What books are currently on your nightstand?
FLANNERY O’CONNOR: THE COMPLETE STORIES
CROW FAIR – Tom McGuane
FILM NOIR: AN ENCYCLOPEDIC REFERENCE TO THE AMERICAN STYLE – Edited by Alain SIlver and Elizabeth Ward
Who is your all-time favorite novelist?
That’s an ever-changing list, and they’re all over the shop. Dashiell Hammett, Rafael Sabatini, Larry Brown, Richard Price and others, as well as the ones mentioned below.
What book(s) might we be surprised to find on your shelves?
The complete works of Lorrie Moore, right next to the SEA OF FERTILITY tetralogy by Yukio Mishima. That said, I love Mishima's work, but his RUNAWAY HORSES – which ends with a murder and a young man’s ritual suicide – depressed me so much I haven’t been able to go back to him in a while.
Who is your favorite fictional character?
There are a few. Probably Ray Hicks from Robert Stone’s DOG SOLDIERS, and Will Graham from Thomas Harris’ RED DRAGON (though I’m less taken with his current TV incarnation). Andre-Louis Moreau (“He was born with a gift of laughter, and a sense that the world was mad”) from Sabatini’s SCARAMOUCHE. Certainly Dave Robicheaux in the early James Lee Burke novels, especially A MORNING FOR FLAMINGOS.
What book do you return to?
Again, there’s more than one. THE GLASS KEY by Hammett is up there. DOG SOLDIERS again, along with George V. Higgins’ THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE. I reread Elmore Leonard whenever it feels like writing is becoming a trudge. His work reminds me that stories need to breathe, and don’t have to be laser-focused all the time. In other words, they can be more like life.
THE DEVIL’S SHARE (St. Martin’s Press / Minotaur) is Wallace Stroby’s seventh novel, and his fourth about professional thief Crissa Stone, who previously appeared in SHOOT THE WOMAN FIRST, KINGS OF MIDNIGHT and COLD SHOT TO THE HEART. In THE DEVIL’S SHARE, Crissa takes on a work-for-hire assignment, hijacking a truck full of plundered Iraqi artifacts before they’re repatriated to their homeland. But what should be a simple “give-up” robbery soon goes sour, and Crissa finds herself on the run from both an ex-military hit squad and her own partners in crime.