Meanwhile, Elba is one of the stars of the heist flick Takers, which opens Aug. 27. He also will be appearing in four episodes of Showtime's comedy/drama The Big C as a love interest of Laura Linney's cancer-stricken character.
Meanwhile, Elba is one of the stars of the heist flick Takers, which opens Aug. 27. He also will be appearing in four episodes of Showtime's comedy/drama The Big C as a love interest of Laura Linney's cancer-stricken character.
Of course, I registered myself, my husband and my brother-in-law Peter about two years ago, but there is still time to sign up for Bouchercon, which will be Oct. 14-17.
And San Francisco offers so much fodder for wonderful novels and movies.
So, this will be a regular/irregular feature that will continue until Bouchercon starts. By that I mean, I will write these posts when I feel like it.
So, first up, let's look at short stories collections.
She is continuing her book tour for her latest Rizzoli & Isles novel Ice Cold (called The Killing Place in the U.K.) and, of course, planning her next novel.
We caught up with her to ask her a few questions about the TNT series, starring Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander.
A: It's all in the attitude. Harmon has the character of Jane nailed down pat. If she weren't so gorgeous, she would be exactly as I created her. The TV persona of Maura has been altered for TV purposes, something that I can understand. In the books, both women are pretty intense, and Maura is a moody, introspective character. That
A: It is weird, continuing on with the books as I've created them, while a parallel universe spins out on TV. I'm trying to stay true to my books, because these are the characters I started off with, and to change them based on TV's influence would be too weird at this point!
Q: Aside from the characters and plot, what is your favorite detail in the TV series?
A: I love their casting choices. Bruce McGill is brilliant, and Lee Thompson Young has a real intensity as Frost. Also, I'm utterly nuts about the theme music they play during the titles. Since I'm a celtic music fan (I play the fiddle) it was such a thrill to hear that jig played for the first time!
Q: This isn’t your first time having your work make it to the screen. You co-wrote the story and screenplay, Adrift, which aired on CBS as Movie of the Week in 1993, and starred Kate Jackson and Bruce Greenwood. Were you pleased with that?
A: That was quite a different experience, as I was actually involved in writing the script. I thought the finished product was terrific, and I've been a fan of Bruce Greenwood ever since. It was also a revelation to me how much more powerful a scene can be on-screen. I recall writing a scene where the villains hold Kate Jackson's hand overthe burner flame, and she screams. Watching it on screen took that scene to a whole different level of horror.
Q: Has the TV series of Rizzoli & Isles had any impact on book sales? And are you getting feedback from readers?
A: We're just starting to see movement in the backlist. I know that the Amazon numbers have really improved, and I understand that weekly sales of the paperback The Surgeon have more than doubled. I'm hoping that, as more viewers realize there are books behind the characters, that they'll want to explore where the stories came from.
Q: Rizzoli & Isles has just been renewed for a second series. Will be see more novels?
A: I'm working on the ninth Rizzoli & Isles novel now. It should be out next summer.
Q: Do you have any input into the series?
A: Not really. I'm friends with the executive producer and head writer, Janet Tamaro, so I suppose I could email her and bend her ear. But I think they know where they want to go with the series, and they don't need the novelist to give them guidance!
Q: Is there any thing about the TV series that no one has asked but you are dying to tell?
A: The amazing amount of real-world advice they're getting for their stories! They have a Boston PD homicide detective often on-site, advising them on police work, and they have a medical examiner and coroner's assistant helping them with some of the medical details.
Q: How do the characters and their backgrounds as portrayed in Rizzoli & Isles different from your novels?
A: TV-Jane Rizzoli is very close to the book-Jane Rizzoli. TV-Maura Isles is sunnier, friendlier, and less troubled than book Maura Isles. Also, they've given Maura a French boarding-school background and a lot more fashion sense than I ever envisioned "my" Maura having!
Q: Will we see any more Tess Gerritsen work make it to the screen?
A: One can always hope! My long-time dream has been to see "Gravity" make it to screen. The film rights are owned by 20th Century Fox, but so far ... nothing.
Take the upcoming A Deadly Dinner to be held from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Oct. 23 at the Harris Arts Center in Calhoun, Georgia.
This will be a round-robin dinner with eight published authors. For $25 per person, you get a dinner, a conversation with some good authors and the chance to win more door prizes, including autographed books.
