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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Black Maps

Black Maps, by Peter Spiegelman, is clearly not for just any random reader of mysteries. It combines the loner private eye — traditional in the noir side of the genre — with the much less hot-blooded (and tiny) sub-genre of financial and other white-collar crime. So if you’re turned off by either of these points of view, you’ll probably give Black Maps a miss.

That would be a pity, because the page-turning plot, the character development, and the vivid sense of place (New York City) all turn out to be much more important than either the noirishness or the financial shenanigans. I can’t say much more without risking inadvertent spoilers. Don’t reject Black Maps because you don’t like noir. Don’t reject it because you don’t like financial mysteries. Just read it.

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