Raymond Chandler Noir with a Supernatural Twist
Newly released by Crystal Lake Publishing is Douglas Wynne’s latest novella, The Wind in My Heart, a hardboiled detective crime noir story, steeped heavily in Tibetan Buddhism and with a hint of the supernatural. In his almost ten-year career as a writer, Wynne has straddled a variety of genres, trying his hand at thrillers, crime drama, dark fantasy, but rarely straying too far from his horror roots. The Wind in My Heart reflects his penchant for combining genres to produce something truly unique, resulting in a book that defies definition.
Miles Landry is a down on his luck PI, short on clients and even shorter on cash. Struggling to move on from his troubled past, and make ends meet, he reluctantly accepts a job from an aging Buddhist monk that may be the strangest case of his career.
The streets of New York City are being terrorized by a killer known only as the Chinatown Monster. His client believes that the killer may be the current reincarnation of a troubled former student. Landry is sceptical, but agrees to take the case, but the deeper he digs the less his rational mind can explain, and to solve the case he will need to open his mind to strange and disturbing possibilities before the body count rises.
The Wind in My Heart is a difficult book to review because I have honestly never read anything quite like it before. The crime noir influences of writers like Raymond Chandler and James M. Cain are worn proudly on its sleeve, and religious imagery and historical background on Buddhist history feature heavily and are a constant presence throughout. It makes for an interesting pairing, one that I thought worked exceptionally well, for the most part, barring odd moments where the pacing is brought down slightly with overlong detail and trivia on Buddhism and Tibetan history. More often than not, it enlightens and enriches the story, but it does overstep once or twice.
It plays its cards very close to its chest in regards to the supernatural element. It is explicitly stated early on that the murders that serve as the story’s catalyst may have a paranormal perpetrator, but the truth of this is only hinted at throughout, until the final pages when all is finally revealed and I very much enjoyed the mystery this presented. The main character, Landry, is given an interesting backstory, enough to set him apart from the huge list of literature’s supernatural detectives, but I never felt we really got a chance to get to know what makes him tick. I do think the stakes could have been lifted if we’d had more focus on his thoughts and less on his actions.
A genre-bending, gritty tale weaving seemingly disparate themes of Tibetan mysticism with the tropes of the classic detective noir to deliver something unique to appeal to horror and crime fans alike. Regardless of which camp you fall into, I can safely say you have never read anything quite like The Wind in My Heart
The Wind In My Heart by Douglas Wynne
Amazon.com Price: $3.99 (as of 04/11/2021 01:58 PST- Details) Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
The police attribute the killings to Chinatown gang warfare. Miles–skeptical of the supernatural–is inclined to agree. But what if the monster he’s hunting is more than a myth?
DescriptionMiles Landry is trying to put violence behind him when he takes up work as a private detective focused on humdrum adultery cases. But when a Tibetan monk hires him to find a missing person, things get weird fast. Charged with tracking down the reincarnation of a man possessed by a demonic guardian from the Tibetan Book of the Dead, Miles is plunged into a world of fortune-tellers, gangsters, and tantric rituals. The year is 1991 and a series of grisly murders has rocked New York City in the run up to a visit from the Dalai Lama. The police attribute the killings to Chinatown gang warfare. Miles–skeptical of the supernatural–is inclined to agree. But what if the monster he’s hunting is more than a myth?
Curation Results: The Wind In My Heart