Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Five crime novels that deepen our appreciation of collective trauma

Frank Sennett has an MFA in creative writing from the University of Montana and a journalism degree from Northwestern University. He has taught creative writing at UCLA Extension and has published nine books. He has served as a senior leader at multiple media outlets, including Time Out Chicago and He also spent one lucky season in the Wrigley Field press box covering the Chicago Cubs. He lives in Chicago with his wife, three children and two cats.

Sennett's new novel is Shadow State.

At CrimeReads he tagged five "crime novels that play out in the long shadows of national trauma [and] how they can help us contextualize and explore tragic events in a deeper way than the news and social media cycles allow." One title on the list:
Lou Berney, November Road

In my new series opener Shadow State, protagonist Rafe Hendrix is on the trail of a mad man re-creating political assassinations as he prepares to kill the sitting president. So I would be remiss to skip Berney’s novel set in the aftermath of JFK’s murder. In capturing the mood and atmosphere of the time through the eyes of his well-drawn characters, Berney gives readers—especially those of us who were not yet born on that infamous day—a deeper understanding of the societal shock and disillusionment that followed Kennedy’s assassination.

In detailing the specific human experiences of national tragedies, including those that are seldom included in breaking news reports, crime novels like these are as important in their own way as they are entertaining.
Read about another entry on the list.

November Road is among Dwyer Murphy's eleven top modern classics of conspiracy noir.

--Marshal Zeringue