Incident Report

Incident Report No. 30


30_375A review of small press crime fiction for the week of February 18th through the 24th. Links to articles and book releases, new and upcoming.

There was a recent article in The Guardian recapping an interview by Arnaud Nourry, chief executive of Hachette Livre. The clickbait headline screamed, “‘Ebooks are stupid’, says head of one of world’s biggest publishers”. I admit I went right to the article where I quickly found that the headline was misleading. Below is the meat of the article which clearly shows that Nourry’s problem with ebooks is that publishers “don’t really know the full potential of 3-D and digital.”

“It’s the limit of the ebook format. The ebook is a stupid product. It is exactly the same as print, except it’s electronic. There is no creativity, no enhancement, no real digital experience,” said Nourry.

This lack of creativity is partly publishers’ lack of digital know-how, according to Nourry. “We, as publishers, have not done a great job going digital. We’ve tried. We’ve tried enhanced or enriched ebooks – didn’t work. We’ve tried apps, websites with our content – we have one or two successes among a hundred failures. I’m talking about the entire industry. We’ve not done very well,” he told

“I’m convinced there is something we can invent using our content and digital properties beyond ebooks, but I reached the conclusion that we don’t really have the skills and talents in our companies, because publishers and editors are accustomed to picking a manuscript and creating a design on a flat page. They don’t really know the full potential of 3-D and digital,” he said.

Other big news this week is that the Anthony Awards are open for nominations.


