RARA-AVIS: Michael Collins

From: Kevin Burton Smith ( kvnsmith@colba.net)
Date: 30 Mar 2000

Mark and Vicky and Bob (Hey, welcome to the list. It's about time you got here) are right.

Dennis Lynds, no matter which name he's using, simply rules. His books and short stories, particularly the Dan Fortune series (written as by Michael Collins) are all well worth hunting down. Imagine Macdonald's Lew Archer with a personality.

It's just a crime Lynds' never gotten the acclaim or sales other far flashier writers have. Their big turgid tomes are actually all about playing it safe, talkin' loud, and saying nothin', while Lynds, with his quiet, tough, compassionate voice and solid storytelling, speaks volumes.

Proof, if any were needed, that a detective novel can have a social conscience, and still ask hard questions, while still kickin' out the jams. Like Natty Bumpo before him, Fortune dares "to speak the truth consarnin'...any man that lived."

It's a shame the series seems to be such a hot potato among publishers but, to his credit, Lynds hasn't backed down. There are some more short stories in the works, and he has another Fortune novel in mind, maybe Dan's swan song, if, as he puts it, "anyone wants to pay me some bucks for it.

Maybe we should start passing a hat....

Oh, and Mark...

>So, can anyone point me towards contemporary Stagger Lees or has this
>folk hero outlived his usefulness, at least on the written page,
>returning to the oral tradition of rap?

Don't forget the Wrong 'em Boyo by the Clash, though I guess that's sorta old now. Maybe the new Shaft flick will revive the Staggo-Man...

Can ya dig it?

Kevin Burton Smith The Thrilling Detective Web Site http://www.colba.net/~kvnsmith/thrillingdetective/ This month: The P.I. Poll on Short Fiction, plus new stuff from Hugh Lessig, Peter Parmantie and Dave White.

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