RARA-AVIS: Visceral fortitude

From: msmartha@earthlink.net
Date: 25 Feb 2000

Maura, you want to see some visceral fortitude in a hard-boiled woman protagonist, by a woman writer? Try Laurell K. Hamilton. OK, I know I've said it before, and I try to say it only every few months, but her Anita Blake character is as tough, aggressive and business-like as any fictional guy PI when she pulls out her tykki and starts blasting. To wit (from the latest book, Obsidian Butterfly):

I'd settled on the Hornady Custom XTP handgun ammo. To be exact, the 9 mm Luger, 147 JHP/XTP, silver-coated of course. There were other hollow point bullets that will expand to a bigger mass, but some of them don't penetrate nearly as far into a body mass...If I emptied 13 of the XTPs into something and it didn't go down, all bets were off. I'd worry about murder charges later, after I survived. Survival first. Try to stay out of jail second. My priorities straight, I headed off...

All in the name of good over evil, of course. As for the sexual aspects of Ms. Blake's particular brand of testosterone, she's involved with not one, but two men, but keeps a cynical eye on their intentions while pondering the lust vs. love question. Hamilton said in an interview that she wanted to write a female character who could do and be everything that had become the provence of the traditional pulp fiction PI male character. By gum, she has.


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