From the grisly excesses of the Nazi regime to stolen identities and murders, here is a quick list of some good reads for the pool deck or beach cabana.
Rabbits for Food by Binnie Kirshenbaum.
Bunny, a down and out writer, has a mental breakdown at a party and subsequently ends up in a Beverly Hills psychiatric hospital. During her stay, instead of adhering to the set recovery treatments, she spends her days chronicling her fellow ‘raving lunatics’. Sharp and quick-witted, Kirshenbaum’s first new book in a decade is a bouncy take on a serious topic, great to read while the sun bakes you.
Wiseguy: Life in a Mafia Family by Nicholas Pileggi.
A classic 1985 non-fiction on the life and times of Henry Hill (mobster turned informant) by crime reporter Pileggi. Hill was infamous for stealing cargo from Air France, being involved in the murder of William “Billy Batts” Devino, drug dealing and basketball fixing. This real-life gangster was the inspiration for Martin Scorsese’s now famous Goodfellas, and was played by the illustrious Ray Liotta.
KL Noir by Amir Muhammad.
This Malaysian gem offers a collection of 14 short stories which cover everything from kidnapping to hair-raising rituals, political corruption, and possibly even some cannibalism. The stories hit close to home and are filled with elements of supernatural creepiness and grisly violence. Each tale will take you down the road of depravity that is scraped from the sleazy underbelly of beautiful Kuala Lumpur.
Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.
Angels and demons collide to find and stop a missing antichrist hell-bent on fulfilling his destiny. Laced with humour and snark, this charming story of good and bad working in tandem is a page out of Monty Python’s bible of comedy. This journey of hilarity and fantasy is now on screen for you to enjoy with David Tennant in demon Crowley’s shoes and Michael Sheen as angelic presence Aziraphale.
The Talented Mr Ripley by Patricia Highsmith.
Highsmith’s tale of the suave, polite and innocent looking Tom Ripley who wins audiences over with his hardworking attitude, will drag you down into the pit of darkness when you least expect it. The author questions the notions of morality with this tale of a very likeable character whose actions are less than savoury. Add to that the Italian Riviera, murder, police chases and there’s enough to keep you turning page after page.
Berlin Noir by Philip Kerr.
Ex-policeman Bernie Gunther is dragged into the macabre Nazi subculture on the streets of 1930s Berlin. In contrast to Highsmith’s singular immoral character, Kerr’s novel portrays a world entirely filled with bad seeds, which is something that Gunther must navigate to the best of his ability as a solitary unit fighting a wave. Gritty, exciting and deliciously dark, this book is your detective film noir for the holiday.
This article is an excerpt from UNRESERVED’s Ju;y/August 2019 issue from the article CABANA CAPERS.