Noir Nation releases ‘The Killer Among Us’ by George Beck

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Noir Nation is delighted to announce the print publication of George Beck’s The Killer Among Us, a crime thriller by a real cop from the streets of New Jersey.

The year is 1933. The economy has collapsed. Joblessness and homelessness have sent families on treks across America seeking the grail of basic survival. Despite refrigeration, which has replaced blocks of ice covered in sawdust and canvas, powerful automobiles, trains, planes and other engineering wonders, the country has turned into one long dusty soup line. Who has money? Not Tucker Hammond, a Word War I veteran and ex-cop, or his wife Emma, who land on their lonely trek in Palisades Park, a New Jersey town of sordid trickeries and deceit. The Hammonds have come to meet Michael Fitzgerald, a butcher out to avenge his father’s murder and the evil done by his mother, a prostitute, and her lover, a depraved sex fiend.

About the Author George Beck

George Beck was born and raised in New Jersey. In addition to The Killer Among Us, he is also author of Trounce: A Suspense Thriller, and Images of America: Palisades Park. His crime fiction stories have appeared in Noir Nation 4: International Crime Fiction, Flash Fiction Offensive, Shotgun Honey, and Yellow Mama magazine. He’s written articles for NJ Cops Magazine. He’s a police detective, adjunct professor, and PhD candidate.

For more information and to set up an author interview, contact Eddie Vega at editor@noirnation.com.

Searching for my father’s killer, a true tale of love and justice

New Release: ‘The Killer Among Us’ by George Beck

killer among us cover smallThe Killer Among Us

The year is 1933. The economy has collapsed. Joblessness and homelessness have sent families on treks across America seeking the grail of basic survival. Despite refrigeration, which has replaced blocks of ice covered in sawdust and canvas, powerful automobiles, trains, planes and other engineering wonders, the country has turned into one long dusty soup line.

Who had money? Not Tucker Hammond, a Word War I veteran and ex-cop, or his wife Emma, who land on their lonely trek in Palisades Park, a New Jersey town of sordid trickeries and deceit. The Hammonds have come to meet Michael Fitzgerald, a butcher out to avenge his father’s murder and the evil done by his mother, a prostitute, and her lover, a depraved sex fiend.

Click here to see the book on Amazon.com.

About the Author

George Beck was born and raised in New Jersey. He is the author of Trounce: A Suspense Thriller, and Images of America: Palisades Park. His crime fiction stories have appeared in Flash Fiction Offensive, Shotgun Honey, and Yellow Mama magazine. He’s written articles for NJ Cops Magazine. He’s a police detective, adjunct professor, and PhD student.

Must-See Film of 2013: “Oldboy”

Oldboy_2013_film_posterOriginally a Japanese manga from 1996 – 1998, and then adapted into a 2003 South Korean film, Oldboy has just received the Hollywood treatment. This 2013 version is directed by Spike Lee with Josh Brolin taking the lead as Joe Doucett, a seedy businessman who rubs everyone the wrong way. Part crime mystery, part suspense drama, Oldboy takes you on an intimate journey with Joe as he finds himself ripped from his wife and daughter and locked up in an inescapable hotel room for twenty years. Why is he there? Who put him there? Will he ever get out?

Oldboy explores the demons that plague man as the film slowly and methodically culminates in a twist like no other. A must-see film for all crime fiction lovers!

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Print cover of Noir Nation No. 3

noir nation 3 print coverThe draft print cover of Noir Nation No. 3. The print version should be out in 5 to 10 days in the U.S. and Europe. And a few days after, the rest of the universe. In the meantime, the digital version can be downloaded on Amazon. Click here or on the image above to make the jump.

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Interview with Sheila Horgan, mystery author pioneering the hybrid novel

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhether you call her books cozy mysteries, comic mysteries, or women sleuth adventures, Sheila Horgan loves writing series. Her popular “Tea Series” has seen tens of thousands of sales and hundreds of unique reviews and has prompted her to create a spin-off series featuring familiar characters on their own adventures, dubbed the “Girls Series.” Today, Sheila gives Noir Nation a glance into the hybrid format she is pioneering.

