You know noir as Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, Walter Mosley, Patricia Highsmith, James Ellroy, and others. Dark, gritty, morally compromised, jaded investigators, maybe a femme fatale. These are all characteristics of noir fiction. Here are fantastic examples of this popular genre from new and exciting authors.
The Best American Noir of the Century edited by James Ellroy and Otto Penzler
Ellroy and Penzler mined writings of the past century to find this treasure trove of thirty-nine stories. Offering the best examples of literary sure things gone bad, this collection ensures that nowhere else can readers find a darker, more thorough distillation of American noir fiction.
The Black-Eyed Blonde by Benjamin Black
Philip Marlow is restless and lonely as ever when a new client is shown in: young, beautiful, and expensively dressed, she wants Marlowe to find her former lover. Marlowe sets off on his search but almost immediately discovers that Peterson’s disappearance is merely the first in a series of bewildering events.
Only to Sleep by Lawrence Osborne
Philip Marlowe – now in his seventy-second year – is living out his retirement in the terrace bar of the La Fonda hotel when in walk two men with a case that has his name written all over it – investigate the death of a man supposedly drowned off his yacht, and leaving behind a much younger and now very rich wife.
The Goodbye Coast by Joe Ide
Marlowe, against his better judgment, accepts two missing person cases, the first a daughter of a faded, tyrannical Hollywood starlet, and the second, a British child stolen from his mother by his father.
Racing the Light by Robert Crais
When Adele Schumacher hires Elvis Cole to find her missing son, a controversial podcaster named Josh Shoe, she brings a bag filled with cash, bizarre tales of government conspiracies, and a squad of professional bodyguards. Finding Josh should be simple, but Elvis quickly learns he isn’t alone in the hunt.
What’s Done in Darkness by Laura McHugh
Years after her own kidnapping and release, Sarah’s life is again disrupted when Detective Nick Farrow calls her, wanting her help to investigate the recent disappearance of a young girl in a case which bears striking similarities to her own.
Just Thieves by Gregory Galloway
Frank and Rick are accomplished thieves are tasked with taking a seemingly worthless trophy. Just as the robbery is completed, the two are involved in a freak car accident and Frank disappears with the trophy. As Rick tries to find Frank, he is forced to confront his past, upending both his livelihood and his sense of reality.
Heaven’s a Lie by Wallace Stroby
Joette thinks her prayers have been answered when she spies a bag full of money amongst the wreckage of a fiery car accident. But, of course, the missing briefcase didn’t go unnoticed by its original owner, Travis Clay–a ruthless dealer who’ll stop at nothing to get back what’s his.
Shoot the Moonlight Out by William Boyle
A haunting crime story about the broken characters inhabiting yesterday’s Brooklyn, an explosive story that evokes a mystical Brooklyn where the sidewalks are cracked, where Virgin Mary statues tilt in fenced front yards, and where smudges of moonlight reflect in puddles even on the blackest nights.
The Killing Hills by Chris Offutt
A compelling, propulsive thriller in which a suspicious death exposes the loyalties and rivalries of a deep-rooted and fiercely private community in the Kentucky backwoods.
Razorblade Tears by S.A. Cosby
A Black father. A white father. Two murdered sons. A quest for vengeance. Ike and Buddy Lee, two ex-cons with little else in common other than a criminal past and a love for their dead sons, band together in their desperate desire for revenge.