A better deal you may never find.
For more information, contact the Harris Arts Center at 706-629-2599 or visit www.harrisartscenter.com and click on Programs/Literary Guild.
Events such as these -- and they are being held across the country -- are a wonderful way to showcase writers as well as raise money for local causes. A Deadly Dinner is co-sponsored by the Southeastern Chapter Mystery Writers of America and other local groups and businesses.
Authors who will be at A Deadly Dinner are:
Mignon Ballard (Augusta Goodnight series)
Kathleen Delaney (Ellen McKenzie series)
Mary Anna Evans (Faye Longchamp series)
Gerrie Ferris Finger (The End Game and Look Away from Evil)
Marion Moore Hill (Deadly Past series)
Randy Rawls (Ace Edwards, PI, series)
Fran Stewart (Biscuit McKee series)
Jaden E. Terrell (Racing the Devil)
This is the first time the Georgia town has held such an event and I hope it's so successful it will be an annual dinner.
Are there events in your area that showcase authors? Let us know.
New York, New York. It’ll never be the same.
I was born here, I grew up here, so ask me to write a piece about New York and you won’t get objectivity. But you won’t get New York boosterism, either. Patriotism? My city right or wrong? Forget that. Sure, New York is different from every other city on the planet. So is Paris, Sao Paolo, Beijing, Bangkok. Yes, I love it here, more now than ever. On 9/11 New Yorkers showed what they’re made of, and though I wish I’d never had to see it, what I saw was great. But Parisians would have done that, too, and Beijingers. The truth about pretty much everybody is, get the ideologues out of the way and people come through for each other. Most people. The people who don’t, well, they’re everywhere too.
Is New York the center of the universe? Probably not. The funny thing is, we don’t really see ourselves that way. A lot of other people seem to see us as seeing ourselves that way, though, and resent us for it, and go out of their way to tell us we’re not. Okay, fine. This doesn’t seem to be a universe with much of a center, anyway: not a lot of order here.
What we do see ourselves as is a place where a vast array of worlds, connected and unconnected, are at the top of their game. Each attracts newcomers all the time, each vibrates with so much energy it sets the others vibrating too. We see ourselves as a place so big we may be ungovernable but we’re also, in the best sense, uncontrollable: anything can happen here. The separate worlds—theater, art, food, commerce; the lives of endless waves of immigrants - are valuable in themselves. The cracks between them, though, are what’s critical. What falls into those cracks, what develops in the spaces where those worlds overlap, split, flow together again: that’s where new things happen.
And when new things happen in New York, they happen on limited land masses: a geological determinism that forces us to live on top of each other, to keep re-inventing our lives and our neighborhoods because we can’t just build new ones, we can’t just spread out, move on. (The Bronx is the only borough of New York City that’s on the mainland of North America. But Yonkers, a whole other city, sits right on top of it.) So neighborhoods rise and fall. Waves of change wash over us, flow on, leaving some things the same, some different, leaving some new things no one ever saw before. The head of the Times Square Business Improvement District (an interesting idea in itself) puts it this way: “Times Square is not humanity at its best or its worst but at its most, which is a lot of what New York is.” Humanity at its most. A staggering concept.
So what now, in this post-9/11 world? Well, this is New York. Our new mayor, one of the richest men in the country, bought the election - and is turning out on some issues to be pretty good, surprising the hell out of me. Race relations, in a very bad way for the past few years, are now, according to polls, at a high point. (They were so low earlier partly because of the fascist attitude of our previous mayor, who suddenly got to be a saint after 9/11, surprising the hell out of me.) We’re getting along, the theory goes, because people who die together live together better afterwards. The economy is still bad, which may mean not a lot of new building for awhile, which may not be bad. We need to catch our breath every now and then, see what we’ve actually done, and that’s one thing we don’t usually have much time for here, breath-catching.
And for writers, especially crime writers? An interesting question. Those of us who live here and set our books here are facing a dilemma now. So much of what New York always was, it still is; the places and the worlds we’ve always mined for material are still rich with untapped veins. But now there’s an 800-pound gorilla in the corner. How do you deal with 9/11—a sudden 16-acre hole in the center of real estate that’s been among the world’s most densely-built for 300 years? The 1,700 people so completely pulverized that there are no remains to identify? The 343 firefighters dead, not in a single day, but in an hour? Every New Yorker thinks about it every day. But can you put it in a book about something else without it taking over? Can you ignore it, so that it won’t take over, and write the book you might have written on 9/10, as though neither the city nor the writer had changed? Can you weave it in, assuming everyone understands the changes? Can you write about it directly?