Noir Nation: Your successful “Tea Series” is described as a hybrid of the traditional novel and the serial novel. Please talk about this type of unique format. What made you choose to release your series in this type of format?

Horgan: I came to writing quite by accident. My kids grew up and chose to have lives of their own. One day I decided to take the advice of every stranger I’d encountered for several years and write a book (it dawned on me much later they might have simply been asking for silence while waiting in line for the grocery clerk). Not knowing all the tried and true things you’re supposed to do when writing a novel – things like arcs and protagonists and pace – I simply told a story. I got an email from a woman that said that reading my book made her laugh her way through chemo. She wanted to know when the next book would be out. I started writing the second book within moments of getting the email. I’m now writing books 11, 12, and 13.

Noir Nation: Do you think ebooks have made serial novels more popular?

Horgan: I think because you can turn a book around much more quickly, a serial novel makes more sense now than it has in the past. If you can supply your reader with a book a couple of times a year, a serial novel makes sense.

Noir Nation: Your new “Girls Series” features characters first introduced in your “Tea Series” books. Did you always know you wanted to give these characters their own book or did you decide to feature them because of the fans?

Horgan: Actually, they were just characters that I thought were interesting. I believe women “of a certain age” have a lot to say and not a lot of places to say it. There was a time when crones were a welcome part of the community. Not so much any more. The girls get to say things that younger women might not be able to say with impunity. Today people are so mobile and families are scattered. Having an older woman to share some insights with might be helpful.

Noir Nation: Your books feature mystery, humor, and women sleuths. Which element comes most natural for you as a writer?

Horgan: Humor. I am a strong believer in the power of humor. It can heal, teach, and diffuse. It can endear, inspire, and motivate. Mostly it can take you out of your problems and help you step back for just a moment to see that life is to be enjoyed. My books are not going to cure cancer. But they’ve been proven to help at least one cancer patient.

Noir Nation: Why did you set the first book of the “Girls Series” in Las Vegas?

Horgan: “The Tea Series” is set in Tampa Bay, Florida. I lived there at the time. Then I moved to the Las Vegas area. Yeah, I’m tricky like that.

Noir Nation: What’s the strangest thing you’ve witnessed firsthand in Vegas?

Horgan: I saw a woman walking down the street with her little girl. The woman was probably in her early thirties. The little girl was probably about five. They were dressed exactly alike. If you were in Disneyland, that might bring to mind matching mouse ears and sweatshirts. In Vegas, it meant lots of Bedazzled Lycra, heels that were much too high for a mere mortal – and certainly for a little girl – low cut belly shirts, and hot pink boas. They were also wearing matching makeup complete with lashes. The strangest part was that no one paid much attention to them.

Noir Nation: Where do you see Las Vegas in ten years?

Horgan: I can’t begin to imagine. Vegas is going through major construction and a complete redesign right now. From a huge London Eyestyle ride, to tearing down the facades of major casinos and doing complete revamps, to a huge casino and resort that is supposed to include a replica of the Great Wall of China, Vegas is a chameleon and able to shift with the trends and demands of those who wish to come and enjoy what it has to offer.

Noir Nation: What are you working next?

Horgan: Right now I have Happy Tea, the tenth book in “The Tea Series” almost complete. Hawaii Can Wait, the second book in “The Girls Series,” is almost complete. I am doing a minor rewrite on Consequences, the first book in Lessons, The Series and will republish it soon.

My most exciting project right now is that my oldest son and I are writing a psychological thriller together. He came to me one day with the idea for a book. He also suggested a very unique way that we could write together and exploit the fact that we think very differently. He has written for magazines but is not interested in writing a novel, yet he has extraordinary ideas for novels, so we decided to try it out. I am hopeful that we can turn this into a grand enterprise. I enjoy working with him.

About Horgan: Blessed to be born into a strong Irish American family, Sheila describes herself as “one of ten.” Sheila raised her son, as well as a plethora of other children she calls her own, and now enjoys the title of Grandma.

