare, but sometimes that is a good thing. As in this instance, it was a very good thing as I really connected with this book and loved the journey it took me on. This is gritty ‘London Noir’ without trying to be too Noir. (Am I making sense?). For instance, Stein sets a scene perfectly without throwing a hundred descriptions or similes at you. Stein simply placed you ‘there’ and every scenario rang true without elaboration.

The book has a heart-breaking resonance to it; a bitter sweet flavour coats the words without making it maudlin. Garron is a great character – optimistic and pessimistic in turns, definitely a man of light and shade. And the people who surround him are three-dimensional – not just walk on parts for Garron’s mates, Tony and Mick. Garron’s honour at taking revenge on a colleague’s death could be seen as admirable, but transpires to be reckless and foolhardy. Stein is a writer shouting to be discovered. Stein’s prose hit the target every time and was extremely emotional at times. I can now gladly say I have been converted and will now go back and read the first two Garron novels. Superb.

Reviewed by: Chris Simmons


Curtsy to you Chris Simmons. You say it all and say it beautifully. As an avid Joe Stein reader and fan, I thank you.

Remains to mention that ‘That Twisted Thing Called Truth’ actually is one of a trilogy, of which the first two books – ‘Cold Fire, Calm Rage’ and ‘Another Man’s World’, were published some years ago. Since the publisher of those two super novels has vanished, is gone with the wind, I truly hope Wardwoodpublishing one day, will bring them out again, together with That Twisted Thing Called Truth.

All three books are available and worth reading. More than worth reading.


An ex-boxer turned bodyguard finds himself out of his depth and struggling to survive double-crosses by London gangsters and manipulation by European criminals in a thriller that owes as much to the noirish world of Chandler as it does to the underworld of London. ‘Write what you know’ is what they always tell you. But sometimes it’s hard to know where the fiction separates from the reality. “Cold Fire, Calm Rage” is such a story and in it Joe Stein produces a gritty realism that leaves many others for dead. This is not a glamorised gangster story. This is how it is.


Ex-boxer Garron is back, now working full time as a bodyguard and rent collector and struggling with both his wrecked past and his bleak future. Working for shady businessmen and criminals, he’s trying to stay one step out of their life and make sense of his own. But at a time when Garron sees a possible way out of his troubles, one small job starts to escalate out of control and betrayal by friends and manipulation by enemies sees him dragged into a world of unlicensed fights and shotgun robberies, a world where he is pulled into confrontation with career criminal Adam Hillier, a world in which Hillier walks unchallenged. It is another man’s world.

Here’s to you, Chaver Joe. Your books should see the world and be seen by the world and I am proud to know you as a fellow writer and ftiend.


2 Comments to “That Twisted Thing Called Truth”

  1. Well, Ruth Deborah, what can I say? Thank you for the posting and publicising the review on Crimesquad. For a small press book like mine, it was very good to get a review like this on a mainstream review site.
    Many thanks, it is much appreciated.
    (PS for anyone interested, the review is on the February 2012 section of the Crimesquad site)

  2. Say no nuffink, Joe. It is a great pleasure to promote a darn good book and that review is ‘right on’, so what more do you want?
    You and WardWood deserve each and every word said about That Twisted Thing Called Truth.

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