Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Thanks are in order!

I'd like to thank every reader, critic and book reviewer who took the time to read Pariah. I know there's a ton of choices out there and I'm very grateful when a reader is willing to give one of my books a try. It's gratifying as a writer when your book connects strongly with a reader, and it was extremely gratifying to see Pariah make these best book lists:

Washington Post Best Books of 2009, saying, 'A doozy of a doom-laden crime story that not only makes merry with the justice system but also satirizes the publishing industry."

Barnes & Noble Review Best Books of 2009 Notable

Bookgasm's best crime novel of 2009, with Bruce Grossman saying, 'Taking the top spot for the second year in a row is Zeltserman, in the follow-up to last year’s SMALL CRIMES. To say this surpassed that is an understatement. It’s a great ride from a writer who is truly becoming the crime voice of Boston. Screw you, Lehane.'

Independent Crime's Best Books of 2009, with Nathan Cain saying, 'Pariah, was great. It was pretty much perfect in every respect. You can't ask for more than perfection, can you?'

Book Critic Chauncey Mabe's Best Books of 2009 and Best Crime Novels of 2009, saying of Pariah, 'Twisted, propulsive and hilarious'

Crime Thriller Writer Roger Smith's Best Five Crime Novels of 2009

Vince Keenan's Best Books of 2009

Lazy Thoughts from a Boomer, Best of 2009--both Pariah and Small Crimes

Hard Feelings, with David Szulkin making Pariah his crime novel pick of the year.

BSC Review, with Pariah making Keith Rawson's Top 10 crime novels, saying, 'Darker than dark and grittier than a mouthful of graveyard dirt, Pariah is Zeltserman’s strongest novel to date and is so much more than a simple gangster novel. Pariah is a true page turner that solidifies Zeltserman’s position as one of the very best novelists working today.'

Also at BSC Review, with Pariah making the Nerd of Noir's Top 10, saying, 'With Small Crimes and now Pariah, Dave Zeltserman is shaping up as one of the most fearless writers in crime fiction. Reading Pariah, the reader gets that glorious, horrifying sensation that literally fucking anything could happen. By the time you get to the fuck-the-world finale, it’s clear that Zeltserman could give a shit about playing by the rules.'

And Killer, while not out until next year, still making Paul Brazill's Best Crime Fiction of 2009 list.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Ed Gorman on Killer


The third book in my 'man out of prison' noir series, Killer, isn't out in the UK until Jan. 7th and the US until May, but that hasn't stopped Ed Gorman from writing a very eloquent review for it.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Already on one best list...

Killer's not out until next year (January in the UK, May in the US), and it's already on Paul Brazill's Best Crime Fiction in 2009 list. Talk about jumping the gun, but still pleased to see this book connecting with readers.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Boyos Are At It Again

Pariah is getting a lot of love over at Barnes a& Noble. Not only was it named a notable book for 2009 over at Barnes & Noble Review, but right now Pariah's getting a lot of exposure over on their Mystery & Crime Fiction page, with them writing:

"If you like your crime so hard-boiled you need to bring a chainsaw to breakfast, if you like your morbidity wrapped in a witty and satirical package, if you like your noir (or neo-noir, okay) so black that the pages feel sooty -- then Dave Zeltserman is tops."

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Book Critic Chauncey Mabe on Pariah

"Twisted, propulsive and hilarious"--that's what book critic Chauncey Mabe calls Pariah in adding it to his best books of 2009 (read too late to make his original list) and in also naming Pariah as one of the best crime novels of 2009.

Chauncey also last year reviewed Small Crimes for the Sun-Sentinel, and you can read his review here.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Independent Crime & Pariah

I'd like to thank Nathan Cain for including Pariah on his best of 2009 list over on Independent Crime, saying of Pariah: "Pariah, was great. It was pretty much perfect in every respect. You can't ask for more than perfection, can you?"

Thursday, December 17, 2009

How Cool is This?

I don't know how long this is going to last, but if you go to Barnes & Noble.com, and go to their Mysteries and Crime Fiction page, the first book shown for their new releases is Pariah.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Pick of the Week

It was a good weekend for Pariah, making the Washington Post's Best Books of 2009 (second year in a row for me--Small Crimes made it in 2008), honorable mention on a BN Review Best of the year list, and this in the Sunday Boston Globe.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Washington Post Best Books


Washington Post Best Books of 2008: Small Crimes
Washington Post Best Books of 2009: Pariah

Friday, December 11, 2009

Caretaker of Lorne Field


Overlook Press will be publishing this July, 2010.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Pariah on the Web

Pariah's received a couple of nice recent comments on the Web. According to Vince Keenan, "There’s dark, and then there’s dark", and you can Vince's review of Pariah here. Author Paul Tremblay (whose The Little Sleep and No Sleep Till Wonderland I've enjoyed immensely) says of Pariah: "Pariah is at turns brutal, violent, and a funny, scathing satire of our celebrity obsessed consumer culture and publishing industry. Really couldn’t put the book down, I poured through it in one day". You can read all of Paul's thoughts on Pariah here.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Nice mention on today's Shelf Awareness

Under Books & Authors they have for Paperbacks:

Pariah by Dave Zeltserman (Serpent's Tail, $14.95, 9781846686436/1846686431). "Dave Zeltserman returns with a tale of the South Boston mob so harrowing it places him alongside contemporary masters Robert Crais and James Ellroy. One of the few writers whose tales are both brutal and beautiful, Zeltserman is a rising star of crime fiction."--Alex Green, Back Pages Books, Waltham, Mass.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Casting Pariah

There was one winner for my casting Pariah contest. Congratulations to Mark Sullivan of Silver Spring, Maryland for winning a signed copy of Bad Karma for his following casting:

Kyle Nevin – Matt Dillon
Danny Nevin – Kevin Dillon
Eve – Michele Hicks
Red Mahoney – Michael O’Keefe
Joe Whalley – James Cromwell
Nola – Olivia Wilde

My own dream cast would be:

Kyle Nevin – Russsell Crowe
Danny Nevin – Colin Farrell
Eve – Anne Hathaway
Red Mahoney – Malcolm McDowell
Joe Whalley – Ed Harris
Nola – Mila Kunis

Monday, November 23, 2009

Small Crimes in Italy



Fanucci Editore's cover for Small Crimes is a beauty. The book will be out in Italy in January.

Other news, the German publisher, Pulp Master, will be publishing the German foreign language versions of Pariah and Killer.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

wanna read an excerpt from my Vampire Crimes?

When Paul Brazil, a good chap and a big fan of Small Crimes, asked if I'd guest blog for him I said sure, and decided to show a different side of my writing and put up a short excerpt from a vampire novel I've written (and which some hollywood people are hard at work trying to put together a film deal for). This is a different kind of vampire novel that what's being published these days. No sensitive heartthrob vampires, no teen romances. This is hardcore stuff. Ultra-violent. Think Sin City with vampires. Anyone wanting to take a look, you can find it at Paul Brazil's blog.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Washington Post on Pariah

"I didn't think a suspense story could get any more dark and twisted than Zeltserman's pulp masterpiece of last year, "Small Crimes." In that nasty little immorality tale, a crooked ex-cop bent on redemption gets released from prison and finds out that nobody -- not his ex-wife, not his young daughters, not even his elderly parents -- wants him back. The kicker is that they're right. By the end of "Small Crimes," I was wrung out thanks to the ingeniousness of Zeltserman's nonstop plot twists and the stark meanness of his universe. Now comes "Pariah," a doozy of a doom-laden crime story that not only makes merry with the justice system, but also satirizes those bottom feeders in the publishing industry who would sign Osama bin Laden to a six-figure contract for his memoirs, if only they could figure out which cave to send their lawyers into. If there's any other young writer out there who does crime noir better than Zeltserman, I don't even want to know. As it is, I can barely handle reading him without altogether losing whatever faith I've got left in humanity."

Read all of Maureen Corrigan's terrific review of Pariah.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Hard Feelings on Small Crimes

Hard Feelings had nothing but good feelings towards Pariah (their favorite crime novel of the year), and they seem to feel similarly towards Small Crimes:

"...rife with corruption and brutal violence and told from the criminal point of view. Released from prison after seven years for stabbing a D.A. in the face during an arson crime, ex-cop and addict Joe Denton finds the disfigured attorney gunning for him. Pressure mounts from all sides in this merciless, straight-to-hell story. Great, dark stuff."

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I Love a Mystery on Pariah

"PARIAH is a suspense novel at its very best with a protagonist who is far, far over on the other side of the law. Zeltserman has outdone himself with this depiction of a near-psychopathic personality that is driven by its own strange set of moral principles. The portrayal rings too true. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED."

Read the complete review here.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Pariah at the Harvard Coop



Tonight I'll be doing a reading from Pariah and signing books at the Harvard Coop from 7-8 pm, so if you in the Cambridge area, hope you can drop by.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pariah on the Web

I'm just back from a quick but great trip to New York. I spent the afternoon with my publicists touring bookstores and signing stock. Later the reading in the lower village at the Telephone Bar and Grill was a lot of fun. The place was packed, lots of good energy, kind of Bohemian atmosphere. And I enjoyed meeting Tim O'Mara who runs the literary reading program there, even though he is a Yankees and NY Giants fan. Hey, no one's perfect.

