Authors of hard-boiled, pulp, mystery, and suspense reveal secrets about their fiction, and the writing life. All interviews are conducted by Clute and Edwards, creators of the popular podcast "Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noir." More info at www.noircast.net
Episode 28: Michael Connelly Revealed
THE BRASS VERDICT, the nineteenth novel from #1 New York Times Bestselling author Michael Connelly, gives definitive proof that Connelly is the most gifted crime writer since Raymond Chandler. Those with a debt to Chandler typically lack either the research skills, the knowledge of Los Angeles, or the soul for the job. Connelly has it all. Utilizing his skills as a former journalist, he not only nails the facts of legal and police business, he captures the complex psychology of his characters. Defense lawyer Mickey Haller and detective Harry Bosch are not pure heroes, they are men: they are not lovable, but they are competent and often admirable. To paraphrase Chandler, they have a range of awareness that startles you, but it belongs to them by right, because it belongs to the world they live in. It is above all in this melding of characters and setting that Connelly excels. Los Angeles is not a scenic backdrop, it is the master force that shapes all else, and we could not imagine Haller or Bosch being a part of any other world. But what is most remarkable about THE BRASS VERDICT is the way Connelly is able to recompose these sonorous echoes of Chandler into his own composition, settle them into his own score—with this world. This podcast is brought to you by Clute and Edwards of www.noircast.net. To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit "Behind the Black Mask: Mystery Writers Revealed" at http://btbm.libsyn.com.
Episode 27: Scott Phillips Revealed
It is hard to imagine a sequel that is any more tightly intertwined with, or distinct from, its predecessor than Scott Phillips's 2002 THE WALKAWAY. His 2000 debut novel THE ICE HARVEST was a tight tale of one day in the tragicomic life of small-time Wichita mobster Charlie Arglist. THE WALKAWAY is an ambitious prequel-sequel to that bestseller, a complex narrative that alternates between first and third person points of view, and three different time frames. It opens in the immediate aftermath of the fateful accident that ended the first book, then traces the life of Gunther Fahnstiel, from his morally ambiguous young adulthood the prepared him for that fateful accident, to his current advanced age as he tries to remember how he became the man he is—and how he might still profit by it. If the first novel was the portrait of a man in his boudoir, THE WALKAWAY is like one of those vast tapestries you see on castle walls: caught in the weft and warp of fragile memory are entire genealogies of morally deficiently but somehow noble middle-America hoodlums. It is the Comédie humaine of Kansas, and establishes Phillips as a writer of vast talent and ambition who refuses to write the same type of story twice. This podcast is brought to you by Clute and Edwards of www.noircast.net. To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit "Behind the Black Mask: Mystery Writers Revealed" at http://btbm.libsyn.com.
Episode 26: George Pelecanos Revealed
THE TURNAROUND, George Pelecanos's fifteenth novel, is the work of a mature writer at the top of his game. It is a thoughtful examination of one event that permanently alters the lives of six young men—three black, three white. The story is both as straightforward and as complex as the characters it involves, and pulls the reader in through their palpable suffering. By creating such intimacy with this ensemble cast, Pelecanos is able to explore some of the most pressing issues facing America today—race, class, and the foreign war that districts us from these domestic battles—with depth and nuance, and without any trace of artificiality or authorial tampering. A less experienced or less gifted writer would have been tempted, in handling such material, to deliver a message, and so would have ruined a story that is infinitely more rich because it stays focused on the people it involves. Pelecanos reveals how his youthful aspirations to be a filmmaker, his experience writing for HBO's THE WIRE, and his work on the Derek Strange and Terry Quinn books all prepared him to write this understated masterpiece that is THE TURNAROUND. This podcast is brought to you by Clute and Edwards of www.noircast.net. To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit Behind the Black Mask: Mystery Writers Revealed at http://btbm.libsyn.com.
