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Friday, May 22, 2015

The Hard-Boiled Detective by Ben Solomon

by Sandra Murphy

Solomon has written a collection of eleven stories of about twenty pages each. Each features a hard-boiled detective. What makes the stories stand-out-different is the lack of details considered standard fare by other writers.

The detective’s name is never given. Nor is his location, although from some of the street names, you’d get a good hint. What year is it? Most any year you’d like, pre- cell phone and political correctness. What’s spectacular is that Solomon pulls it off without the reader even noticing right away.

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The stories are written as statements the detective gives the police. He explains what the problem was, what he thought happened, and how it really turned out. Being noir, there’s always a twist the reader never sees coming.

Image source: Ben Solomon

“It’s bad business to plug your client” is the start of one story that takes the reader back to black-and-white movies, Jimmy Cagney and days when cops and PIs worked together but not without suspicion on the part of each about the other.

This is the most consistently noir example of writing since the classic 1940’s tales of murder and mayhem, with a goodly dose of betrayal thrown in. If you’re looking for complex stories, intriguing characters, and a gritty dose of reality, this is a book you’ll enjoy—not just once, but again and again. Like the prologue says, in these stories, the victims outnumber the winners.

Use this link to purchase this book and a portion goes to help support KRL & it supports an indie bookstore:

Sandra Murphy lives in the shadow of the arch, in the land of blues, booze and shoes—St Louis, Missouri. While writing magazine articles to support her mystery book habit, she secretly polishes two mystery books of her own, hoping, someday, they will see the light of Barnes and Noble. You can also find several of Sandra's short stories on UnTreed Reads including Bananas Foster.

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