Tag Archives: We All Fall Down

The Frighten Side of Me

I’ve been a lot of promotional work on my latest nonfiction book, American Dictators, including a March 8 appearance at the Secaucus Public Library that should be fun.

But when I’m not writing about political bosses and labor wars, I write crime fiction of the dark, gritty variety that inhabits a territory where John Sandford, Patricia Highsmith, Georges Simenon, Jim Thompson, and Joyce Carol Oates overlap.

Those of you who are Kindle compatible will get a chance to download my two novels We All Fall Down and Echo as ebook freebies, from Monday through Wednesday. The first is a police procedural about a troubled woman police officer named Karen McCarthy, who will be making a return sometime next year. The second involves an even more troubled heroine, Theresa Costanza, and the story is a dark psychological thriller modeled after Simenon’s romans durs, or “hard novels.”

Download them with my compliments, for three days, at any rate.

 

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Second edition

For Web 7-1-13 WAFD

Say hello to the spanking new second edition of my first novel, We All Fall Down. You will note that the new cover is not only much spiffier, it also capitalizes on the nice things the New York Post and The Star-Ledger said about the book when it came out.  Not only is the cover better, but the interior text has been reformatted for a cleaner, tighter look. This is a book you can display with pride on your shelf, your coffee table, and your beach blanket, where it will cause all the other beach reads to slink away in silence. I’m serious. Buy the book, take it to the beach, and see what happens.

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The Year of the Hat Trick, cont’d

I’ve been dropping hints for the past few months about what’s next for me as a writer. The first announcement is that in the next few weeks Black Angel Press will launch the new edition of We All Fall Down, my first novel, with a spiffier cover that takes advantage of the nice mentions the novel received from the New York Post and the Star-Ledger. There was nothing wrong with the old cover, but I like the new one much better, and I took advantage of the reissue to tidy up some of the typos people found in the text of the first printing. There’s plenty more to tell, and I’ll be telling it pretty soon.

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Department of Shout-Outs

BROKEN SHIELD

J.D. Rhoades, the master thriller writer who provided some valuable blurbage for the cover of my first novel, We All Fall Down, has a new suspense novel out. It’s called Broken Shield, and I’ll be scoring myself a copy today, because I’d be a fan even if he hadn’t done me a favor.

Rhoades has lately been trying his hand at different genres, but Broken Shield is a return to the redneck noir style of his earlier novels. In fact, Broken Shield is a sequel to Breaking Cover, which read like the Sam Peckinpah movie you wished the old guy had been around long enough to make. Here the focus is on Tim Buckthorn, the lawman who was a supporting player in the previous story.

Judging from the praise of big leaguers like Alexandra Sokoloff, Zoe Sharp, and Keith Raffel, Breaking Cover will not disappoint. 

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Yule review

Here’s a nice, out-of-the-blue surprise: a very flattering writeup on my novel We All Fall Down. And if what she has to say about the adventures of Karen McCarthy sparks your interest, here’s a link to the very affordable Kindle edition.

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Q&A

Yours Truly is interviewed by Pat Bertram over at her website. The subject is . . . oh, I don’t know. Some book I wrote. You’ll see.

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An almost-perfect storm

Pam Stack, co-host of the Authors on the Air program that featured me and We All Fall Down a few months ago, is guest-blogging for J.D. Rhoades, who provided a wonderful cover blurb for the novel. Read, listen, be informed, be entertained.  

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The thriller of it all

All readers are critics, but not all readers (and definitely not all critics) are created equal. So when this reader-blogger offers a critique of a thriller, it’s useful to pay attention. I particularly liked this observation:

There are three ways to go with a thriller.  You can write what’s essentially a horror story.  You can tell a morality tale.  You can make it a comedy.  It seems like most contemporary thrillers—books and movies—are horror stories. The bad guys are monsters, inhumanly evil, irresistible, relentless, and possessed of an almost supernatural ability to cause harm and get away with it.  John D. McDonald, Raymond Chandler, and Robert B. Parker told morality tales. Most of the crimes in their novels arise from decent people’s moral failings rather than from the intrusion of an outside evil.

That certainly gets at the core of what I like most about John D. MacDonald’s novels. His Travis McGee books are not as consistent as, say, John Sandford’s Lucas Davenport series, but the only out-and-out stinker of the series, The Green Ripper, goes wrong because MacDonald has his hero tangling with a terrorist cell disguised as a bizarre religious cult. (Great way for terrorists to avoid attention.) There’s also the tired device of having the hero out to avenge the murder of his beloved, but even that might have been less wheezy if MacDonald had kept his villains within the realm of crooked sheriffs, sleazy developers, petty mobsters, and rustic psychopaths — territory MacDonald made his own over the course of dozens of novels.

I’m not crazy enough to equate myself with MacDonald or any of the other authors in Lance Mannion’s piece, but my own fiction rests comfortably within his definition of a morality tale. I tend to nod off when reading about eeee-vil global conspiracies and bands of maniacs with Hitler’s head tucked away in the freezer. I like human-scaled heroes and villains, and I prefer the evil acts to arise from recognizable human-scale behavior.

That’s the case with my first novel, We All Fall Down, and it will be the case with my second, Echo, coming out in about ten months or so. But I’ll get back to that in due course.     

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Turn and Facebook the strange

With my usual headlong rush to embrace new technology, I have started Facebook pages for my two books to date: the crime novel We All Fall Down and the popular history book The Last Three Miles: Politics, Murder, and the Construction of America’s First Superhighway. If you pay them a visit, please be a mensch and click the Like button. It doesn’t mean a permanent commitment or anything. It’s not like there’s a Love button. It’s more like a “We’re good friends” kind of thing. No phone calls in the middle of the night — I promise.

And you know, in the coming months those two Facebook pages may have a couple more friends keeping them company. No details as yet, but gears are grinding and planets are aligning. More details as they develop.

 

 

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