Monthly Archives: June 2019

Nick Carraway, P.I.

Is The Great Gatsby the forerunner of the modern crime novel?

In my younger years, my father gave me some advice  — wait, that wasn’t me.

Let’s try again: In my younger years, I read The Great Gatsby twice. Once in high school, again in college, sprinting through its nine economically-written chapters so I could write the obligatory paper on “Car Culture and the American Dream in Gatsby.” I didn’t slow down to pay attention to the details, because I wanted to get back to what I really loved in those days — reading hardboiled crime novels. Which is funny, because had I paid attention, I would have seen that Gatsby is, in all but structure, a hardboiled novel. The literary techniques that turn up again and again in noir – a detached narrator, a temporary love interest, and great big pile of plot coincidences – can all clearly be seen in ‘Gatsby.’

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The Field of Flowers

This is a short story which I never succeeded in placing, written approximately a year before I wrote The 37th Hour. At the time, I thought I might write crime fiction with a subtle supernatural aspect, or crime/horror crossover novels. That’s reflected in the themes you’ll find here.

red and yellow poppies

His skin was the color of eggshells.  Of paper.  He’d been exsanguinated.


The call came in around 6:45 a.m.  A runner found the body.  Joggers find so many things for us in law enforcement.  Them and hikers. 

The body of a young white male, the report said, seen in the blackberry bushes that overran a slope leading down to a creek.  The first patrol officer on the scene didn’t disturb anything, just took one good look and called for a detective and a crime-scene unit.  We later realized that his assiduousness nearly cost the victim his life.

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