Re: RARA-AVIS: RE: Hard-Boiled and Pronzini

From: Juri Nummelin (
Date: 20 May 2000

Dick Lochte wrote:

> Regarding the death of the hardboiled private eye, discussing these kinds of
> pronouncements may be fun but, to quote a TV series that features the
> private eye formula in contemporary garb - the truth is out there. Basic
> ideas and concepts don't die. I'm not a wild fan of Greg Rucka or Dennis
> Lehane, but they seem to have figured out a way to keep the tough 'tec flame
> burning. [---] Odds are the private eye will be alive and well long after
> we've all been put to bed.

Dick, I read your article in Playboy (even wrote a short article based on it in Body Culture, The Finnish Whodunit Society's magazine). You have lots of evidence considering the private eyes' lives nowadays. But I just feel that there's not much in them being private eyes. Like I said earlier, Lehane's Kenzie and (what was her name?) are pretty empty characters. They seem to be private eyes because of some generic necessities, if you know what I mean. This seems to me to be the fatal mistake of all the post-Macdonald private eye writers. They write about PI's, because that's what's expected of them. I understand the fantasy of a lone hero in this global world in which the economy or politics cannot any more be handled, but is the fantasy enough?


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