27 October 2011 3 Comments

The Crime Writer’s Alter Ego

James Ellroy went out to dinner a few years ago with some French journalists in Paris. One of the journalists later recounted to me how Ellroy pressed them to take him out to Pigalle, which is a sort-of Red Light district. With distaste, they agreed. “Okay,” growled the Demon Dog, “so which one of you […]

12 February 2010 0 Comments

Why’s a Palestinian sleuth in Brooklyn?

I’ve been called the Dashiell Hammett of Palestine, the John Le Carre of the Middle East, the James Ellroy of…Palestine, the Graham Greene of Jerusalem, and the Georges Simenon of the Palestinian refugee camps. Depends which review you happen to have read. I’ve published three previous novels about Omar Yussef, my Palestinian schoolteacher/sleuth. Omar has […]

8 January 2010 3 Comments

A Decade that Dare not Speak its Name

In the documentary “Imagine,” John Lennon comments that his song “Starting Over” was a message to fans his own age in which he aimed to ask them: “Hey, how’re you? Weren’t the Seventies a drag? Let’s hope the Eighties will be better.” If John had lived on through the Eighties to experience the decade just […]

4 December 2009 0 Comments

Best Mystery Books of Year

The Samaritan’s Secret, the third of my Palestinian crime novels, was named one of the Best Mystery Books of the Year for 2009 by Deadly Pleasures, the crime fiction magazine with the best read on websites and what fans like. The cover you see here is from the US paperback edition of The Samaritan’s Secret […]

29 September 2009 0 Comments

I Have Publishing Surrounded: John Higgs’s Writing Life

Thomas Carlyle wrote that “A well-written life is almost as rare as a well-spent one.” There may be some debate as to whether Timothy Leary’s life was well-spent. However, his biography by John Higgs is one of the most well-written and compelling books you’ll ever come across. “I Have America Surrounded: The Life of Timothy […]

25 August 2009 0 Comments

Ellroy Queen: Megan Abbott’s Writing Life

Megan Abbott is the female James Ellroy. When I read her Edgar-award-winning “Queenpin,” I immediately was put in mind of everyone’s favorite noirmeister. Dig it. Even more I loved “The Song is You,” in which Abbott took a real-life missing persons case from 1949 and plumbed her Hollywood characters for real debauchery and dirt like […]

24 June 2009 0 Comments

My 5 favorite novels

My second Palestinian crime novel A Grave in Gaza (UK title: The Saladin Murders) is just now published in Holland. The Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant asked me to contribute a list of my five favorite books, or at least those which’ve had the biggest impact on me as a writer. Here’s what I wrote: Let […]