Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

And the winner is...

Robert Sanker. Who will be receiving a copy of of How the Dead Live by Derek Raymond in the mail in the near future. Thanks to everyone who entered the contest.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

The Latest Hard Case Crime Newsletter...

is full of interesting news. The latest title is Gun Work by David Schow, the guy who wrote the screenplay for The Crow, a movie that didn't suck. It's scheduled for a November publication.

There's even more interesting news, though, including this intriguing tidbit:

"Looking ahead to 2009, we'll be kicking off the year with a new discovery of a truly obscure long-lost title by the great Lawrence Block -- and though we're not announcing just what it is yet, let me just say that a recent headline story in the newspapers gave us a bit of a start. Let the guessing begin!
" - So, does anyone have any guesses?

Then there's this:

What's cooking for later in '09? We've got another Westlake, a real powerhouse novel appearing for the first time under the title the author originally intended ("THE CUTIE"); we've got the late Roger Zelazny's never-before-published international thriller THE DEAD MAN'S BROTHER; and we've got a terrific hard-boiled detective novel called HOUSE DICK about skullduggery in a Washington D.C. hotel, written by none other than...E. Howard Hunt. Yes, *that* E. Howard Hunt. (If you're too young to remember him, look him up online. Just know that though he achieved notoriety for other activities, he was also one of the most prolific and consistently engaging crime writers of the paperback era.)

I had no idea Hunt had authored a novel about a hotel detective. Now that is funny.

Friday, February 22, 2008

New Crime Fiction on the Web

Plots with Guns has risen from the grave.

Seth Harwood, who has a book coming out very soon, begins his third Jack Palms podcast story this Sunday. If you've missed the others you've got a chance to get in on the ground floor with this one.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

More on Mara

Ed Gorman has a post on Bernard Mara (a.k.a. Brian Moore), the author of the book featured as the Wednesday Paperback Cover this week. I gotta quit hanging out on the Internet. I keep learning stuff.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A Clarification

I just wanted to point out that when I called How the Dead Live, "a hellish piece of work that's guaranteed to ruin your day," I meant it as an endorsement. That seems to have caused a little confusion with at least one person. So don't let that description discourage you from entering the contest to win it.

Wednesday Paperback Cover

Continuing the bullet theme from last week.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Win How the Dead Live

I just finished Derek Raymond's How the Dead Live, which Serpent's Tail is publishing in the States in May. It's a hellish piece of work that's guaranteed to ruin your day, and I've got a spare copy, so I'm giving it away. Lucky, lucky you. I'll pick the winner a week from today. To enter the contest send an email to IndieCrime-at-gmail-dotcom with your mailing address. I'll number the entries as they're received and then use a random number generator to pick the winner.

Publisher Profiles

David Poindexter of McAdam/Cage publishing and David Thompson of Busted Flush Press have both gotten some good press recently.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Goodbye McGinnis

As has been noted, here and elsewhere, the Robert McGinnis gallery of paperback covers maintained by Graeme Flanagan is coming down. Apparently it was McGinnis himself who requested they be taken down, and he has even retired his own Web site because of copyright concerns. In an email you can read here, Flanagan quotes McGinnis as saying that he is limiting access to his work because of "the flagrant abuse of the copyrights of (his) paintings and name out of context on the internet.” I'm not sure if he was specifically referring to Flanagan's site, which isn't harming McGinnis in any way. It's not as if Flanagan was selling unauthorized prints of McGinnis' book covers or something of that nature. He was sharing his love of McGinnis' work. Sure, McGinnis is a professional illustrator, and he does have an interest in protecting his copyrights, but if no one can see your work that defeats the purpose of creating anything at all, doesn't it?

Wednesday Paperback Cover

Happy Valentine's Day

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Review of Money Shot

Hard Case Crime’s first book by a female author, the long anticipated Money Shot by Christa Faust (Hard Case Crime, 2007), does not disappoint. The story of Angel Dare, a former porn star who finds herself beaten, raped, shot and left for dead after agreeing to step in front of the camera one more time for an old friend, Money Shot is a straight-up hard boiled revenge tale with a feminine twist. Think Death Wish with curves.

The revenge story, where an otherwise normal person becomes a hard nosed killer after suffering some grave injustice and somehow manages to stay one-step ahead of the authorities, can be entertaining and satisfying, if never quite believable. Angel Dare has her share of not-quite believable luck, such as instantly becoming unrecognizable to people who know her after shaving her head, but it’s never enough to overcome the momentum the story has. There are no lulls to give the reader the time to contemplate the implausibility of certain situations. Also, Angel is likeable enough, and the bad guys are vile enough that the reader will be rooting for her to get her revenge without worrying too much about reality.

The book is set against the background of the San Fernando Valley’s thriving porn industry, and that alone might turn off some readers, but Faust’s treatment of an unsavory industry isn’t romanticized or judgmental. It has been said that seeing sausages and laws get made isn’t pretty. The same can be said for porn, and Faust doesn’t shy away from the sordid side of an industry that makes a profit from selling false intimacy. Even Dare, who is relatively unscathed when compared to some other characters, has intimacy issues. Still, there is no sense of condemnation. Faust has enough respect for her characters and her audience to let readers draw their own conclusions.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Saturday, February 2, 2008

The David Simon Show


The final season of The Wire has resulted in more ink spilled than all of the previous four seasons combined. I tried keeping track of all the articles, but I got distracted and fell behind. Fortunately,
someone else has been keeping up with the incredible crush of stories. Simon has made the New Yorker, The Atlantic and Columbia Journalism Review, and those are just the highlights. Why the sudden tidal wave of spilled ink over a television show no one watches? That's an easy one. This season The Wire is, in part, about journalism, and there's nothing journalists love more than the chance to engage in a bout of public navel gazing.

Now, those in the journalism racket, particularly the newspaper industry, need to engage in a little navel gazing. Newspapers are on the way out, and true believers like Simon are understandably upset. Simon had a long career at The Baltimore Sun before he ended up in his current role, and he has some pointed opinions on his old paper and the state of the industry. To an extent, he has a point, but his criticism is beginning to overshadow the show itself. Simon's ranting has made the part of the Wire set in the Baltimore Sun newsroom the main event for this season, which is unfortunate, since it's disappointing. Simon's using the show to settle old scores, and the newsroom characters seem to lack the nuance of the drug dealers and cops. Part of my indifference, I think, can be attributed to the fact that the journalist characters have only been around for a few episodes, as opposed to a few seasons. There is no way a long time viewer can feel the same way about the intrepid city editor Gus Haynes as he feels about Omar or McNulty.

Still, I can't help but be disappointed by the newspaper storyline thus far. It's just not that interesting. The real story this season is about Marlo, and whether his reach will exceed his grasp. He's making a play for control of the entire city, but he's made some serious mistakes, and the tension there is almost unbearable. Will Omar's return cause so much trouble that the Greeks will have second thoughts about dealing with him? Will McNulty's gambit pay off? Or is there someone else Marlo should be worrying about? I have no question that it's going to end badly for him, which is exactly what should happen, but when one person is knocked off the throne, another rises to take his place. Now, if only the newspaper subplot had half the tension of the Marlo plotline we would have something that might top season four. Unfortunately, it's predictable and just can't compete with all of the other characters and stories Simon and his crew have put so much time and effort into building over the years.