Category Archives: Sam Hawken

Interview: Sam Hawken, author of The Dead Women of Juarez

The Dead Women of Juarez was one of my favourite summer reads of 2012. It’s a hard-boiled crime novel set against the backdrop of the real life horror taking place in the Mexican city of Juárez, across the US border, where as many as 5000 women have been murdered since 1993.

I recently posted a review of this book here. The book’s author, Sam Hawken, was kind enough to agree to answer some questions by e-mail from Texas about his work.

What was the inspiration for writing The Dead Women of Juárez?

The story of the dead women is inspiration all by itself. I first found out about the problem while visiting Amnesty International’s site looking for something else entirely and immediately I thought it would make for a good story. It’s hard to beat real life when you’re coming up with ways people make other people miserable.

One of the things I liked about your book was the way you were able to set a hard boiled crime story against the backdrop of such horrific real life events, without trivialising or sensationalising them. Crime fiction is an excellent way of holding up a mirror to society’s problems but it can be hard to do. Was that something you were conscious of when you were writing and was it difficult to pull off?Read more