Re: RARA-AVIS: _Murderer's Row_
04 Feb 99 08:45:00 -0500 --UNS_gsauns2_3050066100
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Re Bill's comments below:

"Helm is tough, there's no denying that, and he cracks wise and is
good with banter. He's also popular with the ladies and manages to
always meeet attractive ones. These alone don't make a story

Actually, I think those alone *are* what makes a book hardboiled. A
hardboiled suspense novel is a suspense novel with a tough, colloquial
attitude. The Helm books have that. Ergo, they are hardboiled.
Moreover, the Helm books, to indirectly quote Anthony Boucher, are
written in a tight style reminiscent of Hammett. It could be said
that Helm is to counter-intelligence what the Op is to PI work. The
Helm books also tend to feature corrupt backgrounds and a protagonist
who has to overcome his cynicism to get the job done, but that's
incidental. If a character is tough and colloquial, he (or she) is
hard-boiled. Period. - Jim Doherty

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