04/07/2014 02:48 pm ET Updated Jun 07, 2014

10 Great Crime Fiction Characters on Film


Like many crime writers, I was profoundly influenced by the great crime novels of the traditional British and hardboiled American schools. But like so many of my generation, I first encountered these canonical detective stories in film and television versions, discovering the books later. This wasn't as easy as it sounds, since it was long before cable TV, VCRs, Tivo, and Netflix made it possible to view anything-on-demand. So let me tell you kids all about life in the dark ages, when the dedicated viewer had to struggle to stay up past 1 AM to watch classic films on a ghosting black-and-white TV, edited for television and interrupted by endless (and awful) late night commercials.

Crime Fiction on Film

On the bright side, Paretsky's books are still available, un-gutted, for your enjoyment. And the day I get to say "Hollywood made a lousy movie out of my book" will still be a good day as far as I'm concerned.

Kenneth Wishnia is the author of the recently reissued book Red House.