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Mars4523
Feb 17, 2014


Pink Robot Army posted:

Just finished Bankok 8 by John Burdett and it really kind of blew me away. Definitely has a modern hardboiled feel (instead of existential anti-hero, it's got an outsider buddhist), really filled me with that same sense of mystery and dread. Just picked up A Drink Before the War, so hoping for good things from that.
The first few books were pretty good, but the last one went off the rails in a big way.

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Pink Robot Army
Jul 4, 2009


Has anyone read any of the 87th Precinct books by Ed McBain? I've heard them mentioned a lot of the same circles as the other big hardboiled authors, but there are so many, I've never known which were good and which were duds. Same kind of goes for the Scudder books by Lawrence Block.

anilEhilated
Feb 17, 2014

But I say fuck the rain.



Grimey Drawer

I've read a couple McBains but they honestly really meld together in my mind. They're functional and decently written, but don't expect anything groundbreaking or even particularly good. It's probably symbolic of the police work described - competent, but routine, don't expect to be amazed.

HIJK
Nov 25, 2012

People were stupid, sometimes. They thought the Library was a dangerous place because of all the magical books, which was true enough, but what made it really one of the most dangerous places there could ever be was the simple fact that it was a library.


Hello fellow crime fiction readers! Today, October 7, 2015, Amazon is having their Daily Deals on Kindle books. Part of the sale is Elmore Leonard's crime novels for $1.99: http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?docId=1000677541 This is a pretty good deal since his books are 14.99 most of the time. Pick one up and enjoy!

Ben Nevis
Jan 20, 2011


Pistol_Pete posted:

You guys should try reading falling angel. It starts out as a classic detective mystery and gradually gets creepier and crazier from there. Amazing book.

I finally got around to this. It was quite surprising, but I enjoyed it.

anilEhilated
Feb 17, 2014

But I say fuck the rain.



Grimey Drawer

Ben Nevis posted:

I finally got around to this. It was quite surprising, but I enjoyed it.
Really? I liked it, but my main gripe was with how predictable the ending was.

anilEhilated fucked around with this message at 16:01 on Oct 7, 2015

Ben Nevis
Jan 20, 2011


anilEhilated posted:

Really? I liked it, but my main gripe was with how predictable the ending was.

It was mostly content. I hadn't read anything about it other than the brief description provided and the surprise was more for how it spun away from straight up detective story. You do start to see the ending coming, though I was expecting it to slide more into Dain Curse territory though.

Earwicker
Jan 6, 2003



I just finished the Kayankaya series by Jakob Arjouni, five books about a Turkish-German detective in Frankfurt starting in the mid-80's and running up through the early 2010's. Generally quite funny, a good look at the seedy side of Frankfurt, deals with a lot of interesting issues like human trafficking and nationalist groups from the Balkan wars of the 90's, and of course racism, while avoiding polemicism and generally being good thrillers. The fourth book Kismet is probably the best of them, though they are all good - reading them in order isn't strictly necessary but will definitely add something.

servo106
Apr 26, 2006



Pink Robot Army posted:

Has anyone read any of the 87th Precinct books by Ed McBain? I've heard them mentioned a lot of the same circles as the other big hardboiled authors, but there are so many, I've never known which were good and which were duds. Same kind of goes for the Scudder books by Lawrence Block.

As previously mentioned the McBain novels are kind of samey. The Scudder books by Block however, are excellent(along with almost anything he writes. Lucky at Cards is one I highly recommend) he does a great job of making NYC almost a character in the books.

Professor Shark
May 22, 2012




Bleak Gremlin

I was bored and decided to read more Chandler. "Pearls are a Nuisance" was bizarre and unexpected, "Madarin's Jade" was meh because John Dalmas is really creepy and assholish, and it made me want to read "Farewell, My Lovely", which I'm rereading now!

DrVenkman
Dec 27, 2005

I think he can hear you, Ray.


Pink Robot Army posted:

Has anyone read any of the 87th Precinct books by Ed McBain? I've heard them mentioned a lot of the same circles as the other big hardboiled authors, but there are so many, I've never known which were good and which were duds. Same kind of goes for the Scudder books by Lawrence Block.

I like them. They're quick reads and serve as pretty great historical documents. And I think it's a really neat idea that he follows the life of the precinct. So characters will come and go, the main character in one book might get a line in the next one. People retire and people die. I don't think there's anything else quite like it.

The only thing I will say is that it's best not to read many in a row. I tended to read in blocks of two and then after a few months off go at it again. It's just solid, no nonsense, stuff.

