This bundle includes 3 of Jack’s favourite Noir novels
Michael Chabon’s The Yiddish Policemen’s Union imagines, as Franklin Roosevelt once proposed, Alaska and not Israel as the homeland for the Jews after the Second World War. In Michael Chabon’s Yiddish-speaking ‘Alyeska’, Orthodox gangs in side-curls and knee breeches roam the streets of Sitka, where Detective Meyer Landsman discovers the corpse of a heroin-addled chess prodigy in the flophouse Meyer calls home. Marionette strings stretch back to the hands of charismatic Rebbe Gold, leader of a sect that seems to have drawn its mission statement from the Cosa Nostra.
Devil in a Blue Dress is the first of Walter Mosley’s Easy Rawlings series of thrillers. Rawlings is a wonderful creation – a street smart but deeply principled black gumshoe looking for a missing femme fatale in the seedy underbelly of 1940s Los Angeles. The best crime novels are a brilliant way of understanding the deep currents at work under the surface of the society they depict. Devil in a Blue Dress is the perfect example of this, although it is set in post-war, pre civil rights era America, the inequality, casual brutality and deep-rooted racism it depicts feel extremely timely. Above all Mosley is a consummate storyteller and Devil in a Blue Dress is high quality entertainment; a genuine masterclass in noir atmosphere and bone-crunching action.
Patrick Modiano’s Missing Person is an intoxicating noir masterpiece from the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature. Guy Roland, a private detective in Paris, is trying to solve the mystery of his own past. His memories erased by amnesia, he has no idea where he is from, or even his real name. As he searches for clues through the city’s shadowy streets and smoky bars, latching on to strangers, accumulating mementoes, photographs, scraps and stories, he starts to piece together the events that brought him here, all leading back to the murky days of wartime occupation.