Re: RARA-AVIS: Sensitive detectives

Doug Bassett (
Sat, 27 Nov 1999 05:51:20 -0800 (PST)

> I am hard pressed to think of any successful writers
> who are writing in a real HB style. The
> only one I can think of in recent memory is "The Big
> Enchilada" by L.A. Morse. It was
> originally published in 1981 and about every ten
> years it enjoys a reprint. Currently it is
> out of print and at present is the closest work I
> can think of in tune with the genre as I
> perceive it.

Well, there's also Andrew Vachss, James Crumley (my favorite living HB writer), and, although I'm not one of his acolytes, James Ellroy. Although I sort of agree with what you're saying, I think you should be careful not to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

> In an email about a month ago I asked if anyone knew
> much about Morse of any of his other
> books and I only got one response. This is
> indicative of the fact that my views are shared by
> very few.

Or it may just mean that few people know about Morse, a fairly obscure writer. The only books I've ever read by him were a two-volume set of movie reviews (I've since gotten rid of them, can't remember the title.)

Kent Anderson's recent police novel Night Dogs is excellent and well worth a look.

Best, Doug

===== Doug Bassett
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