Sunday, October 19, 2014

Laughter in the Dark

“Once upon a time there lived in Berlin, Germany, a man called Albinus. He was rich, respectable, happy; one day he abandoned his wife for the sake of a youthful mistress; he loved; was not loved; and his life ended in disaster.”

That succinct paragraph opens Laughter in the Dark before Vladimir Nabokov dutifully unfolds the spiraling downward fall of middle-aged art critic Albert Albinus and his gripping obsession with the 16-year-old Margot Peters. The novel was first published in Russian in 1932 under the far more captivating title Camera Obscura, and twenty-three years later Nabokov would tackle a similar theme of an older man with a young girl in the groundbreaking Lolita. But, whereas the famed nymphet of the 1950s gains a certain amount of pity for her situation, Margot comes across for what she is: a spoiled, conniving, and ultimately quite cruel femme fatale.

Read the rest of my article at Criminal Element.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Further Adventures of Cash Laramie and Gideon Miles

This is my first new collection of Cash Laramie and Gideon Miles short stories in almost three years. Wayne D. Dundee, Heath Lowrance, and Nik Morton have done such a fantastic job while I’ve been away that I knew I needed to dig deep to live up to their recent exploits.

The story of Cash and Gideon begins in the 1880s Wyoming Territory, then thunders through to 1930s New Orleans, and the two Deputy U.S. Marshals continue to find themselves on the outside of societal norms.

My buddy Chuck Tyrell helped me considerably with several stories in Further Adventures, and, in fact, I dedicated this collection to him.

Further Adventures of Cash Laramie and Gideon Miles is available in print and for the Kindle.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Monday, October 13, 2014

FREE eBook: The Big Ugly by Jake Hinkson

The Big Ugly is now available through BEAT to a PULP books and will be offered as a free download for two days. But I recommend the beautifully bound paperback with cover design by Michael Kronenberg—a nice addition to any noir book lover's shelf.

Ellie Bennett is an ex-corrections officer who has just served a year inside Eastgate Penitentiary for assaulting a prisoner. She’s only been out for a day when she accepts a strange job offer from the head of a Christian political advocacy group. He wants her to track down a missing ex-con named Alexis. Although no one knows where Alexis has gone, it seems like everyone in Arkansas is looking for her—from a rich televangelist running for Congress to the governor’s dirty tricks man. When Bennett finds the troubled young woman, she has to decide whether to hand her over to the highest bidder or help her escape from the most powerful men in the state.

Here's what others have said about The Big Ugly:

“Keep an eye on Jake Hinkson. He's taking the notion of the sacred and the profane to an entirely new level in noir.” —Lou Boxer co-founder of NoirCon

The Big Ugly is a jolt to complacency, a spur to the psyche -- a novel that starts simply enough, but expands and suddenly consumes the reader. Jake Hinkson is a master at creating, not characters, but people -- and then putting them through Hell.” —Steve Weddle, author of Country Hardball

“Jake Hinkson is a thunderhead on the horizon of crime fiction, and you can take The Big Ugly as confirmation that this storm isn't going to blow over any time soon. Batten down the hatches, take shelter and prepare for nasty weather. My favorite kind.” —Jedidiah Ayres, author of Peckerwood

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Hardboiled Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway is one of the biggest names of 20th century literature. He won the Pulitzer Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954, and his star seems in no danger of burning out even with tastes shifting away from the controversial sport of his beloved bull fighting and his outdated machismo. Though he didn’t write for the pulps, his spare dialogue and trim storytelling strongly influenced many hardboiled crime writers of his time and extending to crime-scrawling word slingers on the Internet today. Below I’ve selected six stories and two films that exemplify why, along with impresarios like Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler, he helped define a genre directly with classics like “The Killers” and indirectly with more literature-infused offerings like “In a Clean, Well-Lighted Place.”

Read the rest of Edward A. Grainger's Hardboiled Hemingway here.