When asked about her writing, Sheila states, “I devoted the first phase of my life to my parents and family, the second to my children, this last phase is for me. I love to write, share my somewhat skewed vision of the world, and with luck, make people laugh now and then.”

Visit Sheila Horgan’s Amazon Author Page and her Blog.

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LONDON CRIME, THE PARASITE AND THE HOST by Richard Godwin

Author Richard Godwin

When President Bill Clinton decided to crack down on Colombian cartel money being laundered in the States the cartels chose London as their preferred destination. The Russian Mafia have also propped up the UK economy by millions. Banks have demonstrated uncharacteristic naivety about practices that must range from low level smurfing, where money is filtered by ‘smurfs’ through a series of accounts in small amounts, lying beneath the threshold that demands investigation. Or perhaps the banks were unaware they were about to get smacked hard. One leading financial expert recently stated that if all criminal money was pulled out of the city London would face a major financial crisis. Criminality and the economy, crime and legality, form an interesting relationship.

Michel Serres in ‘The Parasite’ analyses the nature of parasitism in society, anthropology, biology and information theory. He writes:

Man is a louse for other men. Thus man is a host for other men. I call this semiconduction, this valve, this single arrow, this relation without a reversal of direction, “parasitic”…. To parasite means to eat next to.

Serres shows that the parasite disrupts a system of exchange: the organism that feeds off its host:

Power is invisible; it is the white domino. It is the joker, multivalency…. How does the parasite take hold? He tries to become invisible.

If the city of London is the host to criminal parasitism it is a relationship that reveals much about the economy. Parasitism and crime are themes I have explored.

In my new novel, One Lost Summer, Rex Allen moves into a new neighbourhood in a heat wave and becomes obsessed by his beautiful next door neighbour, Evangeline Glass. He begins spying on her, remaining invisible while he finds out what he needs to in order to blackmail her into playing a game of identity. Rex is the white domino who infects Evangeline’s life with his watchfulness. He asks her to meet him once a week for two hours and act out the part of Coral:

Evangeline tried to reclaim herself as the sunshine denied any reprieve in the heat. And Coral grew inside her like a seductive parasite.

Rex’s crimes are not of the obvious kind. One Lost Summer deals with identity, and Evangeline may not be the woman she claims to be, as Rex believes. Or she may become her alter ego, Coral, that person locked away inside her and the elusive thing called memory. The crimes are hard to determine and arguably of a subjective nature in a narrative that shifts perspective as the truth unfolds.  To establish guilt one has to reach a verdict and the novel doesn’t allow the reader to do that until the end. Rex may be a victim, while Evangeline would say he preys on others. Harry, her husband, a man with a criminal past, may say the novel is about lying and liars. Coral, who may be a figment of Rex’s imagination, may say it is about reality and how easy it is to manipulate it. Who Coral is remains one of the key questions of the novel, but so does the extent to which identity is determined by the way we believe we are perceived by our social circle.

1 LOST SUMMERThe parasite is invisible. It is the unknown ingredient in a situation in which you may be the host. Truth may be the first casualty of crime. I am talking about the criminal intent before the act. Rex says he didn’t plan the things he did that summer. His obsession is clear to him:

‘Obsession is not a modern disease. Its roots lie deep inside humanity and may be the reason we’re here. You don’t know you’re obsessed until you can’t move, until all you see is the one thing. By then the tendrils have wrapped themselves around your unsuspecting heart. They’re delicate at first in their unfolding, touching you in the dark, like the soft caress of a lover at dawn. Then you know they’re squeezing the blood out of you. And you realise you will have to hack them away, and with them some living beating part of yourself to be free.

I held the camera and captured her image again and again that intoxicated summer when music filled the gardens of Broadlands Avenue, and Evangeline was high forever.

Stars have a rare quality, an ability to take away the smallness most men feel. They’re more corrupt than us, but the corruption is better hidden, and their appeal is a lie, the biggest drug you will ever know.