Do Some Damage: 2018 Anthony Award Eligible Titles.
Jay Stringer is doing the Lord’s work here. Lots of good stuff on this list … and then there’s my website, Unlawful Acts. Weird. -DN
Lippman makes clear throughout this novel that James M Cain’s books have been a huge inspiration, and as contemporary noir goes you won’t find much better than in Sunburn. There’s no way you should miss this book. A fine slice of 21st century noir.
ADR Talks With Liam Sweeny, Author of Street Whispers | All Due Respect Books
Hell, half the time I feel like I’m padding my friends’ resumes when I write my crime fic’.
New look at brutal 1971 Orange County double murder | WNCN
Eryk Pruitt, author of “What We Reckon”, has a true crime podcast about to be released called, “The Long Dance”. The 1971 double murder murder and the podcast get some local TV media love. -DN
David Mamet On ‘Chicago’: ‘These Were The Stories You Grew Up With’ : NPR
It’s a story of the mob era: hits ordered and adversaries iced; hooch in trucks which winds up in teapots; gunsels, madams, made men and molls.
Curl Up With ‘The Tuscan Child,’ A Truly Cozy Mystery : NPR
Which is where the “genre niche” fits in: The Tuscan Child is the coziest of cozy mysteries, so cozy that even with evil Germans lurking around every olive grove, World War II matters less than the growing amore between Hugo and Sofia.
Beats and Books: Why I Listen to Music While I Read
No can do. -DN
the left room» Blog Archive » The Staunch Book Prize
Fed up of exploitative books where women are simply the victims? Why not reward books which tackle the exploitation of women intelligently and directly instead? And yet this is an award where an all-male SAS action thriller could win, while a nuanced and smartly-observed study of domestic violence could not.
Writers Who Kill: What’s in a comma? (or everything old is new again) by Kait Carson
The omitted comma, and I got along just fine, thank you, until I started working for law firms.
“Green Sun” is a brilliant novel in its own right, and a worthy follow up to “Night Dogs”. Read them both.
Hard-drinking newspapermen and tough-talking brutes populate David Mamet’s novel ‘Chicago’
So I doubt generations of future angry white men are going to find in “Chicago” much to inspire their capitalistic avarice. But I did find myself pouring a glass of whiskey while I was writing this review, for Chrissake.
Sarah Weinman – A BOLO Books Composite Sketch | BOLO BOOKS
Book Review : Richard Stark – The Seventh (1966) — Dead End Follies
Reading a Parker novel doesn’t feel like reading at all.
Why I Don’t Let My TBR Dictate What I Read
IMHO, TBRs are good for “collecting” but are most likely useless. -DN
Acquiring Books for the Greatest Libraries in the World | Literary Hub
In Istanbul, the buying of books by foreigners eventually got so out of hand that in 1715 or 1716 the grand vizir, Şehid Ali Pasha, himself a book collector, “enacted a law . . . banning the sale of books to foreigners.”
“This is a compelling read” – Things We Nearly Knew by Jim Powell – Bookmunch
The writing is concise with an almost abrasive view of human interactions. There is a distancing from emotion, a numbing of the senses.
SleuthSayers: Style and Formula in The French Connection – a guest post by Chris McGinley
Yes, most cop films involve pursuit of some sort, but pursuit in The French Connection represents something larger.  In fact, for Popeye and Cloudy chase is the heart of investigatory work.  They walk, run, drive, stake-out, ride subways, and generally tail their quarry. 
How to Hide Exposition Through Action | LitReactor
Exposition is necessary. Don’t let any MFA program or writing instructor tell you that you should ONLY be showing. Tell some stuff, but do it right. 
Notes From the Book Review Archives – The New York Times
Joyce liked to boast that “Ulysses” was so detailed a portrait of Dublin that if the city were to be destroyed — an eventuality that in his darker moments of Hibernophobia he would probably have welcomed — it could be rebuilt brick by brick, using his book as a model.
5 Crime Fiction Titles with a Strong Sense of Place by Chris Rhatigan
While this take has an element of truth to it—a static setting with disconnected descriptions of buildings or the weather may bring the pace to a crawl and dump extraneous information on the reader—for my money, sense of place can propel the story forward and make it more meaningful. When strongly connected to character and plot, setting makes a book stand apart.   
Listen, Ask, Read: A Guide to Publishing and Publishers for Authors – CLASH
Spread the word: mufuckas who don’t pay writers get got.
Against the odds, women have changed the face of TV: ‘Stealing the Show’ looks at three decades of female showrunners
Now a new offering, “Stealing the Show,” explores how women in television are beginning to catch up and how they are getting to be art monsters themselves.
Under Her Skin: The Lisa Unger Interview You’ve Been Waiting For
If given the chance, I would rewrite every single book I’ve ever written! 
Lionel Shriver says ‘politically correct censorship’ is damaging fiction | Books | The Guardian
This is most likely going to stir up some shit. -DN
Do Some Damage: Welcome Danny Gardner!
Danny Gardner joins the team a Do Some Damage. -DN
Marvel comics’ Fresh Start looks like a return to old cliches | Books | The Guardian
Comic book companies continue to mess with their readership who then complain but continue to read their books anyway. A strong whiff of deja vu … again. -DN
Why does literature ignore pregnancy? | Books | The Guardian
“Although a fundamentally female experience, pregnancy exists in literature, when it does so at all, as a male problem.” – Jessie GreengrassAh, good old sweeping generalizations. -DN
Mixing History, Fiction and Crime | Shots
How the sausage is made or David Saul on some of the research it takes to write historical crime fiction. -DN
Mystery Playground: Q & A with Michael Niemann
