Friday, August 8, 2008

Envy the Night - Michael Koryta

Current and older noir henchmen that created the genre may not have to turn in their sleep over bad authors.
Or maybe they do but, Michael Koryta is not one of them.
Edgar and Quill nominated Koryta wrote his first book young. At 20 years old. Rejected by St. Martin’s after submitting a novel his freshman year of high school, he states that the experience has only encouraged him.
As a former reporter and private investigator, he has the prerequisites to become great.
(I am beginning to wonder how many new novelists are turned reporters…)
So far, Koryta’s novels reflect his love of his hometown Bloomington, Ohio and nearby Cleveland. His first three Lincoln Perry novels were set there. I find that, like DC with Pelecanos or LA with everyone else, it’s nice when a setting comes to life as it is.
Koryta continues this novel with his Bourne-like Frank Temple III, who hails from Bloomington. Temple does travel around a bit though, in this new novel Envy the Night.
He knows weapons, which is always nice for those of us that know weapons as well. Christopher Reich and Lee Child were in recently and both admitted they know next to nothing of firearms.
Koryta in this regard, has done his homework.

“Spend enough time around firearms, and they’ll fail to inspire the same sense of terror that might catch a novice, even when the weapon in question is pointed at your heart. Jerry wasn’t thrilled to see it, no, but he wasn’t about to wet his pants or anything, either. Guns were guns. Only thing to worry about was the man who held it. And that man hadn’t shot him yet.”

The action is enjoyably constant and not implausible. You find yourself getting wrapped up in the scenes, the small bit characters beg to be understood. Especially the dialogue which The New York Times called “Stylish prose” draws the reader right in.
Koryta likes to write and it definitely shines though in this latest novel.
His process of writing occurs from 12 midnight to 3am because he can get away writing without distractions and “in fairly short, intense bursts…with music on”. This could be reason for why this dark novel clips right along. This is good stuff.

Koryta will be at the rapidly approaching Poisoned Pen Conference with lunch and tea along with Cordelia Biddle (in full 19th Century Costume), Paul Goldstein, Tim Hallinan, and Carolyn D. Wall.
The conference is Aug 17, 2008 from 12:00 pm to 05:00 pm and is available to the first 40 guests. The fee is $45.

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