Evangeline was a complete balance of all the qualities famous stars have. She knew she was a rare flame.

All that summer I watched her. I caught her laughing, smiling, looking away from Harry, alone, contemplating her day. I took her with shopping bags on the empty drive next door, and I filmed her sunbathing by the pool, her body tanned and glowing in the unnatural sun that seemed to set that time apart. For she seemed to exist outside time. And I captured her and made her mine.

I spent my evenings with a glass of Montrachet chilling my tongue as I sipped her image from the Plasma screen in my living room. I fed on her. The X bridged the space between us. I zoomed in on her, caressing her skin with the lens. I entered her world like a hummingbird penetrating a flower, my heart beating like rapid wings. She existed in my watchfulness and awoke my desire. When I wasn’t filming her, time was static. There were no clocks in The Telescope. I felt erased when I wasn’t watching her image. My house had no past and no future.

I tidied away unpacked boxes, placing them in cupboards. I never used most of the rooms, existing in solitude, with only the films I took. And I felt more and more that I was part of a plot, and my only defence against it was the camera, as if Evangeline and Harry knew things that they were keeping from me and the X would find them out.’

Rex films Evangeline with a movie camera called the Mysterium X. His behaviour alters her, and in doing so it may criminalise her. She may be the subject of a study in how to raise the criminal inside a person who is otherwise law-abiding. She may also be hiding her own nature from herself. Rex may understand more about his dark side, or less, than the others, depending on how you interpret the level of his conviction. Harry certainly knows how to use violence to reach his goals.

There are many different ways of approaching crime as a writer. I have written about crime in London in different contexts. Mr. Glamour, my second novel, focuses on the criminal activities of the wealthy London elite while a serial killer picks them off. The nature of parasitism in it is indeterminate until the ending when it is disclosed who the ultimate host is.

Apostle Rising, my first novel, is about a serial killer who is crucifying politicians. He is recreating the murder scenes of an old case while the original suspect plays mind games with the police. The relationship that exists between the killer and the detective in charge of the case is a parasitic one, that exists in a curious state of tension that is only broken at the end, when there is a shocking revelation.

One Lost Summer is perhaps the most subversive of my novels in its take on what a criminal mind many be. And I have let Rex tell you the story for a simple reason which is made clear at the end. If a Noir novel because it is obvious that serious mistakes are going to be made by the central characters. But the nature of those mistakes is not obvious.

One Lost Summer is available at all good retailers and online at:

Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/One-Lost-Summer-Richard-Godwin/dp/0956711340/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1369835549&sr=1-1&keywords=one+lost+summer+by+richard+godwin&tag=noinat-20

Amazon.co.uk http://www.amazon.co.uk/One-Lost-Summer-Richard-Godwin/dp/0956711340/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1369835613&sr=8-1&keywords=One+Lost+Summer&tag=wp-amazon-associate-21

The Book Depository http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/One-Lost-Summer-Richard-Godwin/9780956711342

Waterstones http://www.waterstones.com/waterstonesweb/products/richard+godwin/one+lost+summer/9826513/

You can find out more about me at my website: http://www.richardgodwin.net/. You may also be interested in my Chin Wags At The Slaughterhouse, my highly popular and unusual interviews with other authors which can be found at my blog http://www.richardgodwin.net/blog.

My first novel Apostle Rising has been selling foreign rights throughout Europe. In it a serial killer is crucifying politicians and recreating the murder scenes of an old case. It is available as a paperback here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Apostle-Rising-Richard-Godwin/dp/0956711308?tag=wp-amazon-associate-21;  and as an eBook here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Apostle-Rising-ebook/dp/B0091XMX3Y/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1346094535&sr=1-1&tag=wp-amazon-associate-21

Mr. Glamour, my second novel, is a dark satire of the glitz of the glamour set. It is about a circle of wealthy people whose addiction to designer goods brings them to the attention of a killer who is obsessed with brands. It is available here http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mr-Glamour-Richard-Godwin/dp/0956711332?tag=wp-amazon-associate-21

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