Sunday, January 17, 2010
Two-Book Review: Little Girl Lost (2004) and Songs of Innocence, (2007) by Richard Aleas
Little Girl Lost (2004) and its sequel, Songs of Innocence, (2007) by Richard Aleas are simply two of the best noir crime books that I've read in years. The books follow detective John Blake as he descends into New York's strip clubs and massage parlors. In each he's trying to solve the murder of a woman that he loved. The books are gritty, grimy, and ultimately moving because Aleas is able to make us care about these characters who are caught in hard and worsening circumstances.
Richard Aleas is the pen name of Hard Case Crime founder Charles Ardai, who has proven to be as sharp a writer as he is an editor. These aren't English tea-cozy mysteries. They're about hard men and hard women in a hard world. But if you like noir crime and you haven't read these two books, they should absolutely be at the top of your to-read list. And even if you don't like noir crime, the covers look great.
Summary: The hard-boiled detective enters the 21st century.
Amazon: Little Girl Lost.
Amazon: Songs of Innocence.
P.S. As an added bonus, Songs of Innocence features one of the greatest cover blurbs of all time:
Those who restrain desire do so because theirs is weak enough to be restrained.
Where and How Acquired: Amazon.com, where I was spending the $25 holiday gift certificate I got from my company, and where I benefited further from free shipping and a "buy three, get one free" sale.