The Scudder books are great though and well worth picking up. 'Eight Million Ways To Die' is probably where he first really nails it.

Pink Robot Army
Jul 4, 2009


DrVenkman posted:

I like them. They're quick reads and serve as pretty great historical documents. And I think it's a really neat idea that he follows the life of the precinct.

Is it worth starting from the beginning? Or are there any gems in there?

SimonChris
Apr 24, 2008

The Baron's daughter is missing, and you are the man to find her. No problem. With your inexhaustible arsenal of hard-boiled similes, there is nothing you can't handle.

Grimey Drawer

So, I just finished Red Harvest and holy poo poo, The Continental Op kills like a hundred people in this book. I knew he was supposed to be somewhat less noble than Marlowe, but I was unprepared for just how amoral he is. Does he commit mass murder in all his books? I just started The Dain Curse, so I guess I'll find out... I have to say, it's interesting to read about a PI who is basically a manipulative sociopath, rather than the usual noble knight hiding behind a gruff exterior.

Professor Shark
May 22, 2012




Bleak Gremlin

SimonChris posted:

So, I just finished Red Harvest and holy poo poo, The Continental Op kills like a hundred people in this book. I knew he was supposed to be somewhat less noble than Marlowe, but I was unprepared for just how amoral he is. Does he commit mass murder in all his books? I just started The Dain Curse, so I guess I'll find out... I have to say, it's interesting to read about a PI who is basically a manipulative sociopath, rather than the usual noble knight hiding behind a gruff exterior.

Yeah, the Continental Op is amazing and wayyy different than Marlowe, although Marlowe does echo the Op in some respects in The Little Sister when he watches but does not intervene in a murder.

As I put in the op, the Continental Op is "a good monster", I think it's pretty interesting how conflicted his actions make the reader feel because of the blood drenched, violent plans he puts into motion. He comes across as some sort of demi-demon in Red Harvest, but everything else I've read with him in it has been more traditional hard-boiled detective.

DrVenkman
Dec 27, 2005

I think he can hear you, Ray.


Pink Robot Army posted:

Is it worth starting from the beginning? Or are there any gems in there?

I think it's worth starting from the beginning. They're solidly written and all in all they're really quick reads. And you never know if someone introduced in one book will become important in the next (Or get killed). That said, it's not totally essential, but it's just my preferred way of reading them.

Murgos
Oct 21, 2010


Read (well listened to someone else read) Red Harvest due to this thread.

Reading up on it a bit it appears that Kurosawa acknowledged using it (or possibly The Glass Key) as a basis for Yojimbo (the plot similarities are obvious in retrospect).

Which is interesting because Last Man Standing is credited as a Yojimbo remake which takes place in ... prohibition America. Kind of have to wonder if the writer/director were familiar with Red Harvest and if so, why they didn't re-interpret that instead. One of the things I disliked about Last Man Standing was that it was so straight forward of a remake of Yojimbo that it lacked personality.

Also interesting is that all those derivative stories keep the conceit from Red Harvest of the Con Op - A man with no name.

Murgos fucked around with this message at 19:34 on Dec 14, 2015

Earwicker
Jan 6, 2003



I am reading the Marseilles Trilogy (Total Chaos, Chourno, Solea) by Jean-Claude Izzo and it is extremely good, definitely recommend it to any fan of noir/hard boiled detective stories.

TomViolence
Feb 19, 2013

PLEASE ASK ABOUT MY 80,000 WORD WALLACE AND GROMIT SLASH FICTION. PLEASE.



Dunno if this thread's dead or just slow-moving, but I've just discovered Derek Raymond, who I don't think has been mentioned yet. His Factory series of novels follow an unnamed detective solving the murders of forgotten, abandoned people in Thatcher's grey and grotty Britain. Our protagonist's a bit of a judgemental dick and it's quite cathartic when he mouths off to the loathsome characters he encounters throughout. I've only read two of the five novels so far, but I think they're worth a punt - though the E-book editions are a bit pricey and you might want to shop around for second-hand paperbacks instead.

Earwicker
Jan 6, 2003



I'm not remotely a fan of Thatcher, but "grey and grotty" is Britain's natural state entirely regardless of who happens to be in power at any given time.

Mr. Squishy
Mar 22, 2010

A country where you can always get richer.

We pretended to be happy and cool during Blair's first two terms.

