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Forums Index -> Best-cellars -> Favorite crime writers?
Tony Saint
PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2006 5:35 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 21 Jun 2006
Posts: 319
Location: Texas, The Remake

Maybe this should be in general chat, but I feel crime, at its best, resembles horror in many ways. The darker the better. I like Dashiell Hammett, Mickey Spillane, Jim Thompson, etc. There's even a book of Richard Matheson crime novels out. I'm about to start on Steve Niles' horror-crime novel Savage Membrane, and its sequel.

I think I may buy everything Hard Case Crime puts out, ever.

I tried San Antonio's own Rick Riordan, but Big Red Tequila didn't quite have the snap I was looking for. He's a cool guy, though, and I'll probably keep trying with his stuff. I met him on the same night I met Joe Lansdale, in San Marcos, and both men were gems.

Tell me what else I'm missing.
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JamesN
PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2006 10:51 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 20 Jun 2006
Posts: 118
Location: Western NC

I haven't read a whole lot of the Hard Case Crime stuff, but yeah -- what I have read has got me craving more. Recently tore through Lawrence Block's GRIFTER'S GAME, which kicked ass.

Dan Simmons' Joe Kurtz novels (HARD CASE, HARD AS NAILS, etc.) are definitely worth picking up. Tough n' gritty, violent. I tore through those recently in just a matter of days. Also, check out the work of Andrew Vachss, particularly his short story collection BORN BAD. I guess you could consider some of Ed Gorman's stuff "crime." Next to Lansdale, Mr. Gorman is probably my favorite writer of all time (2 years later, I still have a hard time believing he wrote the Foreword to my own debut novel . . . what an honor) . . . .

Craig Spector's TO BURY THE DEAD is a hell of a read. Ditto Lucy Taylor's NAILED and Brian Pinkerton's VENGEANCE (though these would probably be classified as noir-ish thrillers more-so than straight "crime" novels -- Pinkerton's is the best thriller I've read in perhaps the last decade).

Hope this helps. Sounds like you're very well-read, though, Tony, so I probably haven't mentioned anything you're not already aware of! Smile


J.N.
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joe kurtz
PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2006 12:10 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 29 Jun 2006
Posts: 41
Location: Lackawanna,NY

JamesN wrote:
I haven't read a whole lot of the Hard Case Crime stuff, but yeah -- what I have read has got me craving more. Recently tore through Lawrence Block's GRIFTER'S GAME, which kicked ass.

Dan Simmons' Joe Kurtz novels (HARD CASE, HARD AS NAILS, etc.) are definitely worth picking up. Tough n' gritty, violent. I tore through those recently in just a matter of days. Also, check out the work of Andrew Vachss, particularly his short story collection BORN BAD. I guess you could consider some of Ed Gorman's stuff "crime." Next to Lansdale, Mr. Gorman is probably my favorite writer of all time (2 years later, I still have a hard time believing he wrote the Foreword to my own debut novel . . . what an honor) . . . .

Craig Spector's TO BURY THE DEAD is a hell of a read. Ditto Lucy Taylor's NAILED and Brian Pinkerton's VENGEANCE (though these would probably be classified as noir-ish thrillers more-so than straight "crime" novels -- Pinkerton's is the best thriller I've read in perhaps the last decade).

Hope this helps. Sounds like you're very well-read, though, Tony, so I probably haven't mentioned anything you're not already aware of! Smile


J.N.


Dan Simmons' hardboiled crime novels?
Are you kidding me?!!
They couldn't possibly be any good. He's a horror & science fiction writer!

LOL.
Obviously, as you can see by the name I use online, I'm TRYING to be funny. Because, as we well know, Simmons is awesome in whatever genre he sees fit to indulge himself & his readers in.
The Joe Kurtz novels are not only amoung my all time favorite novels because of who wrote them & how damned good they are, but they're all set in my native Buffalo & ( in the case of NAILS anyhow ) my current home of Lackawanna.
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Tony Saint
PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2006 12:43 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 21 Jun 2006
Posts: 319
Location: Texas, The Remake

JamesN wrote:
Hope this helps. Sounds like you're very well-read, though, Tony, so I probably haven't mentioned anything you're not already aware of!


Actually, you've one-upped me like a million times. (Like when you stomp the Koopa shell against the step, and it keeps bouncing back, and you keep bouncing it, and you get one ups like crazy. See? I don't read nearly enough.) Good list: I'm on it. (Not on it. I wish I had time to write crime stories.)

After mentioning Hard Case, I completely left out Black Lizard Press. Great stuff.
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Dr. Mirakle
PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2006 6:00 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 20 Jun 2006
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The one name not in your list: Raymond Chandler.

Also, Tony Hillerman has written some great stuff (People of Darkness, Coyote Waits, Skinwalkers to name a few). You might also check out James Ellroy's L.A. Confidential.
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Tony Saint
PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2006 6:10 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 21 Jun 2006
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Location: Texas, The Remake

I'm the one schmuck who calls himself a crime fan and hasn't read Chandler. I'm getting to it. The film version of The Big Sleep is gold, though.
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JamesN
PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2006 7:28 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 20 Jun 2006
Posts: 118
Location: Western NC

Great thread . . . .

