Crime Fiction, Mystery, Thrillers, and Suspense Blog
Friday, 07 February 2014 23:15
Titus Welliver is the Bosch we’ve been waiting for.
In the TV adaptation of Michael Connelly’s novels, character actor Welliver plays Harry Bosch, the iconic LAPD detective of Connelly’s novels.
Bosch’s launch is a bit different than most TV series.
Judging from the Bosch pilot, Michael Connelly fans definitely will want to vote positively and write glowing reviews to get this launched.
Welliver embodies the character of Bosch, who Connelly has written about in some 20 novels. The character actor has long been considered an actor’s actor, one who blends into a role, making each appearance different.
The Bosch pilot was written by Connelly and Treme co-creator Eric Overmeyer, who are executive producing. Henrik Bastin of Fabrik Entertainment (The Killing) is producing and Jim McKay is the director.
In the pilot, Bosch works to solve the murder of a 13-year-old boy while the detective is standing trial in federal court for the murder of a serial killer.
Bosch is based on the novels City of Bones and The Concrete Blonde – as well as a short story called Cielo Azul. Long-time readers will notice snippets from those novels as well as other scenes from Connelly’s novels.
Bosch also features a solid supporting cast including Lance Reddick (The Wire) as Deputy Chief Irvin Irving; Jamie Hector as Bosch’s partner Jerry Edgar; Amy Aquino as Lt. Grace Billets, among others.
While the Bosch of Connelly’s novels is a Vietnam veteran, the TV version updates the character.
Bosch is set in contemporary Los Angeles, which, as in Connelly’s novels is a character in itself. A moody patina envelops the beautiful cinematography.
I always prefer the novels to the film versions of anything. But Bosch is a good companion to Connelly’s books.
Now, when I read Connelly’s novels, I will picture Welliver.
Vote for Bosch. The sooner the better.
Wednesday, 05 February 2014 16:27
Linwood Barclay has a hobby—an extensive train set in the basement of his Canadian home. I found out about this thanks to a Facebook posting by Owen Laukkanen, another Canadian author.
Barclay’s novels are gripping domestic thrillers in which ordinary people are caught up in situations they never imagined.
As you can see in the photo at left, it is more than a train set. It is a complete town with cars and people. And it appears to be stuck in the 1940s or 1950s. The video in which he explains his hobby also is cool.
Saturday, 01 February 2014 11:40
Pretty highfalutin stuff for a genre that many deride as just car chases and gun battles.
So it should come as no surprise that it irritates me to no end when authors treat the genre as if it were beneath them. Especially those authors who try to write a mystery, thinking it is all formula and no heart, and then make fun of the genre. (Admittedly, I did use a few words stronger than “irritate.”)
In the past two months, a couple of authors have done this.
But to make matters worse, this author has given an interview with NPR stating her disdain for the genre.
Here’s a quote from the author’s NPR interview: “The book is tongue in cheek. It's very ironic ... and I'm not a fan of mysteries, so to prepare for this experience of writing a mystery I started reading the most successful ones in the market in 2012. ... And I realized I cannot write that kind of book. It's too gruesome, too violent, too dark; there's no redemption there. And the characters are just awful. Bad people. Very entertaining, but really bad people. So I thought, I will take the genre, write a mystery that is faithful to the formula and to what the readers expect, but it is a joke.”
Mysteries are all about redemption, about justice, or the lack of it, in society. It isn’t about happy endings, though most mysteries do end on a positive note. Mysteries about how despite the odds, no matter how many horrible things happen in our lives we find the strength to go on.
The mystery genre has never just been about finding out who killed who or who the villain is. That’s a misconception perpetuated by unsophisticated readers and jealous writers.
I could list so many genre writers whose novels continue to uplift and expand the genre, bringing us insight to the world outside of ourselves—Michael Connelly, Laura Lippman, S.J. Rozan, Sara Paretsky, Val McDermid, Jacqueline Winspear, Ivy Pochoda, Julia Keller, Owen Laukkanen, Dennis Lehane, Jennifer McMahon, Wiley Cash, Laurie R. King…wait, I have to stop.
This author did indeed write a joke—but the joke on her. In trying to slam the mystery genre, she has written a bad book.
I could go on about my “irritation” at this author and others who think crime fiction is slumming. It is anything but. An author who can write an emotionally involving mystery knows how hard this is and, how satisfying it is to the reader.
Perhaps this author needs to a) stop giving interviews and b) learn more about the genre and c) have more respect for readers.
Wednesday, 29 January 2014 21:09
The awards’ season continues with the announcement of Malice Domestic’s Agatha Award nominations.
BEST CONTEMPORARY NOVEL
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