Crime Fiction


manos de piedra
favorite crime fiction writers? i've been reading all the Hammett and Chandler i can get my hands on lately.

i finally tracked down some Ted Lewis books recently- i started "Jack Carter's Law" this week and i'm enjoying it quite a bit- even though the English slang causes me some trouble in parts

i have to say that other than Ellroy (and mostly his pre-LA Confidential output) i have not read much contemporary crime fiction.

something about the pre 80s crime paperbacks- with their trashy covers (see scans below) really appeal to me- the "trash culture" aspect of it. but only to a limit- i tried to read some Mickey Spillane and could not bear it.




yeah chandler and jim thompson strike me as being the top boys , followed by elroy - some people swear by ian mcwan tho


Chester Himes' 'Harlem Cycle', comprising 8 books (and an unfinished one) is utterly essential. Also Derek Raymond's "The Devil's Home on Leave" is a really under-rated British crime novel, which captures the dark side of 80s London
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manos de piedra
have not read any Himes yet- though he is on my list- Derek Raymond sounds interesting will try to look for it

this Ted Lewis "Jack Carter's Law" is a pretty wild book- the level of violence is much higher than i expected. over the top, and yet realistic at the same time. quite well-written though- i really like the way he writes.


New member
I'll second that recommendation of Hime's Harlem Cycle (as well as Chandler, Hammett, Thompson and Ellroy). Derek Raymond has three other novels in that batch of grim classics - I Was Dora Suarez, How the Dead Live and He Died With His Eyes Open - read them all!

Also, James Crumley (apart from The Mexican Tree Duck), Charles Willeford ( esp the Hoke Mosely books) and the first four of Joe R Lansdale's Hap Collins and Leonard Pine books ( Savage Season, Mucho Mojo, Two Bear Mambo and Bad Chilli) are favourites. On a lighter note, Kinky Friedman's book are mostly pretty fun.


Well-known member
george v higgins motherfuckers! showerface!
and rex stout, original badboy of crime writing, nero wolfe and archie are the best crime fighting duo since batman and robin(actually they almost certainly predate batman and robin)
also ed mcbain.

robert b parker and l block are nice for something lighter. you can sit down and have a nice drink while the books read themselves.


Well-known member
except that robert B parker committed the heinous & presumptuous crime of finishing chandler's unfinished poodle springs... reckon the b stands for bag'o shite

got to say chandler is god... mcbain is quality... dashiell hammet for the maltese falcon... & erskine childers for the riddle of the sands... spillane for pulp nonsense... & ellroy for sheer darkness: particularly the black dahlia & the big nowhere... & don't think we can omit edgar poe for inventing the genre... & conan doyle for the ultimate detective... also gaston leroux for le mystère de la chambre jaune (although the detective whose name i've forgotten is deeply irritating)... have always wanted to check out norbert davies who was, apparently, wittgenstein's favourite...


hot on the heels of love
watched that Class of 76 last night and was reminded a little of David Peace; the ONLY novelist ever to give me nightmares.(I can see why he had to have the remove of Japan to write the West Riding stuff)


plywood violin
figured with all the c hester himes mentiones, someone wouldn't dropped Donald Goines... basically a nastier version, like what Jim Thompson is to Chandler or Hammett...