Wednesday, December 19, 2007



The Eighth Dwarf Ross Thomas


The Blonde Duane Swierczynski

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Stranger Than

(from the interview I did for the Detroit Noir website)

Is your story based on, or overtly influenced by, actual events?
The bit about posing as cops to rob people: I’m sure it happens in a lot of big cities, but it seems to happen regularly in Detroit.

(from the Detroit Free Press last Saturday)

Fake cops targeted in raids
By Ben Schmitt
Police officers kicked down doors in Detroit and Macomb and Oakland counties Friday, seizing a cache of weapons, police badges and bulletproof vests in an investigation involving at least two men posing as cops while robbing citizens.

The raids by a multi-jurisdictional task force occurred at five houses in Detroit, Madison Heights, Warren, Sterling Heights and Center Line. In all, police seized 14 weapons -- including a submachine gun, AK47s and sniper rifles -- ammunition, silencers, gunpowder, grenades, two Ford Crown Victoria sedans and patches of the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Tobacco, Alcohol, Firearms and Explosives, and U.S. Customs.

Detroit Police Chief Ella Bully-Cummings said the raids stemmed from an arrest last month of someone who stole a police assault rifle, radio and bulletproof vest from a Wayne County sheriff's deputy.

She said some of the seized equipment displayed Friday belongs to officers, and there is more to be retrieved.

While she would not detail how the equipment was stolen, a police official close to the investigation said some of it was taken from officers' homes and cars.

"What the public needs to know is that we have determined that currently there are two white males conducting a rash or spree over the past year in Wayne, Macomb and Oakland counties," the chief said. "They are targeting many people. ... It is believed they are conducting traffic stops in what are considered to be police-looking Crown Vics, using stolen police equipment."

Those men have not been arrested. She said there could be more than two people involved. Besides traffic stops, police are investigating home invasions and armed robberies by men saying they are cops.

"We know that we're having some robberies that are being conducted as a result of these people identifying themselves as police officers and they're not," Bully-Cummings said.

She said Detroit officers in marked cars will pull over when they see traffic stops by unmarked or semi-marked vehicles to make sure they belong to real officers.

Anyone who may have fallen victim to the police impersonators is asked to call the task force at 313-596-2300

Monday, December 10, 2007

Double Feature

For the first hour and a half of its running time, No Country For Old Men is both extremely stylish and nose-to-the-ground; in the last half hour, the action quickly becomes clear as mud: It’s like the Coens jumped from Blood Simple to Barton Fink, or let David Lynch direct the last half hour of the movie.

Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead opens with a couple of scenes that might lead you to believe you’re in for a dirty good time, but don’t be fooled. The heist-gone-bad story defers to the family-gone-bad story, and what follows is unrelentingly grim -- a film to be admired more than enjoyed.

Thursday, December 6, 2007



Who Is Conrad Hirst? Kevin Wignall
Come Morning Joe Gores
Deadly Beloved Max Allan Collins
Second Hand Michael Zadoorian


Autopsy of an Engine Lolita Hernandez
Code To Zero Ken Follett
The Brass Cupcake John D. MacDonald
Dead Sea Brian Keene

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


The Detroit Noir tour has gone on holiday break, but stay tuned: There will be some new events in the new year.

All of the readings were a blast, thanks to everyone involved.

You're only as good as the company you keep -- I think that's one of the abiding themes of noir -- and if you're a neophyte writer-type who does no public speaking ever, I advise you to surround yourself with educators and broadcast professionals for your initial public appearances.

Thanks to everyone who showed up, and my thanks especially to EJ, Lolita, Tina Vowels, Steve and Charlie.