Skip to main content

Friday's Forgotten Book

In contributing to Friday's Forgotten Book project I was confronted with my beginnings in Crime Fiction. THE BLACK HAND GANG was a children's book I read with my sister when I was 10 or 11. There is THE FIRM or DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS purchased the same day from the Walden Books in the mall. THE MURDER OF ROGER ACKROYD? Over my head. Too young.

The book is A DRY WHITE TEAR by Stephen F. Wilcox. This was the first book in two series that Mr. Wilcox wrote. The hero of this and three other books written between 1989 and 1994 was T.S.W Sheridan. Mr Sheridan is a crime reporter who moves to the Finger Lakes area in upstate New York to investigate the murder of his Uncle. I have not read the book in twenty years, and I always flunked reading comprehension, but I still recall my very strong reaction to it. Not until this book had I encountered a character like Sheridan. Rough, but amiable. Cynical, but hopeful. Sheridan was the first fully realized person I had read in crime fiction, more importantly he was the first character in fiction I wanted to hang out with. He'd sneak me beer, he'd tell me fascinating stories about being a reporter in Manhattan. Sheridan would be my mentor to the larger world. I couldn't tell you about the plot... see the above about my reading comprehension. Still, I can recall the unmasking of the murderer. It was not stylized or grandiose it was ordinary, it felt like how this would happen. It was the authenticity of the events that struck me most. It was fiction yes, but it was the reality of the writing that mentored me into this beautifully dark genre.


Thanks, Dan. A new one to me.

Popular posts from this blog

The Very Best of Mr. Dennis Lehane

I thought this post would appear in October. Ya, know when SHUTTER ISLAND: THE MOVIE was supposed to be released. And then it wasn't. Something about Leo not being able to do 'press' for the movie. Doesn't really matter the reason, a February release date has one of those fancy Hollywood meanings: Not Good.

Look I'll be honest, I didn't connect with SHUTTER ISLAND. I loved the fifties setting, the haunted house atmosphere, and impending doom of the Hurricane. Even the set-up of the story was intriguing but how it played out just didn't work for me. Some interesting characters, a bunch of great set pieces, but the ending announces itself with an expected, thud that went nowhere.

Am I still going to the movie? Its Lehane, Scorsese, Leo, and Ruffalo of course I am. Anyway the list.

8. Prayers for Rain - 1999
The last Kenzie-Gennaro book follows our heroes as they investigate a guy who is terrorizing women into committing suicide. The book played like an episode o…

The Very Best of Mr. Michael Connelly - Part I

I was about 50 pages into the latest Michael Connelly book, THE SCARECROW, when I flipped to the front. This is the 20th novel. I decided that rather than write a review of the novel, pretty good by the way, I would write a think piece about the relationship between a highly regarded crime novelist and how reader's take for granted the author if the high standard to which they have become accustomed to is not maintained over a lengthy run of books.

This idea was quickly abandoned out of laziness. Instead, I decided to take a cue from my friend, Peter, who recently ranked all of the James Bond films. I didn't feel I could tackle all 20 novels so the list below is just the non-Harry Bosch books. Mr. Connelly's next book 9 DRAGONS releases in October so don't be surprised to see a Bosch only list then.

I wrote this list up a couple weeks ago. I have given it some time to marinate. I did make any changes but I do want to say that there is a definite break between ranking 5…

How to Stick a Landing Without Trying

I closed out the last of the Clive Cussler books about a month ago. Bit of a personal victory for me here as I don't think I have been caught up on the Dirk Pitt novels in ten plus years. I moved on to the latest, and seemingly last, of the Sean Duffy books by Adrian McKinty, POLICE AT THE STATION AND THEY DON'T LOOK FRIENDLY.
Quick aside... I was able to type that title without looking...small victories people. Small victories.
I have been reading Mr. McKinty since the beginning. I called DEAD I MAY WELL BE the best book of the last decade. I have never written a truer statement by the by.....
Just another quick aside... I kind of believe that everything from the two-thirds point in DEAD I MAY WELL BE through the rest of the Michael Forsythe trilogy is a fever dream. My primary evidence is that there is an escape from a Mexican prison that strikes me as.................unlikely.
Now. One could quibble that the start for Mr. McKinty is ORANGE RHYMES WITH EVERYTHING. Those who…