Catch You Later, Traitor is, in many respects, a detective story. My hero, Pete, is a great admirer of Sam Spade, the hard-boiled detective from The Maltese Falcon, as created by Dashiell Hammett. Not only does Pete decide to become a detective to solve a major mystery, from time to time he takes on a noir voice.
I’m not sure when I first began to read mystery stories. I suspect, like so many, it was when I discovered Sherlock Holmes as a kid. Over the years I’ve been fascinated by the genre, and have come to believe mysteries are a unique form of fiction. I think they are special because unlike other forms of fiction, in which the writer seeks to create a bond (belief) between author and reader, the mystery writer seeks to fool or outwit the reader. The mystery is, in many respects, a game, a mind game, with certain unspoken rules—fair clues, no hidden surprises, etc.
The American tradition owes a great deal to Hammett who put forward a realistic, hard-edged, but suppressed, sentimental tone.
I decided to write Catch You Later, Traitor with some of these elements because it is ultimately a painful, but emotional story. That said, I have to confess, writing in this noir style was wonderful fun.
Early responses suggest readers think so too.
There’s Chapter One on my website. I hope you give it a try.