Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Roger A. Canaff's "City Dark"

Roger A. Canaff is a former special victims prosecutor and author of crime thrillers including Bleed Through, second in the ADA Alex Greco series and the 2020 IBPA Benjamin Franklin silver award winner for Mystery and Thriller.

Here Canaff dreamcasts an adaptation of his newest novel, City Dark:
City Dark is a legal and psychological thriller set in 2017 New York City, but also tracks the night of the NYC blackout in July of 1977. The protagonist, Joe DeSantos, was abandoned by his mother on that night, leaving him and his older brother Robbie to navigate the city to safety. 40 years later as the story begins, Joe is a brilliant and hard-charging prosecutor but with a terrible drinking problem. He finds himself accused of two brutal murders (including his disappeared mother) and due to alcoholic blackouts has no memory of the nights of the murders. The book tracks both the mystery of Joe’s current situation and the terrible night from his childhood that may be reaching back for him in the present day.

I have envisioned George Clooney to play Joe DeSantos, mostly because Clooney brilliantly played an attorney in a desperate situation in Michael Clayton. Clooney is about the right age, has a similar gestalt, and has a deep, confident voice I imagine would be perfect for Joe. More than any contemporary actor I can think of, Clooney seems to possess the streetwise, city-hardened, but still boyish and charming aura that I think would be perfect for an on-screen adaptation of my protagonist.

Another important character is Aideen Bradigan, a former colleague of Joe’s who takes his case as a defense attorney and struggles to unravel the mysteries of both past and present along with him. For this role I would love to see Kate Winslet. Winslet’s performance in HBO’s Mare of Eastown, where Winslet, a British actor, nevertheless melted perfectly into a Philly-area detective right down to the flawless accent, was genius. Bradigan’s character is Irish-American, she is a cop’s widow, and she is tough, smart and stoic. I think Winslet would nail the character and bring out the best of her onscreen.

Finally, I’d love to see Ben Mendelsohn as Robbie DeSantos, Joe’s haunted, destructive and tragic older brother. Mendelsohn’s brilliant performance in the Netflix series Bloodline as the troubled, black sheep bother Danny Rayburn is primarily why, but I have seen Mendelsohn in several other roles and he is always incredibly natural and compelling.
Visit Roger A. Canaff's website.

--Marshal Zeringue