Incident Report

Incident Report No. 29


A review of small press crime fiction for the week of February 11th through the 17th. Links to articles and book releases, new and upcoming.


In ‘Down The River,’ Walter Mosley Latest Detective Novel Deals With Dualities : NPR
And so I wanted write a novel in which that happened, that that you have a policeman – a black policeman, but still a policeman – who hates, you know, what this guy has done. But then as he’s paid to get deeper and deeper into it, he begins to understand that everything is not what it seems.
February Thrillers Featuring 7 of the Best Mystery Writers Today
No, no, no, no, no! A thousand times no! -DN
All Men, All the Time: A Former Literary Editor Remembers the World Before #MeToo – Vogue
It didn’t take long for me to learn that the literary world, despite an exterior sheen of civility, could be a discouragingly conventional place teeming with unchecked male egos.
A Prisoner Got a Book Deal. Now the State Wants Him to Pay for His Imprisonment. – The New York Times
But his surprising literary debut also caught the attention of Michigan’s attorney general, who now wants Mr. Dawkins, 49, to use his financial windfall to pay for his incarceration.
Mystery Playground: Q & A with J.J. Hensley
I’m always calling on my training and experience when I’m writing. The funny thing is I don’t think my readers are holding me to a higher standard when it comes to accuracy. However, I raise the bar extremely high and take few liberties when it comes to processes and procedures.
SleuthSayers: Draftsmanship
I also like to write a first draft all the way through, without stopping to do a lot of analysis on the way. I’ve never been one of those people who “edit as they go.”
Friday’s “Forgotten” Books | Sweet Freedom
The links to the reviews and more: 16 February 2018
Five of the best French crime authors » CRIME FICTION LOVER
France has a great literary tradition, the polar noir is part of that, and you can find plenty more French crime authors here. However, the ones listed below are truly magnifique and deserve your reading attention…
Fahrenheit Press | Rubicon optioned by the BBC
Holy Crap! Ian Patrick’s debut novel, “Rubicon”, has been optioned by the BBC. It’s published by Fahrenheit Perss. Awesome small press crime fiction news! -DN
Book Review : Donald Ray Pollock – The Heavenly Table (2016) — Dead End Follies
If I’d judge The Heavenly Table by any other standards, I would’ve been more enthusiastic about it but I know Donald Ray Pollock has an extra gear he didn’t use for this one and it murdered me.
The best recent crime novels – review roundup | Books | The Guardian
One small press title out of five is kind of good. -DN
The Greatest Crime Novelists on Their Favorite Crime Novels Ever | GQ
Interesting, though I’ve never heard of Stephanie Cha. I will fix this. -DN
Sofia Samatar on Kafka, Binge-Writing and the Search For Monsters | Literary Hub
Writing that goes too far, I think that is all I want to read. As writers, we should go where the horse drags us.
My Father’s Crimes Exist in Everything I Write | Literary Hub
Our family didn’t need the money and we never suspected anything was truly wrong with him until the day the Hamilton County police showed up at our garage door with a warrant for his arrest.
25 Legendary Literary Feuds, Ranked | Literary Hub
They don’t make literary feuds the way they used to.
Tom Gauld on the writer’s life – cartoon | Books | The Guardian
When working is not working. -DN
How ‘Lolita’ Freed Me From My Own Humbert – The New York Times
Over time, the novel became more than a coping mechanism; it became a guide. I came to see how Lolita uses Humbert’s obsession with her as a means to gain power over him.
Crime Review: February 17 2018
A new issue of Crime Review is out with an L.C. Tyler interview and 20 book reviews.
Golden Man Booker prize launched to find the best ever winner | Books | The Guardian
I see a white male author winner in the future. -DN
The bookstores of Koreatown
Koreatown is a destination for English, Korean and bilingual — or aspiring to be — readers of every age.
Hunting — and Haunted by — a Serial Killer – The New York Times
The story that [Michelle McNamara] she spent the last five years of her life obsessively researching was half written, the gruesome mystery still unsolved. After losing his wife, [Patton] Oswalt couldn’t bear the thought of her work languishing.
Prize for thriller novels without female victims draws mixed reactions –
But what about those who do? Women make up a large portion of thriller readers and authors, and female crime writers have been among the strongest critics of the prize.
A Letter to the Girl on the Bus Reading FLAT STANLEY
On witnessing the joy of reading in others. -DN
Dani Shapiro on the Hard Art of Balancing Writing and Social Media | Literary Hub
The work we do requires solitude. Not only actual room-of-one’s-own solitude, but vast fields of mental space. The moment a writer thinks of her audience, she inevitably falls into a pit of self-consciousness.
