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False Negative (Hard Case Crime #107)

3.23 of 5 stars 3.23  ·  rating details  ·  94 ratings  ·  24 reviews
Adam Jordan wrote the best and worst articles of his journalistic career on the same day. The worst was bad enough to get him fired - but the best landed him a new job, penning lurid articles for Real Detective magazine, one of the last of the true-crime pulps.

Only the case they've got him working on, involving a beauty pageant contestant found dead on an Atlantic City bea
...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published June 5th 2012 by Hard Case Crime (first published January 1st 2012)
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Grifter's Game by Lawrence BlockFade To Blonde by Max PhillipsTop of The Heap by A.A. FairLittle Girl Lost by Richard AleasTwo for the Money by Max Allan Collins
Hard Case Crime
74th out of 80 books — 1 voter
The Big Sleep by Raymond ChandlerThe Maltese Falcon by Dashiell HammettThe Long Goodbye by Raymond ChandlerFarewell, My Lovely by Raymond ChandlerThe Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain
Best Noir
456th out of 463 books — 525 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 257)
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Dan Schwent
Reporter Adam Jordan is fired for filing a false story but lands on his feet writing for Real Detective Magazine. When a beauty contestant is found murdered on the beach, Adam starts investigating. But will what he finds be worth dying for?

Like a few other reviewers have already mentioned, this book had all the winning ingredients. The writing was superb, the lead character a likeable scoundrel, and beauties turning up missing is a compelling tale. So why only a 2? I felt like something was miss
...more
Kemper
Adam Jordan is a jazz loving newspaper reporter in Atlantic City during the 1950s who hopes to write the great American novel in his spare time. Unfortunately, Jordan must have gone to the same journalism school that Stephen Glass and Jayson Blair did. One shortcut leads to a humiliating mistake that gets him fired and guarantees he won’t be hired by any reputable paper.

Jordan’s crime reporting has gotten the attention of the editor of a pulp true crime magazine. Jordan finds himself chasing lur
...more
Josh
Adam Jordan is a newspaperman renowned for his ability to report the facts and pump out print in quick fashion. His job revolves around crime as a spectator after the event until a beauty queen is found murdered followed by a succession of others. Retiring the pen and pad for a slice of the detective life, Jordan soon learns that crime is everywhere and can be committed anyone – even those close to you.

FALSE NEGATIVE is a delicious pulp. It’s got the PI angle wrapped up without actually being ab
...more
Hugh McBride
Everything about this novel - from the writer/scandal mag editor/amateur detective lead to the supporting characters, the general plot direction, and the overall tone - should have left me panting for more & rushing to Goodreads to post a 5-star review.

Should have.

Haven't been able to put my finger on exactly why yet, but False Negative is a case of the whole being a bit less than the sum of its parts. I was interested in what happened to Adam Jordan, Cherise, & the other inhabitants of
...more
Sarah
"False Negative" is what happens when you give 100 monkeys 100 bottles of whiskey and 100 half-working typewriters.

I mean, it is bad. It is so bad you could use it to teach a college-level course on how not to write a novel. It packs so much lousiness in 200-odd pages that I'm almost impressed. Almost.