Okay, now for more Pariah on the WEB.

Hard Feelings is picking Pariah for their crime novel of the year.

Jack Quick over at BookBitch also has good things to say: Its noir, its satire, and its Boston that you don’t see on Cheers. Nicely done follow-up to SMALL CRIMES.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Tonight in Waltham at Back Page Books



I'll be reading and signing copies of Pariah tonight from 7:30-8:30 at Back Page Books, 289 Moody Street Waltham. And since Waltham is also the location for my upcoming book, Killer (May 2010), I'll also be reading a few pages from that one.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Bad Karma contest



I received my author copies of Bad Karma today, which is my followup to Bad Thoughts. Now here's the deal. This book is not the noir journey of Small Crimes or the explosive and subversive thrill ride of Pariah, or even the grim horror and crime mix of Bad Thoughts. It's more of a fun hardboiled PI novel set in Boulder, Colorado with new age sentiments. It also features a guest appearance from one of my Fast Lane cast members. While this is far lighter fare than my other books and meant to be more traditional, so far the reaction from most of the early readers has been very positive, and I'll be including quotes from some of these below. Now the publisher for this one is Five Star/Cengage, and their business model is to focus their sales to libraries, so while the book will show up on amazon and bn.com and other online stores, unlike Small Crimes, Pariah, and my upcoming books, it won't be in many bookstores (if any).

If you're a Pariah fan and live in the US and would like to win one of 3 signed copies of Bad Karma (and these 3 might be the only hardcover copies I end up signing), play movie producer and email me at dave.zeltserman (at) gmail.com by Nov. 20th your cast choice for Pariah. I'll pick the three that I like best, and each winner will receive a signed copy of Bad Karma.

"Detective Bill Shannon, introduced in Bad Thoughts (2007), is back, and a welcome return it is. Relocated from Boston to Boulder, Shannon has fled the Boston PD for a low-stress lifestyle, picking up a little work on the side as a private eye. But despite his efforts to find psychic and psychological peace of mind after his horrific encounter with Herbert Winters, the demonic serial killer from the earlier novel, Shannon discovers that putting distance between himself and the old evils doesn’t help him escape the new evils. Zeltserman weaves together elements of both mystery and horror genres, as Shannon again finds himself confronting the darkness that roams the boundary beyond one’s physical senses. It’s as though Zeltserman has aimed a 12-gauge sawed-off at smarmy New Age sensitivities and fired off both barrels. Irony abounds, as Shannon unmasks deviant gurus, evil yoga studios, Russian gangsters, and guys who use their baseball implements in socially unacceptable ways. If you liked the first novel in this series, you’ll love this one."
— Thomas Gaughan, Booklist

"The violence in this book is more subdued than that in Bad Thoughts, but it's certainly there. The story is also a pretty straightforward p.i. tale, though not without some horror and New Age elements, which once again proves Zeltserman's versatility (he's doing noir novels and Nero Wolfe pastiches in EQMM, among other things). If you haven't read Zeltserman's work, it's time to start. He's making quite a name for himself these days."
Bill Crider

"The novel works on three levels. It’s part clever murder mystery and part personal spiritual journey as Shannon tries to heal his psychological scars and achieve inner peace; it’s also an informed and impartial commentary on the New Age Movement, presenting both the positive and negative aspects the subculture. This might be a standard PI tale in structure, but it shares the ingenuity which has brought a distinctive touch to so much of Zeltserman’s fiction. A competent and fascinating read."
Rafe McGregor, Tangled Web

"Rather than the pure noir of Small Crimes and Pariah, the 'Bad' books are crime fic with a horror/New Age bent. The books should be read in order since the motivation for the main character, cop and then PI Bill Shannon, is primarily developed in Bad Thoughts, then allowed to run free in Bad Karma. Bill is pretty much of a wheat-grass juice drinking, vegetarian homebody, except when he's dealing with astral projection, lucid dreams, cults, Russian mobsters, serial killers, and the like. Loads of fun here."
Corey Wilde, Drowning Pool

"...a solid PI story at its center. Shannon has relocated to Boulder and reconciled with Susan, his ex-wife, when he is hired to investigate the brutal beating death of a couple college students. He also agrees to help a desperate mother try to rescue her daughter from a local cult. True to form, both cases dovetail in the end, and Shannon ends up uncovering a larger conspiracy, and when it comes to problem solving Shannon isn’t exactly a pacifist, his penchant for meditation notwithstanding, so there’s plenty here for fans of the genre."
Nathan Cain, Independent Crime

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Upcoming Pariah readings

Thursday, October 22 – 7:30pm - 8:30, Back Pages Books, Waltham, MA

Monday, October 26 - 8pm - 9:00,The Library Reading Series, Telephone Bar & Grill, NYC

Tuesday, November 3 – 7:00pm - 8:00, Harvard Coop, Cambridge, MA

Tuesday, November 17 – 7:00pm - 8:00, Brookline Booksmith, Brookline, MA

I'll also be available for chatting in the virtual coffee shop as part of the Poisoned Pen Web Conference on Saturday, Oct. 24th, 3:30 - 4:00 EST

Monday, October 19, 2009

Pariah getting some exposure on B&N



Pariah's getting some nice exposure up on Barnes & Nobles Mystery and Crime Page

Friday, October 16, 2009

PW's Frankfurt Book Fair Report

This is very cool from PW's Frankfurt Book Fair Briefing:

Profile

Profile's Andrew Franklin has submitted his company's titles in (erratically scanning and rhyming) limerick format:

"There once was a publishing house called Profile, / They were small, independent and nubile / On their Frankfurt rights list / There are numerous hits (all with world rights) / Come see us on stand L924, it’ll be worthwhile . . . Korea by Shelia Miyoshi Jager / Is a stunning new history, we wager / The New Scientist will show / How to Make a Tornado / And Mary Beard’s It’s A Don’s Life’s a surefire winner. Authors Jolyon Fenwick and Marcus Husselby / Give us Einstein’s Watch, a Christmas hit, surely / Find out What Darwin Got Wrong / (If you didn’t know all along) / In the book by Fodor and Piatelli-Palmarini. Serpent’s Tail have a strong list every time, / With Zeltserman’s Pariah, Killer, Outsourced and Small Crimes, / Repeat it Today with Tears by Anne Peile, / Will cause a stir, we feel, / And Musa Okwanga’s football book Will You Manage? is sublime.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

People have been asking me...

Since Small Crimes, Pariah and Killer all make up my noir 'man out of prison' trilogy, people have been asking me whether the books need to be read in order. Nope. They're all independent from each other. On the other hand, I do think the books are enhanced by reading all of them, and I've gotten this same feedback from others who've read them. It's fun seeing the different journeys my noir protagonists take on being released from prison. It's kind of like the old theme issues I used to run on Hardluck Stories, seeing how different stories take divergent paths along the same general theme.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Pariah in bookstores today!



The first book in my 'man out of prison' noir trilogy being published by Serpent's Tail, Small Crimes, was named one of the 5 best crime and mystery novels of 2008 by NPR and one of the best novels of 2008 by The Washington Post. The second book in the series, my South Boston mob crime novel, Pariah, is being released today. I hope people enjoy this one, I'm thrilled that's it out, and am grateful to Pete Ayrton and John Williams at Serpent's Tail for taking a chance with something as dark and subversive as Pariah.

"Pariah is a terrific blast" Metro (UK)

"It happens rarely, but sometimes you get to the end of a book and what has gone before leaves you speechless. As a reader, this is a wonderful feeling, as you've just been through a great experience. As a book reviewer, however, it presents a problem, as you tend to have to sum up a book in more than no words. My first draft of this review read simply '...'" The Bookbag

"I just finished reading Dave's new novel Pariah. It is one of the most crazed, hilarious, bitter, brutal novels this side of those composed on violent wards." Ed Gorman

"Following up the critically acclaimed SMALL CRIMES, Dave Zeltserman had to prove that book was not some sort of fluke. PARIAH proves that CRIMES was no fluke, even surpassing that previous novel in leaps and bounds, to the point that Zeltserman should be considered the new king of Boston crime. In my eyes, the last writer who held that title was George V. Higgins." Bookgasm

