Noir

RECENT REVIEWS

That Chicano Thing

That Chicano Thing

IN 1997 I attended Bouchercon, an annual mystery writers’ convention, in Monterey, California. Rudolfo Anaya, Lucha Corpi, and Manuel Ramos were on a panel titled “Guns and Salsa: Latino Mystery a...

On Trust in Crime Fiction

On Trust in Crime Fiction

THERE ARE VARIOUS versions of trust: the unconditional trust of someone who considers you to be the most important part of their world, the wordless trust between partners who have weathered heaven an...

They All Knew Jack

They All Knew Jack

IF YOU ARE FAMILIAR at all with the Whitechapel murders, you might have heard of the usual suspects: artist, Walter Sickert; Duke of Clarence, Prince Albert Victor; Polish immigrant and certified psyc...

Stuff of Scars

Stuff of Scars

IN THE OPENING PAGES of Mighty, Mighty, actor/author Wally Rudolph prefaces his paean to the ragged streets of late-1990s Chicago by quoting poet Roger Reeves: “Violence is the American version of l...

Man-Eaters and Child-Nappers

Man-Eaters and Child-Nappers

AS ESSENTIAL a feature in Nordic folklore as reindeer, ice, and vast expanses of snow, illuminated in perpetual summer or obscured under the dark cap of winter, is a surprisingly diverse community of ...

A Second View: “The Third Man” from Eye Level

A Second View: “The Third Man” from Eye Level

THE MOST FAMOUS MOMENT in Carol Reed’s The Third Man (1949) is of course Orson Welles (as Harry Lime) delivering his grim pronouncements about the last several centuries’ worth of European history...

A Biographer of Monsters

A Biographer of Monsters

ANN RULE’S THE STRANGER BESIDE ME is a staple on the true crime shelves of any bookstore. At least one copy is usually on hand given its numerous reprintings and mass popularity since its initial pu...

Sever the Connection

Sever the Connection

YOU KNOW THIS HORRID QUESTION, dreaded by most writers: “Have you written anything I might have heard of?” I’ll bet Derek Haas doesn’t dread that question. If I were in his boat, I’d probabl...

On Finks, Nobles, Snoops, Spies, Guards, and Ops

On Finks, Nobles, Snoops, Spies, Guards, and Ops

IT IS PERHAPS reasonable to deduce that the curious case of Cain and Abel provides the first documented instance of crime writing and capital murder. The story includes a cover-up, as well as an autho...

Left Off the Map

Left Off the Map

THE GIRL ON THE COVER of East Asian Film Noir: Transnational Encounters and Intercultural Dialogue appears caught in an uncertain narrative. Her coquettish demeanor suggests a sexual encounter (height...

Destroy to Create

Destroy to Create

IN THE MEXICAN STATE OF VERACRUZ in Héctor Aguilar Camín’s 1986 novel, Death in Veracruz, Lázaro Pizarro is the union strongman and de facto ruler. He is a man of grandiose ambition and clever st...