"Catch My Killer!" Book Review
Written by Ed Kurtz
2012, 102, Fiction
Released on April 1st, 2012
Great noir writers like Raymond Chandler or Jim Thompson never tackled the supernatural. The fusion has happened, but mostly in the form of short stories compiled in anthologies. Now author Ed Kurtz has created something that will please fans of both genres equally: the Sam Truman Mysteries series. The first installment, Catch My Killer!, introduces readers to Sam Truman and offers something that will allow lovers of supernatural noir to breath a collective sigh of relief.
In Catch My Killer!, Sam Truman is a former private investigator who lost his license and has little going for him. He wakes up in the Royale Hotel, the cheapest and dirtiest place in town, and knows he doesn't have the money to afford one more night. Getting out of the room through the fire escape to evade a confrontation with Rocket, the man who religiously pesters him about rent, Truman sets out to get some free breakfast and somehow scrape together the ten bucks that will ensure him another week with a roof over his head. However, things at the dinner don't run smoothly. Clu, the owner of a dingy joint called Ralph's, hooks Truman up with some food, but breakfast is interrupted by an attempted robbery. A few minutes later, Truman has a dead teenager at his feet and the illegal gun that killed him still smoking in his hand. After the rough start, things only get worse when a knock comes at his room's door and the dead kid is standing there. What follows is a wild, dark and humorous private investigator story that has Truman pairing up with the woman who now occupies the body of the young criminal. As Truman tries to help the woman find her killer, the unlikely duo will become involved in dark dealings where murder, black magic and violence abound.
The narrative moves along at breakneck speed, the dark humor makes every page a delight, the action and violence are classic pulp and Truman is one of those antiheroes you can't help but like. What Kurtz has accomplished here is no easy feat: a combination of noir and supernatural horror in which the elements of both genres are clearly present and never overpower one another. However, the biggest accomplishment in Catch My Killer! is the humor. To create a down-and-out character who's simultaneously classic and entirely new is something that very rarely comes along and Kurtz pulled it off with ease.
While Catch My Killer! is a must-read, the Sam Truman Mysteries series is just getting started and those that enjoy this first installment should definitely keep their eyes open because Kurtz, who's also the editor at Abattoir Press, plans to release a new book in the series every six weeks. Each story will be written by a different author and writers like Brandon Zuern, Tobin Elliott and Keith Rawson are already scheduled to make their contributions to the series. In other words, get into the series as soon as possible. Priced at half the price of a cup of coffee, and free if you have Amazon Prime, this is a fun, dark novella that you have to read right now.