10 Essential Neo-Noir Authors

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Will Christopher Baer

An author who exemplifies the voice of neo-noir fiction, Baer has a trilogy of books that uses an unreliable narrator, Phineas Poe, to drag us down the rabbit hole, blending urban myths with the gritty reality of his Denver streets. Starting with Kiss Me, Judas and then moving on to Penny Dreadful and Hell’s Half Acre, we fall in love with Jude, a predatory criminal who steals organs and lures us into the dark. Part of what defines the work of Baer is his ability to create surreal settings and populate them with characters that are altered by drugs, violence, and mental instability. His prose is hypnotic. Though he’s reclusive these days, there is still hope (the long delay and rumors only heightening the anticipation) that his fourth novel, Godspeed, will actually happen. Godspeed, indeed.