When Terence Faherty published DEADSTICK, his first novel, in 1991, this is what Marilyn Stasio had to say about it, in part, in The New York Times Book Review:
“… the answer to the mystery is a sad one, but worth the pursuit for the existential lesson he takes from it — to keep searching for the tiny bits of mental order that keep at bay that 'archenemy' of the thinking man, 'the idea that the universe is godless and capricious, without pattern or meaning.'
"No guns, no gore, but plenty of intellectual guts."
Stasio's review might give you a hint of why this series is so hard to describe and sell — the words "existential lesson" are a pretty clear signal that you're a little outside the mainstream — but it also hints at why this series is so amazing, challenging and, ultimately, endearing.
Over 20 years since that first appearance, the Owen Keane novels are still pretty cool. I've been spending a lot of time this year with Owen Keane, working on reprinting the early Keane novels and prepping Keane's new adventure for its first publication in October. This time through the books, I'm even more in awe of Faherty's elegant writing and plotting. I'm especially struck by the way he's playing with time, perspective and memory in these narratives.
I'm also seeing more of the humor, such as this bit from the second in the series, LIVE TO REGRET: "I had looked for clues in poems before in my checkered career, and I found them to be unreliable. It wasn't that I couldn't find what I was looking for; it was that I almost always found it, a circumstance that made me think that poems might be the police informants of literature, telling me anything I wanted to hear." Practically nothing happens in LIVE TO REGRET. The book is all dialogue and contemplation — not for nothing did Kirkus label it "a heady read" — but it's pretty mesmerizing anyway.
In October, I'll be publishing EASTWARD IN EDEN. I'm thrilled by this opportunity. It's a terrific book, and it's a privilege to be to able to continue the run of a series that's already been nominated for two Edgars, an Anthony, a Macavity, a Shamus and a Derringer. That Shamus nomination is a new one, just announced in June for "After Cana," a short story published last year in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine.
EASTWARD IN EDEN takes the series in a new direction, sending Keane to rural Kenya, where he hopes to lose himself where no one will think to look for him. Instead, Keane finds another mystery: the murder of charismatic stranger who claimed to be the reincarnation of a long dead warrior hero.
EASTWARD IN EDEN can be pre-ordered now from any independent bookstore (your friendly local store or online via http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781932325492) or from most of the usual other online sources (powells.com, booksamillion.com or amazon.com).
Find out more about our Owen Keane reissues at www.crumcreekpress.com.