We’ll see how different writers answer this question over the next year or two, as we see how New York and New Yorkers deal with the unprecedented questions 9/11 brought to our own lives.
But since this city began, in the mud at the tip of the island, the unprecedented has been something we do here on a regular basis.
I love New York.
Note: This essay originally appeared in Mystery Scene #76, Fall 2002.
S.J. Rozan is a lifelong New Yorker. Her latest Lydia Chin/Bill Smith mystery is On the Line (Minotaur Books, Sept. 2010)
They said you could see the glow in the sky from as far as Philadelphia. The flames were relentless. Firemen and volunteers raced to the scene, but it was an impossible task. Heroism abounded. Troops were called in. In all, the area south of Wall Street and east of Broad Street was devastated.
We’re in New York. But the year is 1835.
What we’ve described was the Great Fire. It began the evening of December 16th, a night of high winds and cold that took the temperature readings down well below zero. A spark in a warehouse on the corner of Exchange Place and Pearl Street turned the area into an inferno in minutes.
The City firemen had been up the night before fighting two other blazes. Exhausted, they raced to fight this new threat.
Because of the intense cold, both rivers were frozen. Firemen had to use their axes to chop holes in the ice, and once they started pumping, the water froze in their hoses. Even vessels in the harbor were not safe. It took two weeks for the fire to be vanquished.
The commercial district of the City was destroyed. Yet, business continued. The New York Stock Exchange resumed trading four days after the fire began. Amazingly, only two people died.
The fire still smoldering, real estate prices for the burned out lots in the district skyrocketed.
Rebuilding began immediately. A year later, the entire area was thriving. Without the help of Congress. It was the New York State government in Albany that approved six million dollars for disaster relief.
The fire that began on September 21, 1776, destroyed one-fourth of New York’s buildings.
In the dead of night, on September 21st, 1776, a firestorm hit the City with tremendous force. It did not come from the shelling from the British ships in the harbor because the British had already—more or less—won the City. Terrified shrieks of women and children rose above the blaze as hundreds of people clutching their few possessions ran from the heat and smoke.
The fire began at Whitehall Slip and burned through Bridge, Stone and Beaver Streets destroying everything in its path, then crossing Broadway, it reduced Trinity Church to ashes. St. Paul’s, only six blocks north, was saved thanks to a bucket brigade of British soldiers and seamen.
One-fourth of the City’s structures were destroyed.
On November 16, 1776, the British took secure possession of all of Manhattan, and the City swarmed with Crown Loyalists from the other colonies. The occupation was painful for ordinary New Yorkers. Soldiers attacked young women, looted and pillaged, seized livestock, cut down forests and shared nothing with the freezing, starving people. New York remained in British hands until November 21st, 1783. The British left the City in terrible shape. They had not rebuilt the area destroyed by the fire years before. Trinity Church remained a burnt-out shell. Buildings still standing throughout the City were unlivable. Private homes had been made foul. The now treeless streets were clogged with filth and garbage.
Any other city might have been whipped, but we’re talking about New York.
Confederate officers set a fire in Barnum’s Museum on Broadway (center; St. Paul’s at right).
The plot to destroy New York began in the fall of 1864. Even though the Confederacy was on its last legs, Judah Benjamin, its Treasurer, allocated $300,000 for the mission. Its purpose was to demoralize the North by burning down its most important city.
The conspirators were eight Kentucky officers. Though Kentucky was a Union state, it had many Southern sympathizers. The eight officers were assured that New York, being a city of commerce, had its share of those who believed in the Cause, and that these would rise up and join the conspirators.
Yes, New York had Southern sympathizers. The war was bad for business. But the conspirators totally misunderstood the people of New York. We complain mightily, but we stand fast.
The conflagration was earmarked for Election Day. Lincoln was running for a second term and New York was an anti-Lincoln, Democratic stronghold. Somehow, it became common knowledge that the conspirators were in the City and the army was called in to protect the election. The conspirators decided to bide their time and choose another moment when the City would be most vulnerable.
