Sunday, March 01, 2009

Dave Zeltserman

There' a fine article about Dave Zeltserman in the Boston Globe this morning (thanks to Sarah Weinman for the tip):

Crime author's tales emerge from shadows
Author Dave Zeltserman, framed by icicles dripping from his Needham home, saw his novel ''Small Crimes'' singled out for praise last year. (Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff)
By Steve Maas
Globe Correspondent / March 1, 2009
Dave Zeltserman's crime fiction is better known in Britain and Italy than in his hometown of Needham. But it looks like that's about to change.

After more than 15 years in which he has written 10 books and countless short stories, Zeltserman is finally emerging from the literary wilderness. His novel "Small Crimes" was named one of the top five crime-and-mystery novels of 2008 by National Public Radio critic Maureen Corrigan, who said Zeltserman is "a new name to add to the pantheon of the sons and daughters" of crime noir great James M. "Double Indemnity" Cain.

Zeltserman's characters are often lowlifes and losers, people who are either the victims or the perpetrators of heinous crimes. His inspiration ranges from the news - a later book features a Whitey Bulger type - to the hard-boiled detective novels of Dashiell Hammett and Ross Macdonald to Rod Serling's "Twilight Zone."

Zeltserman, 49, creates his dark world in the cluttered office of his modest house on a quiet street off Highland Avenue. He greets a visitor not with the bourbon or beer favored by his characters, but with a choice of tea, the leaves brewed in a ball meticulously timed.


"Small Crimes" is about an ex-cop who, after a stretch in prison, returns home in search of redemption but finds only trouble. Joe Denton is one of those characters who has you constantly shouting "don't do it" - and then does it.

"In his mind-set," Zeltserman said, "those are the only decisions he can make."

None of the characters in "Small Crimes" can be considered likable, which is one reason Zeltserman had such a hard time selling the book. Publishers are looking for "safe" books with larger-than-life protagonists and breakneck pacing, he said.

Zeltserman isn't interested in creating another Spenser or Jack Ryan.

For the entire article go here

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