Matt Rees's Blog – October 2010 Archive (6)

Compelling seeds of true history: Philip Sington’s Writing Life interview

The best historical novels are based on some element of real history which has been either neglected or is little known. Philip Sington's “The Einstein Girl” grows out of the revelation that Albert Einstein had a secret daughter. Sington takes that seed and, with the hand of a true thriller master, builds around it a story of psychiatry and love in the early days of Hitler’s Germany. It's one of the most touching, beautiful, and…

Added by Matt Rees on October 17, 2010 at 6:49pm — No Comments

Crime fiction’s ‘French porn’: Martin Walker’s Writing Life interview

Martin Walker’s series of crime novels about the chief of police of a small town in the beautiful Perigord region of France are a delight. When we met at a recent “British Crime Fiction Night” in Darmstadt, Germany, he described the books as “French porn – wine, food, women – in a crime fiction frame.” Martin’s bon vivant personality matches the playfulness of his fiction (Though he's a Scot by birth, he divides his time between Washington DC and his vineyard in France). Yet he’s also a…

Added by Matt Rees on October 16, 2010 at 5:30pm — No Comments

Love and the crime novel

The crime novel tradition seems to have little connection to love. Maybe sometimes love in a perverse sense is the spur to the murder at the heart of most crime novels – the spurned husband killing his wife, for example. But usually the detective is a loveless loner, pining without much hope like the great Marlowe for his true love to come along.

As I write more novels, I’ve noticed that love is at the heart of crime fiction. At least, mine,…

Added by Matt Rees on October 14, 2010 at 5:56pm — 3 Comments

Paving Zion to put up a parking lot

Intifada fans can breathe a little more easily.

Just when it seemed as though no amount of building in Israel’s settlements and harsh statements at the United Nations by the country’s foreign minister could truly provoke new violence between Israelis and Palestinians, the Jerusalem municipality came up with something guaranteed to steam up some hotheads.

The city’s planning committee is considering a proposal to build an…

Added by Matt Rees on October 12, 2010 at 12:00am — No Comments

Urinal-top video

We were on the Hessian plain somewhere outside Frankfurt when I felt as though the drugs had taken hold.

Why am I paraphrasing the great Hunter S. Thompson? Because I endured an experience that Professor Gonzo could only have imagined in his wildest LSD frenzies. Something that made me feel I must be hallucinating, as if the Las Vegas of HST’s fear and loathing had come to me, cleaned up and waterless but every bit as insidious. What I saw was proof…

Added by Matt Rees on October 8, 2010 at 12:22am — 7 Comments

Hezbollah's rapture, resistance, and revolution

Here's my review of A Privilege to Die: Inside Hezbollah’s Legions and Their Endless War Against Israel — by Thanassis Cambanis (Free Press).

Most books on Hezbollah tend to focus, in one way or another, on the Lebanese Shia group’s fundamentalist politics. That’s in contrast to what strikes you as a journalist when you travel to southern Lebanon, one of the Hezbollah heartlands. There the greatest impressions are visceral. The earthquake of an Israeli…

Added by Matt Rees on October 6, 2010 at 1:14am — No Comments

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