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L.A. Noire: The Collected Stories

When Rockstar Games called me to put together an anthology of original noir stories to accompany the debut of their new video game, LA NOIRE, I thought: Hell, yes! Let’s get those gamer boys and girls reading! Rockstar asked that all the stories be set in 1947 LA, the same year and place as their game, but other than that the writers were free to do whatever they wanted. I gathered a great group, some more familiar with noir than others, but everyone did a terrific job. Some took snippets of plot from the game and elaborated; others wrote whatever dark thoughts about the time and place came to mind. Joyce Carol Oates took on Marilyn Monroe and the Black Dahlia; Francine Prose created a school for murderous actors that gets a little too close to reality; Megan Abbott’s roman a clef about scandalous goings on in LA’s famed shark house is so dripping with noir you can almost taste the shadows; Lawrence Block’s poignant tale of an LA cop looking back at a case almost had me in tears. The rest of the stories are just as good and you can download the entire ebook for 99 cents. I mean, really, how can you go wrong?