Archive for the ‘Noir’ Category


A provocative thriller will fasten a reader to the proverbial edge of the seat, either by laying a trail of clues to “whodunit” or leading us on a mad and oscillating cat-and-mouse chase through the landscape of the novel. In the case of Urban Waite’s contemporary, reflective and rousing cat-and-mouse debut, I was glued to the pages of perilous pursuit and quickened by the torn and haunted rogue heroes–Deputy Bobby Drake, and ex-convict and owner of a struggling horse farm, Phil Hunt.

February 7, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Posted in: Debut Novel, Mystery/Suspense, Noir, Thriller/Spy/Caper, US Northwest, Wild West

THE CYPRESS HOUSE by Michael Koryta

In Koryta’s latest thriller – noir with a twist of the supernatural – it’s late summer 1935 and a group of hard-bitten WWI veterans and one talented 19-year-old are headed for the Florida Keys to build a highway bridge.

January 24, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , ,  · Posted in: Facing History, Florida, Mystery/Suspense, Noir, Thriller/Spy/Caper

THE BEST AMERICAN NOIR OF THE CENTURY edited by Otto Penzler and James Ellroy

At almost 800 pages and around $20 the anthology THE BEST AMERICAN NOIR OF THE CENTURY is guaranteed to please noir fans. The book is the no-brainer choice for anyone interested in crime fiction, but even more than that, anyone even remotely curious about the delineations under the umbrella term “crime fiction” must read Otto Penzler’s inspired introduction. As a reader of crime and noir fiction, there’s nothing more annoying than to see the word “noir” bandied about; its misuse threatens to render the term meaningless, so here’s Otto Penzler on this “prodigiously overused term” to set the record straight.

January 16, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: Noir, Short Stories

PHILADELPHIA NOIR edited by Carlin Romano

Akhasic Press’ new collection of noir stories is Philadelphia Noir, with 15 stories based in various parts of the city and one neighboring town (Narberth, PA). Finally, after many US and foreign cities already having a collection or some cities having two, one of the US oldest, and darkest cities has a collection of its own.

January 15, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: Noir, Short Stories, US Mid-Atlantic

THE GORDIAN KNOT by Bernhard Schlink

Just now and again in this novel, as in the quotation above, one gets a glimpse of Bernhard Schlink the moral philosopher who probed so deeply into the German past with his novels THE READER and HOMECOMING and especially the non-fiction GUILT ABOUT THE PAST. But readers looking to this novel for deeper insights will be disappointed. Although the publishers do nothing whatever to indicate that this is not a new novel, its references to Francs and Deutschmarks, to East Germany as a separate country, and to the still-standing World Trade Center show that the book is not of our time. It is in fact a translation of a comparatively early novel by the German author-jurist, first published in 1988. This matters little to readers willing to accept the book on its own terms, but will disappoint those expecting to follow the recent development of Schlink’s sophisticated thought.

January 14, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags:  · Posted in: France, New York City, Noir, Thriller/Spy/Caper

A FAIR MAIDEN by Joyce Carol Oates

Joyce Carol Oates is one of the greatest and most prolific writers working today. She is the winner of the National Book Award, the PEN/Malamud Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and more awards than can be fit into this short review. Her recent short novel, A FAIR MAIDEN, is one of her more minor works. Though I call it minor, it is by Joyce Carol Oates and, by any standard, that makes it major.

January 13, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags:  · Posted in: Class - Race - Gender, Coming-of-Age, Mystery/Suspense, Noir, y Award Winning Author