Episode 25: Mark Coggins Revealed
That Coggins is a disciple of Chandler and Hammett is abundantly clear in his most recent August Riordan novel, RUNOFF. Riordan is in many ways analogous to Chandler's iconic Philip Marlowe. He is a relatively poor man, or he would not be a detective at all. He is a common man, or he could not go among common people. He has a sense of character, or he would not know his job. Coggins turns his man loose in one of the most hard-boiled of towns—San Francisco. The setting is no mistake. It's Coggins's home, and thus a place he can write of with authority. It was also Hammett's city, and Sam Spade's. Most importantly, it's a place that lends itself perfectly to a plot that is at once classic-hardboiled and thoroughly modern, a tale of real estate moguls and political hopefuls in collusion to rig elections and reap the profits. In other words, Coggins has the literary savvy to revisit Chandler and Hammett in order to develop character, place, and plot in a timeless fashion, but also has the storytelling smarts to realize the limitations of a simple nostalgia piece. RUNOFF structures an elegant bridge between the war years and today, somehow soaring above the murky pitfalls such a blend of eras should create. This podcast is brought to you by Clute and Edwards of www.noircast.net. To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit "Behind the Black Mask: Mystery Writers Revealed" at http://btbm.libsyn.com.
Episode 24: Jonathan Santlofer Revealed
Jonathan Santlofer is an artist and author of exceptional talent, a master of virtually any visual or linguistic medium. His work has been displayed in fine galleries around the world,and his art-themed crime fiction has drawn comparisons to the work of Michael Connelly. He is the author of five novels, three starring NYPD detective turned art historian Kate McKinnon (THE KILLING ART, COLOR BLIND, THE DEATH ARTIST) and two featuring NYPD sketch artist Nate Rodriquez (ANATOMY OF FEAR and THE MURDER NOTEBOOK). He joins Clute and Edwards in June to discuss this last title, a June release from William Marrow. For more information on his fiction, or to experience his stunning artwork (some of which is incorporated into his novels), visit Jonathan's elegant, flash-driven website: www.jonathansantlofer.com
Episode 23: Christa Faust Revealed
Christa Faust's latest novel, MONEY SHOT, distills all the darkest and most addictive spirits of 1940's film noir and 1950's hard-boiled into a lethal elixir. Such a statement is necessarily contradictory, for Faust's unique blend of a noir atmosphere of inescapable doom with the campy, two-fisted action of Gold Medal-era pulp, gives us characters who die so that they might be reborn, and action that destroys in order to redeem. Protagonist Angel Dare, former porn star and savvy businesswoman, kind-hearted sucker and cold-hearted avenging angel, is the very embodiment of contradictions, yet makes so much sense she'll break your heart. She is the antidote to the uni-dimensionality of today's genre fiction, capable because of her flaws, vulnerable because of her toughness, and of a moral complexity few can touch and none can sully. Far from being anachronistic, MONEY SHOT is a thoroughly modern tale, the work of an author who brilliantly revisits the past in order to reinvigorate a literary tradition and create a new sort of femme fatale who can walk, or work, today's mean streets. No wonder Hard Case Crime chose it as the first title in the line by a female author. This podcast is brought to you by Clute and Edwards of www.noircast.net. To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit "Behind the Black Mask: Mystery Writers Revealed" at btbm.libsyn.com.
Clute and Edwards are providing an invaluable service via their exploration and examination of hardboiled writing and film noir via their podcasts. These are some of the best 'casts that iTunes has to offer!
Intelligent, The Best
Clute and Edwards are masterful interviewers. If you are a reader and especially if you are a writer these podcasts will motivate and inspire you. The preparation they put into their interviews and the knowledge of the author and subject is the best I have seen in years. Most could take lessons from these guys. Their primary strength I have found is the fact that they listen to what the writer is saying and more often than not base their next question on the previous response. My usual annual donation to NPR will go to these guys via their website. Outstanding, interesting, intelligent. The best of what is out there
This is a Great Podcast for Crime Fiction Lovers
If you enjoy crime fiction, especially of the hardboiled variety, then this podcast is for you. It provides informative interviews with some of the best writers in the genre. The interviewer is knowledgable and superb, and the introductions to each interview are superbly written. This podcast has introduced me to a lot of new authors.
The production values are great, and this is professionally done show all around. Listen and enjoy.