RARA-AVIS: Small Crimes + noir writers from the 30s and 40s

From: Dave Zeltserman ( dave@hardluckstories.com)
Date: 03 Jun 2008

A review in the London Times favorably compared my latest book, Small Crimes, with: "the kind of grim noir novel they used to write in the Thirties and Forties. There are no good guys, only men who are mean, vicious, tough, corrupt and amoral. Action is frenzied and bloody, women easy but vulnerable, dialogue curt and the plot not necessarily convincing."

To me this raised the question, who was writing these types of grim noir novels in the 30s and 40s?? The only writers I could think of were James M. Cain, Cornell Woolrich and David Goodis (at least he started in the 40s). If the reviewer had mentioned the 50s instead it would've made more sense as it would've opened up a host of other writers, including Charles Williams, Gil Brewer, Dan Marlowe, etc. So here's the question--who else other than the writers I mentioned were writing noir novels in the 30s and 40s (noir with Jack Bludis's definition of screwed as opposed to dark + sinister)???

---Dave Z.

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