Re: RARA-AVIS: procedural

Date: 19 Apr 2000

Hi Charlie,
    I don't know if there is a contortionist's gimmick that would enable someone to move the police procedural from following the cops to following the criminal, but I believe that effective procedurals show the readers who cops are as people, and, at times, what the cop world is like to live in (Ed McBain, Dell Shannon, Dorothy Uhnak etc. all do this.). The further the writer gets from the police, the harder it would be to both detail the solution of the crime and to reveal the persona of the police.
    Joe Lansdale, John Gregory Dunne, Elmore Leonard and many others have mixed elements of the police procedural into novels with multiple viewpoints, but for a straight, no chaser procedural I can't see the value in riding shotgun with anyone but the cops, as either a writer or a reader.


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