Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Public Morals Crimezine

Public Morals: New York retro nastiness coming to your precinct this autumn.

Retrotastic cop show alert Crimeziners, there is a new show from TNT getting ready to hit our precinct this autumn, you heard it here first.

Public Morals centers on New York City’s Public Morals Division, where cops walk the line between morality and criminality as temptations that come from dealing with all kinds of vice can get the better of them. Check out the crimetastic trailer today, tell them Crimezine sent ya.

Originally posted on Crimezine:

Ross-Macdonald-biography Ross Macdonald a biography

Crimeziners who are interested in hardboiled noir from Southern California will no doubt have read the work of Ross Macdonald. Widely touted as a successor to Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler and James M. Cain, Macdonald—or Ken Millar as he was known by everyone, apart from the reading public was a more complex and experimental writer than the other legends of noir.

Early Macdonald novels, such as The Moving Target (1949) and The Drowning Pool (1950) were closely fashioned on the Chandler oeuvre, so closely fashioned in fact that Chandler denounced Millar in a very public manner, an unpleasantness that was to stay with the sensitive Millar for much of his career.

But Millar and his hardboiled protagonist Lew Archer quickly evolved, moving into territory Chandler et al could only have dreamed of. Could you imagine Marlowe dealing with the subject of environmentalism for example?

Millar had…

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American Crime Crimezine

American Crime—A laugh riot of comic japes and quick-firebanter.

Ah, there you are Crimeziners. Anyone fancy some American Crime? Not Serbo-Croation Crime, or Guatemalan crime, but full bloodied, freedom loving, American Crime? How iconic that sounds. You can almost imagine the marching band, and old glory fluttering patriotically in every scene, as a square-jawed set of shoulder-holster wearing patriots, with pomaded hair, swap dry, Dragnet style witticisms and unfiltered cigarettes, as they “stake out”, run down, then pummel ruthlessly “punks” of every description.

The world has changed substantially since America used to make those kind of shows. In a world where living human beings are burned alive, beheaded, and otherwise tortured in an endless rolling news horror-fest; the viewing public has become somewhat desensitized to the threat of “stoners”, “radicals” and jug-eared gangsters from central casting.

Gritty realism is the new vogue, and American Crime has plenty of that. In this show the darkness is unrelenting from the outset. Heroin addled beat-downs, junkie rip offs, and terror-filled streets seething with emaciated street-hoodlums with more tattoos than you can shake a magic marker at. There are the sweet middle class families too, torn apart by horror of it all. The horror! The horror! Even Joe Conrad wouldn’t be able to make it through this show in one piece.

Thirty minutes of this kind of “entertainment” and you will be reaching for the prescription meds in the vain hope that the world will become bright and shiny again. Of course it won’t. The world will never come good again, especially if you have been watching rolling news coverage for any length of time.

At the other end of the entertainment spectrum we have the CSI’s and the other acronym ridden crime-lite shows that top the ratings. But even these prime-time staples are becoming infected with the growing tendency to favor gratuitous cruelty and stomach churning nastiness over mystery, suspense and sophisticated plot development. Thanks al-Qaeda. Ten bucks for a water at the airport, now this.

On a lighter note, Timothy Hutton is marvelous as former gambler Rus Skokie. Hutton has been acting for literally fifty years man and boy and has starred in umpteen movies and TV Shows. Unfortunately, Crimezine was unable to shake away the memory of his performance as Nathan Ford in Leverage. This was perhaps the cruelest torture of all in American Crime, because every time Hutton graced our screen we expected him to offer up a pithy Leverage style witticism. Sadly none came, and we were forced to choke down a handful of Citalopram with a vodka-tonic chaser. This didn’t help. We then switched to rolling news, in the hope that the latest burnings and beheadings would cheer us up.

But as those with romance and optimism in their hearts will know, there is always something good that comes out of every great tragedy. In this case, that something good is the on-set love match between the superannuated Hutton 54 and his American Crime co-star, 26-year-old Caitlin Gerard. (The junkie chick in the show.)

Apparently the two lovebirds hooked up while shooting the show in Austin, TX. Crimezine understands from insiders that the two are so “into each other” that she moved into Hutton’s Austin love nest and she’s now “secretly” living with him and his 27-year-old son Noah. Aw, bless—the kid is older than she is. No doubt mom—Hutton’s first wife Debra Winger—will be delighted. Catch you later Crimeziners.


Thoughts on James Ellroy’s masterwork Perfidia by Ellroy expert Steve Powell

Originally posted on The Venetian Vase:

PerfidiaIn Exquisite Corpse: Surrealism and the Black Dahlia Murder (2006) Mark Nelson and Sarah Hudson Bayliss created a highly impressive chart they titled ‘Los Angeles 1935-1950: A Web of Connections’ which ‘situates Black Dahlia murder suspect George Hodel within the culturally elite circles of Los Angeles at the time of the murder and illustrates the close geographical proximity of the central characters in our book.’

After completing my second reading of James Ellroy’s Perfidia, I’m beginning to see more clearly how Ellroy has devised his own web of connections within his body of work as a crime novelist. Nelson and Bayliss explored the potential connections of figures such as Man Ray and John Huston to the Black Dahlia case, building upon the work of former LAPD detective Steve Hodel. With Perfidia, Ellroy has embarked upon a second LA Quartet, preceding the first Quartet chronologically, which, in its myriad…

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Tony Bulmer

Tony Bulmer rocks New York

CZ: Last time we met, you in Las Vegas you had just released your excellent book The Fine Art of Murder. We were so excited by all the guns and gambling we didn’t think to talk about your very cool past.