"PARIAH IS ALL I KNOW OF BLISS AND LAMENT. BLISS AT READING A SUPERB NOVEL AND LAMENT AT KNOWING THAT DAVE ZELTSERMAN HAS NOW RAISED THE BAR SO HIGH, WE'RE SCREWED. THIS IS THE PERFECT PITCH OF REALITY, HISTORY, CRIME, CELEBRITY, PLAGIARISM, AND SHEER ASTOUNDING WRITING. IT NEEDS A NEW WHOLE NEW GENRE NAME..........IT'S BEYOND MYSTERY, LITERATURE, A SOCIO/ECONOMIC TRACT, A SCATHING INSIGHT INTO THE NATURE OF CELEBRITY AND IN KYLE NEVIN WE HAVE THE DARKEST MOST ALLURING NOIR CHARACTER EVER TO COME DOWN THE SOUTH BOSTON PIKE OR ANYWHERE ELSE IN LITERATURE EITHER. I WANT MORE OF KYLE AND MORE OF THIS SUPERB SHOTGUN BLAST OF A NARRATIVE...........IF EVERY WRITER HAS ONE GREAT BOOK IN THEM THEN DAVE CAN REST EASY, HE HAS HIS AND IT'S TO OUR DELIGHT AND DEEPEST ENVY" Ken Bruen

"This book just sucked the air right out of me. It's more than great noir. This book's got teeth that bite and claws that catch, and it's a masterpiece... If you revere the dark tales of Charles Willeford, Jim Thompson and James M. Cain, add Dave Zeltserman's name to your list. I promise you that in years to come, when those first three names are mentioned, so will the fourth." Corey Wilde, The Drowning Pool

"The often violent story is told quite matter-of-factly, and that serves to harden the edge of this dark novel. Zeltserman also patterns Mahoney on real-life Boston crime czar Whitey Bulger, who remains number 2 on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted list, right behind Osama Bin Laden. For readers looking for edgy crime fiction, Pariah fills the bill." Booklist

"With this book Zeltserman entrenches his position as the ranking neo-noirist, putting a contemporary spin on a tradition that goes way back to Thompson and James M. Cain. If you like your fiction dark, lean and uncompromising, Pariah has to be at the top of your list." Roger Smith, Crime Beat South Africa, Mixed Blood, Wake Up Dead

"Its rare that a meta novel ends up being entertaining as well as clever, but Dave Zeltserman’s excellent new novel, Pariah manages that trick very successfully; at once a noir-ish kidnap novel and an attack on the nature of celebrity memoir, plagiarism and the worst excesses of the publishing industry." Crime Scene Scotland

"Pariah is a tense, violent and sometimes absurd study of criminality and the world’s obsession with it. Each layer has something to say that’ll leave you thinking, cringing or praying. But I mean that in the best possible way. Another great addition to the Serpent’s Tail stable." Crime Scene NI

"If I told you any more, I'd be taking a lot of the fun out of your reading the book, which is fast, furious, and funny. I haven't even mentioned what goes on in the last third of the story, which was, for me, the most amusing part of the book. I don't mean this is a farce. It's far from a comedy, but it's sharply satirical and mean as a junkyard dog with a burr on its butt." Bill Crider

"For those who prefer the darker slice of life, Pariah will keep you glued to its pages. The chain reaction of Kyle Nevin’s release from prison on the world around him is the stuff of nuclear explosions. Violent, sexual and relentless, there are no holds barred anywhere in this wonderful launch into evil. The meek beware … be-very-ware." Charlie Stella

"Zeltserman has succeeded in bringing a blithely psychopatic character to the page who will chill the blood. Despite the utter moral bankruptcy of the main character, Pariah is gripping as opposed to repugnant. Zeltserman's writing and plotting are sharp and the plot is immaculately crafted. The only other author writing about such venal characters with such an incisive eye is Jason Starr, and some of Starr's characters are downright cuddly when compared to Zeltserman's. Pariah is a scathing rebuke of society's obsession with fame, and mythologizing of gangsters and the repugnant moral calculus that allows them to victimize innocent people with impunity" Nathan Cain, Independent Crime

"If the major newspapers and critics have any balls at all, this will be on their top ten lists – and not in some sub-category like “Best Mystery Novel” or some condescending bullshit list like that. This is the real deal, dear readers. Go fucking get yourself a taste." NerdOfNoir, BSC Review

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

a couple of new Pariah web reviews

A couple of new web reviews for Pariah have just shown up.

On Bookgasm, Bruce Grossman say:

"Following up the critically acclaimed SMALL CRIMES, Dave Zeltserman had to prove that book was not some sort of fluke. PARIAH proves that CRIMES was no fluke, even surpassing that previous novel in leaps and bounds, to the point that Zeltserman should be considered the new king of Boston crime. In my eyes, the last writer who held that title was George V. Higgins."

You can read Bruce's complete review here.

The NerdOfNoir in his typical excitable entertaining flair, which involves dropping more than enough F-bombs in his review to get himself banned for life from Saturday Night Live, and drops maybe even more than I do in the book (well, maybe not, but I had 288 pages to deal with!) says the following over at BSC Review:

"If the major newspapers and critics have any balls at all, this will be on their top ten lists – and not in some sub-category like “Best Mystery Novel” or some condescending bullshit list like that. This is the real deal, dear readers. Go fucking get yourself a taste."

You can read the Nerd's complete review here.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Pariah, Chapter 1




My subversive South Boston mob crime novel, Pariah, is being released October 1st, and to celebrate that I've made the first chapter available on my web-site.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Keeping score: Book locations

With a total of 9 books either published or scheduled to be published, I thought I'd keep score of the locations where each book takes place. Below I've listed my books in the order they were written along with their US publication dates.

Fast Lane (2004): Denver, Colorado

Bad Thoughts (2007): Brookline, Cambridge and Boston.

Small Crimes (2008): fictional Bradley, Vermont

Outsourced (10/2010): numerous locations around Boston, primarily Lynn, MA and New Hampshire

Bad Karma (10/2009): Boulder, Colorado

Caretaker of Lorne Field (Summer, 2010): unnamed small New England town

Pariah (10/2009): primarily South Boston, Brighton, Newton, New York, Scotland, and especially New Hampshire

Essence (2011): New York

Killer (5/2010): primarily Waltham MA, but also Charlestown, Revere and Winthrop

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Pariah at Harvard Bookstore



Pariah's a little less than two weeks away from it's release date, but nice to see an early (and prominent) display of it at Harvard Bookstore in Cambridge. I'd like to thank my friend, Frank Solensky, for sending me the picture.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Thanks, Bill

I'd like to thank Bill Crider for his recent review of Bad Karma, and yes, the book cover that he shows in the review is the real cover--the book cover amazon and other places are showing was an early+rejected cover.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Pariah at Harvard?

Pariah's not supposed to be out until Oct. 1st, but I heard from a friend that he saw Pariah being prominently displayed at the Harvard Bookstore in Cambridge, MA. If you see Pariah at your local bookstore, I'd appreciate letting me know! Thanks!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Three different shades of crime fiction

In a relatively short time period I've got three completely different types of crime fiction being released. Pariah, which is one month away (Oct. 1) goes several steps (miles??) further than Small Crimes, and is by far the most explosive and subversive crime fiction I've written. On the other extreme is my novella, Julius Katz, which appeared in the Sept./Oct. issue of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, and while not exactly a cozy is on the opposite end of the hardboiled spectrum. Light, breezy, and some might (and have) even say charming. Then there's Bad Karma out Oct. 16th, which as a hardboiled PI, albeit with a new age twist, and can be thought of as solidly in the middle. This raises the question as to readers expectations. As readers do you expect the same level of crime fiction from your writers, or are you willing to accept books that range the crime fiction spectrum?

Friday, August 28, 2009

More Bad Thoughts

Bad Thoughts has been out almost 2 years, but it's nice to see reviews like this still popping up for it.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Booklist on Pariah

Kyle Nevin has just finished eight years in federal prison for bank robbery, and he knows that his one-time mentor, Red Mahoney, the South Boston crime boss, betrayed him to the feds. Kyle goes back to Southie, hell-bent on finding the fugitive Mahoney and killing him very slowly. But Southie has changed; his former criminal associates, even his little brother, Danny, have gone straight. Everyone is still terrified of Kyle, but few now see him as a hero or a local celebrity. Undeterred, Kyle drags his brother into his quest for revenge, and the body count quickly rises. As in Small Crimes (2008), Zeltserman’s fine debut, his protagonist is psychopathic, and obsession, hubris, and rage are the things that animate him. The often violent story is told quite matter-of-factly, and that serves to harden the edge of this dark novel. Zeltserman also patterns Mahoney on real-life Boston crime czar Whitey Bulger, who remains number 2 on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted list, right behind Osama Bin Laden. For readers looking for edgy crime fiction, Pariah fills the bill.
— Thomas Gaughan

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Rafe McGregor looks at my "Bad" books

I'd like to thank Rafe McGregor for keeping an open mind though all the grim weirdness of Bad Thoughts, and his reviews of both Bad Karma and Bad Thoughts.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Maureen Corrigan's Top Summer Reading Picks

Maureen Corrigan, book critic for Fresh Air with Terry Gross, earlier this summer made her top summer reading picks for ProgressiveBookClub.com, and I was thrilled to see the company I was included in:

The Way Home by George Pelecanos

If you don’t know of him, Pelecanos has been writing crime novels for years about the “other” Washington (i.e., not Capitol Hill or Northwest DC) He’s socially and racially conscious and a terrific writer. Also wrote for The Wire. The working class “hero” of this novel works for his family’s remodeling company.

