Bay Area-raised novelist Kris Saknussemm has never met a genre he didn’t want to bend.
His first novel, Zanesville, was an amusement park of a near-future satire (imagine George Saunders on a human growth hormone) – science fiction with big, cartoonish twists. Saknussemm targets the noir genre in his second novel, Private Midnight, which Publishers Weekly describes in a starred review as “Ellroy meets David Lynch in this addictive mix of noir and supernatural horror.” Like many noir thrillers, it’s simply a story of boy meets girl. In this case, the boy is a hard-boiled detective who’s investigating a crime that’s more than meets the eye. The girl is someone who knows more about the crime than she lets on.
But that’s where the genre conventions end. Soon, aforementioned girl is drawing the detective into a surreal, erotic, and occasionally grotesque world of bondage and fetishism that would make the regulars at The Power Exchange or Bondage A Go-Go blush.