Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Lord "Z" of Noir: Boston's David Zeltserman

"Dying Memories from a very alive Dave Zeltserman!"

Our last names both start with Z making David Zeltserman and I blood brothers in some native cultures far away from here. But geography alone wouldn't keep me from calling this exceptional talent my bro. He's also my brother at StoneGate Ink where he's just signed a deal for two books plus a special edition combo with yours truly. THE INNOCENT/DYING MEMORIES, should hit the cyber shelves soon. He's also a hero of sorts. I've been following his stuff for a long time now, and like my other heros Crumley and Parker, his terse style has somehow made it into my own work. There's nothing Dave hasn't achieved or will achieve in the world of hard-boiled fiction, and his pedigree reflects that success. He's won a Shamus Award, and an Ellery Queen Choice Award. His 'The Caretaker of Lorne Field" was shortlisted by ALA for best Books of 2010, and even NPR called his "Small Crimes" one of the best 5 crime novels of 2008. There's more but this intro is verging on going longer than Dave's piece.

So with that, I give you Dave Zeltserman:

I recently had a book event at one of my favorite bookstores, Back Page Books in Waltham MA, and when the bookstore owner, Alex Green, introduced me, he talked about how all my books are written in different genres, or at least different subgenres. I hadn’t really thought of that before, but he’s right. My first novel, Fast Lane, is both a full out psycho noir in the Jim Thompson tradition and also a deconstruction of the hardboiled PI genre, Bad Thoughts is a crime/horror hybrid masquerading initially as a police procedural, Small Crimes is a modern crime noir thriller, Pariah is part mob novel and part satirical look at our celebrity obsessed culture, Killer is a mix of existential and literary crime novel, The Caretaker of Lorne Field is a modern horror novel as well a parable, Outsourced is a heist novel, and my award-winning Julius Katz stories are lighthearted, charming mysteries. I didn’t set out to write all these different subgenres, but I guess I’ve always been more interested in the stories I’m writing than what genre I’m working in. And with my two StoneGate Ink e-books, Dying Memories and Bad Karma, I’m adding two more subgenres to my repertoire, with Dying Memories being a thriller and Bad Karma a hardboiled PI novel with new age sensibilities.

Dying Memories starts with a woman shooting a man to death on a busy Boston street. When the police arrest her, she claims the man had raped and murdered her eleven year-old daughter. She’s convincing and sincere about it. Except it turns out she never had a daughter, and outside of this one act, shows no other signs of delusions or mental illness. When a reporter, Bill Conway, finds a connection between this killing and the murder of an MIT professor, and is able to link them both to a shadowy biotechnology company, he soon finds himself framed for murder. And that turns out to be the least of his problems as a group of deadly government operatives are after him to make sure he disappears for good. Conway soon finds himself in a race to save his life and unravel the conspiracy he’s found himself mired in, and he must do so knowing that none of his memories can be trusted.

Bad Karma is a sequel to Bad Thoughts, but it’s both a different style and genre of book. Bad Thoughts is a grim mix of horror and crime, and with the hell I put my hero, Bill Shannon, through in the first book, I wanted to give him a chance to have a more normal existence, and so I wrote Bad Karma, and I moved the action from Boston, MA to Boulder, Colorado. The book takes place five years after the horrendous events Bill survived in the first book, and finds Bill working part time as a PI, as well as also doing what he has to heal himself emotionally. Keeping in the spirit of Bad Thoughts, there are both metaphysical and new age aspects to Bad Karma, but the book is clearly in the hardboiled PI camp, and when Bill takes a case to look into the murder of two college students, he soon finds himself mixed up with deadly yoga studios, a deviant guru, Russian mobsters, and much more.

The one thing these two books have in common is they both feature likable heroes named Bill. I don’t know why that is, but I guess if you encounter a character named Bill in one of my books, the odds are he’s the good guy!

For more on Dave go to:


  1. I like bill. It's a good name. Wow you are as versatile ad V. You know he writes romantic suspense too? ;)

  2. Hey Vin, thanks for posting, and it's going to be great getting Double Zs on our shared book cover! --Dave

  3. Bri, there's some romance in Dying Memories. --Dave

  4. I can't wait to read Dying Memories for PUYB! I'm totally psyched! Zandri speaks very highly of you, but I'll give you a chance anyway! LOL!

  5. Really Dave...def gonna check it out.

  6. Ok, I'm grabbing my man purse and getting the hell out of here...

  7. You called it Bri! He's got a man purse!

  8. I think it's a fanny pack not a purse. LOL