Green, Norman 1954–
Green, Norman 1954–
Born 1954, in MA; married.
Shooting Dr. Jack, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2001.
The Angel of Montague Street, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2003.
Way Past Legal, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2004.
Dead Cat Bounce, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2006.
Though Norman Green didn't become a writer until he was forty-three, he has produced several noir thrillers in quick succession. Green's books are known for their likeable yet credible heroes. In a New York Times Book Review assessment of Green's first novel, Shooting Dr. Jack, Dana Kennedy found "such indelible portraits … that the reader is drawn into their world and starts to care about them more than the plot."
In Shooting Dr. Jack, quirky characters Fat Tommy Rosselli and his partner, Stoney, run a Brooklyn junkyard that doubles as a chop-shop; they find dead bodies in the junkyard and befriend prostitutes. According to a contributor in Kirkus Reviews, Green neglects the story's plot in order to paint "a group portrait of despair so deep that getting killed just doesn't seem like that much of a risk." Green's second noir thriller, The Angel of Montague Street, follows a similar pattern. Silvano Iurata, the book's protagonist, is a Buddhist Vietnam veteran who returns to Brooklyn to find his missing brother. A Publishers Weekly reviewer stated that Silvano "may seem like the usual noir hero at war with himself, but Green taps into something larger with his subtle pronouncements about family curses, bad choices, lost souls, mindless violence and redemption."
In Way Past Legal, Manny joins a group of criminals to pull off a million-dollar heist. When one of his partners starts to kill the other burglars, Manny takes the money, as well as his five-year-old son, and runs for it. When Manny's car breaks down in a small town in Maine, strangers take him, and his son, in. While he is in Maine, remarked a contributor in Kirkus Reviews, "what catches Manny off guard, transforming him forever, is how willing he is in the end to exchange kindness for kindness." A Publishers Weekly reviewer reported, however, that "the story takes an unusual detour," and while Green's change in "format is refreshing, [it] might not satisfy his usual audience."
Green's next novel, Dead Cat Bounce, continues the adventures of Fat Tommy Rosselli and Stoney, which kick off when Stoney sets out to trail Mr. Prior, the creepy man his daughter Marisa informs him is now dating Stoney's ex-wife. Stoney learns more than he bargained for when he discovers that Mr. Prior is actually following Marisa, who, unbeknownst to her parents, is working at a strip club. The more he digs into Prior's past, the more dead bodies he finds, until Stoney decides to set up a sting to put Prior out of business. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly wrote that "Green's well-drawn characters and nimble plot lift this above the common run of mysteries." Allison Block, in a contribution for Booklist remarked that Green "delivers crisp prose and a collection of flawed characters navigating the rocky road to redemption."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, May 1, 2004, Connie Fletcher, review of Way Past Legal, p. 1503; August 1, 2006, Allison Block, review of Dead Cat Bounce, p. 50.
Kirkus Reviews, July 15, 2001, review of Shooting Dr. Jack, p. 965; April 1, 2003, review of The Angel of Montague Street, p. 495; April 1, 2004, review of Way Past Legal, p. 301.
New York Times Book Review, October 21, 2001, Dana Kennedy, review of Shooting Dr. Jack, p. 28; May 18, 2003, Marilyn Stasio, review of The Angel of Montague Street, p. 33.
Publishers Weekly, August 6, 2001, review of Shooting Dr. Jack, p. 59; May 19, 2003, review of The Angel of Montague Street, p. 54; April 12, 2004, review of Way Past Legal, p. 36; June 26, 2006, review of Dead Cat Bounce, p. 36.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 21, 2003, Jeremy C. Shea, "Tension Builds in Angel of Montague Street," p. E3.
Books 'n' Bytes,http://www.booksnbytes.com/ (July 1, 2004), interview with Jon Jordan.
HarperCollins,http://www.harpercollins.com/ (July 1, 2004), author biography.