From Mike Ripley’s Getting Away with Murder column in Shotsmag:
It is purely coincidence, though a happy one, that both Barry Forshaw and I have new books out at the same time. Barry has produced another of his essential Pocket Essential guides, this time to American crime fiction whilst I have had the fantasies of my youthful reading fulfilled in the publication of a homage to the great British thrillers I grew up with. American Noir is published by Oldcastle as part of their Pocket Essentials series which also includes Barry Forshaw’s invaluable guides to Brit Noir, Nordic Noir and Euro Noir and I understand that another volume on historical crime fiction is planned. Using a logical, alphabetical format, Barry takes ‘noir’ in its widest sense to produce a reference book to contemporary American crime writers, and by ‘contemporary’ he basically means ‘living’. I quickly lost count of how many he covers and I suspect Barry has also, but it is an impressive list. On the other hand, many of the British authors mentioned in my Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang from the Collins Crime Club imprint, are sadly no longer with us, though their stories thankfully still are. Whilst Barry’s book provides a vital tour guide for the visitor to the land of modern American crime fiction, all mine attempts to do is bring some vintage titles in from the cold. The promoters of this year’s CrimeFest in Bristol have, however, spotted an opportunity to stage a heavyweight (or overweight on my part) clash by arranging for Barry and I to provide the grand finale to the convention in a debate along the lines of American Noir v. Vintage British Thrillers which will be refereed by Peter Guttridge. Without giving anything away, I suspect the outcome will be that you can (and should) enjoy both.