I write...not noir, exactly.
But the world I live in has few happy endings--my parents both ended life with more tragedy than satisfaction, one to a plane crash and the other to the devastating consequences of a lifetime of poorly controlled diabetes. Poverty, madness, disease pepper my family tree like confetti at a Mardi Gras parade.
But that's true of most family trees.
I don't look for happy endings, but I do chase satisfying ones in books. Lear satisfies me as much as Much Ado About Nothing. Not even sure I need a clear resolution--but an answer to the dramatic question raised by the book. In a Mosley book, I'm not expecting postwar America to suddenly turn color blind. But I am hoping against hope that Easy Rawlins gets to keep some of his dignity and self-determination by the book's end.
What do you look for? Have you ever read a crime novel that killed the protagonist, and yet you were satisfied? How did you feel at the end of The Lovely Bones? The movie Betty Blue? One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest? Can you ever forgive an author for leaving her main character's world in tatters?