Monday, January 24, 2011

The Serialist by David Gordon

The Serialist is a fun and witty first novel by David Gordon.  The book has been nominated for an Edgar Award for best first novel of the year.  It is a great read.

Harry Bloch is a struggling author of mysteries, vampire stories and pornographic tales, all under pen names.  A serial killer on death row approached Harry to ghost write the killer's memoirs.  After several meetings, people Harry interviewed for the memior turn up dead, killed in the same signature style of the serial killer.  Harry is immediatly the prime suspect.  To protect himself, Harry is forced to become an unwilling detective.

For anyone who likes mysteries, especially noir mysteries, this is a terrific new voice.  The novel is loaded with references to great mystery authors and characters such as Edgar Allan Poe, Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie, Dashiell Hammett's Sam Spade, PBS mysteries and several others.  The voice is strong and distinct.  The plotting and pace will keep you reading.  Although this is written in the tradition of hardboiled private investigators, Gordon modernizes the characters and the issues.

Recommendation: This page turner is worth a read.  You'll read it quickly on a long cold afternoon or on the beach.  For hardboiled mystery enthusiaists, it is a must.

Author interview here.

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