The Middle Part | The Thrill Begins
You want tears? Try the middle part of a novel. Or, as Chuck Wendig calls it, “The middle, the motherfucking middle.”
The Devil Doesn’t Want Me by Eric Beetner – Unlawful Acts
Reading Beetner is like snorting rails of coke off of a stripper in a VIP room, lots of fun, but do you really want to do it every night? “Hell, yeah!”
Author of the Week: Tom Pitts – Digital Media Ghost
I mean, fuck the bestseller list. It’s all shit anyway. I just want to get it right, just once before I tucker out.
Village Greene: Brian Greene’s Writing Blog: Introduction in Forthcoming Book
News of a new Orrie Hitt reprint is always good news. -DN
Audiobooks: Revolutionary or Ruining Reading? – The Dorset Book Detective
With the constant rise of firm such as Audible, it is no wonder that audiobooks are becoming more popular as consumers enjoy easier access to them. However, I have always wondered if they are ruining the real reading experience by providing a sort of rubbish version of actually reading a book. Is it better to read the words than it is to hear them spoken aloud?
Yellow Mama
New issue of Yellow Mama is out.
The Night of the Flood – The BOLO Books Review | BOLO BOOKS
The Night of the Flood is an impressive collection of stories from some of the most talented writers working in the crime genre today. The intertextuality amongst the stories is truly impressive. The subtle – and sometimes blatant – references between these works will warrant and reward multiple readings of The Night of the Flood.
Is 99¢ too cheap a price for your book? • Career Authors
My problem is $11.99 ebooks when the paperback is going for under $9. -DN
Your novel blows because… it’s morally rigid and predictable — Dead End Follies
I’ve been ceaselessly yapping about Joe Clifford’s novel Give Up the Dead over the last couple months, but it’s another example of nuanced stakes and therefore nuanced morals.
Alexis Burling on Tolstoy, The Golden Notebook, & Roxane Gay’s Fierce Criticism | Literary Hub
Just because many of us read all day for work, that doesn’t mean we are always in our pajamas. Because: gross.
BLACK GUYS DO READ – Book Reviews Blog: PRETTY MARYS ALL IN A ROW by Gwendolyn Kiste
Once upon a time, the darkness stole my life from me. Now it’s stealing my hereafter too.
In Praise of Alistair MacLean and the Male Romance – The New York Times
Years later, I understood that these were in fact romance novels for boys, which means very little romance and lots of danger, complicated weaponry and battle-forged camaraderie. Historical romances are known as “bodice-rippers.” The only silk to be found in an Alistair MacLean novel is on a parachute.
Caleb Roehrig lists some YA Mysteries for us.
Laura Lippman: An Interview with One of the Biggest Names in the Industry
My least favorite book is always the book I’m working on, but it’s also my favorite. It’s very much like being a mom.
Review: The Devil at Your Door by Eric Beetner by Scott Adlerberg
What’s great about Beetner is you know he might give you what you want, but he just as easily may not. Whichever way he chooses to take you, I can tell you one thing: hooked on the propulsive story, you’ll be reading the book fast. Is there any other way to read an Eric Beetner novel?
Crime Fiction in the Age of Trump: Five Top Writers Weigh in on the Challenge of Writing Crime in 2018 by Sam Wiebe
Crime fiction’s ability to speak to social problems depends on its ability to entertain and draw a readership while doing so. Story takes precedence; if it doesn’t, your well-wrought critique of the prison-industrial complex will languish on the remainder table. In hip-hop terms, there’s no flow without the beat.
Slaughterhouse Blues by Nick Kolakowski – Unlawful Acts
Slaughterhouse Blues wasn’t the wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am book like its predecessor, but I wasn’t disappointed. With Bill and Fiona as our guides, Nick Kolakowski’s Slaughterhouse Blues takes us on a raucous ride filled with craziness, violence, and peculiar characters.
A Book I Fucking Hate : Night Train (Guest Post) — Dead End Follies
Now, if you hated mystery novels and wanted to come up with a pure fuck you of a solution, and you thought you were smarter than you actually were, you’d probably come up with what Amis did.
We Need to Start Taking Young Women’s Love Stories Seriously
Tackling sexism in the writing and publishing world is a big job with multiple and varied solutions, but one piece of the puzzle is as simple as confronting this impulse to embrace books we perceive as masculine and to distance ourselves from those we perceive as feminine.
10 African American Authors to Read This Month | LitReactor
I’m not a big fan of Black History posts … I don’t believe they should be limited to a single month. I’ll give Gabino Iglesias a pass because Gabino writes about diverse authors ALL year long. This list is great and there’s more than ten.
