A look at the books we’re publishing this year. Read more about them on our Pinterest board.
Jan 11, 2013 in Mulholland News
Jan 10, 2013 in Guest Posts
What is noir?
A question that has been debated in every film school and bar at Bouchercon. Many an article and anthology introduction has made the attempt to define it. There is even the thought that it is more style than genre.
Czar of Noir Eddie Mueller cleanly describes it as stories about attempts to take the shortcut to the American dream. Author Anthony Neil Smith once said, “Noir is Italian Opera sung by Delta bluesmen.” Then there is the old standard: It starts out fucked and then gets worse.
There are certain tropes that most believe go along with it. A crime committed, usually from obsession, that leads a downward spiral where the only hope is found in death. There is also the style, the terseness on the page, the shadows on the screen.
The beauty of noir, though, is that there is no hard, fast definition. Its originators didn’t even know they were crating a genre. There are no set rules. It is as elusive as the shadows it’s identified with. It has the ability to be malleable, able to fit different times and perceptions. Noir plays by few rules. Continue reading ›
Jan 08, 2013 in eBooks
Did you luck out and receive an eReader or tablet over the holidays? If so, it’s time to fill those digital bookshelves, and we have a low-price suggestion for you: The Grifters by Jim Thompson (Kindle | Nook | Other Retailers).
If you’ve never read Jim Thompson, you’re missing out a classic American crime writer. You know how we lament the overlooked gem? This guy is one of them. In his forward to The Killer Inside Me, Stephen King says, “This anonymous and little-read Oklahoma novelist captured the spirit of his age, and the spirit of the twentieth century’s latter half: emptiness, a feeling of loss in a land of plenty, of unease amid conformity, or alienation in what was meant, in the wake of World War II, to be a generation of brotherhood.”
Andrew Gulli, the managing editor of Strand Magazine adds, “It’s a pity that Thompson’s legacy has been overshadowed by Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett; both those authors were giants in the world of noir, but Thompson was every bit their equal. His books, though dark, gloomy, and at times nihilistic, probe the depths of human weakness and excess better than anyone else. Yet, despite his dim worldview, his books are addictive page-turners; it’s easy to know what the ending will be like, but the journey to the ending is captivating.” Despite raves like these, and despite being a sensation in Europe, Thompson has become nearly-forgotten here.
It’s time to change that. Join the Jim Thompson club. Let’s be the discerning readers who bring this great writer back into the spotlight. You’d only be risking $3 to dip your toes into this ingenious story about short cons…and when you’ve blazed through that, we’ve got 24 more eBooks for you:
Already a Jim Thompson fan? Decidedly not a fan? Let me know in the comments!
Jan 07, 2013 in Guest Posts
I remember all too well how I met the villain of Dark Lie. He found me at a singles dance, after my divorce, when I was fifty. He was much younger. Psychosis only knows why he chose to seize my arms and propel me onto the dance floor. He could have done better; he was almost as handsome as he thought he was. With studly stance and intense eye contact he told me, “You are going home with me tonight and we are going to make love until the sun comes up.” At which point I should have screamed for security, but I am a writer, curious about bizarre phenomena, or perhaps it is the other way around; perhaps being curious made me a writer. In any event, I let The Bizarre Phenomenon dance with me, then lead me downstairs to the karaoke bar where he sang almost as well as he thought he did, but I turned down his offer to buy me a drink. At closing time he said “My car’s this way,” at which point I said, “Well, mine’s over there. See ya.” Then he became quite upset; how could I fail to appreciate his plans for me? Demanding capitulation, he followed me to my car, clutched my butt and jammed his tongue into my face, challenging, “Just try to tell me you didn’t like that.” I didn’t like it, not one bit, but this guy was quite strong and I was becoming just a teensy bit scared by him. So rather than argue, I told him an inspired lie, that I felt freaked out because I was old enough to be his mother and I had a son his age, invoking the incest taboo by proxy. Then I had to apologize for not saying this before, and by the time he finally let me go, I knew first-hand what it was like to deal with a totally self-entitled narcissistic psycho. The next day I bought pepper spray. Continue reading ›
Jan 07, 2013 in Books
Thomas Crocker and SEAL Team Six are back in the new thriller by former SEAL commando Don Mann. When a nuclear device goes missing and surfaces in the clutches of known terrorists, the United States calls on its most prized anti-terrorism force: Navy SEAL Team Six, the most elite combat unit on the planet.
John Tallow stood while the medics scraped up and lifted and bagged and took away his partner of four years, and then he sat on the stairs silently so that they had to lift Rosato’s killer over him to get him down and out of the building.
People said things to him. Gunfire in close quarters had temporarily dulled his hearing, and he wasn’t that interested anyway. Someone told him that the lieutenant was driving out to tell Rosato’s wife the bad news. She liked to do that, the lieutenant, to take that weight off her people. He’d known her to do it three or four times in the past few years.
After a while, he became aware that someone was trying to get his attention. A uniformed police. Behind him, the Crime Scene Unit techs were moving around like beetles.
“This one apartment,” the uniform said.
“We checked all the apartments, to make sure everyone was okay. But this apartment here, there’s a shotgun hole in the wall and no one’s answering the door. Did you check this one apartment?”
“No. Wait, what? That hole’s kind of low. I don’t think it can have hit anyone.”
“Well, maybe the occupant’s out at work. Though that’d make him kind of unique in this building so far.”
Tallow shrugged. “Force the door, then.” Continue reading ›
Jan 04, 2013 in Uncategorized
“A pleasingly quirky crime thriller…Tallow is oddly endearing, so single-minded you can’t help rooting for him…There is nothing comic-bookish about [Ellis’s] writing, which races along in crisp hard-boiled fashion.”–Charles McGrath, New York Times