“The Long Dance” Podcast Review

Like most podcast listeners way back in 2014, I couldn’t get enough of Serial. I wasn’t quite as taken by Serial’s second season, but plenty of other true crime options started popping up in my feed. A couple of all-time favorites include Dirty John and S-Town.

My favorite new true crime podcast is The Long Dance. Here’s a description of the 8-part series from the show’s website:

A disclaimer before we begin. One of the show’s creators, Eryk Pruitt, is a friend of mine from the Indie crime fiction community. You’ll also hear my voice at the beginning of each episode because Mr. Pruitt and his team were kind enough to let us promote our crime, mystery and thriller fiction podcast, Writer Types, with a quick ad. If all of that will keep you from taking this review seriously, stop reading now—but definitely don’t let it stop you from checking out Episode 1 of The Long Dance. I have a feeling you’ll be hooked, just like I was.

Which brings us to my review…

Producing a podcast about an unsolved 46-year-old double homicide seems like a tricky business. Not only is the evidence old or missing, but many of the people you’d naturally want to interview have long since shuffled off this mortal coil. This includes everybody from law enforcement officials, witnesses and suspects, to family and friends connected with the victims. So it’s really impressive that Pruitt (pictured at left), Adamek (pictured below) and Kessler manage to weave a captivating tale despite the many roadblocks built up by the sands of time. Even more impressive is their ability to pull the story into the present by essentially re-opening the cold case themselves. In many ways, their dogged persistence is the real engine that moves this gripping story forward.

This mostly works because of the professional relationship Pruitt and Adamek developed with Major Tim Horne of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. If this story was one of Pruitt’s dark rural noir novels, Horne’s thorough approach, cautious optimism, and even-keeled demeanor would almost be clichéd—which makes him that much more engaging as the de facto third narrator of the series. That alone is worth investing 8 hours of your podcast-listening time, but it’s not even my favorite part of this series.

The main thing that kept me bingeing The Long Dance over the course of a couple of days was the well-developed sense of time and place. Durham, North Carolina is not the town it was 46 years ago, and neither are the people most affected by the Mann/McBane murders. Many of the interviews included in the series highlight how the world moves on, even from something as heinous as the brutal murders of a young couple. It’s possible to listen to The Long Dance as a straight true crime narrative and you definitely will not be disappointed, but the real triumph of this podcast is the way it showcases the pain, regret and anger that lives on inside the people touched by this almost forgotten tragedy.

Highly recommended.

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S.W. Lauden is the Anthony Award-nominated author of the Tommy & Shayna novella, CROSSWISE, and the sequel, CROSSED BONES. His Greg Salem punk rock P.I. series includes BAD CITIZEN CORPORATIONGRIZZLY SEASON and HANG TIME. He is also the co-host of the Writer Types crime, mystery and thriller podcast. Steve lives in Los Angeles.

“Dü You Remember?” Podcast Review

I was stoked when I heard about The Current’s Husker Dü documentary podcast—and then totally forgot about it. Ironic considering the title of the series. Although, it might be more accurate to say that I wasn’t ready to listen.

“Dü You Remember?” includes 5 episodes that originally coincided with the release of the excellent Savage Young Dü box set from Numero Group. Unfortunately, it also served as a heart-felt farewell to talented songwriter/drummer/artist Grant Hart who died in September of last year—a month before the release. So as excited as I was about listening to the podcast, I just couldn’t get myself to dive in. That all changed when the algorithm gods gave me a much-needed kick in the ass last week. The timing was perfect.

I recently played on two songs for a friend’s new album, the first recordings I’ve done in a few years. It got me thinking about my long relationship with drumming and the people who inspired me along the way. The long list includes everybody from John Bonham, Charlie Watts and Keith Moon to Bun E. Carlos, D.J. Bonebrake and Alan Myers. And, of course, Grant Hart. I’ve long found it hard to describe Hart’s drumming, but I’ve never heard another drummer play with the same combination of intensity, style and outright musicality. He was also one of the most gifted songwriters of his generation, right up there with his bandmate Bob Mould.

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Pub Day For “Crossed Bones”

My second Tommy & Shayna Crime Caper is available TODAY thanks to the nice people at Down & Out Books!

And the reviews are starting to come in. Here’s what Dan Malmon over at Crimespree Magazine had to say about CROSSED BONES:

“Lauden is clearly playing with every trope in the drawer with this series of novellas. With every nod, wink, and smile that he sends through the page to the reader, you know he’s having an absolute blast with this series.”

Sounds about right. Please check out that review and click right HERE to check out CROSSED BONES on Amazon.

S.W. Lauden is the author of the Greg Salem punk rock P.I. series including BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION and GRIZZLY SEASON (Rare Bird Books). His Tommy & Shayna Crime Caper novellas include CROSSWISE and CROSSED BONES (Down & Out Books). He is also the co-host of the Writer Types podcast. Steve lives in Los Angeles.

Dead End Follies Review Of “Grizzly Season”

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“GRIZZLY SEASON isn’t a novel about the drug trade. It is a novel about American drug paranoia. Magnus Ursus is a boogeyman hellbent on either indoctrinating young minds or destroying them with his new, demented, hypertoxic drug. He inspires the kind of terror that keeps concerned mothers up at night. He’s a cult leader, a slave-owner and a smut dealer all at once. How many times have I told you a novel can only be as great as its antagonist? Grizzly Season is another example. Magnus Ursus and the suspended, nightmare reality he seems to live in make the novel successful.” FULL REVIEW.

“Grizzly Season” Now Available For Pre-Order

Grizzly Season Front CoverThe second Greg Salem mystery, GRIZZLY SEASON, is now available for pre-order. I’m thrilled to kick this eagle (bear?) from the nest and into the vicious world. I hope some of you will find a nice home for it. Info HERE.

“Hard-edged with a deft eye and ear portraying the stone cold graspers hustling for their illicit piece of the illusory rainbow, S.W. Lauden delivers the delicious jagged goods in Grizzly Season.”
Gary Phillips, author of 3 the Hard Way

“Lauden’s new novel is wired with promises and threats that anything just might happen, and then it does—again and again. The furious pace never lets up. By the end you’ll be bruised by the ferocious beauty of Grizzly Season.”
Joseph Di Prisco, author of The Alzhammer and The Pope of Brooklyn

My First Official Review

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The nice people over at My Bookish Ways have come in with the first official review of BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION. I couldn’t be more thrilled.

“In the end, I want more Greg Salem. I want to find out about a few of the other mysteries in his life and I definitely want to see his Los Angeles again. I especially want to see him kick ass on stage a few more times. I’m absolutely psyched to see what Lauden has next (we should be seeing more very soon from Down & Out Books, if I remember correctly). He’s a talent out of the west coast to watch for.”—Angel Colon

S.W. Lauden’s short fiction has been accepted for publication by Out of the Gutter, Criminal Element, Dark Corners, Dead Guns Magazine, Akashic Books, WeirdBook, Spelk Fiction, Shotgun Honey and Crimespree Magazine. His debut novel, BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION, will be published by Rare Bird Books on November 3, 2015. His novella, CROSSWISE, will be published by Down & Out Books in 2016.