Noir--that alluring blend of cynicism and style, from classic films like Double Indemnity and The Blue Dahlia and novelists like Chandler and Thompson to contemporary efforts like L. A. Confidential--holds a perennial power and fascination. In its relentless suspicion that there is a corrupt reality behind most eminences, it hints at a truth about American life that other forms cannot express.
Heather Lewis's edge-of-your-seat thriller, The Second Suspect, is a terrific contemporary noir novel. Set in New York City, it places a resourceful and intelligent female cop, Caroline Reese, in a minefield of a case, full of unseen networks of influence and corruption, any of which could explode if she makes the wrong move.
Lewis's introduction to noir came--and is renewed by--the gritty crime shows of television. Her compelling essay explains how this TV junkie turned to a "life of crime."
Photo of Heather Lewis copyright © Marion Ettlinger
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