Murgos
Oct 21, 2010


I've been working my way through Ross MacDonald's Lew Archer series from the recommendations on the first page. I think the first couple of stories in the series do Lew a disservice as Ross MacDonald hadn't really found his own voice yet and was derivative of Chandler (though competently so, they are well written books and good stories) but by the time he is in mid-stride around book 6 or 7 he really is writing some very good stuff. I'd put these, starting at about book 4, above Rex Stout and John D MacDonald but maybe a half step below Hammett and Chandler.

Highly recommend. Also, probably helps that the audiobooks I'm listening to are read by Grover Gardner, certainly doesn't hurt.

e: At their best the Lew Archer stories are more about the procedure of the investigation, I think. Pulling on all the dangling threads and seeing what unravels. By about 2/3rds of the way through it's usually pretty apparent what's going on but the interesting part is the journey.

e2: VVV The ride is certainly down into the depths of the mind of the culprits (and often the victim). If the stories were about bad men/women doing bad things they wouldn't be very interesting. Mostly they are about people who have been exemplary but something has gone very wrong and Lew Archer's journey is more often than not trying to figure out how they got there. Interestingly, the real victim is not always the dead person. The stories are absolutely in the noir genre.

e3: Lew Archer is not morally ambiguous so I wouldn't go so far as to say they are Hardboiled stories.

Murgos fucked around with this message at 15:00 on Feb 23, 2016

An Apple A Gay
Oct 21, 2008



/\/\/\ That's interesting, would you say that the journey is like a roller coaster ride with climbs and sudden drops or is it more noir, like one long downhill fall?

SimonChris
Apr 24, 2008

The Baron's daughter is missing, and you are the man to find her. No problem. With your inexhaustible arsenal of hard-boiled similes, there is nothing you can't handle.

Grimey Drawer

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfil...s/?id=624095069

I've made a game inspired by Chandler's use of figurative language. I thought people in this thread might be interested .

Professor Shark
May 22, 2012




Bleak Gremlin

I started reading MacDonald's Travis McGee stuff... it certainly feels like something that heavily influenced Stephen King, but I'm not feeling as much love for McGee as I did Marlowe

Xotl
May 28, 2001

Be seeing you.

Fan of Britches

Oh man, I love the McGee books; wonderful stuff. Like Marlowe, there's always a central problem, but they're not mystery books at all, more an opportunity for McGee to learn and ruminate on society. MacDonald was one hell of a good writer.

I think he really shines in a lot of his pre-McGee one-offs. Very, very few are duds.

Carthag Tuek
Oct 15, 2005

Tider skal komme,
tider skal henrulle,
slægt skal følge slægters gang



Seriously thanks for the Ross Macdonald books. Lew Archer is a great goddamn narrator. Language-wise v much in the style of Chandler &c. Narrator is used, broken, and dirty, but there's a heart in there, and a sense of truth and justice.

He's hella tempted tho when the ladies are offering.

Hieronymous Alloy
Jan 30, 2009


Why! Why!! Why must you refuse to accept that Dr. Hieronymous Alloy's Genetically Enhanced Cream Corn Is Superior to the Leading Brand on the Market!?!



Morbid Hound

Professor Shark posted:

I started reading MacDonald's Travis McGee stuff... it certainly feels like something that heavily influenced Stephen King, but I'm not feeling as much love for McGee as I did Marlowe

Read them in chronological order if you can. You get to watch Florida change over time.

Murgos
Oct 21, 2010


Snapchat A Titty posted:

Seriously thanks for the Ross Macdonald books. Lew Archer is a great goddamn narrator. Language-wise v much in the style of Chandler &c. Narrator is used, broken, and dirty, but there's a heart in there, and a sense of truth and justice.

He's hella tempted tho when the ladies are offering.

Oh god. In The Underground Man he finds the little boy hes been hired to find and instead of sleeping with the woman throwing herself on him he, "gets his sleeping bag out of the car" and spends the night sleeping across the boys doorway. How's that for detective as faithful bloodhound imagery?

Carthag Tuek
Oct 15, 2005

Tider skal komme,
tider skal henrulle,
slægt skal følge slægters gang



Aaa I really wanna read the spoiler but I'm only up to The Doomsters.

savinhill
Mar 28, 2010


I've been reading The Far Empty by J Todd Scott and it's such a great crime novel. It's set in a small Texas border town, is told from a large number of POVs, and despite having so many different viewpoints, it still manages to build a ton of character for each of them. It's very well written, with a heavy Cormac McCarthy influence but with a more straightforward narrative that leaves you jonesing to find out more and more about the central mysteries, characters, and town itself. Based on the roughly half I've read so far I'd highly recommend it to anyone looking for a new gritty crime novel to read.

