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

Monday, January 28, 2013

So you like noir?

If you like noir -- real noir, where nothing is watered down -- then I got some books for you:

"The plot of Small Crimes ricochets out from this claustrophobic opening, and it's a thing of sordid beauty." NPR, best crime and mystery novels of 2008

"spare but ingeniously twisted and imbued with a glossy coating of black humor." Washington Post's Best Books of 2008

"Zeltserman's breakthrough third crime novel deserves comparison with the best of James Ellroy" Publisher's Weekly, starred review


"If there's any other young writer out there who does crime noir better than Zeltserman, I don't even want to know." Washington Post, Best Books of 2009

"as nasty and clever as noir can get" NPR

"Darkly enjoyable... clear, crisp prose; his fearless portrait of amorality; and his smart plotting... what a fine addition to the local literary scene he’s become." Boston Globe


Buy PARIAH now

"Spare prose and assured pacing place this above most other contemporary noirs." Publisher's Weekly

"Dave Zeltserman is at it again writing about ex-con antiheroes with the kind of panache that would make Jim Thompson, king of the psycho killer novels, proud." Boston Globe

"With graphic imagery and exciting twists, this novel is impossible to put down and has a surprising ending. A brilliant read." Aberdeen Press & Journal

"Killer is a major novel of crime." Ed Gorman

Buy KILLER now

"A small gem of crime fiction" Booklist

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

"A dark, lightening-paced read" Financial Times

"Zeltserman’s nifty bit of neo-noir is damned decent fun" DIG Boston


"Tough, violent amoral with that compelling first narrative that has you rooting for a lunatic and crazy he is, in the most entertaining debut since, well, Jim Thompson." Ken Bruen, author of THE GUARDS

"A likeable PI with a hidden Jim Thompson darkside that gets out of control and seems to know no depths. It's there!" Gary Lovisi, Hardboiled Magazine

"In the last few years there have been a number of writers, such as Ken Bruen and Victor Gischler, who've taken the classic PI novel and tweaked the hell out of it, creating something fresh and unique. Add Dave Zeltserman to the list. Several pages into his debut, I knew that I was reading something special." Poisoned Pen's Book News, Hardboiled Crime Club Selection


"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, Edgar-award winner for The Lock Artist

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

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


Blood Crimes is something very different from me. It has vampires (although not the sparkly kind), and it's a heavy mix of horror and crime, but it's still very much noir.

"This is one of the few fresh takes on vampirism I've read in years. It's as if Charles Bukowski sat down and said, OK, Bram Stoker, how about this?" -- Ed Gorman, author of Cage of Night and The Poker Club.

Zeltserman, a noir author from deep in his bones, has always flirted with horror--his Caretaker of Lorne Field ranks as one of the best novels in that category back in 2010. Blood Crimes goes over the retaining wall and into the dark woods, throwing in delightful twists on reliable tropes... These aren't your sister's romantic vampires, to say the least." Harry Shannon, author of Memorial Day

"The prolific and wildly talented Dave Zeltserman serves up a fast, furious, frightening and (yes)funny orgy of bloodletting. Makes "Grindhouse" look like "Little House on the Prairie." Roger Smith, author of Mixed Blood and Dust Devils

Buy Blood Crimes now

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Sheriff of Boomtown

Hearing about Rex Trailer passing away made me think back about when I was Sheriff of Boomtown. Trailer hosted a local Boston TV show called Boomtown that was on the air here from '56 to -74. One year for my sister's birthday (I think she was 7 which would've made me 10) she got tickets for the show, and my parents told me I had to go on the show with her to watch over her. One of the show's bits would be picking one of the kids to be Sheriff. They'd have another kid photographed in a Wanted poster in costume, and the Sheriff's role would be to pick out the wanted kid out of a parade of all the kids in the audience. The Sheriff never picked the right kid --he'd always end up picking out someone who didn't look remotely like the costumed outlaw, and coming off as a doofus in the process. When they picked me to be the Sheriff, I told them no thanks, but they told me too bad, I was it, and of course like every other Sheriff, I picked out a kid who didn't look anything like the wanted disguised kid. Here's why. On TV the parade of kids looks like it goes on forever, on the show, they didn't put you in position to pick out your target until at least 3/4s of the kids had already walked by. In other words, it was fixed! Since you have to pick someone, you end up just grabbing one of the kids at random., and every kid watching at home ends up thinking, what a doofus! 
Now my sister, probably because it was her birthday, got picked for this really sweet contest--the one that every kid who watched the show would dream of being picked for. They had a board filled with balloons, and each balloon has a slip of paper inside indicating a gift, like a bike or toy of some type, and whatever balloons you pop with 3 darts you win the corresponding gifts. When you watched it at home you would dream of being picked and tossing the darts up so they'd fall and pop 3-4 balloons each. With my sisters 3 darts, she hit Trailers sidekick Billy with one of them, and completely missed the balloons with the other 2 (I think one of of them hit the balloons sideways). So we got to take home Sidekick Billy, but she didn't get any toys out of it. Sidekick Billy, who on TV looked 80 but was just a 20 something year-old guy with a lot of makeup, was my sister's responsibility since she won him, but she was only 7, and after a few weeks of not watering or feeding him, we found him dead in the basement. Rex Trailer got a new sidekick after that, but I can't remember what this new guy's name was.