Dark and, at times, amusing fiction from award-winning author Dave Zeltserman

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Introducing The Hunted and The Dame

The Hunted and The Dame are the first two ebooks in what I hope readers will find an exciting new novella series from me that mixes hardboiled crime with government conspiracy. Each of these are going to be between 85-110 pages long, which I think is the perfect length for Kindle reading.

The Richard Stark/Parker influence in these will be evident from the sparse prose, the crime heist in The Dame (and heists in future novellas), and the name of my anti-hero, Dan Willis (Parker's cover identity in the early books was Chuck Willis), and while I think Parker fans are going to enjoy these they're still very different. The government conspiracy running through these books will make them very different.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Godchild by Vincent Zandri -- a review

About five years ago the thriller genre became so popular among readers that publishers began labeling every genre book a thriller. My crime novels soon became labeled as crime thrillers, my noir novels became crime noir thrillers, my horror novels became horror thrillers, and so on. But a thriller is an entirely different beast than those other genres. It’s not necessarily the page-turning aspect that makes a novel a thriller—every piece of fiction no matter the genre needs to get the reader involved and interested enough to want to keep turning pages. What defines a thriller is that it needs to be thrilling—from the first page to the end it needs to keep generating thrills. There are other elements that are common among thrillers, such as the hero being in constant danger and a very loud ticking clock that’s ever present, but the most important aspect is having thrills and plenty of them. Godchild by Vincent Zandri is a pure thriller that has a pitch perfect thriller vibe. The hero from past Zandri books, Keeper Marconi, is now a hardboiled PI who is trying to move on with his life, but is haunted by the brutal killing years earlier of his wife by a mysterious bald man with a gold earing, and his need to bring this man to justice. When Marconi is hired by a wealthy and powerful man to rescue his wife imprisoned in a border town in Mexico, Marconi soon finds things aren’t what they appear. Layers of lies are stripped away as Marconi discovers the real reason he was hired, but also why is wife was killed so many years earlier. Godchild has plenty of thrills, as well as plenty of action, violence, danger and deception, but what makes it an exceptional thriller is partly Zandri’s great thriller vibe, partly his smooth writing style imbued with sarcastic humor, and partly Zandri’s reporter’s eye that captures details most writers miss.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Some Free Bad Thoughts

Bad Thoughts is free for the next 2 days. This was my second novel, and easily my grimmest. What can I say, I was dealing with some heavy issues while I was writing it. The book looks at first like a police procedural, but it's really a thriller with an odd mix of crime, horror, noir and metaphysics, and in many ways it's my most personal book, and is very different than anything else I've written. Although Bad Karma is the sequel it's a very diffent kind of book than that also.

Here's what some people said about the book when it first came out:

"Dark, brutal, captivating -- this is one hell of a book, the kind of book that doesn't let go of you once you start it. Dave Zeltserman is clearly the real deal." Steve Hamilton, Edgard Award-winning author of the THE LOCK ARTIST

"BAD THOUGHTS is a fast moving occult thriller, with taut dialgoue and smart, likeable characters. Darkness pervades the Bay State in the late 1990's and Detective Bill Shannon will be lucky to solve a standard missing person's case in one piece. In fact, as the story unfolds we see that death an dismemberment could be the least of Bill's worries. Pour yourself a fifth of Scotch, get an easy chair, grab a protective talisman and enjoy" Adrian McKinty, author of DEAD I WELL MAY BE and HIDDEN RIVER

"This is high octane noir, dazzling in it's sheer vivacity. I didn't like this book, I adored it" Ken Bruen, author of THE GUARDS

"...And it's at this point that the genre gets bent. After that, it's a wild ride. I was reminded a little of Blood Dreams, a novel by the late Jack MacLane, published by Zebra just after the era of the knives-in-fresh-fruit covers. Joe Lansdale's Act of Love had one of those covers, come to think of it. Zeltserman's book would rest comfortably on the shelf beside them. If you're looking for a hardboiled anybody-can-die-at-any-time book that's a change of pace from the usual, look no further."
Bill Crider

"A compellingly clever wheels-within-wheels thriller. An ingenious plot, skillfully executed" Elliott Swanson, Booklist

"This fast-paced, gritty psychological tale balances the fine line between mystery and horror" Library Journal

"Bad Thoughts is an ambitious genre-bender combining the paranoia and existential dread of the best noir with a liberal dash of The Twilight Zone. Not to be missed." Poisoned Pen's Booknews

"BAD THOUGHTS is one of those books that has been under the radar all year, yet deserves to be discovered by a wider audience"--Bruce Grossman,BOOKGASM

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Monster: A Novel of Frankenstein

Monster will be released August 2nd from Overlook Press: Victor Frankenstein. Marquis de Sade. Devil worshipers. London sex clubs. Street gangs. Vengeance. Obsession. Damnation.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Favorite Kills Free!

Top Suspense has its second anthology out, Favorite Kills, and for the next 3 days it's free as a kindle download from Amazon.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

NPR on Outsourced, Small Crimes, Pariah

"a dark gem of a story...a macabre delight to read"

"The plot of Small Crimes ricochets out from this claustrophobic opening, and it's a thing of sordid beauty." Selected as one of the top 5 crime and mystery novels of 2008

"as nasty and clever as noir can get"

Friday, February 3, 2012

NPR also talked about Pariah & Small Crimes

Within NPR's rave review yesterday on Outsourced, there was also this "Small Crimes and Pariah are about as nasty and clever as noir can get."

So if you like noir, and haven't read Small Crimes, Pariah (and Killer + Fast Lane also), why not?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

FAST LANE free today only

For today only I'm making Fast Lane free for the kindle. This was the first book I ever wrote, hell, it was the first piece of fiction I ever wrote to try to have published, and in a lot of ways this was my response to what I saw as the softening of the PI genre. In some ways this is one of my most ambitious crime novels, and even though this looks like a PI book, it's really the anti-PI novel and pure psychotic noir. Readers who like Julius and Archie are going to hate Johnny Lane, who makes Kyle Nevin (Pariah) look like a well-adjusted nice guy in comparison.