Thursday, December 14, 2006

What Manuel Ramos had to say...

I first met Manuel Ramos in Las Vegas for a Bouchercon held there a few years back. It was my first Bouchercon and my first (non-academic) convention. He came up to me at the end of the first panel I'd ever been on and introduced himself, said we should talk, etc. I, young and foolish as I was, had no idea who he was, but I figured it out before I left Vegas. Of course, as things like this go, there wasn't an opportunity to catch up with him.

Later, I was supposed to be on a panel with him in El Paso, but he couldn't make it. Ah well. Later I interviewed him for CrimeSpree. In doing that, I read all six of his novels and whatever short stories I could find. All the writing is delectable. If you haven't yet read his books you have missed out on some of the smoothest writing in English. Ask Jen Jordan. I'll wait...

Anyhow, I asked Mr. Ramos to take a look at my latest book The Concrete Maze, and he liked it. This is a relief to me. Here is his blurb:

The Concrete Maze is a tough, brutal and disturbing story about lost innocence, a desperate search to avenge a young victim, and the reluctant “hero’s” inevitable acceptance of the notion that sometimes justice has to be imposed – with force. Steven Torres gives his readers a black and white, finely drawn picture of a heinous crime and the emotional aftershocks suffered by the victim’s family. The predators who prowl the Bronx streets in Torres’s book are straight from a dark and terrible nightmare; the victims are young, rebellious thrill-seekers; and the would-be rescuers are everyday people thrust into inhuman chaos. The human toll -- the damage -- is on the page where there is no place or time for soft-peddling. Most of us do not want the world to be this way but we know that Torres got it right. His characters have the kind of texture that connects readers to them at the most basic levels -- pain, anger, frustration. We share their need to act, to strike, because there is no other way of dealing with the terror. These people have only themselves and there cannot be a happy ending in this story but there will be a bloody, violent and scarred resolution. This is fiction that hurts.

Manuel Ramos, Edgar nominated author of
Moony’s Road to Hell


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