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Out of the Past – “More Noir”

October 4, 2014

Out of the Past: A Reed Ferguson Mystery (A Private Investigator Mystery Series) 

[Kindle Edition]

by Renee Pawlish

Buy it directly from Amazon. Click: Out of the Past: A Reed Ferguson Mystery (A Private Investigator Mystery Series – Crime Suspense Thriller Book 5)

Out of the Past

Out of the Past is the name of a film noir movie with Robert Mitchum and Kirk Douglas that it is considered practically a textbook example of the genre. It is also the name of this e-book and appropriate for many reasons. First, the narrator is a big fan of film noir. Second, he takes a job as bodyguard because he is blackmailed about something in his past. Third, both the father of the daughter and the young woman herself have things from their pasts they are hiding.

I liked the idea so much, that I decided to rewrite a noir classic using my Jack Russell Terrier as the detective. That got me re-reading The Big Sleep. In some ways, it probably was not a good idea while doing a review of this book. Who wants their latest effort compared to Raymond Chandler’s most famous book? In a way Stephanie is like the uncontrollable Carmen of the older classic, and the father, something like the distant General Sternwood.

But, in other ways…not so good. Denver is an interesting backdrop, but there are not the atmospheric scenes of Chandler’s California. And the narrator while a bit of a renegade who does his job despite everything is less than Phillip Marlowe—who creates his own morality in the midst of corruption. I was amazed that the author was a woman. I have never found a female taken with the noir genre. But it seems she could have done even more with comparisons to movies and books from that era.

In any case I was pulled through to the ending. The action sequences and dialogue are good. And after reading the Chandler classic for the fourth or fifth time I gave up on the idea of attempting a pastiche with my dog. Read this and think about doing something, or not, yourself.

4 out of 5

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