Matthew D. Lassiter On What We Miss About White America and the War on Drugs
Crime Reads
by Molly Odintz
2d ago
When I first picked up Matthew D. Lassiter’s groundbreaking new text, The Suburban Crisis: White America and the War on Drugs, I knew I had to interview him and bring the book’s essential reframing of an oft-misunderstood history to our readers. Lassiter makes a profound and necessary case against both criminalization and coercive rehabilitation, and time and time again, highlights the gap between white fears and white behavior. I was able to send Lassiter some questions over email, what follows is a lengthy and fascinating discussion that sheds light on many previously (may I say, delib ..read more
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The Best International Crime Fiction of April 2024
Crime Reads
by Molly Odintz
2d ago
Each month, CrimeReads/me celebrates the art of the translated novel with a roundup of the best new international crime fiction releases. The list below is divided between horror, thrillers, dystopia, and satire, each driven by a moral force, for one of the most wide-ranging selections of texts I’ve ever included in this column. As the art of translation continues to be under siege, it is more important than ever to value the hard-working translators bringing international voices to new readers, and I would like to extend my utmost appreciation to these professionals. Asako Yuzuki, Butter Tr ..read more
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The 15 Best Sunglasses in Crime Film and TV
Crime Reads
by Olivia Rutigliano
2d ago
It’s spring. It’s officially spring in New York, where CrimeReads is based. Maybe you, like me, wear sunglasses year-round. But maybe you are just busting yours out for the season. There can be no denying that accessory’s association with warm weather. Nothing elevates a look like a pair of sunglasses. And there are many, many slick shades in the annals of crime film and TV. There are cool sunglasses in lots of movies (Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Top Gun, Risky Business, Lolita… though Dolores wears cat-eyes, not the heart-shaped glasses, in the movie itself). But the crime genre has them in spad ..read more
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“My Mind Had Been Fired By Reading Cheap Detective Stories”
Crime Reads
by Curtis Evans
2d ago
Part One: An Unkindness of Ravens   It was almost three years to the day after the great quake had laid waste to so much of San Francisco’s pride that the first of the extortion letters arrived, dated April 21, 1909. This one appeared at the door of the home of Mr. James O’Brien Gunn, president of the Mechanics’ Savings Bank in San Francisco. Like the other two which followed it on April 26, the missive was menacingly signed “The Ravens.” “Dear sir,” it began: Read this letter well and weigh each word of it to its full weight, for they mean exactly what they say. We wish to tell you that ..read more
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The Best Debut Novels of April 2024
Crime Reads
by CrimeReads
2d ago
The CrimeReads editors make their choices for the best debut novels in crime, mystery, and thrillers. * Sasha Vasilyuk, Your Presence Is Mandatory (Bloomsbury) Vasilyuk’s powerful debut tells the story of Yefim Shulman, moving between his death in Ukraine in 2007 and his experiences during World War II and its aftermath, when Shulman fought Germany for the USSR but soon ended up ensnared in the KGB plots, hiding his secrets from his family. Vasilyuk manages to capture both the story’s intimate drama and its epic qualities, telling the story of a double life and its reverberations across bord ..read more
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Philip Miller On Using Ouija Boards to Fuel Creativity
Crime Reads
by Philip Miller
2d ago
At the beginning of my new novel The Hollow Tree, a man stands on the roof of a Scottish hotel. It is night, and the distant mountains are hidden. It is rural Argyll, and the stars above are clear in their spiralling array. The nearby sea murmurs, but in the dark it is invisible. The man is naked, and his toes grip the stony edge of the battlements of the baronial tower. Behind him is safety. Before him is a sheer drop into darkness. He is not alone. He turns around to face Shona Sandison, a journalist, who is staying at the hotel for a wedding. To her surprise, she can see his chest is adorn ..read more
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Farewell, Prague: How I Had to Leave the City of Inspiration to Write My Spy Novel
Crime Reads
by I. S. Berry
3d ago
Prague in the 1990s was a magical place. Communism had fallen, a seat at the opera cost a few bucks, the city’s magnificence had yet to be sullied by hordes of tourists or chain restaurants. Playwright and former dissident Václav Havel was at the helm, transforming and privatizing and chain-smoking. NATO had opened its arms. In 1994, President Clinton played saxophone at the Reduta black-light theater, where absinthe was served. Statues of Soviet dictators were vanishing. A promise of something was in the air, rising from the city like káva turk steam. To outsiders, Prague was irresistible pr ..read more
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Dying Cities: On the Lone Book of ‘Lost’ Novelist Elaine Perry
Crime Reads
by Michael Gonzales
3d ago
“The city is strong in the memory, no matter how much it decays and gives way to the sea.” –Elaine Perry, 1990  Since I’ve started writing about out-of-print and “lost” Black authors, I occasionally get suggestions from writer-friends who turn me on to their favorite neglected authors. When I was writing The Blacklist column for Catapult, journalist Ericka Blount Danois schooled me on the Harlem/Brooklyn teen novels of Rosa Guy while respected Miles Davis biographer Quincy Troupe taught me much about the literary life and brutal death of surreal fictionist Henry Dumas. Most recently I re ..read more
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2024: A Year of Literary True Crime
Crime Reads
by Molly Odintz
4d ago
Over the past few decades, we’ve seen exponential growth in both creative writing programs and the true crime storytelling industry, so perhaps it should come as no surprise to find so much beautiful writing about terrible events. Just so, as true crime has matured, those who tell such stories have learned essential lessons in how to avoid exploitation and bring in appropriate context and empathy (the anthropologists in the list below are especially notable in their sensitivities). The works on this list are about complicated situations, torn individuals, delayed or denied justice, and a worl ..read more
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Michael Dirda on curating stories for a Folio Society anthology of “Weird Tales”
Crime Reads
by Olivia Rutigliano
4d ago
The Washington Post’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book critic Michael Dirda has chosen 12 of the best weird tales ever written for a new collection from The Folio Society titled, appropriately enough, Weird Tales.  Our editor Olivia Rutigliano spoke to Dirda. a longtime aficionado of the “weird,” about his selections. This interview has been edited for concision and clarity.   OR: You’ve done such wonderful research in the history of “weird tales”—the magazine of that name, and MAM/pulp publications and sci-fi and horror stories, in general. MD: Let me start by u ..read more
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