Joe: HA! Yeah, I saw your name in a thread elsewhere, figured you were a fan and would be stopping into this one soon. Smile

Tony: I'm ashamed to say I've never read any Chandler either. I definitely need to remedy that soon . . . .


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Jack19
PostPosted: Sun Jul 02, 2006 2:38 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 30 Jun 2006
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Crime is probably my favorite genre. Jim Thompson (The Grifters, The Killer Inside Me) is hard boiled as hell. Andrew Vachss is more disturbing then most horror writers. Dan Simmon's Joe Kurtz novels are awesome and I'm still waiting for him to write another one. Of course James Ellroy is classic; I mean even his memoir is hard boiled. And Lansdale's Hap and Leonard novels are awesome beyone belief. I hope he writes another.
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joe kurtz
PostPosted: Sun Jul 02, 2006 8:17 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 29 Jun 2006
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Location: Lackawanna,NY

JamesN wrote:
Great thread . . . .

Joe: HA! Yeah, I saw your name in a thread elsewhere, figured you were a fan and would be stopping into this one soon. Smile

Tony: I'm ashamed to say I've never read any Chandler either. I definitely need to remedy that soon . . . .


J.N.


Yep, I found my way here.
It took me a couple-few days to do it & figure out what was going on, but I've got this place locked in on my favs list & deleted the "other place". So, we're good to go! Smile
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joe kurtz
PostPosted: Sun Jul 02, 2006 8:34 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 29 Jun 2006
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Jack19 wrote:
Crime is probably my favorite genre. Jim Thompson (The Grifters, The Killer Inside Me) is hard boiled as hell. Andrew Vachss is more disturbing then most horror writers. Dan Simmon's Joe Kurtz novels are awesome and I'm still waiting for him to write another one. Of course James Ellroy is classic; I mean even his memoir is hard boiled. And Lansdale's Hap and Leonard novels are awesome beyone belief. I hope he writes another.



Yeah, while horror fiction has always been my fav genre with hardboiled/crime fiction a strong #2 for years & years, to be honest, I probably actually read more crime fiction these days than I do horror. As far as novels go, I just happen to think that the quality of work is a lot stronger now & the authors more consistantly reliable than with much of today's horror.
Of course, there's a whole lot of blending & "cross pollenation" between the two genres now than ever before IMO. With many top notch authors being equally adept & successfull at both such as Simmons, Lansdale, Ed Gorman, Peter Straub etc..
And the terrific work of guys like John Connelly & Michael Marshall ( Smith ) easily fitting into both genres.
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JamesN
PostPosted: Sun Jul 02, 2006 8:47 am  Reply with quote



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joe kurtz wrote:
And the terrific work of guys like John Connelly


Good call, man. Connolly is quickly becoming one of my favorites. THE KILLING KIND contained some of the most goosebump-inducing scenes I've ever read (of course, my severe aversion to spiders might have had something to do with that Shocked ), and NOCTURNES -- which I'm about 3/4 of the way through as we speak -- is also chock-full of nightmare images. The latter, IMO, ranks as one of my favorite horror short story collections . . . and this from an author who's not even marketed as a horror writer at all!


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Jack19
PostPosted: Sun Jul 02, 2006 9:35 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 30 Jun 2006
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JamesN wrote:
joe kurtz wrote:
And the terrific work of guys like John Connelly


Good call, man. Connolly is quickly becoming one of my favorites. THE KILLING KIND contained some of the most goosebump-inducing scenes I've ever read (of course, my severe aversion to spiders might have had something to do with that Shocked ), and NOCTURNES -- which I'm about 3/4 of the way through as we speak -- is also chock-full of nightmare images. The latter, IMO, ranks as one of my favorite horror short story collections . . . and this from an author who's not even marketed as a horror writer at all!


J.N.


Yeah, Connolly is great. Have to agree with you about Killing Kind, that spider stuff was fucked up. Plus I enjoy novels with re-occurring characters. Maybe it's because I'm frightened by change.

Anybody else dig Dennis Lehane? His series starting with A Drink Before The War is some of my favortie P.I. stuff ever.
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Tony Saint
PostPosted: Sun Jul 02, 2006 11:02 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 21 Jun 2006
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Location: Texas, The Remake

JamesN wrote:
Tony: I'm ashamed to say I've never read any Chandler either. I definitely need to remedy that soon . . . .


Two days ago, I found a copy of The Long Goodbye the way people used to find this stuff: in the form of a tattered, worn, damn near dead 1950's paperback. Vintage, but in hideous condition. No biggie. I'm a reader, not a collector.

I love Robert Altman's film. (Here's where the remake lovers burst in and say, "Aha! You lying bastard!")
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joe kurtz
PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2006 11:42 pm  Reply with quote



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Jack19, like you, I'm a HUGE Dennis Lehane fan. I've read all his work & Kenzie & Gennaro novels are terrific. I'm hoping like hell that we haven't seen the last of them.
Hell, at this point, I'm eagerly awaiting ANYTHING by Lehane!
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Gus Bjork
PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:28 am  Reply with quote



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Donald Westlake is my all time favorite crime writer, but these are often light-hearted. He does write some tough stuff under the pen name Richard Stark however-one good example is the character Parker and one of these novels became the movie Payback.

Do you seperate crime and mystery however? I suppose you do.
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