I guess the first thing that should've tipped me off was the cover banner reading "Joseph Koenig's First New Book in 20 Years!" Clearly there was a reason the publishing world hadn't been beating d
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Tim Niland
Adam Jordan is a type-A newspaper reporter working for an Atlantic City daily in the spring of 1953. When he gets called out by his newspaper for badly botching a story, he is fired, only to have an unlikely angel tome to his rescue. He is hired on to write for True Detective magazine, a pulp publication that takes lurid murder stories turns them into magazine copy. Adam has some pretty good stories building - beauty contestants are dying on the Jersey Shore at an alarming rate, and Jordan is ma ...more
Steve
On the face of it (and not just counting the cover), this should have been a book that really worked for me. A journalist writes a story that gets him fired, and he turns to writing for the True Crime pulps. Naturally for a novel, this gets him involved in solving some murders, and he ends up editing the murder magazine. I liked the situation (and the cover) plenty, for for some reason the book never came together for me. The book lacks a narrative pull, there's very little tension in it, and th ...more
John
Atlantic City newsman Adam Jordan, fired for filing stock copy about a politician's speech only to discover next morning the politician died of a heart attack before delivering it, takes a job writing for and eventually editing the true-crime pulp Real Detective Magazine. Before he moves to NYC and the editorial chair, however, he becomes intrigued by the case of a beauty queen found strangled on the beach. Investigating with the help of elfin photographer Pix Pixley, Jordan probes among shady a ...more
Jason Seaver
A quick-reading but leisurely pulp, featuring a protagonist who goes from newspaper reporter to true-crime writer and doesn't so much get involved in murders as finds himself becoming addicted to the idea of crime. It's got more than a few moments when it seems to wallow in nostalgia - set in the 1950s, it loves the trashy magazines of that era and early jazz of a previous one almost aggressively, and while it doesn't sanitize the era, it makes darn sure that the reader understands that the writ ...more
John
Adam Jordan is a disgraced police reporter for the Atlantic City Press. After coming across the corpse of an aspiring Miss America, he finds a new outlet for his writing talent: Real Detective, a true crime magazine in New York. The pulp format is on its last legs and it’s a far cry from the literary establishment that fills his dreams, but the pay is good and it’s the only rag that will publish him. While covering the murder and various other heinous crimes in the region for the magazine, more ...more
DeAnna Knippling
Solid and readable. Journalist gets booted off his paper for getting caught out in a lazy trick that everyone uses, ends up writing for the real-detective pulps and trying to solve cases in order to make more dough. A series of murders across the Jersey shore. Satisfying ending.
John Pringle
False Negative is one of the best novels Hard Case Crime has published in recent years and much like his chief character Adam Jordan, author Joseph Koenig shows his talents as a literary stylist. Julie Elliott of Library Journal summed this book up very nicely when she commented: “The snappy, fast-paced story follows the traditional hard-boiled style one comes to expect from this publisher, and Koenig’s characters, sense of place, and turns of phrase make the novel stand out.” Koenig writes with ...more
Adam
Not bad. it inspired me to write my own short story. The ending was ok.
Mary Kay
The cover of this "true detective" mystery is pretty lurid.
Solitairerose
As many folks have said, this was a novel I wanted to like. It is set in the world of "True Crime" pulp magazines of the 50's, and has a great start that sets up what should be a crackling plot. But, around the halfway point, it loses focus, and the last two chapters simply don't work.

Easily one of the lesser from Hard Case Crime, which is a shame.
Jure
This guy Koenig must be some kind of genius to be able to picture such a vivid picture of the period before he was even born. I’m definitely putting all of his stuff on the top of my to-do list.

More here (warning, it includes spoilers):
http://a60books.blogspot.ie/2012/06/f...
Noah Budarf
The main character of the book is a crime fiction writer. He talks a lot about what his readers want to see, which as it turns out is a lot of sex and violence. He then proceeds to put all that in the actual book. I suppose this is a critique on me (completely accurate of course).
Vermont Ferret
Nicely written in the hard-boiled style, but pretty predictable. In fact, there seemed to be little effort made to keep you guessing. Nice cover, but the pose was heavily borrowed from Dave Stevens' ROCKETEER panel of Bettie.
Jay Matthews
I enjoy the Hard Case Crime series, but this one was a waste of time. The characters meander through it, treading water until the next murder. I did appreciate the setting - 1953 crime pulp magazine industry.
Henry Gutbub
This book was awesome. Not nearly as predictable as all the garbage on tv and in the movies of today. I went to the library, and picked up two more books. I highly recommend it.
John McKenna
This one has more twists and turns than a whole boxful of antique corkscrews !! Great fun reading!
Jnagle4
An OK thriller. Probably my least favorite Hard Case novel.
Jeffrey Cavanaugh
A fun dive into hard-boiled crime fiction.
Phil Lancaster
Another pulp gem from Hard Case Crime
Rin
Rin marked it as to-read
Dec 28, 2014
Peter
Peter marked it as to-read
Dec 08, 2014
Almeta
Almeta marked it as to-read
Nov 23, 2014
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Joseph Koenig is an author of hard-boiled fiction. A former crime reporter, he won critical acclaim and an Edgar nomination for his first novel, Floater (1986), a grimly violent story of con men, cops, and killers in the Florida Everglades. His next two novels were Little Odessa (1988), a darkly comic tale of life in New York’s Ukrainian underworld, and Smugglers Notch (1989), a story of brutal mu ...more
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