Manhattan-Beach350I’ve always enjoyed book signings. At a recent highly successful one at a Barnes & Noble in Manhattan Beach, California, I had a pleasant conversation with Terry Dillon, a man originally from Chicago. We talked about my latest book, “Dare the Devil,” which has a film noir taste to it.

And of course we reminisced about his hometown, which I know well. I’d been a sportswriter and later a features staffer on the Chicago Daily News, a great newspaper in its day, a paper that won thirteen Pulitzer Prizes over the years. I got to rub elbows with journalism legends like columnist Mike Royko, film critic Roger Ebert, and Washington  correspondent Peter Lisagor, a regular on “Meet the Press.”

Mr. Dillon was one of many who bought “Dare the Devil” that day and I was happy to sign it for him. Later, I was gratified to receive this thoughtful email from him:

Hi Mr. Conlee, 

You signed your book for me recently at Barnes & Noble in Manhattan Beach.  I am the guy from Chicago and we talked about the Daily News and “Double Indemnity,” the greatest of all noirs. 

I must say, once I got comfortable with your characters, this was a compelling page-turner for me.  I absolutely could not wait to see how each of the plot threads (crime and spies) would turn out and if or how they would be related. 

I greatly appreciated your characters’ attitudes on racial and religious and cultural diversity.  I wholeheartedly agree!

Also, being 71 years old, I enjoyed and recognized all the references to the people, events and pop culture of the postwar years.  I will seek out your other works for sure.

Thank you so much for this nostalgic adventure!

Terry Dillon
Manhattan Beach

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