Small Crimes by Dave Zeltserman


I really really loved this noir that came out last year. A police officer newly released from prison tries to put his life back together in a small town in upstate NY and only proves himself to be one of fortune’s fools. Pure, updated James M.Cain.

The Moe Prager mysteries of Reed Farrell Coleman

My find of the year. Coleman is superb but relatively unknown. Hailed by Michael Connelly and most of the Big Guys in Hard Boiled Detective fiction. His Moe Prager series is terrific (Jewish ex cop detective) and one of them, Redemption Street, is my favorite because it’s set in the crumbling Catskill resort area. A perfect summer setting! [Listen to Maureen Corrigan’s

The Adamsberg series of Fred Vargas

Terrific, psychologically dense police procedurals set in Paris. Reminiscent of the classic Per Wahloo/Maj Sojwall police procedural series. This series stars Inspector Adamsburg and a recurring cast of police detectives and considers all the big questions about the nature of evil. Vargas is one of the biggest names in crime fiction in Europe but, again, not widely known here except to real crime fiction fans. (And, yes, she’s a she.)

Death of a Nationalist by Rebecca Pawel

Came out in 2003 and is set in the Spanish Civil War but its political story loops around in unexpected ways. Pawel spun a series out of it but this was her debut book (she was a young Spanish teacher at the time) and it’s really smart and politically inflected.

The Hours Before Dawn by Celia Fremlin

This one is probably not in print (1958 is the date on my first edition) but I’d love to make a pitch for it. It’s the first mystery that I know of in which a woman who’s recently given birth and is sleep deprived as a result sees things she shouldn’t see in the small hours of the evening. Proto-feminist in its politics.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Booklist review for Bad Karma

Advanced Review – Uncorrected Proof Issue: September 1, 2009
Bad Karma. Zeltserman, Dave (Author) Oct 2009. 322 p. Five Star, hardcover, $25.95. (9781594147944).

Detective Bill Shannon, introduced in Bad Thoughts (2007), is back, and a welcome return it is. Relocated from Boston to Boulder, Shannon has fled the Boston PD for a low-stress lifestyle, picking up a little work on the side as a private eye. But despite his efforts to find psychic and psychological peace of mind after his horrific encounter with Herbert Winters, the demonic serial killer from the earlier novel, Shannon discovers that putting distance between himself and the old evils doesn’t help him escape the new evils. Zeltserman weaves together elements of both mystery and horror genres, as Shannon again finds himself confronting the darkness that roams the boundary beyond one’s physical senses. It’s as though Zeltserman has aimed a 12-gauge sawed-off at smarmy New Age sensitivities and fired off both barrels. Irony abounds, as Shannon unmasks deviant gurus, evil yoga studios, Russian gangsters, and guys who use their baseball implements in socially unacceptable ways. If you liked the first novel in this series, you’ll love this one. — Elliott Swanson

Monday, August 3, 2009

'Man Out of Prison' noir trilogy

Three dangerous men released from prison.

The three distinct noir journeys which follow.

That’s the premise for my ‘man just out of prison’ noir trilogy which Serpent’s Tail is publishing. The first of these, Small Crimes, was published in 2008 and ended up being named by both NPR (National Public Radio) and The Washington Post as one of the top crime novels of the year. In Small Crimes, my anti-hero, Joe Denton, is a disgraced ex-cop who is being paroled after eight years for violently disfiguring the County DA who was building a police corruption case against Joe. When Joe was on the force, he was a bent cop, a degenerate gambler, and a coke user. Now that he’s out and back in his fictional hometown of Bradley, Vermont, Joe finds nobody much wants him around anymore, not his parents, his ex-colleagues, or his ex-wife. Joe wants redemption for his past crimes, but the problem is there are too many old ghosts and too much anger for that happen. The damage that Joe and his release ends up causing the town is staggering.

The inspiration for Small Crimes came from two newspaper articles I read. The first was about a cop who committed a similar crime as Joe’s, and like Joe, was able to serve out an amazingly short sentence in a County Jail. This cop also started collecting his pension shortly after being released! The second article was about a corrupt Sheriff’s office in Denver in the 60s where they were robbing stores blind, even going as far as carrying safes out of stores to open later. Merging both these stories together, I started playing what-if games and built a scenario in my mind of how a cop could be treated as lightly as Joe for such a heinous crime within an utterly corrupt small town atmosphere. And so Small Crimes was born.

The second book in my series, Pariah, was published in 2009, and is written on two levels—one level being a fierce crime story, the other a darkly satirical look at the New York publishing industry and all their follies. Like a lot of people in Boston, I was fascinated for years by the Whitey Bulger/Billy Bulger story, and read everything I could on it. Here you have the most feared mobster in Boston, with his brother being the State Senate President. Stories would come out about how Whitey would lean on other pols to keep his brother in power, and Billy would squash state police investigations into Whitey, going as far as ruining the careers of state police who would try to bring Whitey in.

After Whitey goes on the lam it then comes out that he was an informant for the FBI, that he corrupted several FBI agents, including his childhood friend, John Connolly. Connolly would tip him off if anyone went to the FBI to give up Whitey, and Whitey would use the FBI to get rid of his competition, and he'd also give up his own people to help Connolly and these other corrupt FBI agents advance their careers.

I knew there was a great crime novel in all of this, and I was mulling over what angle to go at, when several things happened--first was a Harvard student who had a reported 500K 2-book deal with Little Brown being vilified when it came out that she plagiarized other chick lit books in writing hers. The other thing was a bunch of tell-all books hitting the shelves early March 2006, by South Boston mobsters (Brutal by Kevin Weeks, Rat Bastard by John “red” Shea). I now saw my angle, as well as getting excited about the idea of a "man just out of prison" trilogy, with Small Crimes being the first, Pariah the second. I wanted Pariah to start the same as Small Crimes--a man just getting out of prison, but have this man (Kyle Nevin) be the polar opposite of Joe Denton, my main character in Small Crimes. While Joe, for all his weakness and self-delusion, is still someone who wants to go through life without causing anymore damage, Kyle is a force of nature and utterly ruthless and remorseless, someone who leaves death and destruction wherever he goes. I wrote Pariah early in 2006, and finished the book months before the OJ Simpson "If I did it" book story came out--which was all a bizarre coincidence--I thought the behavior of my fictional publisher in Pariah was beyond the pall and would be too extreme for any actual publisher, but I was proven wrong. In writing this book I wanted to work in as much history of Whitey and the South Boston mob as I could, and I also wanted to write what could be considered a great crime novel--even with the satirical elements, I wanted to write this straight up, and not for laughs.

Killer, which is being published in January 2010, rounds out this trilogy. Killer was inspired very loosely on the idea that Boston mob hitman, John Martorano, could murder 20 people, then end up striking a deal for a 12 year prison sentence in exchange for becoming a government witness agains Whitey Bulger and the South Boston Mob. With Martorano, he is now out of prison and back in Boston where he’s living among the shadows of his victims.

My anti-hero in Killer is Leonard March. Like the real-life Martorano, March was also a hitman for the mob, in his case performing 18 hits. When he’s picked up on a racketeering charge, he strikes a deal for 14 years in exchange for testifying against the mob and immunity for all his past crimes. It’s only when the deal is struck that the authorities learn about his murders.

Just as Joe Denton and Kyle Nevin have there quests on leaving prison, so does March. His is a search for self-discovery. The chapters of Killer alternate between past and present, with the past chapters showing Leonard as a cold-blooded killer, while in the present chapters he’s an older man trying to understand himself. Since his release from prison he’s working as a janitor and living in a low-rent dirty apartment. Any former glory is gone, as well as any fear he might have once have struck in the hearts of the Boston underworld. He has been reduced to a toothless wolf left howling futilely at the moon. March wants to believe that his past job was just a job, that things could have been different for him. That he could have been a good husband and father. In many ways, Killer is a meditation on the mind of a killer, and in the end when Leonard’s past collides with his present the mystery of how these two sides of March can be reconciled is at last answered.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Where Tom Piccirilli interviews me about Pariah

Thriller/horror writer Tom Piccirilli interrogates me over at The Big Adios.

And while you're there check out some of Tom's other interrogations with top crime writers like Ed Gorman, Charlie Huston, Megan Abbott, Lawrence Block, and many others.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Caretaker of Lorne Field



From Overlook's Winter Catalog:

Dave Zeltserman’s last novel was named by NPR as one of the top five crime and mystery novels of 2008 and one of The Washington Post’s best books of the year. Publishers Weekly, in a starred review, said his “breakthrough third crime novel deserves comparison with the best of James Ellroy.” And Crimetime calls him “a name to watch.” Now, Zeltserman has written the book his fans have been waiting for—a classic unlike anything you’ve ever read.

