“Breakage” by Reed Farrel Coleman is the issue’s feature story. Rack up another win for PI Moe Prager’s casebook, and for Coleman, who hits all the right notes. The mystery is a missing person’s case, with emphasis on the characters’ humanity and the scars of wounds sealed, but never really healed.
Rick Ollerman’s Hardboiled, Noir and Gold Medals collects many of his essays from the collected works of paperback original authors, published by Stark House Press. Below is an excerpt from his interview in The Digest Enthusiast No. 7 in which he describes his approach to research for his essays:
“Whenever I write an essay, I always want to find something new to say about either that writer or their work, maybe both.
“It’s not always easy to know what that something new is going to be before I start researching and taking notes for the essay. In fact, it’s usually not. Sometimes I have an idea what it could be, and sometimes it even works out, but often not. Very often in the case of some of the paperback original guys, no one seems to have written down much about them, and reading is my primary form of research.”
Book news and reviews are “Placed in Evidence” by J. Kingston Pierce. A good review tells you enough to judge your interest in a book without spoiling the read. A great review adds entertainment and context, along with clear, fluid writing. Pierce’s reviews deliver the goods in spades.
TDE: Take us back to the beginning of your love affair with reading > crime fiction > and the giants of the PBO era
RO: Things didn’t get serious until my adult life, and the two things that probably did the most to trigger further adventure were the nearly simultaneous discoveries of the introduction of the Gregg Press edition of Donald Westlake’s The Hunter, and coming across Ed Gorman’s blog. Westlake talks about Peter Rabe and some things from his past, and Gorman talks about nearly everything else.
For crime with a more international import, Terrence McCauley’s crowd from The University series leaves Inspector Alain Ducard on the banks of the Seine with two murders on his hands. “The Solitary Man” is espionage told just the way you didn’t see coming, with menace beneath its decorum and elegance, conversations with unspoken portent, and a fractured morality fraught between what’s right and what’s best for someone or something greater.