RARA-AVIS: Me too on Ross

From: Moorich2@aol.com
Date: 05 May 2000

Ross Thomas is one of my favorites. He had an inexhaustible ability to create interesting characters. In fact, in some novels I think this got in his way, as so much care was lavished on them and on the situation setup
(which he also did wonderfully) that the resolution was sometimes hurried and sloppy.

CHINAMAN'S CHANCE is to me the one that he nailed. It is a personal favorite. THE EIGHTH DWARF is another, although it is one where the ending is flawed. MISSIONARY STEW, SEERSUCKER WHIPSAW, and THE SINGAPORE WINK are wonderfully entertaining. Thomas has given me so much enjoyment.

There are some that frustrate me like THE MONEY HARVEST, which is destroyed by the plotting and dependence on coincidence. Yet even this one contains some good stuff including one great, great character.

I am also a sucker for Thomas because I know some of his worlds so well. Like Thomas, I have worked political campaigns and public relations in the US and internationally. While my work has never been a cover for other activities (always rumored about Thomas), I have worked side-by-side with people who I strongly suspected got a "second check." When I read him, I feel like I am with an old friend.

He also knew Washington very well, and it was where I worked for 18 years. I noted the vague discriptions he gave for the location of Mac's Place and it was clearly very near my old office in Washington. I used to walk the few blocks where it had to be and check out the restaurants trying to find the model.

Oh, what entertainment Thomas has given me! The only time I saw him was at a Bouchercon where I think Bill Crider interviewed him. Any stories from that Bill?

Richard Moore

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