Geschrieben am 2. Februar 2020 von für Crimemag, CrimeMag Februar 2020

James Grady: Our Year of the Beast

James Grady

2019 is the year crime exploded our imaginations.

            A year where „trustable“ newspapers‘ headlines read like mashups of Orwell and YouTube, „Blade Runner“ and „The Godfather“, „Mr. Robot“ and „Condor“, while we all struggle to be more than a data click.

            Marvel at this year’s data.

            Oil companies helping murder the planet their grandchildren need. Squads of killer cops roaming a country celebrated for sensuous sambas of love. Squads of killer cops roaming a dozen other countries. Bullies (finally) popped like balloons by brave women’s bullets. „Respectable“ banks from Panama to Switzerland to Las Vegas legally sheltering narcos and tax cheats from badges of justice. Mass shootings by machine-gunners of madness. Every day.

            Melting, melting like witches hit with water, like the arctic ice of Howard Hawks‚ 1951 „The Thing From Another World“, we’re all melting, yet this year’s hero of our fight for global survival was a teenage refugee from a Disney movie.   

            Streams of surreal blowing in the winds of government corruption and clashes of cash clans as secret agents steal elections and seduce citizens with Facebook posts and tweets.

            New roles for cultural icons emerged this year. Suspicious billionaires became cool. Peace heroes linked to genocide. The Heads Of The (legendary) Free World took over noir movie roles as psycho mobsters.

            We don’t have to talk about this year’s ordinary serial murderers, rapists, thieves and scoundrels who steal from the poor to stay rich.

            Or that stray bullet with your brains on it.

            All while, like in a Bond, James Bond movie, sitting at this year’s power table sits a Russian flexing his fingers with a cold smile.

            Into 2019’s restaurant often strolled an atom bomb packing Korean Supreme Leader or China’s suits & ties crew who insist. Came, too, a handful of smart men and women leaders, but they were barely heard above the café’s clatter and roar. 

            And always, always there are the Americans: Who are they now?

            2019 was the year crime won and won again, William Butler Yeats’s rough, spread-wide bear paws beast roaring: „Now is my hour!“   

            Could you have imagined all that we’ve just seen?

            It’s hard to write crime fiction when crime is so real.

            We yearn for the rise of redemption. For time to write a hero true.

            Maybe to get to then, we have to go through now.

            Like a train whistling through the darkness.    

James Grady’s first novel Six Days Of The Condor became the iconic Robert Redford movie Three Days Of the Condor and inspired the Soviet Union’s KGB espionage octopus to create a secret 2,000 man spy agency to mimic what Condor did, complete with a phony cover name on a brass plaque at the front door of the spy group’s Moscow headquarters. Grady’s gone on to write more than dozen crime, espionage and thriller novels, three times that many short stories, and work as a muckraking investigative reporter in Washington, D.C. after Watergate. 
James Grady in Deutschland: Die letzten Tage des Condor. Bei CrimeMag hier: Interview mit Sonja Hartl: „Eigentlich war Condor niemals weg“
Anne Kuhlmeyer: Ver-rückt? Eine Frage der Perspektive.
Alf Mayer: Notizen vom täglichen Wahnsinn.

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