Noir

RECENT REVIEWS

Something Rotten in Denmark

Something Rotten in Denmark

I WAS INTRODUCED to Nordic noir in the same way as most readers: someone handed me a copy of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. When the novel was at the peak of its popularity, I had resisted reading i...

Viral Murders

Viral Murders

I STARTED READING Broken Monsters the night before leaving on a 10-day trip that encompassed two weddings and three cities. I enjoyed this trip greatly, but I spent a significant amount of time wishin...

Troubled Narrators, Troubled Times

Troubled Narrators, Troubled Times

It should be sufficient to say that I am Juan Pablo Castel, the painter who killed Maria Iribarne. I imagine that the trial is still in everyone’s mind and that no further information about myself i...

The Rabbi Who Knew Too Much

The Rabbi Who Knew Too Much

I BOUGHT MY FIRST Rabbi Small detective novel with a smirk. I had spotted the book, a slowly disintegrating paperback from 1967, in the mystery section of a used bookstore in New York. The very ide...

Corporate Noir, or This Job Is Killing Me

Corporate Noir, or This Job Is Killing Me

IN CONTEMPORARY NOIR, you are often your own worst enemy. This is stylishly illustrated in the 2012 movie Looper, in which time travel has been outlawed but is still used as a handy black-market tool ...

YAC Hit List: Noir

YAC Hit List: Noir

INSIDE THE INSTITUTION WALLS, under the thumb of corrupt authority figures, and beholden to arbitrary rules, the school day slowly passes, venetian blinds in every classroom casting the walls in strip...

Neo-Noir and Anti-Realism in Sam Fuller

Neo-Noir and Anti-Realism in Sam Fuller

CLASSIC FILM NOIR was in its last throes as the 1960s began. Many of the genre’s most important directors and stars were either dead or relegated to television, and the B-movie production machine ...

LA Women

LA Women

YOU'RE GOING to have a tough time if you invoke Philip Marlowe in your LA-noir novels. Steph Cha’s debut, Follow Her Home, introduced nascent gumshoe Juniper Song by following Song — it’s what e...

Cool Characters

Cool Characters

SEVERAL MONTHS AGO while sitting in the back of a courtroom waiting to be arraigned on a charge that could have sent me to jail for a year, I began reading Justin Gifford’s Pimping Fictions: African...

The Domestic Terrorism of Tana French

The Domestic Terrorism of Tana French

IRISH WRITER TANA FRENCH has invented a type of domestic terrorism all her own. In her five novels, narrated by members of the Dublin police force, families are laid waste, friendships shattered, and ...

Manchette’s Mayhem

Manchette’s Mayhem

IN THE MIDDLE of Jean-Patrick Manchette’s novel The Mad and the Bad, the two central characters, Julie and Peter, pursued by kidnappers, seek refuge in a department store. Calls for police create a ...

Two Tough Cops (Who Happen to Be Female)

Two Tough Cops (Who Happen to Be Female)

POLICE OFFICERS are expected to deal with the darkest sides of society without showing any cracks in their Kevlar-tough exteriors. Add personal problems to the daily pressures of being a cop, and ...

No Big Sleep for Raymond Chandler

No Big Sleep for Raymond Chandler

EARLY IN MARCH, I attended one of the Writers Bloc interview sessions that Andrea Grossman presents regularly in Los Angeles, this one featuring Dublin author John Banville. He was touring from his na...