Writers such as Edgar Alan Poe, Dashiell Hammett, or Georges Simenon gave to the crime genre its lettres de noblesse. Literary Noir enriched American and European Modernism; brought into light issues of racial, sexual, and economic inequality; reflected the impact of Freudian psychoanalysis on literary form. Beyond purely escapist entertainment, the best works of crime fiction are among the finest examples of the art and craft of writing, addressing genuine social and aesthetic problems.
Reach the Shining River by Kevin Stevens
Kansas City, 1935. Emmett Whelan, an idealistic county prosecutor who has left behind his Irish roots and married into the country club set, takes on the city’s corrupt political machine when he investigates the brutal murder of a black musician.
“Not only a solid murder mystery, but equally a colourful and thought-provoking study of a moment in time. With the rhythm and cadence of the prose, echoing the blues soundtrack that underscored the whole book, Stevens easily achieved that balance between crime fiction and literary fiction due to his exceptional characterization and engaging prose.” —Raven Crime Reads
Ana Torres is a Texas Ranger assigned to a dusty outpost to protect the border. When she discovers the body of a dead crosser, the stage is set for a confrontation in the night-time desert. Luis González lives on the Mexican side, helping those who seek a better life in the north while looking for peace in his own way. Marisol Herrera, chasing a dream, braves hardship and dangers on her journey from the high mountains of El Salvador to the sun-blasted flats of the Texas border. The stories of these three characters will intersect in the badlands of Texas. There will be death and pain and prices paid along the banks of the Rio Grande.
“Hawken’s words will keep you hooked until the very last sentence.” —New York Journal of Books
Killarney Blues by Colin O’Sullivan
Winner of the Prix Mystère de la Critique 2018, France
“Carried by a genuine writing talent, Killarney Blues is a Noir novel full of melancholy and unfulfilled dreams with a surprising glimmer of hope at the end. Without the slightest naivety. A revelation.” —Le Soir (Belgium)
“This first Noir novel from Colin O’Sullivan is magnificent, very finely written, and profoundly sad. To be savoured while drinking a Guinness and listening to some old blues, by Muddy Waters or Bessie Smith. And if rain knocks on the window glass, like in Killarney, it’s even better.” —RTL (Radio Télévision Luxembourg)
The Dark Manual by Colin O’Sullivan
Susie Sakamoto, an Irishwoman in Japan, spends her days drinking heavily and cursing the home robot that takes care of all her domestic needs. She despises the thing her dead husband designed and is under the impression that it is about to do her harm. To escape the overwhelming grief of her missing family, she takes to the night-time and the lawless section of the city, loitering in seedy bars with her wild, drug-fuelled, hypersexual friend, Mixxy. Are Susie’s persecutions merely a result of her own paranoia?
“The Dark Manual defies easy categorisation; it’s a literary novel, a desperate tale of love and loss, a noir thriller, of real and imaginary threats, and a sci-fi speculation (which could be read as prescient future gazing). […] This is a modern novel that reflects the current malaise and modern preoccupations. As a thriller, this is a page-turner, a really intriguing read. ” —BookNoir
“It delivers. ” — Paula O’Hara, Books Ireland
THE HECTOR LASSITER SERIES BY CRAIG McDONALD
“What critics might call eclectic, and Eastern folks quirky, we Southerners call ‘cussedness’—and it’s the cornerstone of the American genius. As in: “There’s a right way, a wrong way, and my way”. You want to see how that looks on the page, pick up any of Craig McDonald’s novels. He’s built him a nice little shack out there way off all the reg’lar roads, and he’s brewing some fine, heady stuff. Leave your money under the rock and come back in an hour.” —James Sallis
“While the scale is immense, McDonald’s hand is deft, and we never forget that, at its center, this is a human story, complex and bruising and deeply felt.” —Megan Abbott
Borderland Noir: An Anthology of Crime Writing
Stories & Essays of Love & Death across the Rio Grande. Anthology edited by Craig McDONALD, with contributions from Ken BRUEN, Sam HAWKEN, Manuel RAMOS, James SALLIS, Martín SOLARES, and others
“The tales are spare; Noir prose, short meaningful stories, pithy dialogue and all direct to the point. This is the heart of Noir. Darkly entertaining, a really interesting mix of stories and essays.” —Book-Nudge.com
Permanent Fatal Error by Hadley Colt
A long-missing novelist, a string of murders and a new brand of heroine fire this Hitchcockian literary thriller.
“There’s a real warmth to the writing which implies that, while the author is undoubtedly having fun with some very clever plotting, she cares about the underlying themes, particularly the responsibility of all writers to write about what matters. This book is, first and foremost, written by an author who loves writing.” —Sheila Bugler
The Red-Handed League by Hadley Colt
Holmes and Watson. The centuries-old names continue to thrill crime and mystery lovers around the world. Hadley Colt breathes new life into the timeless legend of The Great Detective. The Red-Handed League is a tour-de-force exploration and subtle reinvention of the beloved sleuth, yet brilliantly true to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic characters. This gripping new Sherlock Holmes tale reveals the dark and intensely private mystery that secretly shaped and which drives fiction’s most famous detective.
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