Turow's first book was a huge(rightly so) best seller.I liked the movie too. Harrison Ford I believe.
Espionage is considered a crime so I think we should include the books of Ian Fleming and John Le Carre.
I'd consider "The Spy Who Came In From The Cold" in the top 10 of all time.
Haven't read Fleming in decades, but I still read Le Carre (David Cornwell) - what a writer! He manages to give a dense amount of information while still keeping pace and sustaining tension.
As my reading time becomes more limited, the more I realize how important this becomes. I have to at least 'care' about a novel's characters, and actually liking them is a bonus. Every now and then I find I like them so much I don't want the book to end and I love it when that happens.
Yes, absolutely agree, Irishk.
If I don't care too much about any characters in a book ( whatever fiction genre) there's little to hold my interest, little point in reading till the end.
I liked & cared so much about so many characters in A Suitable Boy
(not crime fiction, a novel set in India) I couldn't believe it had ended after 1349 pages!
I wanted more!
Which leads me back to crime fiction .....
What are some of the most engaging, intriguing (like-able or not) characters you readers have encountered in crime fiction?
Which have you found most admirable & why?
What makes for a really interesting private detective?
Are there "hero" & "ant-hero" varieties? (I'd suspect there would be.)
Are there despicable private detectives, who are fascinating all the same?
Are there humorous, tongue-in-cheek varieties ... that make you laugh?
If you had to nomimate just one favourite crime fiction character, who would she or he be? And why?
This afternoon while I was out I checked out a few op shops (opportunity shops in Oz, thrift shops in the US ...) & picked up The Chandler Collection
- volume one (Picador, 1979).
The Big Sleep
: The Lady in the Lake
: The Little sister
For the princely sum of $3!
So as soon as I finish my current novel (not crime fiction, Peter Carey) first cab off the rank will be Raymond Chandler!
I've enjoyed your thread, Miss Olga . . . i'm relatively new to the genre myself, and most of these authors i've never heard of.
I've really enjoyed it, too, Setanta.
And being even newer to the genre than you (like knowing zilch!), I've really appreciated people sharing their knowledge & enthusiasm.
I am looking forward to acquainting myself with Philip Marlowe, very soon!
I actually think The Looking Glass War was Cornwell's best.
Wow! Don't remember it. Gotta get it!
There's an Aussie crime writer I really enjoy. Chris Nyst. I think a couple of his movies have been made into books. Or rather, the other way 'round.
"Gettin' Square" I believe is one.
Whenever I'm ready for a good mystery adventure I'll
stashed within arm's reach of my recliner.
I recognize Marquand but don't think I've read him.
To be honest, he churned out pot-boilers fo a living back in the thirties. Easy reads, all of them: my style, really.
I once went through a swath of 40's - maybe some of them thirties - crime thrillers, perhaps written with secondary pen names, all in paperback with bright yellow covers, got them for 50 cents each at a used book store. They were terse, brisk, and interesting, or so I remember them. Forget what the series was called, but I haven't seen those books around anywhere since I bought them in the seventies. (Hah, the attack of the killer reader...) There might or might not have been a small raven on the bookbinding. Potboilers might be the appropriate word.
Meantime this brings up James Ellroy. I wouldn't call him an easy read.
The one of his I fractionally remember (I read fast and my memory has always been slippery re fast reads) was The Black Dahlia. I tend to remember the atmosphere of a book long after I have any kind of clue about the plotting.
...and finally, my very favorite crime writer: Elmore Leonard.
He started out writing Westerns back in the 50's but switched to crime novels. His feel for spoken dialogue is uncanny.
Here's his mantra:
“Elmore Leonard's Ten Rules of Writing
1. Never open a book with weather.
2. Avoid prologues.
3. Never use a verb other than "said" to carry dialogue.
4. Never use an adverb to modify the verb "said”…he admonished gravely.
5. Keep your exclamation points under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose.
6. Never use the words "suddenly" or "all hell broke loose."
7. Use regional dialect, patois, sparingly.
8. Avoid detailed descriptions of characters.
9. Don't go into great detail describing places and things.
10. Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.
