Tag Archives: No Exit Press

The long, dark legacy of William Hjorstberg’s supernatural neo noirs

One of the great things in the not so great year that was 2020 has been writing regularly for the excellent American site, CrimeReads. My latest for them is live and looks at the the supernatural neo noirs of the late writer, William Hjorstberg.

Hjorstberg’s 1978 book Falling Angel was the basis for Alan Parker’s 1987 supernatural thriller, Angel Heart. Posthumously published for the first time in paperback by Britain’s No Exit Press, the sequel, Angel’s Inferno continues the story of the down at heel private detective, Harry Angel, who takes a routine missing person case and becomes ensnared in an occult nightmare.

Only Angel is now Favorite, the amoral crooner who sold his soul to the devil for fame, then stole Angel’s identity in an attempt to evade payment. And he’s in Paris, determined to hunt down and exact revenge on Lucifer’s earthly manifestation, Louis Cypher.

I was particularly fascinated by the differences between Falling Angel and Parker’s film version, one of several things I write about in my piece which you can read in full here on the crime reads site.


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X-rated reviews: Miami Purity, London Blues

Miami PurityX-rated reviews?

Now that that title hopefully got your attention, this week I’m reviewing two books, both of which are heavily focused on sex, Miami Purity by US writer Vicki Hendricks and Anthony Frewin’s London Blues.

Some Pulp Curry readers may not have heard of the Miami-based crime writer Vicki Hendricks. That’s a great pity because along with women like Megan Abbott, Christa Faust and others, she is dead set proof a women can knock out a noir tale every bit as feral and fucked up as their male counterparts. I should stress I personally don’t need any proof about this, but I suspect some others do.

Hendrick’s book, Cruel Poetry was reviewed on this site last year. Miami Purity was her debut novel and it’s good. You can tell just from the opening line: “Hank was drunk and he slugged me – it wasn’t the first time – and I picked up the radio and caught him across the forehead with it.”

The character who utters those words is Sheri Parley, a tough as nails stripper in her late thirties, with few life prospects who has come out of a string of terrible relationships, the last one of which led to the death of her last man (Hank) and a terrible alcohol fuelled binge.… Read more