Unusual Suspects: A New Anthology of Crime Stories from Black Lizard

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9780679767886: Unusual Suspects: A New Anthology of Crime Stories from Black Lizard

In Unusual Suspects, America's most acclaimed crime writers, along with some authors rarely associated with the genre, contribute fifteen new stories and two rediscovered classics to this riveting anthology.

James Lee Burke, author of the bestselling Dave Robicheaux mysteries, gives us a feverishly atmospheric tale of racism and moral courage on the Louisiana bayou. From the files of Jim Thompson, the godfather of American noir, comes the story of a murder with a victim so nasty we defy anyone to shed a tear far him. And Joyce Carol Oates shows us how a sudden brush with violence can turn a public servant into a public enemy. The result is a deliriously pulse-pounding collection that proves that although crime doesn't pay, it can help a good cause.

All the stories in this collection of crime fiction have been donated to benefit Share Our Strength, a Washington, D. C.-based nonprofit organization that combats hunger, poverty, and illiteracy.

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Review:

If you still think of short stories as the ugly little stepchildren of the mystery genre (forgetting that the likes of Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammet, and Jim Thompson learned their craft in this form), here's a handsome collection from Black Lizard that should change your mind. Skillfully edited and introduced by James (Six Days of the Condor) Grady, who also contributes a fine little gem, the book offers tempting appetizers from the likes of James Lee Burke, George Pelecanos, and Julie Smith which--at the very least--should make you hungry for their longer works.

From Publishers Weekly:

The suspects here aren't really so "unusual"; it's a fairly standard mix of vengeful women, jealous men, convicts and kooks (with some surprises thrown in). That doesn't spoil the fun in this often gripping collection of crime fiction. John Weisman's story of the downfall of a CIA operative evokes a horror that is impossible to banish. Jessica Auerbach's account of a man's obsession with his wife's death rings tragically true in every psychological nuance. James Lee Burke's contribution stands out due to its extraordinarily vivid atmosphere and detail ("heat thunder [rolled]... like a hard apple rattling in the bottom of a barrel"). And John Lutz offers a short, twisting ride of a tale with moments of dynamite deadpan humor. Andrew Vachss's entry, in contrast, seems little more than a sketch, and a fairly predictable one at that. But most of the stories that disappoint do so primarily in comparison with the more exceptional entries. The collection is largely a success, showcasing a wide variety of imaginative approaches to the genre of crime fiction. The authors assembled here include award-winners and other notable names in this genre; among the works is a previously "lost" short story by Jim Thompson, donated by his estate. (May) FYI: All the stories in this collection have been donated to benefit Share Our Strength, a Washington, D.C.
based nonprofit organization that combats hunger, poverty and illiteracy.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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