RARA-AVIS: "Prey" Series & Hardboiled Defined

PhantomPhan (40730@www1.utech.net)
Fri, 24 Jul 1998 23:28:45 -0700 Hi, Reed, and all. Good Gump analogy. I read one [title escapes] where Bekker
killed Davenport's girlfriend and "Silent Prey" is the next one, where Bekker
escapes from jail and moves to NY to continue his serial killings.

Bill, what I would define as "hardboiled" is a story where the protagonist is
usually a cop or a private eye with a cynical, tough attitude towards the world, a
"rough on the outside but sweet on the inside" kind of guy. And the plot
invariably involves murder, though not necessarily a killer-type story, like The
Maltese Falcon, which is really about the theft of an object worth dying/killing
for. What distinguishes hardboiled from just a thriller is the depth to which the
characters are drawn. One can read a dozen Robin Cook medical thrillers and not
remember the "heroes" while a character like Sam Spade sticks forever in your
mind. The "Prey" hero, Lucas Davenport, is a pretty fleshed out character, which
is why I consider this series to be in the "hardboiled" school. Anyway, that's
how I define the genre. I'd love to hear how others here define "hardboiled."

One final question: Does Lawrence Sanders' McNally series qualify as hardboiled?
Regards, Cynthia.

Reed Andrus wrote: Just to let you know you're not alone with newer authors. I've
read all the Sandford "Prey" books (except his latest, which is on my shelf
waiting its turn) as well as his non-Lucas Davenport THE NIGHT CREW, and the John
Camp books. Don't know where you are in the series, but Lucas plays pretty rough
beginning, I believe, in WINTER PREY.

> Hard-boiled novels are like a box of chocolates -- you never know if
> you'll like one until you bite into it.... Reed

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