After I decided to write international thrillers, I thought a long while about who my protagonist was going to be. I wanted a globe-hopping character, but I didn’t want a spy.
Recommended Read: Kiss The Devil Goodnight by Jonathan Woods | Paul D. Brazill
Jonathan Woods’ ‘Kiss The Devil Goodnight‘ is a lethal cocktail of pulp fiction and Beat poetry. It’s vibrant, violent and vivid. Lyrical and and lurid. Fast moving and funny.
Horror: Defining the Genre, Sub-genres, Styles, and More | LitReactor
I’m a data guy by day and I’ve always disliked the infographic. My instinct is that infographics be better off as an article with some visualizations to support. Here’s a horror infographic, do with what you will. -DN
Cult of Personality: Two crime writers discuss the allure of cults in their own dark fiction / Boing Boing
[Cults] actually want people who are healthy and appealing, with resources. And what they do is they catch people who are ordinary, capable humans during times of transition.
Why Adding Monsters and Fairies to a Memoir Can Make It Even More Real
Color me intrigued. -DN
In Praise of Negative Reviews | Rafia Zakaria
In essence [book reviewers] bow to the premise that every book is a gem, and every reviewer a professional gift-wrapper who appears during the holidays.
Do Some Damage: Noir at the Bar Tips
Remember, tonight is all about you. Nothing else matters.
SleuthSayers: Vancouver Author Sam Wiebe Talks About “Cut You Down”
I admit that I’m no expert when it comes to Westlake’s fiction, but I can say that I’ve appreciated everything I’ve ever read by him. And, if nothing else, Memory seems to be a fitting end to a long and perhaps under-appreciated career.
Woody Haut’s Blog: I remember therefore I am: Memory by Donald Westlake
I admit that  I’m no expert when it comes to Westlake’s fiction, but I can  say that  I’ve appreciated everything  I’ve ever read by him. And, if nothing else, Memory seems to be a fitting end to a long and perhaps under-appreciated career.
Down the River Unto the Sea » CRIME FICTION LOVER
Innovation is important in the genre, and Mosley must be commended for moving away from his iconic character, but the Brooklyn of this novel is not as vibrant as the LA depicted in his Easy series or the New York of the author’s McGill books.
Brit Grit Ally ~ Out of the Gutter Online
Paul D. Brazil tells all we need to know about the goings on in BritGrit. -DN
The Bookish Naughty List – findingtimetowrite
Guilty as charged -DN
20 Iconic New Yorker Covers | Literary Hub
These are wonderful to look at. Makes me almost regret cancelling my $120 subscription to The New Yorker today and opting for the much more affordable digital subscription. -DN
One Bite at a Time: A Conversation With E.A. Aymar and Sarah M. Chen, Editors of The Night of the Flood
Unsurprisingly, this interview that Dana King did with Sarah and Ed about “The Night of the Flood” goes sideways really fast. Almost makes me want to read the book. -DN
How Much Magic Can ‘Harry Potter’ Make? – The New York Times
Broadway succumbs to the magic of J.K. Rowling. -DN
Why You Should Surround Yourself With More Books Than You’ll Ever Have Time to Read |
An antilibrary is a powerful reminder of your limitations – the vast quantity of things you don’t know, half know, or will one day realize you’re wrong about. By living with that reminder daily you can nudge yourself towards the kind of intellectual humility that improves decision-making and drives learning.
The Rap Sheet: Never Underestimate Columbo
Columbo celebrates it’s 50th anniversary.
Author Influences With Mark Tilbury | Bloomin’ Brilliant Books
I love horror, dark humour and psychological thrillers. I think my novels are a combination of all three, although they are predominantly psychological thrillers.
The Top Ten Police Detectives of All Time – The Dorset Book Detective
There are a lot of holes in this list, but it’s a good place to start. -DN
Don’t Go Into the Woods Today: 10 Wilderness Thrillers & Why They Scare Us – Strand Mag
The great outdoors is both the subject matter and the backdrop of a lot of great fiction. What is it about nature that makes it such a powerful setting? Is it how small humankind feels amidst all that vastness? “The world has teeth and it can bite you with them any time it wants,” writes Stephen King in one of our selections below.
Review: May, by Marietta Miles ~ Out of the Gutter Online
This book dripped with a depressive, bleak feeling of imminent danger. Each page you turn forces you into a gloomier, darker, more ominous state of being. In other words, this is one of the finest books I have read in a long while.
The Interrogation Room – An Interview With Liam Sweeny | Dirty Books
Crime fiction, to me, is gritty and organic and unapologetic. It takes risks, creates characters that are an affront to all we hold holy.
Interview with Eric Beetner: L.A.-Based Author of Fast-Paced, Highly-Atmospheric Crime Fiction – Murder Books
In the end, I want to write characters who are real enough to be relatable and yet live this life on the wrong side of the law which gives them an element of the unreal.
‘Ebooks are stupid’, says head of one of world’s biggest publishers | Books | The Guardian
I’m convinced there is something we can invent using our content and digital properties beyond ebooks, but I reached the conclusion that we don’t really have the skills and talents in our companies, because publishers and editors are accustomed to picking a manuscript and creating a design on a flat page. They don’t really know the full potential of 3-D and digital.
When Your 60-Year-Old Family Mystery Shows Up on Netflix | Literary Hub
It’s a fascinating story—one that deserves to be told fully, as only fiction can, and I tried once and failed. I, like any novelist who tells a story that comes from personal experience, faced the daunting challenge to shed the baggage of all I knew to create characters who live only between the covers of the book.
Artists And Criminals: On The Cutting Edge Of Tech : All Tech Considered : NPR
