Geek Book Review: False Negative by Joseph Koenig

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Between 1986 and 1993, Joseph Koenig wrote many of his greatest novels such as: “Floater”, “Little Odessa”, “Smuggler’s Notch”, and “Brides of Blood”. After 1993 however, Joseph Koenig disapeared with out any reason. Now he’s back, nearly twenty years later, to fill that mystery void in your life with his book “False Negative”. Here is a synopsis:

Adam Jordan wrote the best and worst articles of his journalistic career on the same day. The worst was bad enough to get him fired – but the best landed him a new job, penning lurid articles for Real Detective magazine, one of the last of the true-crime pulps.

Only the case they’ve got him working on, involving a beauty pageant contestant found dead on an Atlantic City beach, is one some very powerful men would rather see covered up than covered. And if Adam keeps digging, he may find he’s digging his own grave…

The character of Adam Jordan writes for a mystery crime pulp magazine and I believe this lends to the story’s realisim being that Koenig himself wrote for the mystery pulps before he started writing his own novels. “False Negative” takes a good hard look at the world of cents-per-word writing and comes back with a great side story that helps keep things moving along.

“Real Detective isn’t in the business of changing anyone’s thinking,” Jordan’s editor admonishes him, “Our readers want confirmation that the world is a dangerous place for decent, narrow-minded white men and women like themselves. There’s fewer of them for each issue. They’re dying off, and we can’t replace them because their children would rather watch TV than read.”

Adam Jordan finds himself investigating grizzly murders to report on by day and write about in Real Detective by night. Reporting and writing about these stories gets Adam into hot water with a group of people who would rather these stories just die like the people who get in their way. With a mystery novel like this you will get more than your money’s worth.

Overall, “False Negative” is a great mystery story that shows us a different view of the 1950’s, laced with sex, drugs, and murder. If you like any of the mystery novels that I have reviewed or if you want to read a novel by one of the greats, check out “False Negative” see what the world of cents-per-word writing was really like.

About Jesse (The Pen of Doom)

A small time blogger with big time dreams and a love for everything geek.
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