Before I Go to Sleep, by S.J. Watson (Doubleday)• Because there can never be too many smartly penned posts about the 1941 movie version of Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon--which celebrated its 70th anniversary earlier this month--critic Edward Copeland weighs in with yet another assessment.
The Fear Index, by Robert Harris (Hutchinson)
Heartstone, by C.J. Sansom (Pan)
The Family, by Martina Cole (Headline)
The Impossible Dead, by Ian Rankin (Orion)
Trick of the Dark, by Val McDermid (Sphere)
• “The thing about Kojak, its genius and its curse,” writes Stephen Bowie in The Classic TV History Blog, “is that the show was television’s ultimate star vehicle. It started with Telly Savalas, he of the overwhelming personality and the deep metallic voice and the startling afro-era chrome-dome, and very little else. The showrunners of Kojak were first-rate, veterans of Ben Casey (executive producer Matthew Rapf and supervising producer Jack Laird) and Night Gallery (Laird and story editor Gene Kearney). But nobody was asking them for a
• Two years ago, Raymond Chandler authority Robert F. Moss wrote an excellent piece for The Rap Sheet about that detective novelist’s famous fondness for gimlets. Now critic David J. Montgomery returns to the topic in his blog, Crime Fiction Dossier.
• London Boulevard, the 2010 British film adaptation of Ken Bruen’s 2001 novel of that same name, is finally scheduled for a limited U.S. release, beginning next month.
• Max Allan Collins pays tribute this week to his friend, actor Michael Cornelison, who he says “played such a key role in my adventures in indie filmmaking that it’s hard to imagine ever making another film without him.” Cornelison passed away on October 15 at age 59.
• The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent says major U.S. news organizations are doing a disservice to voters by not looking more closely at the disparate jobs-creation ideas presented by the country’s two political parties. “[President] Obama and the Senate GOP have both introduced jobs plans,” Sargent writes. “In reporting on the Senate plan, many news organizations described it as a ‘GOP jobs plan.’ And that’s fine--Rand Paul said it would create five million of them. But few if any of the same news orgs that amplified the GOP offering of a jobs plan are making any serious effort to determine whether independent experts think there’s anything to it. And independent experts don’t think there’s anything to it--they think the GOP jobs plan would not create any jobs in the near term, and could even hurt the economy. By contrast, they do think the Obama plan would create jobs and lead to growth.” More here.
• Good news for Robert R. McCammon fans: Nine of that horror writer’s classic titles are being released in digital format this week.
• Todd Ritter, author of Bad Moon, is Jeff Rutherford’s latest guest on the Reading and Writing podcast. Click here to listen.
• Are John Burdett’s Thai police thrillers bound for the big screen?
• R.I.P., Flint costume designer Ray Aghayan.
• If I owned an e-reader, I’d probably get this short-story collection.
• Forget the Harry Potter films. Daniel Radcliffe certainly looks more interesting in The Woman in Black, a film based on Susan Hill’s supernatural thriller of the same name and due for release in February.
• How do we define “great literature”?
• And erotic novelist Victoria Janssen sings the praises of the 1980-1988 TV series Magnum, P.I. in a post for Criminal Element. “I loved the mixture of drama and humor on the show,” she writes, “as well as the fantasy elements ... well, not fantasy to some people, but certainly to me, who had never been to Hawaii, never ridden in a fancy sports car, and never lived on a beachfront estate, let alone free of charge. It’s worth watching just for the gorgeous scenery. Plus, I must admit I never found Tom Selleck difficult to look at. Ahem.”