Richard Aleas


Richard Aleas is apparently the author of a number of short stories. He has produced his first two novels for Hard Case Crimes, and this diptych, featuring the same detective is exemplary of the most noir of noir.

Hard Case Crime is devoted to producing those noir novels that center mostly around revenge and lose women. About half of the line is reprint, featuring the highlights of past years, and about half in new Noir. Richard Aleas falls in this second category.

His first novel for Hard Case, Little Girl Lost features the usual bag of noir tricks--sleazy surroundings, violent crime, and uncertain identities. There's double and triple crosses, and of course a bevy of femmes fatales.

His second, Songs of Innocence, is a very hard book and is as dark as noir can get. It virtually guarantees that we won't see this detective again. Although anything is possible, I suppose.

The prose of both books is really nicely done, hard-boiled, noir, and yet intelligent in a way few of these kinds of books manage. Indeed, Hard Case has done a nice job of finding some fairly intelligent stories all round. You read these noir and you get a real sense of what it means to transcend the genre.

So, if you like detective novels AND you like noir with difficult subject matter, these books may be of interest to you. If not, you've been warned and you might want to visit the gentler realms of the Golden Age, or perhaps wander through the fields of Angela Thirkell--no mystery at all.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on July 29, 2007 8:46 AM.

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