Reese Hirsch: 5 Books That Changed My Life

5 Books That Changed My Life By Reece Hirsch Here are five books that had a huge impact on me and my writing: Dog Soldiers by Robert Stone. I first read Robert Stone’s novel about a heroin deal gone very wrong for the first time when I was a teenager but I reread it every couple of years as a reminder of how much can be packed into a thriller without sacrificing narrative momentum. Dog Soldiers is my Platonic ideal of what a thriller can be – it’s fast, violent, sharply written and conveys so much about what America, and particularly California, was like in the early 70s in the hung-over morning after the Summer of Love. It’s like Joan...

Five Things Dumb Criminals Do Online

FIVE THINGS DUMB CRIMINALS DO ONLINE (A THRILLER WRITER’S GUIDE)   While conducting research for my novel, The Advocate’s Daughter (St. Martin’s Press/Minotaur, March 22, 2016), I came across several reports about criminals who were caught because of their Google search history or social media posts. I wasn’t surprised at the rise of digital evidence used against defendants. But I was taken aback by how frequently criminals are caught because of their own ineptitude. Here are five things dumb criminals do online. 1. Googling how to commit the crime. No, you say. No one is dense enough to use their own computer or phone to search how to...

Adam Dunn and 5 Books that Influenced Him

THE MERGER: THE CONGLOMERATION OF ORGANIZED CRIME by Jeffrey Robinson. The sequel to his bestseller THE LAUNDRYMEN, this survey opened my eyes to the fluid, intertwining currents between legitimate commerce and its illegal mirror image on a universal scale. THE DELTA STAR by Joseph Wambaugh. My favorite novel by one of my earliest literary icons. Taught me the method—but more crucially the value—of providing as much depth to every character introduced, no matter how small their role. LOW LIFE: LURES AND SNARES OF OLD NEW YORK by Luc Sante. A sweeping, majestic, delicious history of the slums and slum dwellers of New York City, offering one...

Five Things That Changed My Life: S.G. Redling

1984 by George Orwell I read this early in high school – one of those assignments I waited until the last possible moment to complete, which resulted in my reading the entire book in one sitting. At this point in my life, I’d been reading a lot of horror and thrillers that, while dark, always ended with a certain flare of justice and righteousness. My young, naïve mind was wholly blown by the totality of Big Brother’s victory, that a book could go that far, that the “hero” could be so utterly dismantled. Plus, those rats… “Crazy on You” by Heart This is a visceral memory. I’m the youngest of four kids so I grew up listening to my...

FIVE THINGS THAT CHANGED MY LIFE

FIVE THINGS THAT CHANGED MY LIFE DETECTIVE COMICS #402 – The downside of wearing hand-me-downs as a kid can be summed up in a photo of me in front of the school bus wearing red plaid pants and an aquamarine shirt with an iron-on of an owl on it. The upside was that some of those hand-me-downs were comic books. The story in this particular Detective Comics isn’t particularly relevant, it’s just the first comic I remember owning. The image of Batman and Man-Bat on the cover etched in my memory. In a way, it symbolizes my lifelong love for the medium. Comics were my earliest lessons in the art of telling stories. FAT CITY – Both...

Nicholas Petrie: Five Books That Changed My Life

A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT AND OTHER STORIES, by Norman Maclean. I read this collection many years before the Robert Redford made his film, which I’ve never seen – I’m afraid it will spoil these three gorgeous, funny and sad stories about growing up in Montana in the first half of the last century. ALL THE PRETTY HORSES, by Cormac McCarthy – a cowboy novel, turned up to 11. The language (and lack of punctuation) requires your full attention, but the story is pure story, and utterly beautiful. This book is what made me understand that there is no such thing as genre fiction. This novel, along with The Crossing and Cities of the Plain make up...