The first-person narrator is the imposer of order in a world of chaos--or rather, deceit, lies, hypocrisy, where nothing is as it seems. And yet reading a classic of noir fiction like Dashiell Hammett's The Continental Op is a revelation.
Dennis Lehane is known to millions of readers. His novels Mystic River, Gone, Baby, Gone, and Shutter Island became blockbuster movies, with the most recent film being The Drop, which is based on his short story, Animal Rescue.
Dennis Palumbo is a thriller writer and psychotherapist in private practice. He's the author of the non-fiction book, Writing from the Inside Out and a collection of mystery stories, From Crime to Crime.
With the recent death of the doyenne of crime fiction P.D. James at age 94, I am reminded of a wondrous quote she made in 2011 that put my life and work into perspective. "I don't think that we necessarily choose our genre; the genre chooses us."
This nimrod didn't compare my adult thriller to any other book in my Nick Hoffman mystery series, but wholly inappropriately compared it to a children's self-help book. And reached a conclusion 100% at odds with what actually happens in the novel and what it means.
Internationally acclaimed, their books have been translated into dozens of languages, and are regularly on best-seller lists. Peter and Ian are being interviewed together since they collaborated on a story in Face Off, a collection of short stories by some of the world's greatest thriller writers.
I told my wife, "I think I'm not going to practice law anymore. She said, "Are you crazy?" I said "If this is the way they treat their own, I don't want to be a part of that anymore. She asked what I was going to do, and I showed her The Lincoln Lawyer. I said, "I can do this..."
We crave real portrayals of people like ourselves: people who can be confused, get angry, celebrate joyous moments and sometimes feel rejected and unloved. James Gandolfini made Tony Soprano, the Jersey mob boss, one of us.
This rough justice often carries readers and viewers along to cheer for the law breakers. Maybe they enact our taboo impulses, maybe not. But there's something deeply satisfying in watching characters you like cross the line and work out their own form of justice.
Suspect, Robert Crais's exceptional new novel, is about a special relationship that leads to mutual resurrection. "This is a story about a man healing a dog and the dog healing the man," said Crais. "It's a two-way street."
In my story, no one is willing to represent the supremacist accused of murder. Thus Ben is forced to do what I consider the hardest, most courageous work a lawyer can do -- representing the unpopular client.
Publishers believe that readers are not drawn to green, so the color is greatly disfavored in cover art. You don't believe me? Turn around right now and look at your bookshelf. How many green covers do you see?
Over the years, some crimes have been committed, some mysteries materialized, that no self-respecting author would ever create for fear of his book being tossed across the room to the sound of the reader yelling, "Oh, come on! That's just too unbelievable."
Reading offered relief and distance, especially the alternate worlds of science fiction and history. Mysteries promised something better once I discovered them: the assurance that things made sense, that evildoers were punished, and order could be restored.
When did writers start being brands? This question led me through a maze of other squirrely musings. If you write a memoir, are you forever a memoirist? What happens if a thriller writer dares to try his hand at romance?