Re: RARA-AVIS: _Murderers' Row_

Bill Hagen (
Sat, 6 Feb 1999 13:22:39 -0600 (CST) Note the moved apostrophe, to indicate more than one murderer on the row.

Doug said,
I just note in passing, as a sort of tic, that I had a
>little trouble getting past Helm's code name Eric, which seems so bland and
>characterless, and it never seems to operate much as a code name.

I too tripped on this small thing. But early on, in this first Helm novel
for me, I must say I am impressed by the efficiency of the storytelling,
and the style. I like the awareness of style too, as when Helm comments,
in the motel room where he and Jean are talking for the hidden microphones,
"Don't blame us for the dialogue." One reflects that the dialogue is
exactly the sort of dialogue one has put up with in lesser fiction, too--a
comment with an extra bite.

I followed the Bond-Helm thread earlier, but Helm's professionalism seems
also to have kinship with the dark, cold war sensibilities of early Le
Carre novels--especially when things don't go well, and he turns
independent or goes cowboy on the agency. [My only concern there is that
if he goes cowboy in book after book, would it be credible that the agency
would keep him on?]

Bill Hagen

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