RARA-AVIS: Lee Childs (was sing sing)

Peter Walker (pw@pw.cablenet.co.uk)
Sun, 19 Sep 1999 16:24:03 +0000

Louise wrote:
> Has Lee Childs already been mentioned as one of the newer
> noirish-hardboiled authors?
I cannot undersatnd the fuss about Childs - I have to say I thought his stuff was no good at all. I read the first and gave up on the second. They read like they were written using some kind of "Write Your Own American Thriller" CD-ROM. Central character? Click on "Tough" and
"Sensitive". A few bad guys? Try "Psychopath (Deranged)" and
"Hispanic". Love scene? How about "Motel", "Spontaneous", "Shower" and
"Thunder and Lightening". Bit of obligatory gratuitous violence? Go for "Nailed to wall", "Bollocks cut off" and "Swallowing". Shattering denouement? Try "Trusted friend turns out to be a bad guy all along"
(Dialogue: "Oh no, not you!"). Want to be taken seriously? Click on
"300+ pages". The hype tells us we have "The most exciting thriller writer to hit the streets since John Grisham....and he's British!". Why did Child pose as an American author only, presumably, to leap out of the closet and proclaim his true identity? There is nothing new in British writers writing "American thrillers" but coming from America and writing about America are two different things. Child's statement that he's written two books with a "fresh new view of the classic American hard-boiled genre" and that he's done it with style just doesn't cut much ice. Erm..so I guess I didn't rate him at all. Pete

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