While they waited, they attended lectures and concerts and church services, even played baseball in Central Park, mixing freely into cosmopolitan New York life. Truth to say, they got swept up in the magic of the City. The news of Sherman’s burning of Atlantic brought them back to their mission. Swearing revenge, the eight determined to carry out their original plan.
They chose the day after Thanksgiving, which Lincoln, after the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863, had fixed as November 24th. Since municipal buildings were now guarded, the conspirators selected as targets thirteen of the City’s finest hotels. Teams went to several of them and rented rooms. They decided that with fires in many of the hotels throughout the City proper, flames would race through entire neighborhoods, causing great panic. In additon to the hotels, fires were set in warehouses and ships along the waterfront, in Barnum’s Museum, Niblo’s Theatre, and the Winter Garden Theatre, where the Booth brothers were performing Julius Caesar to raise money for a statue of Shakespeare for Central Park.
But the conspirators were poor scientists and worse arsonists; they made a crucial mistake. By closing the doors and windows tight, they suffocated their fires. The result was more smoke than fire. Volunteer firemen and the police performed admirably. Although the damage was calculated to be about $400,000, no lives were lost. We’re not surprised that the conspirators, in what newspapers of the day dubbed The Incendiary Plot, were dazzled by the amazing City of New York. We were born here, and the City still has this affect on us.
Return of the American troops to New York, 1783.
In November of 1783, after occupying the City for eight long years, the British, smart in their fine red coats and arms, marched down the Bowery to the East River wharves and out of New York forever. George Washington and his troops returned, tattered, but triumphant.
Once more our City rises from the ashes.
Note: This essay originally appeared in Mystery Scene #76, Fall 2002.
Martin and Annette Meyers, using the pseudonym of Maan Meryers, write The Dutchman historical novels and short stories which span several centuries of New York City history. Their latest book in that series is The Organ Grinder (Five Star, 2008).
Or at least makes for some darn good plots.
The past couple of years have seen an uptick in mysteries set at a newspaper. These are timely novels that show the struggles of newspapers and how the fear of being laid off hangs over many newspaper staffs. A few set in the recent past make us yearn for the good old days.
Anyone who has worked at a newspaper knows there is nothing like a newsroom culture -- the constant banter, the exchanging of ideas, the feeling that you are making a difference in people's lives. Not to mention the lifelong friendships and, of course, marriages that come out of newsroom.
Brad Parks' novel Faces of the Gone about Newark investigative reporter Carter Ross made my list of best debuts for 2009. Apparently I wasn't the only one who liked this novel as Faces of the Gone has been nominated for a Shamus Award in the best first category and for a Nero Award. Parks will learn if he or the other Shamus nominees take the prize on Oct. 15 during Bouchercon week; Nero award winners will be announced in December.
Jan Burke's series about California newspaper reporter Irene Kelly have earned the author numerous awards. In these novels, Burke has delivered deep, rich plots about the devastating effects of crime as seen through the prism of an insightful, ethical journalist. A personal favorite is Bloodlines.
Edna Buchanan's Britt Montero covers crime for a Miami newspaper.
Although Lisa Scottoline is best known for her legal thrillers, she focused on a newspaper reporter and single mother in Look Again (2009).
John Lescroart: A Certain Justice and A Plague of Secrets, among others -- Lescroart's series about attorney Dismas Hardy go beyond the courtroom to look at how a community deals with strife. Flawed characters, flawed ethics and a flawed legal system add up to exciting novels. In 1995's A Certain Justice, Dismas Hardy only makes an appearance as Abe Glitsky, the head of San Francisco’s homicide department, takes center stage when a race riot engulfs the city. The murder of a manager of a trendy coffee shop jumpstarts the energetic A Plague of Secrets (2009). Lescroart's latest novel is Treasure Hunt, the first of a new series about San Francisco private investigator Wyatt Hunt.
Julie Smith: Death Turns a Trick -- Before she turned her attention to New Orleans and Skip Langdon and Talba Wallis, the heroines of her two Big Easy series, Smith wrote about San Francisco attorney Rebecca Schwartz. These novels are lighter in tone than her other two series, and often quite funny. Death Turns a Trick (1992) introduced the self-described "Jewish feminist lawyer." Before my first trip to the Monterey, I read Dead in the Water (1993), which is set at the Monterey Aquarium; on each visit I always look twice at those wonderful exhibits.