T: Yeah, I have been lucky over the years and got to work for some very interesting folks. I spent five years at the legendary Fleetway Comics, publishers of Judge Dredd and 2000AD. I worked on dozens of titles there and developed amongst other things a young adult title called Mystery and Suspense. While it was cool to work there, it was also kind of sad as the British Comics industry was on its last legs.

CZ: How so?

T: Fleetway was bought out by a monster European Entertainment Corporation.

CZ: You also worked for Hard Rock Magazine Metal Hammer.

T: [Laughs] I will never live that one down. The amazing Felix Dennis sold the magazine pretty soon after I left. Felix was a publishing legend and an inspiration. Proof that you can still be a billionaire entrepreneur and a kick ass dissident. Sadly Felix died recently, but his poetry lives on. [Laughs]

CZ: When did you start writing?

T: I have been writing for as long as I can remember and reading too. I read a very wide range of writers from classics like Chandler, to just about every modern crime, mystery and thriller writer you can imagine. I also get a big kick out of literary classics and serious investigative journalism. Writers like Ahmed Rashid rock. I think the trouble with reading so many good writers is that one tends to set the bar very high in terms of personal literary achievement.

CZ: Hence your reputation for pushing barriers?

T: I worked for magazines and newspapers for years. Much of the work was quite dull. I swore that when I started writing for myself, I would write books that had character, backbone and a sense of humor too. Entertaining is a serious business and I treat it as such.

CZ: So you have another genre defying book out. Explain yourself.

T: Conspiracy of Fire is a high-concept thriller. I wanted push my creativity to the limits and offer a very commercial and highly entertaining book that readers would dig because it was so different. I have always been a massive fan of writers like Ian Fleming, who managed to balance a wry pulp sensibility with mass-market appeal.

CZ: This is your seventh book, Most of your other works have been strongly Crime/Mystery centered, how is this one different?

T: I think one of the major things about Crime and Mystery writing is that it shows readers just how bad things can get and then turns that around into a psychologically palatable form that reassures. I think that while a thriller such as Conspiracy of Fire deals with a different structure, the aims are fundamentally the same—murder and redemption, fear of the unknown and the ability of truth and justice to conquer all, despite the odds. I have been a massive fan of thrillers for years and it was always my ambition to write a really good one. I must say I have been disappointed in recent years how jingoistic and repetitive the genre has become. I wanted to kick that into touch and come up with something different.

CZ: How so?

T: I got sick of hearing about square-jawed special-forces loners who had got a political axe to grind. I wanted to develop a more complex and vulnerable character who had strength, integrity and a true moral compass despite the odds. Someone who had humor and decency but who still kicks ass. Someone who is a beacon for justice, freedom, integrity; Someone who supports and stands strong for democracy, but isn’t scared to break the rules when necessary. I think I managed to achieve that in my protagonist Karyn Kane.

CZ: A woman in a man’s world? Isn’t that the other end of the thriller cliché?

T: [Laughs] I think there are very many thriller fans of both sexes who are sick to death of hearing about some dude with his polo shirt tucked into his nomex under-crackers, waxing lyrical about firearms and “suspicious” foreigners with bad personal hygiene. There are exponents of the genre who have taken that stereotype to quite ludicrous extremes. Then, at the other end of the spectrum, there are others who paint their women protagonists as mad and drippy man wannabes, which isn’t very convincing either.

CZ: So tell us about Karyn Kane.

T: The character is in part based on my wife Jeanne, who is an internationally successful commercial Real Estate executive and entrepreneur. I also have a great deal of corporate experience and I wanted to reflect how the struggle against the corporate status quo can affect people of ambition. Karyn Kane, like my wife is a high achiever, like her, she has to deal with a mother who is dying of cancer. Kane is also obsessively dedicated to her work and has a young child who is living with her estranged husband and his feckless new wife. I think anyone who has had a bad divorce will identify very closely with that kind of personal crisis. Then of course there is her day job—Karyn Kane is a deep cover operative for the CIA. She works for the Deep–Five division, who specialize in operations that run outside of the limits of United States Law.

CZ: She sound like quite a gal. What is she up against?

T: Across the world, there is a great deal of anxiety about where the new political and social equilibrium will be. Also, where will the energy to power the future come from? I deal with this directly. Karyn Kane is pitted against a global corporation that has developed a limitless new form of energy production. But the worlds of money politics and power are closely intertwined, as she quickly discovers.

CZ; Politics? Barf. Good luck with that one.

T: [Laughs] We are living in a time where you have to stand up and be counted. Are you going to be part of the problem, or part of the solution? Writers I admire, like Dashiell Hammett and George Orwell understood that. That was in the 1930s and 40s. Well, desperate times are with us once again, and it is my sworn duty as a writer to offer a moral antidote to the horror of it all; something that will inspire and entertain and raise questions amongst anyone who is strong enough to care about anything other than the consume and obey rhetoric that tries to keep us powerless. In America right now there is a political malaise that prefers conspiracy over action. I wanted to draw out that puss-filled conspiracy into the open and offer uplifting and insightful alternatives that offer not only offer hope, but kick ass entertainment.

Conspiracy of Fire by Tony Bulmer is out now.

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Posted: January 23, 2013 in Uncategorized
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