Jack Durkin is the ninth generation of Durkins who have weeded Lorne Field for nearly 300 years. Though he and his wife Lydia are miserable and would like nothing more than to leave, Jack must wait until his son has come of age to tend the field on his own. It’s an important job, though no one else seems to realize it. For, if the field is left untended, a horrific monster called an Aukowie will grow—a monster capable of taking over the entirety of America in just two weeks. Or so it is said. . .

“If Stephen King had a true Noir calling and Peter Straub added contemporary horror . . . and Dean Koontz threw in his fine depiction of ordinary life . . . then bring the specter of James M. Cain to write the narrative, you’d come close to describing the whole effect of this stunning, slice-of-the-zeitgeist, wondrous novel. And the writing is pure dark bliss.” —Ken Bruen

Publishing date: Feb. 2010

Other upcoming books:

Pariah, Oct. 2009
Bad Karma, Oct. 2009
Killer, Jan. 2010 (UK), July 2010 (US)
Outsourced, (was 28 Minutes), July 2010 (UK), October 2010 (US)
Essence, Feb. 2010

Friday, July 24, 2009

Julius Katz



I've got the lead story in the Sept/Oct issue of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, available at newsstands next week. Actually, since my story "Julius Katz" weighs in at 18,000 words, I've really got the lead novella. "Julius Katz" is my tribute to Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe, which has always been one of my favorites. In my version the Archie Goodwin character is a 4 inch piece of space age technology (and worn as a tie clip) who is constantly trying to modify his neuron network so he can beat Julius Katz to the punch in solving a murder. Julius is the brilliant Nero Wolfe-like detective, although in his case while an epicurean, he's a wine enthusiast, man about town, and very fit martial arts expert. The best way to describe this story is charming. Don't believe me? Check it out!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

more very early stuff on Killer



Serpent's Tail's description:

Leonard March walks free from jail after fourteen years' hard time, served after turning state’s witness against his Mafia boss Salvatore Lombard. It’s only after Leonard is sentenced that the public learned that he was a Mob hitman with eighteen deaths to answer for. Leonard is released to public outrage and media furore. He spends his time working as a janitor while looking over his shoulder, fearful of a vigilante attack or a revenge hit from his former colleagues. At 62 and with plenty of time on his hands, he is at an age when most men grow reflective and attempt to understand their mark on the world. But for Leonard, while the threats to his safety are not imagined, his self-reflection may pose the greatest threat of all.

Monday, July 6, 2009

A very early look at Killer


Pariah still isn't out in the US for almost three months, and Killer won't be released in the UK until January and in the US for another year, but here's what I think is a brilliant cover that my publisher sent me for Killer.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Thank you, Kingdom Books!

I'd like to thank Kingdom Books for their extraordinarily nice writeup today on their blog. I'm going to be there next Thursday (June 25th, 7pm) to talk about Small Crimes, Bad Thoughts, and maybe even Pariah and Bad Karma, and I'm looking for to it.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Kingdom Books, June 25th

Last December at Kate's Mystery Bookstore's holiday party, I found a kindred spirit with Dave Kanell, and we ended up spending a good chunk of the evening discussing crime fiction. Dave's a fan of the genre, very well-read, and very passionate about crime novels. Dave, with his wife Beth, also runs Kingdom Books in Waterford, Vermont. Since Kate's holiday party, Dave and I have traded numerous emails, and he has read my books and has become a strong supporter, which I am very grateful for. I'll be at Kingdom Books on June 25th where I'll reading and talking about Small Crimes and Pariah. It should be fun evening, and it's one I'm looking forward to.

You can read more about it, as well as Beth's thoughts on Small Crimes, on Kingdom Books blog.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Pariah in South Africa

Pariah is still almost 4 months from its US release, but Roger Smith (Mixed Blood) has generously reviewed Pariah on Crime Beat Southern Africa:

"The plotting of Pariah is sharp and clean, the characters perfectly drawn, and the dialogue straight out of the South Boston streets. In contrast to much contemporary crime writing that titillates with comic-book violence, the brutality in Pariah is unflinching and realistic.

With this book Zeltserman entrenches his position as the ranking neo-noirist, putting a contemporary spin on a tradition that goes way back to Thompson and James M. Cain. If you like your fiction dark, lean and uncompromising, Pariah has to be at the top of your list."


You can read Roger's complete review here.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Where I talk about Pariah, Publishing, and the New England Patriots

Corey Wilde over at his Drowning Machine blog and Rafe McGregor at his author's blog, both interview me on a wide range of subjects ranging from my latest book, Pariah, to the state of publishing, and even about America's team (the New England Patriots). I'd like to thank both Corey and Rafe for taking the time to do this, and you can read Corey's interview here, and Rafe's here.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Pariah over at Drowning Machine




Pariah is 4 1/2 months away from it's US release, but Corey Wilde offers his review over at his excellent Drowning Machine blog:

This book just sucked the air right out of me. It's more than great noir. This book's got teeth that bite and claws that catch, and it's a masterpiece. If you're looking for a hero or even an anti-hero, you won't find one here. Kyle Nevin is pure, unwavering psychopath, and the most finely drawn such creature since Charles Willeford put Junior Frenger on paper. If Jim Thompson's Lou Ford and James Cagney's Cody Jarrett (White Heat, 1949) are watching somewhere from the halls of twisted fiction, they are pouring out their warped blessings on Kyle Nevin.


You can read the entire review here.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

wow

This is clearly not a good time to be writing crime fiction. Or at least be trying to sell it. I'm looking at Publisher Marketplace's weekly summary, and here's how last week's sales broke down:

mystery/crime -- 1 sale announcement (Nevada Barr's next 3 books)

thriller -- 1 announcement (4 new books from the late Robert Ludlom's estate)

romance -- 16 announcements

Thursday, May 14, 2009

If only Ben had been reading Small Crimes...

The power of Lost. In last night's season finale (and what a mindblower it was!), they had Jacob reading the great Flannery O'Connor's "Everything That Rises Must Converge", and now the book's #89 on Amazon.

Small Crimes would be a good book for Ben. The failed redemption, the narcissism and bad deeds of the central character. One can dream.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Small Crimes in Italy

I just got the good news from my publisher that the Italian rights to Small Crimes are being sold to Fanucci. They've got a great crime list, and I'm very excited to be joining them.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Pariah over at Independent Crime

Although Pariah won't be hitting the US for 5 months (other than through copies now being leaked by amazon), Nathan Cain offers a review over at his Independent Crime blog.

Zeltserman has succeeded in bringing a blithely psychopatic character to the page who will chill the blood.

Despite the utter moral bankruptcy of the main character, Pariah is gripping as opposed to repugnant. Zeltserman's writing and plotting are sharp and the plot is immaculately crafted. The only other author writing about such venal characters with such an incisive eye is Jason Starr, and some of Starr's characters are downright cuddly when compared to Zeltserman's. Pariah is a scathing rebuke of society's obsession with fame, and mythologizing of gangsters and the repugnant moral calculus that allows them to victimize innocent people with impunity

You can read the entire review here.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Bad Karma



Five Star just sent me this fantastic cover for Bad Karma (due this Oct.) The mountains in the background are the Flatirons (Boulder, Co.)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Book scorecard

All of a sudden I've got a bunch of books coming out--6 in total over the next 2 years, and with some luck maybe a couple more (although those would have to be with pseudonyms). Here's a quick rundown:

Pariah (Oct. 09, Serpent's Tail)--This is the second of my loosely themed "man out of prison" crime noir novels, and probably the one I'm most excited about. It's definitely the most explosive book I've written, as well as the most subversive.

Bad Karma (Oct. 09, Five Star)--Sequel to Bad Thoughts, although instead of being the grim and weird mix of horror and crime that Bad Thoughts was, this one is a hardboiled PI set in Boulder, Colorado, with some quirky new age aspects to it.

Killer (Jan. 10 (UK), Serpent's Tail)--The third of my "man out of prison" crime noir novels. Existential noir.

28 Minutes (July 10 (UK), Serpent's Tail)--My bank heist thriller that's been optioned to Impact Pictures and Constantin Film Development. The US publisher for this one is still being worked out.

Caretaker of Lorne Field (Overlook Press)--This one's an allegorical novel, written as a mix of noir, sci-fi, and horror. A caretaker believes if he doesn't weed a field every day the world will end. Either he's insane or he knows something no one else does.

Essence (Overlook Press)--Gritty crime noir with supernatural elements. The book is placed in Brooklyn and Manhattan, with the time frame for most of the book centered around the 2004 ALCS Red Sox--Yankees playoffs, with the Yankees choke job (the worst in the history of professional sports??) seen through the eyes of a Yankees fan.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Twitter: a fad, a colossal waste of time, or something else?

The Boston Globe today has an interesting article on the value of Twitter. Here are a few less than enthusiastic opinions that were offered in the article:

"I hate to be curmudgeonly," said Tom Davenport, who holds the President's Chair in Information Technology and Management at Babson College, "but Twitter reminds me of the CB radio fad. Twitter fans are the same people who last year were excited by Second Life. And where has that gone?"

