Here at BookPeople on Wednesday Sept, 26th, at 7pm, the Hard Word Book Club will be discussing one of the best modern private eye novels out there, Peter Spiegelman’s Black Maps. It is a book both unique in setting and tone, introducing us to Spiegelman’s series character John March.
March turned his back on his family of Wall Street financiers to become a deputy sheriff in upstate New York. After his life is shattered with the murder of his wife, he moves back to the city. While trying to put his life back together, he hires himself out as an investigator. Because of his family connections, most of the jobs involve the life he left behind.
In Black Maps, March is hired by a self-made investment banker, Rick Pierro, who is being blackmailed. As John John tries to find the blackmailer, he discovers Pierro may be involved in something more criminal and personal than he thought.
Peter Spiegelman brings two pieces of his background together that make the book and the rest of the John March series a distinguished read. Peter used to work as a software designer for several Wall Street firms and said he encountered many people as dark and reckless as anything from a Jim Thompson novel. He conveys these people with nuance and shading, taking them beyond cardboard Gordon Geckos. His background as a poet produces a different rhythm and flow from the usual Chandler approach to prose. The word choice is clean and can cut right to the emotion without over-emoting.
We’re honored to have Peter Spiegelman call in to our discussion on Wednesday, September 26th as we examine this novel that holds a unique place in the genre. Hard Word Book Club is free to attend, no registration necessary. Just show up.