NPR

3 Supernatural Noir Tales That Reflect The Inhuman Condition

Some great noir fiction has been written about Los Angeles, but what happens when a different genre bleeds through? We've got three tales of murder, magic and robot detectives to cool your summer.
Source: Liam James Doyle

Jason Heller is a senior writer at The A.V. Club, a Hugo Award-winning editor and author of the novel Taft 2012.

Los Angeles is the city of many great traditions — one of them being crime fiction. From the hardboiled classics of Raymond Chandler to the gritty noir of James Ellroy, numerous novels have used the tough streets and affluent hills of L.A. as a backdrop for some of literature's most thrilling tales of murder, lust, and justice.

What happens, though, when an entirely different world seeps into L.A.? Say, the realm of with robots. Or Ellroy's with monsters. It might sound jarring at first, but authors have been catering to this weird juxtaposition — and the crossover audience that enjoys both crime fiction and speculative fiction — for years now. Not all of these books take place in L.A.; Jim Butcher's successful series, for instance, deals with the unholy mingling of crime and magic in Chicago. But three recent novels by Jason Ridler, Adam Christopher, and Richard Kadrey have focused the speculative-crime genre through a distinctly Angeleno lens.

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