» Who’s your favorite fictional detective? And the best villain?
Michael Connelly: It’s got to be Philip Marlowe as the detective. He had an unmatchable mixture of sardonic humor, weariness and resolve. I’ll go with Francis Dolarhyde from Thomas Harris’s Red Dragon as the villain. He remains in the shadow of Hannibal Lecter, but I find him more realistic and a reminder that these sorts of killers are more banal than genius. That makes them scarier.«
By the book: A Q & A with writer Michael Connelly (latetest novel: The Gods of Guilt). Read more at The New York Times.
- No Man’s Nightingale by Ruth Rendell
- The Gods of Guilt by Michael Connelly
- Purgatory by Ken Bruen
- Through The Evil Days by Julia Spencer-Fleming
Murder at the Vicarage: Marilyn Stasio about new crime fiction, mystery and thriller books. Her reviews of novels by Ruth Rendell, Michael Connelly, Ken Bruen and Julia Spencer-Fleming you will find at The New York Times.
»Mr. Connelly may not be a perfect wordsmith, but he brings down the hammer of justice with unequivocal power.«
A terrible fate: Janet Maslin about the latest legal thriller The Gods of Guilt by Michael Connelly. Her review at The New York Times.
» Q. You’ve said that the detective novel is a barometer of narrative production in any country. By that metric, where does Italy rank?
A. Narrativity presumes a special taste for plot. And this taste for plot was always very present in the Anglo-Saxon countries and that explains their high quality of detective novels. It is absolutely true that until recently there was nothing in Italian similar to Agatha Christie or Ian Fleming, not to speak of Sherlock Holmes. But there is something new. As in the Swedish culture, where there was an enormous birth of crime stories, in Italy for the past 20 years, there’s been a great production of good-quality detective stories. It’s a miracle — suddenly the Italian culture discovered the art of the plot.«
Exploring imaginary lands with one of Italy’s masters of fiction: Stephen Heyman in conversation with Umberto Eco about fiction and Mr. Eco’s latest book The Book of Legendary Lands (dt.: Die Geschichte der legendären Länder und Städte). Read an excerpt of the conversation at The New York Times.
»Even as Death of the Black-Haired Girl barrels along toward its melancholy conclusion, it explicates its characters’ hope that life is not completely random — «people always want their suffering to mean something,» as one character puts it — and their contradictory awareness of the dangers of religious certainty; their understanding that choices have moral consequences and that innocents frequently are tangled and hurt in the crossfire. The result is at once a Hawthorne-like allegory and a sure-footed psychological thriller.«
A messy affair: Michiko Kakutani about the novel Death of the Black-Haired Girl by Robert Stone. Her review at The New York Times.
- Critical Mass by Sara Paretsky
- Death of a Nightingale by Lene Kaaberbøl and Agnete Friis
- Country Hardball by Steve Weddle
- The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion by Fannie Flagg
Four new crime novels reviewed by Marilyn Stasio. Her opinion about the latest books by Sara Paretsky, Lene Kaaberbøl & Agnete Friis, Steve Weddle and Fannie Flagg you will find at The New York Times.
»«I didn’t want to be judged by that,» Mr. Smith, 71, explained recently in his light-filled Victorian home north of San Francisco. «Either I’m a good writer or I’m not. ‘He’s our pre-eminent Parkinson’s writer.’ Who needs that?»«
Video and Portrait: Writer Martin Cruz Smith talked with Pam Belluck about his latest novel Tatiana, which is loosely based on the 2006 killing of the Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya, and about his Parkinson’s disease. Read more at The New York Times.
»Identical has many parts and moods. It has treats and shortcomings, like a trip to a city with a lot of different neighborhoods. One might wish Identical more streamlined, but that would not do justice to the bustling landscape that is Kindle County.«
Visit Kindle County: Adam Liptak about the novel Identical by Scott Turow. The review at The New York Times.