Private Midnight by Kris Saknussemm

Private MidnightPrivate Midnight by Kris Saknussemm

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Detective Birch Ritter. Man, cop, Noir protagonist of Private Midnight.

Once started, this novel feels like a police-procedural, but it’s so much more than that. Multi-layered to begin with, it quickly takes on a dreamlike quality. Loaded with psychosexual tension and noir-metaphors, it’s very easy to read, and even easier to get lost in. Then, towards the end, it takes an even darker turn (if that’s possible); a turn no-one can see coming, yet seems a natural direction when it arrives.

The writing is very fluid, with a unique style that is pure Saknussemm. It’s filled with darkness and light, but the darkness seems darker than it ever is in real life… or is it? That’s for the reader to decide. More like a waking nightmare than anything else, it explores the darkness inherent in everyone. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, and I recommend it highly.


Detective Birch Ritter is a man on the edge of himself. His past is filled with secrets, shadows, guilt, and ghosts. Then a dubious police buddy he hasn’t seen in a year introduces him to a mysterious woman who says her business is shadows. What she knows about what lies between the darkness and the light inside men is more than Ritter may want to find out, and much more than he can resist learning. It’s said that to try to forget is to try to conceal, and concealing evidence is a crime. But maybe revelation is another kind of crime-against nature.

Kris Saknussemm, the widely acclaimed author of the sci-fi smash Zanesville, now delves into another genre, and another world-a world where even the sunlight is shadowy and where deviancy is the norm. Private Midnight is a journey into the seedy, sexy, underbelly of life-crime noir for a new generation.


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