Thursday, June 5, 2014

Behind the Title: Dialogues of a Crime by John K. Manos + Giveaway! (US/Can only!)

Dialogues of a Crime
John K. Manos

In this crime drama, Michael Pollitz must decide whether to protect the mobster who has protected him.

When Mike, a college student in 1972 Illinois, is arrested on drug charges, his father insists he use a public defender. His childhood friend’s father, Dom Calabria, head of the Outfit in Chicago, wants to help Mike by providing a first-rate lawyer, but Mike goes with his father’s wishes. The outcome is a plea bargain for a short stay in Astoria Adult Correctional Facility—but after he’s brutally beaten and raped by three inmates, Mike spends most of his sentence in the infirmary. He doesn’t give up his assailants’ names but threatens their lives right before he’s set to be released. When Mike is picked up by the head of the mob, people notice.

Flash forward to 1994, when Detective Larry Klinger begins investigating the murders of two former Astoria inmates who were violently killed shortly after being released. An informant—the third man who beat Mike—tells Klinger that the murders were committed by Calabria, the kingpin whom Klinger would like to see taken down. Klinger investigates, coming in contact with Mike, and the two form a friendship. When Klinger realizes that Mike will never give up Calabria, he begins to wonder whether it’s even worth investigating the murders of such evil men.

How I Came Up with the Title for Dialogues of a Crime

I have been asked from time to time about the title of my book, Dialogues of a Crime. In reality, the novel was well underway before I settled on the title, because I hoped to express all of the ambiguity that underpins the book’s themes in its title.

The “dialogues” portion came in part from the book’s origin; I began the book as a writing experiment, to see if I could effectively tell a complex story solely with dialogue. But I didn’t want to write a play or screenplay. More importantly, it also came from the fact that the book has to involve a great deal of dialogue in order to underscore the moral ambiguity that is alluded to in the title, in the singular phrase, “a crime.”

The book involves several crimes, and the actual number depends on how the reader perceives the nature of justice and punishment, the motivations of perpetrators, victims and the law-enforcement apparatus, and on and on. In addition, the ambiguous title suggests that the book will be a mystery, a suspense story, a police procedural, or some other crime-related genre, but it is none of those despite including elements from them all. And the moment the title entered my mind, it felt perfect to me: Dialogues of a Crime. Implicit in the simple title is every question the novel attempts to address.

About the Author

John K. Manos was a magazine editor in Chicago for 20 years. Since 2001, he has earned his living as a writer, editor, and occasional musician.

He is a graduate of Knox College. Dialogues of a Crime is his first novel. 


Books à la Mode is giving away
 one finished print copy of Dialogues of a Crime—yay!! To enter, all you have to do is answer John's question:

Do you think there is more or less violent crime in America today than in the 1990's?
Please make your comment MEANINGFUL. Comments solely consisting of stock responses or irrelevant fluff like "Thanks for the giveaway!" will not be considered for entry. John and I really want to hear from you guys! :)

Don't forget the entry eligibility terms and conditions!
Sponsored wholly by the tour publicist and publisher—a huge thank you to TLC Book Tours and Amika Press!
Giveaway ends June 19th at 11.59 PM (your time).
Open to US/Can residents only—sorry, everyone else! Check out my sidebar for a list of currently running giveaways that are open worldwide—there are plenty to choose from!
Void where prohibited.
Winners have 48 hours to claim their prize once they are chosen, or else their winnings will be forfeited.
Although I do randomly select winners, I am in no way responsible for prizes, nor for shipping and handling.
As a reminder, you do not have to follow my blog to enter, though it is always very much appreciated ❤
Good luck!