From: Chris Martin (
Date: 06 Aug 2002

John W. wrote:
>The challenge, certainly, that interests me as a writer,
>is to apply the things I like about noir/hb - the sense that the world is
>not OK, that the underdog viewpoint is the one to take, that corruption is
>everywhere, that the evocation of place can be crucial to the creation of
>character - to novels that do not neccessarily need to revolve around a
>dead body or a zillion dollar coke deal.<

John: My response is a little tardy, as I just returned from a week of travel. I should qualify this by stating that I had never read any UK Noir before last month, but have now worked my way through two Rankin novels as well as Cardiff Dead and Two Bars and I am next on the wait list for Derek Raymond at my local library.

Due to some nasty weather on the West Coast, I spent the better part of Sunday night in an airport, which gave me time to polish off Cardiff Dead. Without kissing up too much, I want to say that I think you accomplished what you stated are your interest as a writer.

1. The sense that the world is not OK: check 2. That the underdog viewpoint is the one to take: check 3. That corruption is everywhere: check 4. That the evocation of place can be crucial to the creation of character: check

You do have a dead body and, yes, there is coke involved (though hardly a zillion dollar deal), but your characters are so alive that the story could have just as easily covered other territory. It could have been a satire/comedy/travelogue of the North American reunion tour. The search for Emyr could have been expanded in a Last Good Kiss sort of way. Mazz, Charlie and especially Tyra are compelling enough to want to know more about. Like in a Pelecanos novel, I was left with the sense that your characters are still "out there" living there lives off the page and maybe you'll write more about those lives down the road and maybe you won't. Hope that doesn't sound goofy, but I don't think I can word it any better.

Thanks to Manuel Ramos (and miker) I may sit out Gold Medal Month and get to work on some Latino fiction. Thanks to all for contributions during UK month.

Cheers, Chris

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