Thursday, July 16, 2015

Harry MacLean

Harry MacLean is a lawyer and writer based in Denver, Colorado. He is the author of In Broad Daylight, which won an Edgar Award for Best True Crime and was a New York Times bestseller for twelve weeks; his second book, Once Upon A Time: A True Story of Memory, Murder, and the Law was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year; and his third book, The Past Is Never Dead: The Trial of James Ford Seale and Mississippi's Search for Redemption was shortlisted for the William Saroyan Award, given by Stanford University.

MacLean's new novel is The Joy of Killing.

Recently I asked the author about what he was reading. His reply:
Like many readers, I keep several books going at once, often one at my bedside, one to travel with and one in my den. I recently finished Dead Wake, The Sinking of the Lusitania, by Erik Larson, and was once again impressed by his ability to take an historical event and make it come alive by deep research and rich character development. Not quite up there with In the Garden of Beasts, his fascinating work on pre-WWII Nazi Germany, but awfully close.

I’m re-reading Bring Up the Bodies, by Hilary Mantel, in anticipation of the BBC production of Wolf Hall, and am intrigued with her original presentation of Cromwell. I’m particularly caught up in her development of the almost father-son relationship of Cardinal Wolsey and Cromwell. She moved away from the awkward grammar which made the book Wolf Hall somewhat of a difficult read for many.

I’m also in the middle of Gangsterland by Tod Goldberg. I quit Mafia and mob books a few years back, when the stories grew a little worn out, but this one is unique: a mob hit man screws up and reinvents himself as a Rabbi in Las Vegas. The preposterousness of the notion quickly fades as you find yourself pulling for the Rabbi in spite of his bloody past. Goldberg found just the right mix of drama and humor to keep the story lively and intriguing.
Visit Harry MacLean's website.

My Book, The Movie: The Joy of Killing.

The Page 69 Test: The Joy of Killing.

--Marshal Zeringue