Short and Sharp Words: MysteryPeople Q&A with Jordan Harper

  • Interview by Crime Fiction Coordinator Scott Montgomery

Jordan Harper’s She Rides Shotgun is one of the most exciting full-length novel debuts to come down the road in some time. It concerns an ex-con on a crime spree road trip with his eleven-year-old-daughter. Over the course of their journey, both are targeted by a White Supremacist gang. It is a tough, uncompromising book, with a heart that is hard-won.

Jordan joins us at the store for our New Voices of Noir panel this upcoming Wednesday, July 26th, at 7 PM. He’ll be joined by Bill Loehfelm and Rob Hart. We got ahold of him by himself for this pre-interrogation.

MysteryPeople Scott: How did the idea for She Rides Shotgun come about?

Jordan Harper: I recently prowled through my DropBox and found an early draft of She Rides Shotgun that was dated 2014. It’s been in the works for a long time now, and just how I got the initial idea is a little murky to me. But I know the initial idea came from me noticing that there was a very small subgenre of crime story, that of the criminal and child on the road together. It’s a subgenre I’ve always loved, even if I’d never noticed it was a genre at all. I was inspired to add to the canon that includes Lone Wolf and Cub, Paper Moon and The Professional.

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MysteryPeople Review: SHE RIDES SHOTGUN by Jordan Harper

  • Post by Crime Fiction Coordinator Scott Montgomery

9780062394408Jordan Harper’s name buzzed around crime fiction circles with his stand-out short stories, many of them appearing in the collection, Love And Other Wounds. His hard boiled tales of outlaws and others on the edge are written with a gritty poetry and visceral tone. He kept both intact in his debut novel, She Rides Shotgun, a book as bada** as its title.

Harper takes us on one of the darkest daddy-daughter bonding experiences in fiction since A Paper Moon. Nate McClusky, a father and a career criminal, crossed a white supremacist gang, Aryan Steel, at the end of his prison sentence. Upon his release, he discovers the prison gang has killed his ex in retaliation and they now have their sights set on Polly, his eleven-year-old daughter. He grabs her at school, taking her on the road. Their initial goal of escape quickly turns into a crime spree as Nate robs the gang’s criminal enterprises as leverage for a truce. As he gets to know Polly, he notices an inner coldness that could serve as a key to her survival.

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Three Picks for June

This month covers the big three of crime fiction protagonists: cops, private eyes, and criminals.

9780393249644Fateful Mornings by Tom Bouman

Finally, Officer Henry Farell of rural Pennsylvania returns for a second book that somehow tops Bouman’s Edgar-award-winning debut, Dry Bones. After a hippie is found murdered, investigators suspect her abusive relationship as the cause, but they soon expand widen the net as the case becomes a sordid mixture of drugs, class conflict, and more killings. A compelling hero immersed in a vivid place and beautiful writing. Fateful Mornings comes out June 27th. Pre-order now! 

9780062394408She Rides Shotgun by Jordan Harper

A career criminal crosses an Aryan gang who kills his ex-wife for retribution and now has sights on his eleven year old daughter, forcing him to go on one hellish road trip with her. Harper’s debut novel is a hard boiled rocket ride through a sunburned California of lost societies, violent men, and where love has to be many forms of tough. Jordan will be joining us on our New Voices Of Noir panel with Bill Loehfelm and Rob Hart on July 26th. She Rides Shotgun comes out today! You can find copies on our shelves and via bookpeople.com. 

 

9781616957704Murder in Saint-Germain by Cara Black 

Aimee Leduc, still grieving the loss of her father and consumed by the needs of her new bebe, is one busy detective in Cara Black’s latest. Leduc Investigations is hard at work on a corporate espionage case, much to Rene’s satisfaction. When an old friend reaches out to Aimee after spotting a war criminal in a local cafe, then goes missing, Aimee has even more on her plate. Despite her busy schedule, she’s still the definition of effortless Parisian chic – read this book if you like detectives that can kick butt in 5-inch heels! (In fact, read the whole series.) Cara Black joins us to speak and sign her latest Leduc Investigation on Monday, June 12th, at 7 PM. You can find copies of Murder in Saint Germain on our shelves and via bookpeople.com