Roark
Dec 1, 2009

A moderate man - a violently moderate man.

I recently finished Qiu Xiaolong's Death of A Red Heroine. He's a Chinese dissident academic living in America, and the book is the first in a series of noirish detective novels set in 1990s Shanghai.

It was...interesting. There's something of a Bernie Gunther vibe from the protagonist, Chief Inspector Chen Cao, when he runs up against the Party officials in the precinct and the city. It was really interesting to see police procedure (from the detective's perspective) in a modern one party state, and Chen is written as a poet who took the police job because professional poet wasn't a sensible career choice in Mao and Deng's China. My big gripe was that the prose could be very awkward at times (English isn't Qiu's first language and some of his idiom and word choices are weird), but I'm told it improves as the series goes on.

Professor Shark
May 22, 2012




Bleak Gremlin

savinhill posted:

I've been reading The Far Empty by J Todd Scott and it's such a great crime novel. It's set in a small Texas border town, is told from a large number of POVs, and despite having so many different viewpoints, it still manages to build a ton of character for each of them. It's very well written, with a heavy Cormac McCarthy influence but with a more straightforward narrative that leaves you jonesing to find out more and more about the central mysteries, characters, and town itself. Based on the roughly half I've read so far I'd highly recommend it to anyone looking for a new gritty crime novel to read.


Roark posted:

I recently finished Qiu Xiaolong's Death of A Red Heroine. He's a Chinese dissident academic living in America, and the book is the first in a series of noirish detective novels set in 1990s Shanghai.

It was...interesting. There's something of a Bernie Gunther vibe from the protagonist, Chief Inspector Chen Cao, when he runs up against the Party officials in the precinct and the city. It was really interesting to see police procedure (from the detective's perspective) in a modern one party state, and Chen is written as a poet who took the police job because professional poet wasn't a sensible career choice in Mao and Deng's China. My big gripe was that the prose could be very awkward at times (English isn't Qiu's first language and some of his idiom and word choices are weird), but I'm told it improves as the series goes on.

Both of these sound really good

Send_Ninjas
Oct 10, 2006


For modern noir I would second the recommendation for Michael conolleys Bosch novels and add Ian Rankin's rebus series. Both are cynical loners and both authors place a lot of emphasis on dialogue which I always felt was a hallmark of noir.

Roark
Dec 1, 2009

A moderate man - a violently moderate man.

Despite being a huge, huge fan of the Bogart film version, I had never read the original novel, Dorothy Hughes' In A Lonely Place. Holy hell, I didn't think it was possible to make that story even more grim, but there you go.

Ornamented Death
Jan 25, 2006

Pew pew!



Any Lawrence Block fans in here? I finished Grifter's Game a while back and holy poo poo what a nihilistic ending.

Roark
Dec 1, 2009

A moderate man - a violently moderate man.

Ornamented Death posted:

Any Lawrence Block fans in here? I finished Grifter's Game a while back and holy poo poo what a nihilistic ending.

Block's earlier stuff is pretty nihilistic. The early Scudder novels where Scudder is a full-blown raging alcoholic stumbling across dead prostitutes are really dark.

Block also used to be on Craig Ferguson's show all the time and he was unexpectedly cheery and funny as hell.

Ornamented Death
Jan 25, 2006

Pew pew!



Yeah I follow him on Facebook and have read a bunch of interviews and he seems like a great guy. Then I read the ending to Grifter's Game and the protagonist forces a woman to become a heroin addict and largely confines her to a hotel room so he can make her stay with him and have access to her inheritance (that he killed her husband to get for her). .

Heavy Metal
Sep 1, 2014

America's $1 Funnyman

That sounds pretty dark, maybe a bit too dark for me, but I do plan to check out some of his other books. Speaking of Hard Case Crime books (that's published as one of them), any gems or personal favorites in that line? It looks like they throw in some new books too as well as classic reprints. Stuff like "Fade to Blonde" and whatnot, anybody dig any of these books? They seem pretty obscure, at least by GoodReads standards, only having a few hundred ratings on a lot of them.

Ornamented Death
Jan 25, 2006

Pew pew!



I've read about a dozen or so books from the HCC line and the best has been The Gutter and the Grave by Ed McBain. What I appreciate most about HCC is that they're reprinting stuff that famous authors, like Block, Westland, and Crichton, wrote under pseudonyms.

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Heavy Metal
Sep 1, 2014

America's $1 Funnyman

Right on thanks, I'll add that to the ol' reading list.

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