On his blog on the Harvard Business Publishing website, Davenport wrote, "Let's face it - Twitter is a fad."

"First, as a professor there's a certain 'Decline of the West' aspect to the Twitter idea that you can say anything meaningful in 140 characters," he explained.

"But Twitter has more problems than that: First, it's not very measurable; second, I don't think it's possible to do brand management in 140 characters; and third, as soon as companies start using Twitter in an aggressive way, it could take on the clutter of e-mail."

And from Tom Simons, chief executive and creative officer at Boston-based marketing communications firm Partners+Simons:

"We pay a lot of attention to Twitter since it can be a very active market sensing tool," he said. "What's more, it's ushering in a new level of customer responsiveness because of the real time aspect of its feedback loop."

But does Simons tweet?

"I've done a lot of poking around within Twitter, and we have a company Twitter feed," he said, "but it is clear to me that in many respects Twitter is a very powerful magnet for valuable time that can be better spent elsewhere."

--------------------------------------------

Like a lot of authors today, I'm trying to decide whether it makes sense to fall into this potential time sucking rat hole, and my gut's telling me this is a fad that will eventually pass. I'm sure in the very near future the twitter community will, like all fads, embrace a "twitterized" novel or two (or three), and the publishing world will then jump on it and buy it for a ridiculous amount, which will leave all the rest of kicking ourselves for not jumping on the Twitter bandwagon, but I just don't see how this can sustain itself, and as much as younger cell phone users might enjoying texting, at some point they'll find themselves swamped with "tweets", and start regarding these as little more than email spam. At least that's my gut.

Anyway, for the time being I don't see the point for writers to jump on this, especially given that we typically spend 6+ months holed up writing our novels, so how many interesting "tweets" can we possibly send out there?

I do think, though, it would be an interesting experiment for one of the crime fiction webzines (Thuglit, for example), to try twittering their short fiction, and see what happens.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A recent Web-review

Kevin Tipple, who has previously reviewed both Fast Lane and Bad Thoughts, has probably as good a perspective on my writing as anyone out there, has recently recently written what I consider yet another very perceptive review, this time on Small Crimes.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

From the Harvard Coop



The above picture was taken by a friend last night at the Harvard Coop, where I had a reading event which was a lot of fun. As with the Brookline Booksmith, the person organizing it was extremely well prepared, and the people working there are not only book lovers, but they had read Small Crimes and were fans. Add in dinner at Henrietta's Table, and all in all, a very nice night. And it didn't hurt to see that the Yankees and their $370 mil payroll get smoked in their season opener!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

More Small Crimes events

Harvard Coop, 7pm, April 6th

Newtonville Books, 7pm, April 16th, with Paul Tremblay (Little Sleep) as part of their paperback books and brews program.

Pine Manor College, 3:30,June 23, Solstice reading, with Laura McCullough and Michael Sussman.

Kingdom Books, June 25th (evening), Waterford, VT.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Movie press release

Constantin Film and Impact Pictures are putting out the following press release. This is only the first step along a long road to seeing a film made of my book '28 Minutes', but I think this is going to happen--the people involved just seem too interested and serious about this for it not to happen. I'll keep people here posted over the next several years as developments occur, and hopefully Small Crimes will be next...

Constantin and Impact Get Outsourced

LOS ANGELES (March 18, 2009) – Constantin Film has acquired the feature film adaptation rights to 28 Minutes, the forthcoming crime novel from acclaimed writer Dave Zeltserman (Small Crimes). The film version, which will bear the title Outsourced, will be produced by Constantin Film’s Robert Kulzer and Impact Pictures’ Paul W. S. Anderson and Jeremy Bolt. John Tomko will also produce. Travis Milloy has been tapped to write the screenplay.

Outsourced is the latest collaborative producing effort by Kulzer, Anderson and Bolt, the producers behind the hugely successful Resident Evil films. The project also marks the second time that the producing trio teams with screenwriter Milloy, who penned their upcoming horror-action film Pandorum, due out later this year via Overture Films.

A hard-hitting crime thriller mixed with black humor and fast-paced action, Outsourced follows a group of desperate out-of-work software engineers who come up with a brilliant plan to rob a bank, only to see things go awry and finding themselves mixed up with deadly Russian mobsters and the Boston mafia.

Said Kulzer: “We are big fans of Dave Zeltserman’s novels, so it’s very exciting to turn one of them into a film. It’s great to see a producer of John Tomko’s caliber at work and to reunite with Travis Milloy, who did such a fantastic job for us on Pandorum.”

Added Zeltserman: “I am thrilled that this project has found a home at Constantin Film and Impact Pictures and I am especially happy to have John Tomko as producer. I am a big fan of John’s films Falling Down and Ocean’s Eleven and feel that he has the right vision for Outsourced.”

Zeltserman’s 2008 novel Small Crimes was named one of the Top Five Crime and Mystery Novels of 2008 by NPR, who praised it as “a thing of beauty: spare but ingeniously twisted and imbued with a glossy coating of black humor.” His other works include the recently released Pariah, and the upcoming Killer (2010) and Caretaker of Lorne Field. 28 Minutes will be published by Serpent’s Tail.

Tomko recently joined Rain Management Group (RMG) as a producer and manager. Among the clients he works with are writer-directors James Sadwith and Michael Nankin, and writers Karen Janszen and Eric Tuchman. Zeltserman is repped by APA, which negotiated the deal with Constantin Film and Impact Pictures.


ABOUT CONSTANTIN FILM

Constantin Film has been one of the most successful producers and independent distributors of feature films in Germany for over 25 years. The company, which is listed on the stock market since 1999, is also involved in the international production of theatrical films in English as well as TV production (TV movies, series, entertainment formats). Theclassic production and distribution operations were supplemented successfully in 2004 by license trading and the internal exploitation of video and DVD rights and intensified TV service production, with a particular focus on TV entertainment. Constantin Film’s international box-office hits include The Neverending Story, The Name of the Rose, the Resident Evil and Fantastic Four franchises, Perfume—The Story of a Murderer and Academy Award® nominees Downfall and The Baader Meinhof Complex.

ABOUT IMPACT PICTURES

Impact Pictures was founded in 1992 by producer Jeremy Bolt and writer/director/producer Paul Anderson. Impact's first film, the cult hit Shopping, was followed up by Mortal Kombat, Event Horizon, Soldier and The Hole. In 2000, Impact signed a joint venture deal with top German producer and distributor Constantin Film. This relationship produced the major box office hits Resident Evil, Resident Evil: Apocalypse and Resident Evil: Extinction. Other releases include Alien vs. Predator, The Dark, DOA: Dead or Alive. Impact produced the recent Universal Pictures release of Death Race with Cruise/Wagner Productions. Two films based on bestselling video game franchises Spy Hunter and Castlevania, respectively, and the remake of Long Good Friday for Sony and Handmade Films are amongst Impact's current development slate.

ABOUT JOHN TOMKO

John Tomko has been active in feature film development and production since 1988. A graduate of Yale University (BA) and Harvard Business School (MBA), John found early success in the film business when he discovered and produced the movie "Falling Down" for Warner Bros. He has been a production executive at a number of companies and ran Jerry Weintraub Productions at Warner Bros. for six years during which time he supervised three movies for the company including "Ocean's 11". Before joining Rain Management Group as a producer/manager in 2008, John was an independent producer and has projects at Warner Bros., Overbrook Entertainment (Will Smith), Sony/Columbia Pictures, ScottFree (Ridley and Tony Scott), Lifetime, and Constantin Film.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Crime Scene NI on Pariah

"Pariah is a tense, violent and sometimes absurd study of criminality and the world’s obsession with it. Each layer has something to say that’ll leave you thinking, cringing or praying. But I mean that in the best possible way. Another great addition to the Serpent’s Tail stable."

Read Gerard Brennan's full review.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Bad Thoughts anyone?

I received word from Five Star that they're remaindering Bad Thoughts, and they're offering me copies at a discount. I have until March 13th to put my order in, so I'm taking orders now--$15 will cover the cost of the book plus shipping within the US, so if you'd like an autographed copy let me know before March 12th.

So the question is, if you liked Small Crimes will you like Bad Thoughts? I think so. Bad Thoughts was the second book I wrote, and is a much grimmer and brutal book than Small Crimes, a mix of horror and crime as opposed to the more pure crime noir thriller of Small Crimes and has the same dark humor (although maybe grimmer in this case). I have heard from several readers that the book gave them nightmares. But its just as twisty as Small Crimes, and has one of the most truly evil characters you're going to find in any crime novel, plus one of my better PI creations. And the sequel, Bad Karma, which is more of a hardboiled PI novel, is coming this October.

I'd also like to thank the Nerd of Noir for being the latest to weigh in on Small Crimes.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Profiled in the Globe

Today's Boston Globe offers a very generous profile of me.

