The noir genre is a part of the urban experience.
Every city has its ghosts, its legends, its fantastic stories. Let’s be honest: many of those stories are grimmer than the visitor’s bureau would like you to believe. We think that the crime and intrigue in a city reveal much more about that city’s place in the imagination than firsts, glories, and accomplishments.
Using noir to learn about a city has a long history. Edgar Allan Poe explored the dark side of Paris in 1851 The Murders in the Rue Morgue, and the San Francisco of Dashiell Hammett’s 1939 novel The Maltese Falcon and the Kowloon of Ridley Scott’s 1982 film Blade Runner are part of the same lineage.
For Dead Drop Noir, we chose Charles Willeford’s 1956 Wild Wives for two reasons. First, Willeford’s novels “transcend the genre” – they’re rife with the conventions of pulp crime, but they also hint at the dark fascinations and sociopolitical currents of the time. Second, they’re out of copyright – an important consideration, since we rewrote parts of the book so that each part leads to the next.