My work in progress will include a POV character from the New York / New Jersey area (more New Jersey). I will be writing a close 3rd-person-limited POV and I want to bring as much "authentic New Jersey" as possible into the narrative and dialogue.
Any general advice on this would be greatly appreciated, but specifically here I am hunting for novels that will guide me towards the right kind of voice. For example, I'm a fan of Charlie Huston's Hank Thompson books so I'll probably try his NY-based Joe Pitt series (Already Dead, etc.). Other options might be Ed McBain, Ed Dee, Nelson DeMille, SJ Rozan and, well, you tell me.
Ideally the novels will also be great example of crime fiction that will help and guide me in my craft. To give you an idea of my tastes, I really like Ellroy's brutal, stripped down, close-POV approach from LA Confidential to American Tabloid.
Thank you very much indeed!
Well... Janet Evanovich writes about New Jersey, and does a great job with it. It's a completely different kind of book, but the voice is good. Lawrence Block sets his Scudder books in NYC. There's also Small Town (by Lawrence Block) which is his after 911 book, and a really good look at the city.
I'd recommend TV and movies if it's the voice you're looking for. Get the sound in your head and it will come across as much more organic on the page. There is no shortage of NY-NJ characters you can listen to.
Brad Parks is very good on Newark.
And there's this guy Albert Tucher, who has lived in central Jersey since 1955 and has a Jersey girl protagonist named Diana Andrews. The novella THE SAME MISTAKE TWICE is her latest case.
(Sorry, but if you give me an opening like that, what am I supposed to do? :-) )
Thanks all. I've read Lawrence Block, but none of the others. Evanovich and this Tucher guy both look like an interesting change for me, so I'll definitely give them a try. Dana, yes, you're right, I need to make time for some viewing.
Thanks again. Any further suggestions welcome.