Also, a sad farewell to a great newspaper. Colorado and the country as a whole is poorer for its loss.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Small Crimes in Harvard Square


(thanks to Clark Smeltzer for creating the display and sending me the photo)

The Harvard Coop Bookstore has put together a pretty eclectic collection of noir books in this 'Beaten to a Pulp' collection, and I'm thrilled to have Small Crimes included. So if you're in Harvard Square check it out and buy some noir!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

"Pariah's a terrific blast"

From the Metrolife book section for the UK Metro:

Pariah's a terrific blast
by Dave Zeltserman (Serpent’s Tail, £7.99)
by TINA JACKSON - Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Pariah

To describe mobster Kyle Nevin as a nasty piece of work is something of an understatement.

At the beginning of Dave Zeltserman 's white-knuckle ride of a second novel, Nevin is just out of jail after serving eight years for armed robbery and keeping his mouth shut.

Now he wants revenge, and as he heads back to his old haunts and his old cronies from Boston's Irish underworld, Zeltserman seems to be pulling off a cracking piece of straightforward, hard-boiled noir.

After Nevin and his brother bodge a kidnapping, though, the novel takes off on a killer tangent as an increasingly psychopathic Nevin becomes the darling of the publishing world, and different kinds of venality are put wittily under the microscope as the book rattles along to its terrific conclusion.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Small Crimes Review Scorecard

Given that Small Crimes is a trade paperback and my first with a more well-known publisher, I'm amazed (thrilled, really) with how well reviewed the book has been by world newspapers. Here's a list, with review links where I have them:

US newspapers
Washington Post
Boston Globe
Sun-Sentinel
Lansing State Journal

London newspapers
London Times
The Guardian
Sunday Express

South African newspapers
The Citizen
Business Day

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Small Crimes in South Africa

Small Crimes has just been reviewed by yet another South African newspaper. Earlier, The Citizen gave Small Crimes a very nice review, and not to be outdone, Business Day in their Weekender section gives Small Crimes a terrific review, saying:

Zeltserman has mixed together an explosive Molotov cocktail of a book. This is a dark shocker, a downward spiral of violence, betrayal, manipulation and tragic misunderstanding.

This is all very cool for several reasons--not only am I being reviewed in other continents, but I'm sharing review space with a couple of Richard Stark books (Firebreak, Breakout), which is very cool by itself. You can read the complete review here.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Film Option Sold

Film option rights for my novel, 28 Minutes, have been sold to Constantin Film Development and Impact Pictures, with John Tomko (Ocean's 11, Falling Down) and Jeremy Bolt (Resident Evil, Death Race) to produce, and Travis Milloy (Pandorum) to write the screenplay.

28 Minutes is about a group of unemployed software engineers coming up with an almost brilliant plan to rob a bank. Almost brilliant because things do not go as expected. UK rights are being sold to Serpent's Tail, and US rights are still being worked out by my agent, Matt Bialer at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Upcoming Small Crimes events

I have readings/signings for Small Crimes scheduled at some terrific local independent bookstores:

Feb. 24th, 7:30 pm, Back Pages Books, 289 Moody Street, Waltham MA

March 24th, 7 pm, Brookline Booksmith, 279 Harvard Street, Brookline MA

April 6th, 7 pm, Harvard Coop, 1400 Mass Ave., Cambridge MA

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Commenting on the commenting...

Over at Jason Pinter's blog he has some people expressing their ideas on how to fix publishing. There's some interesting stuff being written, mostly about things publishers need to do surrounding marketing, promotion, business models, eBooks, etc. There very well might be some good ideas to be be pulled out of these suggestions but I still have to think the biggest problem is the big houses move towards "safe" books. Books like the Harry Potter series, The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo prove that there are readers who will flock to exciting, compelling books if they're published. The problem is the large houses need to be willing to step outside the lines more often, trust their readers more, and quit feeling the need to only publish the "commercially relentless" cookie-cutter genre books that they're mass producing in droves. Anyway, I'm going to comment on some of the comments on Jason's blog, but first I want to make one obvious observation: indie bookstores are crucial for the health of publishers and the future of books, and right now they're struggling. A few years ago NY City had 4 mystery bookstores, which for a city of over 8 million people doesn't seem like that much. Now they have 2. When Small Crimes came out I had an event at Robin's Bookstore in Philly (the oldest bookstore in that city), and the owner, Larry Robin, impressed me as being someone passionate about books. A few weeks after the event, he announced he was shutting down, saying it's impossible in today's climate for a retail bookstore to survive. This same scenario is playing out everywhere. If you truly care about books and their survival, buy your books at your local indie bookstore--even if it costs you an extra buck or two. When the people who are the most passionate about books are out of the picture, then we're really in trouble.

Now for commenting on the commenting:

Author John McFetridge suggests that all formats of a book be released at the same time: eBook, hardcover, paperback, etc. As an author I hear John, especially with the price of hardcovers they're mostly only for collectors and libraries these days. But publishers have a good reason for releasing paperbacks a year or so after hardcovers, and that's so that the reviews, word-of-mouth, etc., generate interest for the paperback, so I think this would end up sabotaging paperback sales. Putting out eBooks and hardcovers together does seem to make sense.

Sarah Weinman is asking the industry to take a bottom up approach, make the reader more involved in the process. I think that's already happening. 100s of thousands of books are being either self-published or given away free on peoples web-sites/blogs, and the few that garner attention have been getting bought by NY. Again, the real issue is if NY could move past "safe" and commercial books and trust their instincts and readers, more of these books would be published by them initially, instead of going the route they've been going.

Scott Siglar talks about using podcasting to generate large audiences for books that were ignored by NY, and later was able to get contracts for. His point is that publishers need to watch the free content out there and see what books are proving themselves. I think NY is currently doing that, as Scott and Seth Harwood have proved. The problem is the "free content" will soon become a mess as 10s of thousand try to duplicate the success of Scott and Seth in podcasting, and David Wellington in blog serializing. The real issue again is NY taking more risks and not rejecting these books in the first place.

David Montgomery suggests the industry promote reading as a leisure activity, I guess sort of like a "Got Milk" campaign. While authors like Ian Flemming and Walter Mosley were helped a lot when John Kennedy and Bill Clinton were seen with their books, that was more readers finding out about those authors as opposed to new readers being created. Ads featuring celebrities reading books or "the cool kids" reading aren't going to get kids away from their video games. But again, as the Harry Potter books show, if publishers put out compelling books, readers will flock to them.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Charlie Stella on Pariah

I sent Charlie a copy of Pariah knowing he'd get a kick out of the South Boston mob angle of the book, and yep, Charlie liked it enough to write the following review:

Evil incarnate …

Evil comes in all forms. The Hitler prototype is perhaps the one we’re all best familiar with, but there have been others we can confidently label evil (even if their kill totals are on a much lesser scale). Certain serial killers fit the description and/or sociopaths in the business world guilty of bankrupting the elderly without an iota of remorse might qualify. There have been bad guys out on the streets, whether acting solo or in groups (organized or not) who’ve more than qualified (and some who’ve managed to bilk the system one further and cut deals to walk free again—trading off 20 or more murders for a little inside info the helpless feds might need).

It happened in Boston when Whitey Bulger in a deal to aid the FBI gave up the New England Italian mob. Later, with a little help from his friends (the FBI), Whitey went on the lam and hasn’t been heard from since (and remains on the FBI’s top 10 most wanted list). His FBI handlers didn’t fare so well and are doing time, but that’s a whole other enchilada.

Dave Zeltserman’s latest entry to the world of noir (Pariah) features the victim of a Whitey Bulger-like character whose just been released from serving out his term (a conviction that was a set up from start to finish). Kyle Nevin is an anti-hero and a half and a weapon of mass destruction in his own right. His story is a train wreck that is very difficult to take one’s eyes from (as I found myself reading forward at every opportunity … on the train, the ferry, the next train … the bathroom, etc.). A page turner from the moment Kyle is met by his brother Danny outside the prison he’s just been released from, Pariah moves fast and furious through a series of events motivated by vengeance and a lust for the old life (and all the power) Nevin’s been missing.

Upon seeing how much his younger brother has yielded to the legit life (i.e., driving the Honda {and brother don’t I know that feeling}, living in a hell hole apartment, living under the bland girlfriend’s rules, etc.), Kyle needs to bring Danny back and fast for he has a game plan that will not only set them both up for life, it’ll facilitate his vendetta for the man that put him behind bars for eight years.

There’s something else going on you won’t get from this review but it has to do with a “fictional” book deal based on Kyle’s game plan gone horribly awry. Author Dave Zeltserman also offers us some of good old fashioned male chauvinist sexual perspectives (what, say, the Queen of Noir, Vicki Hendricks, does for women) and it’s a nice change to read something from a writer unafraid of offending the politically correct.

But back to that hint of the publishing angle to this missile of a read. Wannabe tough guys love to talk about themselves (it’s a fact of street life); the more grandiose the tales, the less likely there’s any validity to them, but talk they will. Civilians call them “tall tales” or “fish stories” … street guys call them “war stories” … but turning such stories (no matter where the genesis) into publishing gold is something special. Think it doesn’t happen? A guy named Michael Pellegrino once passed himself off as a member of the Gambino crime family and got a $500,000 advance for a tell-all book (until he was exposed as a fraud and sued by Simon and Schuster). Somebody forgot to perform the due diligence, eh?

