RARA-AVIS: Re: Serenade

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

Bill Hagen got me!

>For someone who likes to do bad things in church, I'm surprised you don't
>include SERENADE.

I dunno. I don't remember much about it, but I do remember really not liking SERENADE. As I remember it, it was a silly bit of melodrama, more soap opera than crime story, with a would-be opera singer sashaying in and out of the closet. Or am I thinking of an entirely different book by Cain.

Funny how racism and sexism in old books slides right by, and I can adjust for different mindsets, but I can't get my head around out-dated, plain wrong notions about homosexuality at all. It's not the attitudes (usually pretty much what you'd expect) so much as the pseudo-scientific faux-Freud but bone-headed mumbo-jumbo passed off as well-known fact that ruins the whole thing for me, especially when the whole plot depends on it. I had the same problem with one of Howard Browne's Paul Pine books. The difference being, I think, that I really liked Howard Browne's stuff, and Cain's stuff just never hooked me the same way.

Not that I necessarily mind a good chunk of non-criminous melodrama. I loved JDM's one about the wreck on the highway (CRY HARD, CRY FAST?). I thought that was one was pretty good, if I remember correctly. A real ballsy book for a guy known for hard, fast crime PBOs to tackle.

Kevin Burton Smith The Thrilling Detective Web Site http://www.colba.net/~kvnsmith/thrillingdetective/

An A&E Mystery.com Site of the Week

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