These are exciting days here at Dispatches from Noir. I am proud to say that I am now the resident American correspondent at Crime Fiction Lover. CFL is an terrific site where mysteries of all kinds are reviewed, and it also has other excellent features. Today at Crime Fiction Lover, an interview with Max Allan Collins is hot off the press. If you’re a fan of Collins, hardboiled crime fiction or Mickey Spillane, you’ll definitely want to check it out.
I began my tenure with Crime Fiction Lover by reviewing Jens Lapidus’ debut novel Easy Money. I’ve previously talked about the movie Snabba Cash here at Dispatches from Noir. The movie was very good (and beat the hell out of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), but the book was even better. Easy Money left me really looking forward to the rest of the Stockholm Noir trilogy. So go check out my review at CFL.
About a month ago, I was fortunate to see Jens Lapidus during his small American book tour (only 7 US cities) to promote his novel. I was very impressed as he gave a short lecture about his legal experiences (Lapidus is still a practicing defense attorney) and writing process, then answered questions from the audience. Lapidus acknowledged that what is termed Scandinavian noir is more or less synonymous with Scandinavian crime fiction. In contrast to most Scandinavian crime fiction, however, Lapidus can claim definite noir influence.
Among those Jens Lapidus listed as noir influences were James Ellroy, Dennis Lehane and Elmore Leonard. He also mentioned other hardboiled or noirish authors he enjoyed, such as Raymond Chandler, Walter Mosley and George Pelecanos. Lapidus’ staccato prose was especially influenced by Ellroy and Chandler, and he freely acknowledged his debt.
In short, Lapidus a new author squarely in the noir/hardboiled tradition both thematically and stylistically. I highly recommend Easy Money. But I recommend Crime Fiction Lover (including my review of Easy Money) even more highly. Check out CFL for reviews on all sorts of mysteries, and you can always find my reviews by clicking the CFL Reviews link at the top of every Dispatches from Noir page.
You needn’t worry this will take me away from Dispatches from Noir (if any of you find that a worrying thought, which is unlikely). I will still be here and still be talking about noir and answering your questions about it. I’ve got some good stuff in the works for this week. Stay tuned!