Friday, January 28, 2005
Ed Gorman -- Runner in the Dark
You have to wonder why Ed Gorman isn't working for some big-name publisher. I mean, Runner in the Dark was published by iBooks, or at least that's the edition I have. Not that there's anything wrong with iBooks, the company that published my Bogart book, We'll Always Have Murder, but they're not exactly as well known as, say, Knopf. And, just to take one more example, another of Ed's excellent novels, Cage of Night, was published by Borealis Books, a division of White Wolf. What kind of distribution do you think that one got?
As Ed has mentioned on his own blog, he's written in any number of genres: mystery, western, horror, SF. He's a non-bestseller in at leat four fields. What Ed was to modest to say is that he's good in all of them, bestseller or not, and that his books are far better than anything the Big Names place on the New York Times list.
He also mentioned the other day that from time to time he's written "big" suspense novels, the kind that, if there were any justice, would replace James Patterson on the NYT list and a lot of others. (OK, he didn't say that last part. I did.) That's the kind of book Runner in the Dark is. It has just about everything: a "high concept" (crazed killer takes over TV station), big action scenes, a love interest, sex, lots of violence, "insider" details, great characters, length, even the "ticking clock." The cover blurb says that the novel is "In the tradition of great suspense novels by Michael Connelly and Harlan Coben," as if those two writers were anything alike. And as if an Ed Gorman book could ever be like a book by anyone else.
And maybe that's the trouble. Runner in the Dark isn't like anybody else's big bestselling suspense novel. It's a little too quirky, a little too edgy. Anybody can die at any time. And does. The next time you're looking for a book that will keep you turning the pages way past your bedtime, check this one out.