There are notes to an editor interspersed throughout Zeltserman’s Pariah and they will keep you alert as to what is likely going down … except then there’s a sharp turn that sweeps the rug from under some feet (including the readers) and all (in the form of justice—no matter how it comes about) is suddenly not lost.

For those who prefer the darker slice of life, Pariah will keep you glued to its pages. The chain reaction of Kyle Nevin’s release from prison on the world around him is the stuff of nuclear explosions. Violent, sexual and relentless, there are no holds barred anywhere in this wonderful launch into evil. The meek beware … be-very-ware.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Seymour Shubin/Pariah

Seymour Shubin hasn't been as prolific as say Jim Thompson, and that's probably why he hasn't gotten the attention he deserves, but his crime noir novels, such as Anyone's My Name (published the same year as The Killer Inside Me) and The Captain, deserve every bit the attention of Thompson's best. I've read most of the Hardcase Crime books, and by far my two favorite among the new issues are Russell Hill's "Robbie's Wife" and Seymour's "Witness to Myself". Maybe those two are more literary than the typical Hardcase Crime novel, but man they're great books.

Over the last several years after discovering Anyone's My Name (which I believe led Charles Ardai to discover this book, which further led to Witness to Myself being published by Hardcase), Seymour and I have exchanged numerous emails on writing, crime novels and the publishing industry, and this has grown into a friendship that I value greatly, and I was recently honored to write the introduction to Seymour's upcoming crime novel, The Hunch. What I've learned over these years is not only is he a writer of great talent, but also of great integrity, so I can't possibly describe how proud I am when he summed up his thoughts on Pariah with these four words:

"This is a masterpiece"

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Small Crimes featured on Thriller Club

Next week Small Crimes will be featured on the Thriller Club which the International Thriller Writers association is doing in conjunction with DearReader.com. If you want to read roughly the first chapters free over 5 daily installments, check out the club here.

Also, I heard from Serpent's Tail that the US release date for Pariah will this October.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Loophole in the system

I got my author copies of Pariah Friday. They look great, Serpent's Tail did an exceptional job with it, and for those who I've promised copies, they should be in the mail Monday.

The book was just released in the UK Thursday and I don't yet have a US publishing date. It's going to be at least 6 months, probably longer, but there seems to be a bug in the system and some of the online stores like amazon and Tower Records (www.tower.com, which is right now deeply discounting Small Crimes at $7.99) are leaking copies from different UK distributors. They're probably not supposed to be doing this until the book is released in the US, but if you want to take advantage of this loophole and get an early copy, now's the time. I can't guarantee you'll like the book, but so far the reaction I've gotten from my early readers, editor, publisher, and early reviews pretty much matches this sentiment from The Bookbag's review of Pariah:

"It's the kind of book that is going to spoil whatever I read next, as it's going to be found wanting compared to this. This is a book that anyone with even the slightest interest in the crime or thriller genres simply must get their hands on, as it's bound to have a huge impact on you."

Friday, January 16, 2009

Pariah released, reviewed

Pariah was officially published yesterday in the UK, and reviewed by The Bookbag:

"It happens rarely, but sometimes you get to the end of a book and what has gone before leaves you speechless. As a reader, this is a wonderful feeling, as you've just been through a great experience. As a book reviewer, however, it presents a problem, as you tend to have to sum up a book in more than no words. My first draft of this review read simply '...'"

You can read the whole review here.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

More Small Crimes on the web

Kingdom Books in Vermont gives Small Crimes a nice writeup in their latest blog entry. I met the owners a month ago at Kate's Mystery Bookstore's Holiday Party, and had a fun time talking crime fiction with David Kanell. David has since read both Small Crimes and Pariah, and sometime in either the Spring or Summer I'll be traveling up to Vermont for a reading at his store.

Corey Wilde also gives Small Crimes the treatment over on his blog, The Drowning Machine, writing both a very flattering review and what I consider a superlative synopsis. I should be hiring Corey to write the back cover copy for my books!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Small Crimes in South Florida

Chancey Mabe reviews Small Crimes in tomorrow's Sun-Sentinel, but his review is online now. Here's some of what Chauncey has to say in a review that gets right to the heart of what I was trying to accomplish with this book:

Small Crimes proves a deft entry in the tradition that goes back to Jim Thompson’s The Killer Inside Me, James M. Cain’s The Postman Always Rings Twice and Charles Willeford’s High Priest of California — small masterpieces celebrating the psychopath as a grinning archetype, as American as apple pie.

You can read the review here.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Pariah's coming



Pariah, my second "man out of prison" novel being published by Serpent's Tail, is only a week away from it's official publishing date in the UK, although I think it has already leaked into bookstores there.

Some very early words on Pariah:

"I just finished reading Dave's new novel Pariah. It is one of the most crazed, hilarious, bitter, brutal novels this side of those composed on violent wards." Ed Gorman

"If I told you any more, I'd be taking a lot of the fun out of your reading the book, which is fast, furious, and funny. I haven't even mentioned what goes on in the last third of the story, which was, for me, the most amusing part of the book. I don't mean this is a farce. It's far from a comedy, but it's sharply satirical and mean as a junkyard dog with a burr on its butt." Bill Crider

"Its rare that a meta novel ends up being entertaining as well as clever, but Dave Zeltserman’s excellent new novel, Pariah manages that trick very successfully; at once a noir-ish kidnap novel and an attack on the nature of celebrity memoir, plagiarism and the worst excesses of the publishing industry." Crime Scene Scotland

"PARIAH IS ALL I KNOW OF BLISS AND LAMENT. BLISS AT READING A SUPERB NOVEL AND LAMENT AT KNOWING THAT DAVE ZELTSERMAN HAS NOW RAISED THE BAR SO HIGH, WE'RE SCREWED. THIS IS THE PERFECT PITCH OF REALITY, HISTORY, CRIME, CELEBRITY, PLAGIARISM, AND SHEER ASTOUNDING WRITING. IT NEEDS A NEW WHOLE NEW GENRE NAME..........IT'S BEYOND MYSTERY, LITERATURE, A SOCIO/ECONOMIC TRACT, A SCATHING INSIGHT INTO THE NATURE OF CELEBRITY AND IN KYLE NEVIN WE HAVE THE DARKEST MOST ALLURING NOIR CHARACTER EVER TO COME DOWN THE SOUTH BOSTON PIKE OR ANYWHERE ELSE IN LITERATURE EITHER. I WANT MORE OF KYLE AND MORE OF THIS SUPERB SHOTGUN BLAST OF A NARRATIVE...........IF EVERY WRITER HAS ONE GREAT BOOK IN THEM THEN DAVE CAN REST EASY, HE HAS HIS AND IT'S TO OUR DELIGHT AND DEEPEST ENVY" Ken Bruen

"Mean like bad whiskey and sophisticated like good scotch, PARIAH is a rare find and a scorching read. This accomplished novel features a great blend of strong narrative voice and a realistic, multi-layered plot that lays bare the dark soul of South Boston's underworld. In Kyle Nevin, his main character, Zeltserman has a dark Celine creation that is as literary as he is noir. To my mind this novel provides the final word on the Southie's demise and does so more artfully than it's predecessors. Brimming with historical anecdote, rife with keen sociological insight, Zeltserman invests his novel with a veracity found mostly in non-fiction. However, this is a novel and a damn entertaining one, one that reminds us that reading the book truly is more informing and riveting than seeing the movie." Cortright McMeel

Monday, January 5, 2009

A few things

My second column is up on DaRK PaRTY ReVIEW, which by the way, is a finalist for a 2008 Weblog Award for Best Culture Blog! Congrats to GFS3 for that!

Bill Crider provides a very early review of my second "man out of prison" novel being published by Serpent's Tail, Pariah. Very early in that the book's not out in the UK until Jan. 15th, and probably won't be in the States until June.

Small Crimes is also in some fine company in the Jan-Feb 2009 issue of Bookmarks Magazine. The six crime novels they rate as excellent:

The Brass Verdict by Michael Connelly
Once Were Cops by Ken Bruen
Trigger City by Sean Chercover (and Sean, still waiting for my signed copy!)
A Most Wanted Man by John le Carre
Cold in Hand by John Harvey
Small Crimes by Dave Zeltserman

And their critical summary for Small Crimes:

Published as a paperback original, Small Crimes just might be a small "piece of crime-noir genius," says the reviewer from the Washington Post, and other critics generally agree. Not only does the novel have clean, simple prose, ample suspense and twists, and a fast-paced plot--standard fare; it also offers brilliant psychological insight into tortured souls, and on a deeper level, it is a moralistic tale about how small crimes beget larger ones. A couple of reviewers note some stock background characters, but overall, Small Crimes convincingly depicts the wide-ranging effects of police corruption in small-town America.