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DARE ME – Megan Abbott Dares You To Read Her New Novel
Megan Abbott is widely considered one of the best active writers, and there’s good reason for that: she is. Having written a string of instant noir classics including The Song Is You and Queenpin, she should be on your radar if she isn’t already. Between getting called the Queen of Noir, and the next James Ellroy, it’s probably about time that she was given some sort of ultimate literary prize, or something, like, I dunno… Hulk Gloves? That’s what writers like, yeah?
Anyway, there really isn’t any reason why you shouldn’t be getting out there and fiendishly devouring all of Ms. Abbott’s books, the latest of which, the just-released Dare Me, has just hit shelves. The New York Daily News caught up with Abbott to discuss the new book, and she talked a bit about how she came to write crime fiction in the first place, describing herself as having “fell into this world of crime fiction” after growing up on a diet of classics like Double Indemnity and having a childhood crush on James Cagney (although, upon hearing about that crush, I do feel a little like Jason Bateman on Arrested Development, “Really? Him?” – although, this is coming from the guy who still has a crush on Gadget from Rescue Rangers).
Abbott talks up her new book, which sounds like a doozy – Dare Me is about a high school cheerleading squad that, through the magic of peer pressure and pressure for perfection, manages to get involved in a man’s death. It’s described as Fight Club for cheerleading, which is one of those things that I didn’t realise I needed until I heard it described. Unlike Abbott’s previous books, often set earlier last century, in noir’s heyday, this one is set in the here-and-now, with Abbott saying she felt she needed to make the change as she “was writing too much mid-century noir.” I can’t imagine that’s true, but anything from Abbott has “buy on sight” approval from me. And, having been lucky enough to see Ms. Abbott do a reading from this book earlier in the year, I know this one is the goods.
Hell, my mum was at the reading, and is still talking about it months later, asking when this thing is coming out, and me and my mum only really share taste when it comes to delicious food, generally. I suppose it’s better than her nagging me about my lack of candor and reckless Swarovski Crystal addiction. I better start saving for some Hulk Gloves.
Dare Me is currently in all good bookstores that haven’t been overrun by throngs of foam-mouthed readers eager to consume multiple copies at once to satiate their cursed thirst for quality literature with a crime bent.