Crime and family in books and film

Some book highlights from my rss reader, sadly neglected for about a week (which is an eon in blog terms; how quickly one becomes overwhelmed with tempting and fascinating information by not keeping up for a few mere days).

I thought Susan, in particular, would like this review by Bluestalking Reader of "Kate’s Pride" by Renee Russell. Like the author of the book, Susan is creating a biographical record of her family. Russell has written a book about her ancestor based on the facts she was able to discover; I wonder if Susan will do the same for her family? From what I’ve read of her story, it would qualify on interest grounds.

Nicole Rafter has posted a review of the film Deja Vu on her monthly crime film review at the OUP editors’ blog. It is a very clever article, as it starts out by saying that the film isn’t very interesting. Yet, one reads on, and is absorbed by the analysis of what makes a "surveillance" film. More is promised, next time on Matt Damon in The Good Shepherd.

More crime film news, or more precisely, TV news, Eurocrime and It’s a Crime! note that Andrew Taylor’s "Roth" trilogy will be on ITV1 from 11 to 13 March. I haven’t managed to read a Taylor book yet, despite the generous CrimeFicReader sending me one, so for me this TV series will be one to record and watch later, rather than to see live. But from the crime blog buzz and the evident production values, it looks like one to watch.

Frank Wilson tells us that the new biography of John Osborne is one of the best literary biographies he has ever read. Osborne is certainly a dream subject for a writer: talented, horrid and "larger than life". I’ve read all his plays and I read the columns he wrote regularly in the Spectator in his later years with a ghastly fascination.

M. J. Rose promotes the ITW (International Thriller Writers) new blog. This is the outfit that has the "150 Thrillers" website. Apparently the organisation now has 500 authors and 9,000 readers signed up. M. J. also points to an article by author James Grippando about his appearane on a panel discussing Patterson and book sales — just why does that brand (one can no longer call him an author, he’s just franchised his third series and that doesn’t count his standalones or "young adult" novels) sell so much as his quality goes down? I don’t get it. Well, read JG’s post — most revealing on supermarkets, marketing and sales figures.

Before I end this (overlong, sorry) post, I want to mention two book posts I recently very much enjoyed: a review of Amsterdam (Ian McEwan) at Random Jottings,  and a poignant retrospective of Andrea Badenoch, and her book Blink, at It’s a Crime!


I received an email from the exceptionally cool Tribe today, inviting me to join Crimespace, part of yet another social network, this one called Ning. Crimespace is: "A place for crime fiction writers, readers and lovers to schmooze, booze and draw up plans for the heist to end all heists. Find new authors to delve into, make friends and plan that heist, discuss the latest in crime fiction and make the place your home. Join up and enter the forums, add photos, videos and make some friends. Pull up a chair at the bar and share your poison."

I have joined Crimespace but have not explored it yet. I am not sure if anyone can join or if you need an invitation; if the latter and you would like to join, let me know in the comments and I’ll see if I can work out how to send you one.