Thursday, October 28, 2010

Miles Corwin

Miles Corwin, a former crime reporter for the Los Angeles Times, is the author of three nonfiction books: The Killing Season, a national bestseller; And Still We Rise, the winner of the PEN West award for nonfiction and a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year; and Homicide Special, a Los Angeles Times bestseller.

Kind of Blue, his first novel, debuts in November.

I recently asked him what he was reading. His reply:
I just finished T. Jefferson Parker’s Iron River.

I enjoyed it for a number of reasons. A lot of mysteries are clipped and laconic, more like movie treatments than novels. Iron River was different. The descriptions of the desert landscapes were very evocative, and the characters were well drawn and fully formed. The subplot was compelling and convincing. And while many mystery writers are content to adhere to the basic outlines of a murder investigation, Parker grappled with an important societal issue – you can read the book to find out what it is – without being didactic or slowing down the plot.

I like to alternate crime fiction with nonfiction. After reading Iron River, I read Agent Zigzag by Ben MacIntyre, a book about a fascinating World War II spy. After reading a book like this I always feel intimidated. The things real people say and do are often so interesting and unexpected and improbable and compelling, I wonder how can I ever make up characters that can compete.
Visit Miles Corwin's website.

--Marshal Zeringue