Ed Gorman’s accomplishments in the noirboiled world are too many to mention, but he is dearest to my (black) heart for being one of the editors of The Big Book of Noir (1998), a sort of grab-bag bible of the noirboiled world. His most recent novel is Stranglehold (2010), his second featuring political consultant Dev Conrad.
1. What’s the first crime novel you remember reading?
Mickey Spillane—I read his first three back to back in the summer of ’55 and was cursed with this preference for hardboiled fiction ever since. He had a huge influence on me. That same summer I started reading Gold Medal novels, too. My first was a Lionel White then Peter Rabe and John D. MacDonald. I knew that this kind of story was for me.
2. Hammett or Chandler?
Hammett for realism, Chandler for romance.
3. If forced to choose, would you trust Sherlock Holmes or Parker to save your life?
4. If I recommend a novel to you, and I tell you that it’s noir, have I just spoiled the ending?
No, because noir is a point of view not always a particular group of tropes or storylines. They Shoot Horses Don't They? is noir as is in its way The Day of the Locust. We always think of noir as Bogie and trench coats and drinking too much and dames who did us wrong. But I think that’s too narrow a definition. There are a number of westerns, for instance, that are definitely noir. I’ve read a number of books and stories by Ruth Rendell that I also consider definitely noir.
5. What’s the best novel by Ed Gorman?
Since I've worked in several genres, that's not easy to answer. In crime I'd say Blood Moon (available on Top Suspense Group e books for $2.99) because it's probably my most ambitious book and because I think it's a somewhat unique approach to a series of murders.