Rick Mofina: No Way Back -- A searing look at journalism and its ethics are at the heart of the solidly plotted No Way Back as a news story becomes personal for San Francisco crime reporter Tom Reed.
If the producers of PBS Mystery! are smart they will option Rhys Bowen’s Her Royal Spyness series. It has everything needed for TV success—fascinating locales, interesting historical backgrounds, delightful characters, and puzzling mysteries. The heroine of the series is Lady Georgiana Rannoch, 34th in line to the throne of England, who left the family estate in Scotland to make her way in London. Unfortunately Georgie is penniless and must use her wits to survive, which she does in various ways, one of which is “spying” for Queen Mary.
In Royal Blood, Georgie represents the crown at the wedding of Princess Maria Theresa, of Romania to Prince Nicholas of Bulgaria. It takes place in a remote castle in Transylvania, invoking the specter of the vampire Dracula. Balkan political intrigues threaten the festivities and matters get complicated when the Bulgarian field marshall, a vulgar, lecherous man, is murdered. Georgie isn’t alone in trying to solve the murder as some of the series’ recurring characters are on hand, including her mother, her best friend Belinda, perpetual suitor Prince Siegfried (who prefers men but seeks a royal marriage), and Georgie’s one true love, Darcy O’Mara, an impoverished Irish noble.
This fourth book in the series has something for everyone, all put together by a master storyteller. There are a couple of murders, a creepy castle isolated by a blizzard, vampires (real or imagined?), hidden passages, suspicious shadowy individuals lurking in dark corridors, secrets from the past, nightly romantic trysts, delightful secondary characters, and first and foremost Georgie, who will win you over from the start. I strongly recommend you read the book (actually the whole series!) before the TV people adapt it—and they are fools if they don’t.
A vampire wannabe has been killing off young women in Los Angeles. When two real vampires save feisty young Madison Rose from one of the murderer's deadly attacks, she agrees to help to catch the perpetrator before his crimes threaten to disrupt the city's true vampire community. Along the way, Madison discovers more than she ever wanted to know about real vampires, and the humans who imitate them, and she lands in more danger than she bargained for.
Madison’s job as waitress in a diner invites instant comparison to the popular Southern Vampire series from writer Charlaine Harris that spawned HBO’s True Blood. But the first in Jaffarian’s new series lacks the dry wit that characterizes Harris’ work; Murder in Vein is closer to Goth noir. Unlike Sookie Stackhouse, Madison had no grandma to raise her; she is the product of a series of foster homes. Now in her twenties, she still has a street urchin’s gut reactions to danger. Dodie and Doug Dedham, Madison’s vampire rescuers, live in a comfortable suburban home where they sleep in a bed (not a coffin), bake cookies, and are more like surrogate grandparents than the sexy, flashy creatures of the night common to vampire literature.
Despite being set in California, one of the nation’s biggest cultural cauldrons, the characters all have first names like Samuel, Ethan, Colin, and Mike, with no ethnic last names among them (until the first Latino character appears in chapter 31). Jaffarian’s sometimes clunky writing interferes with the noir atmosphere (“‘Okay,’ said Madison, ignoring the die part and turning the information around inside her head with the other stuff.”). Still, she makes the reader care what happens to Madison and her new vampire friends, and wonder what Madison’s next adventure will be.
Rugged, beautiful Afghanistan in the months before 9/11 provides the scenic setting for this cloak and dagger adventure story based on true-life characters. Captain Anthony Hugh Taverner is recruited out of a bucolic retirement into a secret and all-powerful British intelligence service for a highly-classified mission: to locate a cache of CIA-supplied Stinger missiles left over from the days of the Soviet occupation and blow up the weapons before they can fall into Al Qaeda hands.
An extensive early section describes in great detail the concentrated training "Ant" receives in the world of special operations and tradecraft, and will make fascinating reading for military and espionage buffs. But The Network really comes alive once Ant and his mentor H enter Afghanistan and begin their journey through the rough terrain of Bamiyan and Oruzgan Provinces. Afghan proverbs and everyday phrases in Dari bring immediacy to the narrative, and future Afghan president Hamid Karzai makes a cameo appearance. The story’s tension rises as Ant and H near their destination, and culminates in a climactic confrontation reminiscent of the Alamo, though with a different outcome.