My most important rule is one that sums up the 10.
If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.”
― Elmore Leonard
Among his novels adapted for the screen are
Rum Punch(Jackie Brown)
Out Of Sight (my favorite with George Clooney and J-Lo)
Mr Majestyk and 3:10 To Yuma
msolga, I heartily recommend this guy.
One more for your list - I've talked about it on the book thread - I quite liked Jo Nesbo's The Redbreast. He's a norwegian crime writer, and Redbreast was one of his early books. Now I want to - need to - read more of his.
Storyline of Think Fast, Mr. Moto. (Wikipedia's movie synopsis):
The film opens with Mr. Moto disguising himself as a street salesmen and trying to sell goods to passers-by. He sees a man leaving a shop with a tattoo of the British Flag on his arm. Moto enters and tries to sell a rare diamond to the owner. However, Moto sees a body stuffed into a wicker basket in the store, and using his mastery of judo takes down the owner. Later, he reserves a room on a freighter headed for Shanghai. Also on the freighter is Bob Hitchings Jr., the son of the owner of the freighter. Before leaving, Hitchings Sr. gives his son a confidential letter to be given to the head of the Shanghai branch of the company. Hitchings and Moto become friends (Moto notices the letter), and Moto helps Hitchings get rid of a hangover. Hitchings complains to Moto that he has not met any beautiful women on board. After a brief stop in Honolulu, a beautiful woman named Gloria Danton arrives on the ship, and she and Hitchings fall in love. But Gloria is a spy for Nicolas Marloff, who runs a smuggling operation out of Shanghai. She periodically sends him notes and leaves without saying goodbye to Hitchings. Moto finds a steward looking for Hitchings’s letter, and Moto confronts him, knowing he was the same person who killed the man in the wicker basket, as he also has the tattoo. Moto throws the man overboard and takes the letter.
At Shanghai, Hitchings meets up with Joseph B. Wilkie and gives him the letter, but later finds it to be blank. He calls his father, who tells him the letter said to watch out for smugglers. Hitchings is adamant on finding Gloria, and he learns from an unknown person that she is at the “international club”. Both he and Wilkie go there, as well as Moto and his date. Hitchings finds Gloria at the club and goes to her dressing room, as she is a performer at the club. However, the club owner Marloff finds them both, and, knowing Hitchings knows too much, locks them both up. Moto secretly informs his date to call the police, and he looks for Marloff. Posing as a fellow smuggler, he tricks Marloff into leading him to Gloria and Hitchigns. Moto’s date is shot while trying to contact the police, but does manage to tell them where she is. Wilkie finds Marloff, and demands Gloria and Hitchings be released. Marloff finds out that Moto is not a smuggler, but Moto apprehends him. Moto tells Wilkie to get Marloff’s gun, the gun goes off as Wilkie tries to grab it, killing Marloff. The police storm the building, and Moto tells them the Wilkie was the head of the smuggling operation. Wilkie replaced the letter and shot Moto’s date. Moto gave Wilkie the opportunity to kill Marloff, who knew he was in on the plot, and he did. Wilkie is arrested, and everything goes back to normal.
Spellbinding stuff,hm! Simply setting the story in the Orient was sufficient to hold the reader in suspense, being at the time of the Yellow Peril.
Marquand was no Raymond Chandler, though.
I'm 4/5ths the way through a Nelson DeMille book recommended to me by Roger (we sometimes hit used book places together, the last time was at Goodwill. We like a store in a small house across town too.) The book is Up Country, set in Vietnam in 1997. A retired army police investigator accepts an assignment..
I've read another of his, forget the title, also recommended by Roger, and I liked it well enough - odd, I remember liking the writing but not the story. But not so odd, that's my way. I'll have to google de Mille's books and see if I can pinpoint the title of that first one.