So, I decided to take a page out of William Gibson’s playbook and go and find some artists and criminals and see what they were doing with new technologies. As I see it, artists and criminals have something in common: Neither is constrained by social conventions.
The First Two Pages: “A Nice Pair of Guns” by Nick Kolakowski – Art Taylor
I appreciate so much how Nick’s essay addresses that trouble and how he overcame those challenges by bucking some traditional writing advice.
Do Some Damage: Slaughterhouse Blues
Nick Kolakowski wrote an entertaining book with his debut novella, but Slaughterhouse Blues marks an advance.
Deal Diary – Entry #2 | The Thrill Begins
All about book tours. -DN
Writers Who Kill: An Interview with the 2018 Agatha Nominees for Best First Novel by Paula Gail Benson
We are so pleased to welcome them to WRITERS WHO KILL to answer a few questions about their work. Thanks so much to Micki, Valerie, Kellye, Laura, and Kathleen, and best wishes!
The Hack-Dad Chronicles: Friends Are Better With Drugs | LitReactor
So here’s today’s writing lesson: Don’t use yourself as a walking, talking chemistry kit.
My Little Corner
If you are a writer and not following Sandra Seamans’ “My Little Corner” blog, you are absolutely missing out. -DN
Review: Down the River unto the Sea by Walter Mosley by Thomas Pluck
Walter Mosley writes with a voice that flows as easy as that river of the title, and he introduces a series character who is both familiar and new with his latest.
Active Shooter – Los Angeles Review of Books
Written entirely in second person, and drawing extensively upon Moat’s written confessions, audio recordings, and telephone recordings, You Could Do Something Amazing With Your Life is one of the most original true crime books to emerge from Britain in the last decade.
Women better represented in Victorian novels than modern, finds study | Books | The Guardian
And “men remain – on average, as a group – remarkably resistant to giving women more than a third of the character-space in their stories.”
Do Some Damage: BOOK to SCREEN
So you wanna be in the movies, kid? -DN
Interrogation—Nick Kolakowski – S.W. Lauden
I had a vague idea of where I wanted to take the series, but I didn’t plot anything out in detail. I find that if I plan and diagram things out too much, I start feeling trapped and bored. But I pay for that impulse when I have to rewrite, rewrite, and then rewrite again in order to find the right path forward.
Move Over Scandanavia, It’s Time For Japanese Mysteries
Not that Japanese mysteries have gone anywhere, but Book Riot thinks they’re the new thing. -DN
3 Bullet Journal Book Spreads That Have Improved My Reading Life
These are cool looking, but I don’t think it will improve your reading at all. -DN
It’s possibly slightly easier once you’re into a series in that you don’t have to recreate the world, you’re just fine-tuning it. But at the same time, you’re trying to improve with each book. That’s a difficult target
The Iceman Cometh Out – The New York Times
Damn, comic books are some back-ass-woods shit. -DN
The cult of the unreliable female narrator must be stopped | Stephanie Merritt | Opinion | The Guardian
It’s curious, then, that in our more enlightened times, when women are no longer routinely incarcerated as hysterics, that we should remain so obsessed with the idea of the female narrator who can’t be relied upon to know her own mind, or even what she saw from the window of her train or apartment.
Fun in the Funhole: Exploring Kathe Koja’s “The Cipher” | LitReactor
The Cipher is her first novel, but it shines like the work of a true master. Never have I experienced something so visceral and ugly and beautiful all in one package.
6 Tips On How To Be Prolific | LitReactor
Somewhere along the line the novel has been elevated to mythical status and is seen as the pinnacle of writing endeavors and something mere mortals can scarcely attain. Bullshit.
Irvine Welsh on Edinburgh: ‘I officially had a criminal record at eight years old’ | Books | The Guardian
If you are lucky enough to be successful as a writer, I think the great paradox is that you owe where you come from absolutely everything, and at the same time nothing at all.
Sex! Pop! Race! ‘Black Pulp!’ comes to Philadelphia African American Museum : Arts & Entertainment : WHYY
From hard-boiled dime novels and a Blaxploitation movie poster, to self-portraits of contemporary artists as super heroes, “Black Pulp!” at the African American Museum in Philadelphia features populist imagery by African-Americans, often intended for African-Americans.
Don’t Quit the Day Job: Ian Skewis | elementaryvwatson
I often feel a bit grumpy about going to work at my day job because I’m always thinking that I could be writing or promoting my own work instead.
Playing the Girl: Ten False Starts (After Janet Malcolm) – Los Angeles Review of Books
The question animating You Play the Girl, Carina Chocano’s new collection of essays, is how do women negotiate a healthy identity in a culture that portrays us mostly in relation to men. How do we define ourselves, find happiness, manage our relationships, when there’s a giant mother ship of impossible expectation parked over our lives?
The Things That Scare Me  – Strand Mag
Losing my mind. This is a biggie. The theme of insanity—of what is real and what isn’t, of deep, gut-wrenching paranoia—is a thread through many of my books.
‘Manuscripts’ Encourages Readers To Approach The Bible Like A Novel : NPR
Marketing the Bible for what it is, a novel. -DN
‘The Twilight Zone,’ from A to Z | by J.W. McCormack | NYR Daily | The New York Review of Books
It was for this reason that every opening monologue reminds us that The Twilight Zone is beyond the door of imagination, but not beyond us, lying “between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge,” which is precisely the niche where politics ends and art begins.

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