Monday, March 01, 2010

Three reasons I love noir


1. Noir tells about ordinary people you can sympathize with.
2. Noir is uncompromising about why people do the things they do.
3. Noir offers a surprise in the end.

Dave Zeltserman's Killer is about all of these. It's about an old man who gets out of prison after ratting out about his boss, a mob boss who hired him to do 28 killings during some 30 years. We follow him trying to get his life together. He's not going to do another gig, he's not going to do a reform, he just tries to stay alive for some time and possibly meet his children. We see him almost fall in love. We feel for the guy.

We also see glimpses of his past life. He's a ruthless bastard, but he's also reasoning that killing was just his work and that he really loved his family. I love the way how Zeltserman lets the killer's paranoia sink in. It's also worthy to point out how the scenes in the past are told in the present tense and the scenes in the recent are told in the past tense - it's not just a gimmick, it's very important thematically.

And the surprise ending... I was trembling after reading the final pages. It's a surprise not only plot-wise, but Zeltserman also turns the theme of his novel totally upside down.

I'm ready to rank Dave Zeltserman alongside Jason Starr as my favourite new noir author.

Here's Ed Gorman on the book, and here's another blog on the book.

6 comments:

K V Laihonen said...

WTF - is this local 'humor'?! Your link to Ed Gorman's post leas to YouTube and Nisa effing Soraya's music video...

Juri said...

Oops! I'll fix that! I was posting stupid music links to Facebook at the same time I was writing this.

Juri said...

Fixed! Sorry, Ed!

Paul D. Brazill said...

Yep, good post Juri. Killer's a hell of a book.

Anders E said...

Gotta get this (and Pariah, too). Small Crimes knocked me over, and you know how you and I agree on most things hardboiled.

Juri said...

Yeah, Anders, that's almost like magic. You'll just love this.