Sunday, February 7, 2016

Reed Farrel Coleman

Called a hard-boiled poet by NPR and the “noir poet laureate” in the Huffington Post, Reed Farrel Coleman is the New York Times bestselling author of Robert B. Parker’s Jesse Stone series. He is a three time Shamus Award winner for Best PI Novel of the Year and a three-time Edgar Award nominee in three different categories. He has also won the Macavity, Barry, Anthony, and Audie awards. Best known for his critically acclaimed Moe Prager Mystery series, Coleman is releasing the first book (Where It Hurts) in a new series featuring retired Suffolk County (Long Island) cop, Gus Murphy.

Brooklyn born and bred, Coleman began publishing poetry in his mid-teens, continued to do so throughout college, and after he began working in the shipping industry. After taking a night class in American Detective Fiction, he quit his fulltime job and began writing his first novel. Where It Hurts marks the publication of his twenty-third novel. He is a former Executive Vice President of Mystery Writers of America, helped found Mystery Writers of America University, and has taught as an adjunct instructor at Hofstra University. He resides on Long Island.

Recently I asked Coleman about what he was reading. His reply:
Unfortunately, a lot of the reading I do these days is for blurbs. Not that I’m complaining. I know how uncomfortable asking for blurbs can be and I am happy to help if I can. And I’m honored that my colleagues think my name on their books has some meaning. However, it does cut down on my time for reading strictly for pleasure. I was very lucky in that the most recent book I read for a blurb was Alex Segura’s Down The Darkest Street, featuring ex-journalist Pete Fernandez. I like to think of Alex’s work as hot house noir because it’s set on the steaming, humid streets of Miami. Segura does a nice job of harkening back to classic PI novels while keeping his plots and characters in the here and now. Prior to that I read Peter Spiegelman’s latest, Dr. Knox. Due out in July, it’s the first book in a new series featuring a LA physician who runs a free clinic on Skid Row by day and who practices a very different kind of medicine by night in order to support the clinic. Knox is assisted in his adventures by Sutter, an ex-special forces type acting as Knox’s agent and protector. LA is as much a character in the novel as in any of Ellroy’s and that’s saying something.

On the books I’ve read recently that are already out, there is Ben H. Winters’ World Of Trouble. This is the third book in a trilogy featuring Hank Palace, a cop who has the misfortune of making detective as the world is about to be ended by an asteroid. He takes an interesting approach to a man trying to do his duty in the face of absurdity. All three books are worth your time and money and will have you thinking long after you close their covers.

On deck for me is a treat by one of my favorite authors writing one of my favorite characters. It’s Philip Kerr’s next Bernie Gunther novel The Other Side of Silence. Kerr is as consistently fine an author as there is working today. He covers ground not dissimilar in its absurdity as Ben H. Winters because Bernie Gunther is a homicide detective cum PI working in Berlin between the wars. Tough to be a homicide detective in a society that views certain human life as very cheap and sees murder and torture as acceptable means to any end. Kerr has expanded the series so that we follow Bernie’s adventures pre, during, and post WWII. It is an amazing series and I can’t wait to get started.
Visit Reed Farrel Coleman's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Hollow Girl.

The Page 69 Test: Where It Hurts.

--Marshal Zeringue