Author Elliot is an award-winning travel writer and his skill is evident. Drawing on his extensive personal experience in the region, he captures the character of the Afghan people and provides knowledgeable insights into the country’s situation over the 20 years leading up to 9/11. However, the book does tend to read more like an episodic travelogue than a sustained fictional narrative. The growing debate on the future of the war in Afghanistan makes The Network’s publication particularly timely and certainly raises some interesting ideas. Readers who find that it whets their appetite for more Afghan adventures would do well to look up Elliot’s 2001 account of his journey in the company of the anti-Soviet mujaheddin, An Unexpected Light: Travels in Afghanistan.
In the preface of Shamus Award winner Judson’s taut new noir, Remer is a hotshot Manhattan PI, an ex-Marine turned big city dick with a good rep and a clear conscience, living large off the proceeds of other people's marital transgressions. Then what seems like a routine case takes a very bad bounce, and Remer is left mentally shattered and physically mutilated.
Six years later, we meet him again. He's traded in his past for the quiet half-life of running a small liquor store in the sleepy resort town of Southampton on Long Island, retreating nightly to his tiny apartment to self-medicate himself with a dose of his special herbal "blend"—a potent brew that combines “skullcap, lavender, passionflower vine, larch and wormwood, the hallucinatory ingredient in absinthe.”
But what kind of noir would this if the past stayed where we put it? Mia Ferrara, a troubled former lover, has gone missing, and her wealthy mother wants Remer to track her down. Reluctantly, Remer agrees, still haunted by unresolved issues between Mia and himself, and urged on by a local police officer friend and her private investigator boyfriend—only to discover that much of what he thought he knew about his ex is wrong.
Noir fans may be reminded, as I was, of The Dark Corner, the 1946 B-flick where another fallen private eye who should have known better gets suckered in all over again. In fact, there’s much here—despite the thoroughly modern trappings of cell phones, computers and GPS monitoring devices—to recall those classics noirs. Our toys may change, Judson seems to suggest, but human treachery, greed, and violence remain constant. As do questions of how much we can ever really know anyone—even or perhaps especially those we love.
Unsure of whom he can trust, a battered and drugged Remer (“pain behind his eye and…ringing in his ears”) finds himself on the run, backed into a dark corner of his own. It’s all handled deftly and with admirable restraint, making this dark little story all the more potent and memorable. The chill of the final scenes, set against the finely painted backdrop of the cold, desolate off-season limbo of a resort town, will linger long after the final page is read. Pay attention, kids. This is how it’s done.
Jilliane Hoffman draws on her own experiences as a former prosecutor of sex crimes to offer a chilling tale of abduction, torture and murder in South Florida. Thirteen-year-old Lainey Emerson—unhappy with her parents, siblings and new school—turns to an Internet chat room in search of companionship. Like many of her contemporaries, she lies about her age and posts a sexy photograph to which she bears scant resemblance. And instead of the hunky football player with whom she believes she has connected, she meets a monster.
Assigned to lead the investigation is Florida Department of Law Enforcement Special Agent Bobby Dees, whose own daughter went missing more than a year ago, creating a maelstrom in his marriage and a void in his life. As the investigation unfolds, a classic serial slayer whom the police dub “Picasso,” emerges as a vicious killer with a lust for “pure” teenage girls—and Dees fears his own daughter may be among his victims. Hoffman stabilizes her compelling story with statistics on missing children and the problems they pose to law enforcement, providing a satisfying and workman-like thriller, peppered with a few too many coincidences and an over abundance of acronyms.
The Town reaffirms what a good actor Affleck is, best at playing off-kilter characters. The man once proclaimed America's sexiest by People magazine tamps down his looks for a gritty, world-weary view. Doug is a man of action and his angst never seems cliched. Affleck's Doug once had a chance to leave the neighborhood when he was recruited to play pro hockey but self-destructed during his first season. He knows that Claire is his second -- and only -- chance left to change his life or he may end up killed or in prison like his father. Oscar-winner Chris Cooper steals his one breath-taking scene as Doug's father serving several life sentences.
Captions: Rebecca Hall as Claire Keesey and Ben Affleck as Doug MacRay; Up against the wall are, from left, Slaine as Albert "Gloansy" Magloan, Ben Affleck as Doug MacRay, Jeremy Renner as Jem Coughlin and Owen Burke as Desmond Elden. Photos courtesy Warner Bros.