cover image New Jersey Noir

New Jersey Noir

Edited by Joyce Carol Oates. Akashic, $24.95 (320p) ISBN 978-1-61775-026-7

Oates’s introduction to Akashic’s noir volume dedicated to the Garden State, with its evocative definition of the genre, is alone worth the price of the book. While few of the 19 selections qualify as outstanding, highlights include Lou Manfredo’s “Soul Anatomy,” in which a politically connected rookie cop is involved in a fatal shooting in Camden; S.J. Rozan’s “New Day Newark,” in which an elderly woman takes a stand against two drug-dealing gangs; and Jonathan Santlofer’s “Lola,” in which a struggling Hoboken artist finds his muse. Two stories reflect historical events. In Bradford Morrow’s “The Enigma of Grover’s Mill,” Orson Welles’s infamous broadcast of The War of the Worlds changes the life of one local family, while in Barry N. Malzberg and Bill Pronzini’s “Meadowlands Spike,” a man’s confession details the end of Jimmy Hoffa. Poems by C.K. Williams, Paul Muldoon, and others—plus photos by Gerald Slota—enhance this distinguished entry. (Nov.)