Tuesday, May 3, 2011


     Last November, Jerkins, a first time writer with a paper-back original flew in under the radar.  Published by Berkley and carried by the Poisoned Pen I bought it and was rewarded with a terrific read.

     Since James Crumley fathered the "Neo-noir" movement I find it remarkable how many writers have emerged with odd and novel twists to the genre.  Grant Jerkins now joins the ranks of Megan Abbott, Lynn Kostoff, Dave Zeltserman and others in breathing new life into crime fiction.

Author Grant Jerkins
     For those of you who have  reaped endless hours of pleasure from Hollywood's old noir and crime films this book is a godsend.  Jerkins has crafted a finely honed and taut thriller that evokes some of films finest moments.  He cleverly mines the riches to be found in such gems as "Double Indemnity", "Witness for the Prosecution", Alfred Hitchcock, and the films made from Patricia Highsmith's novels.  To name anymore cinematic references and allusions would only diminish the joy of finding them yourself.  However I must point out that Jerkins very cleverly creates in prose the equivalent of many film devices while giving his characters subtle traits that make casting the film version an extra bonus in enjoyment.

     This story of two brothers, of their love for each other, and the events that illuminate the relationship unfold like a masterful 1940's screenplay. The writing is crisp, the characterisations are sharp and crystal clear.  The plot is as complex as an algorithm and as elegant in its inevitability as the best of noir film and fiction.  The metaphors, subtext, and dialogue  all sparkle as they leap off the page. Please enjoy this gem and let the Poisoned Pen Blog know what you think.     

-Steve Shadow Schwartz

To order a copy of A Very Simple Crime from The Poisoned Pen, click here. To find out more about Grant Jerkins, visit his website at http://www.grantjerkins.com/

For further reading in a similar vein , try the following:

Megan Abbott- "Die a Little" and "The Song is You"

Craig McDonald-"Toros and Torsos"

Patricia Highsmith-"Talented Mr. Ripley"

Dave Zeltseman-"Outsourced"
Vicki Hendricks-"Miami Purity"

OutsourcedThe Highsmith ReaderToros & TorsosThe Song Is You: A Novel

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