Praise for Declan Burke: “Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

To The Slaughter Manor Born

I had an interview with Karin Slaughter (right) published in the Irish Times last Friday. It began a lot like this:
KARIN SLAUGHTER would like it to be known that Karin Slaughter is not a work of fiction.
  “Yes, that really is my real last name,” says the Georgia-born author with a laugh. “There’s a village in the Cotswolds called Lower Slaughter. I went there on my vacation last year just for the photo op. There’s a place called Slaughter Manor, a beautiful old manor. I asked for it back and they said no.”
  CRIMINAL is Slaughter’s 11th novel. An intertextual mingling of characters from a disparate series of bestselling books, it features the Atlanta police detective Will Trent as he investigates the kidnap and murder of young women, the twist being that the killer’s modus operandi is remarkably similar to that of Will’s own father, a notorious murderer who has recently been released from prison.
  Much of the story takes place in 1975, however, as Slaughter explores the time and place that made Will’s boss, Amanda Wagner, the woman she is today.
  “I’ve been writing about Amanda for years,” says Slaughter, in her soft Southern drawl. “She’s kind of a ball-breaker, and I started to wonder about how she got that way. Every woman I know, and most men I know, have an Amanda Wagner in their lives. A woman who got to the top – and, instead of helping everyone else, she kicked the ladder away and told them they had to crawl across glass to follow her. So I wanted to explore why she got that way, and the best way to do that was to start talking about how things were when she started on the police force.”
  For the rest, clickety-click here:
  Meanwhile, Karin Slaughter is one of the contributors to BOOKS TO DIE FOR, writing a very fine piece on THE DEAD LETTER by Metta Fuller Victor (right). Quoth Karin:
“Metta Fuller Victor started it all for America, she was the first author to write a novel-length detective story. Poe gets a lot of credit for the first detective short story, but she really was the one who created the whole genre. And we don’t really talk about her. As a woman in a field that is very male-identified in many ways, I thought it was important to talk about the fact that it was a woman who gave all of us our start.”
  For more on BOOKS TO DIE FOR, clickety-click here

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