In this second installment in the acclaimed BLACK series, Artemus Black, Hollywood PI to the stars, dives into the rap music scene to stop a killer - with often disastrous and humorous results. Fans of hard-boiled detective fiction from Elmore Leonard, Michael Connelly and Lawrence Block will enjoy Black's trials and tribulations, all delivered with a tongue-in-cheek cynicism that's uniquely Russell Blake.
Q&A with Russell Blake
Q: Another BLACK novel. How is this different than the first in the series, BLACK?
RB: Part of my goal in penning these tomes is to poke fun at the entertainment industry. In the first one, the film industry, in this, the rap music industry. In the forthcoming installment, I'll skewer the modeling biz, and then reality TV. It's probably just the people I know and my sense of humor, but I find the self-importance and hypocrisy in show biz worthy of mockery, and delight in doing so. So different set of circumstances, different mystery, and more character development of Black and his entourage.
Q: Aren't you worried about offending anyone with these books?
RB: Offending? Not in the least. After 23 novels, I've found that there will always be someone who is offended by whatever you put out, someone who will always hate it and rate it terribly or who has an axe to grind, so you can't worry about it. These novels are actually easier because I'm pretty sure who they'll offend, so at least there's some precision to it.
Q: How much more BLACK to do you see in your future?
RB: I could keep writing these forever. I'll probably slow production to one a year after the first three or four, because I have to be in a very specific mood to write em - completely different than, say, when I write an adventure thriller or one of my Assassin or JET novels. I have to be smirking and feeling snarky and amused by the folly of my fellow man, and that requires that I have some time to follow the news and popular culture. Which I have little of, mostly due to my production schedule. So I'll write em as they come to me, and God help us all.