Not to mention comedian and Paul D. Brazill impersonator, Will Durst goes with my lifetime favorite.
There's also Joan Chen...
...and let's face it, who cares what the others have to say, when you have Joan Chen? They should've devoted the article solely to her. So my recommendations for you? I'll keep it simple because I'm not a reviewer by any stretch of the imagination.
"Jack Wakes Up." Remember when Quentin Tarantino and John Woo were firing on all cylinders? Well Seth Harwood has all of that in spades. One of the best parts of this book, is that the protagonist, Jack Palms, often doesn't know what he is doing or what he is going to do next. He's purely reactive and damn it, that's perfect. Even though he is a former actor, he is real by virtue of how deals with each situation.
"Spade And Archer?" I thought that Joe Gores would nail Hammett's prose, the way that he had done previously in novels and one screenplay. I believe that he didn't try as hard as he could and maybe he didn't want the audience reading this book exactly the way they would read Dashiell.
That being said, this was a good book that while not as crisp as Hammett, is a very satisfying novel. The shadow of the real Thin Man or not, Gores does a brilliant job of creating Sam Spade's back story (don't make me use the word, "prequel") and it is a must read.
Connelly's back, 'nuff said.
Mister Bruen does what few can, he can make you empathize with a psychopath (not the psychopath's actions). He has a prose that is unrivaled and literally like no other. He doesn't write books for the cozy set and by God, who wants that? Crime is not white gloves, tea, cucumber sandwiches, crumpets, and china. It's raw as a blood-red steak on a rusty tin plate, with a chaser of Jameson's in a glass that has never seen water nor soap.
"Hammett gave murder back to the kind of people that commit it for reasons, not just to provide a corpse; and with the means at hand, not hand-wrought dueling pistols, curare and tropical fish."