The Rap Sheet: Bill Crider, R.I.P.
There’s been a lot said about Bill Crider last night and today. There will probably more in the upcoming weeks. Over at The Rap Sheet, J. Kingston Pierce has a great remembrance of Bill.
The Latest Trends In Cover Design: Think Pink? |
More on book covers.
On the Very Contemporary Art of Flash Fiction | Literary Hub
Follow Lydia Davis’s example. Make your flash fictions algebraic word problems or culinary recipes or autocorrected text messages from your estranged father or email spam from Nigerian bankers or advertisements for a new kind of hat that grows hair in just thirty days or for Dr. Campbell’s Arsenic Complexion Wafers. In short, anything at all.
Fans of Easy Rawlins and Leonid McGill, Meet Joe King Oliver – The New York Times
Sometimes a broken clock is right. Marilyn Stasio calls Walter Mosley’s DOWN THE RIVER UNTO THE SEA, “Great stuff.” I’m hoping she’s correct.
The First Two Pages: A Matter of Blood by Catherine Maiorisi – Art Taylor
Today, Catherine write about her new novel—and first full-length mystery!—A Matter of Blood, featuring NYPD Detective Chiara Corelli. Congratulations to her on this milestone publication!
SONS OF SPADE: Slaughterhouse Blues (Bill & Fiona) by Nick Kolakowski
There will be laughs along the way.
Not a mystery novel or the kind of PI stuff I usually review it IS a solid crime novella.
Do Some Damage: Being Part of a Writing Community
The advice I normally seek out is rarely about craft—those are questions I feel comfortable working out alone. But the business of writing baffles me, and can be demoralizing. I love talking shop with people smarter than myself, who know the business and have an eye for spotting ways to be more professional.
The Good Mothers review – women challenge the mafia | Books | The Guardian
“To leave the mafia means much more than physically getting away from it. If you leave, the women are told, you cease to exist.”
How It Happened – Thomas Pluck | The Thrill Begins
“And when I started doing things, I started coming up with stories in my head.”
Review: Help I Am Being Held Prisoner by Donald E. Westlake by Brian Greene
But HCC’s latest Westlake re-release, 1974’s Help I Am Being Held Prisoner, is not on par with those two nor is it among the better works penned by the ridiculously prolific multi-Edgar Award winner and former Mystery Writers of America Grand Master.
When You Have to Kill the Perfect Book Cover | Literary Hub
My first approach to a cover always begins in my sketchbook. After reading the manuscript and taking brief notes, I begin drawing small thumbnail versions of loose cover ideas to work out composition and placement. This helps me to avoid getting mired in unnecessary details too early in the process
Forget the Love Poems This Valentine’s Day, But Fall in Love With Poetry | LitReactor
“Similes are great, and I use them often, but it is the metaphor that really takes something good and makes it great. And do you know who is really good at writing metaphors? Fucking poets, man.”
The Interrogation Room – An Interview With Nick Kolakowski | Dirty Books
“If it’s funny or gruesome, I have a real struggle with cutting it out. I keep a separate document where I collect interesting bits and fragments that I’ve chopped from other works—sometimes they’ll find a good home later in another short story or novel.”
Rebecca Solnit on the #MeToo Backlash | Literary Hub
“The change that really matters will consist of eliminating the desire to do these things, not merely the fear of getting caught.”
One Bite at a Time: A Conversation With Thomas Pluck
“I put my heart into stories, which makes them harder for me than novels. Not that I don’t put my heart into a book, but a story is like a one-inch punch from Bruce Lee, and a novel is a ten or fifteen round fight, where you get breaks and some love from the cut man between rounds.”
William Gay’s Detective Novel | Fried Chicken and Coffee: Online Home of Rusty Barnes
Rusty Barnes points us to a new release, William Gay’s “Stoneburner”.
Karl Ove Knausgaard: ‘Contemporary fiction is overrated’ | Books | The Guardian
I love the spectacle of Karl Ove Knausgaard. -DN
Stuff That Takes Readers Out of a Story |
“In some thrillers I’ve read there’s a kind of thrillus ex machina (apologies to Aristotle) at work. Suddenly the protagonist develops an instant set of skills or finds almost superhuman strength at just the right time. Or maybe there’s a suspension of physical or forensic reality.”
Love, It’s What Makes ‘Suburra’ | by Christopher Carroll | NYR Daily | The New York Review of Books
“Though technically a prequel to a film of the same name directed by Stefano Sollima, itself adapted from a novel by Giancarlo De Cataldo and Carlo Bonini—a judge and a journalist, respectively—the series far outshines both.”

New and Recent Releases

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