Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A City Born of Fiction by Javier Marquez Sanchez

A City Born for Fiction, a Guest Post by Javier Márquez Sánchez

The Mafia took the small mining town of Las Vegas and made it a heaven of fun and crime. For three decades,  especially between 1949 and 1965, Las Vegas was a city whose chronicles could beat any noir story. The biggest Hollywood stars, the great industrial tycoons, the most influential politicians and the most dangerous mobsters stayed at the city’s many luxurious hotels. The most powerful men and most desirable women met there. It’s no coincidence that the phrase "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" was created in those days. It was the playground of America. And for years there was a kind of tacit agreement between them all. Until the arrival of the Kennedys, John and Robert, the Mafia worked in full freedom in Sin City.

Writing a crime novel set in Las Vegas in the 1950s is both a pleasure and a challenge. There are many stories and real characters that can enrich a fictional plot, and make it much more interesting. But there is also the danger of being carried away by the legend of the city itself, and end up writing a series of anecdotes without letting the protagonist catch the reader. The history and myth of Las Vegas is so powerful that it can devour anything or anyone trying to take advantage of it, if you don't do it well.

Lethal as a Charlie Parker Solo, out now from 280 Steps, is a noir novel about a problem solver in 1950s Las Vegas, combining real history and fiction. Javier Márquez Sánchez (born 1978 in Seville, Spain) is Editor in Chief of the Spanish edition of Forbes. He has been Editor in Chief of the Spanish edition of Esquire Magazine and Deputy Director of Cambio16, and has written several novels, short stories collections and non-fiction books on film and music. Sometimes he plays music with his two bands, Rock & Books and The Last Drink. Lethal as a Charlie Parker Solo is his first novel being translated into English. 

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