RARA-AVIS: Recent reads

From: Mark Sullivan ( DJ-Anonyme@webtv.net)
Date: 02 Aug 2000

I've praised Russell James several times recently, so I'll just add that Slaughter Music is just as impressive as the earlier books. James goes much deeper into the multiple viewpoint, multiple plotline crime novel. I'm looking forward to his new one. (His Payback, also recommended, is available cheap from www.1bookstreet.com.)

Russell Atwood's East of A may not live up to the adulatory blurbs on the cover, and it doesn't quite sustain the world-weariness it seems to be shooting for, but it's still a nice, solid series debut. The plotting is pretty much there and the character has promise. A little bit of work on a more consistent tone and Atwood's there. I'll definitely pick up the second when it hits paper.

I've seen some praise for Marvin Albert on the list, so I finally dug out the original paperback Stone Angel which I've had for a long, long time. I was a bit disappointed. Pierre Ange seemed to be an all too convenient, and without any real conflict or uncertainty, amalgam of French and American traits, making him more a collection of quirks than a real character. The plot also seemed to float back and forth between a PI novel and a thriller about terrorism. Do the later books in the series improve? Or is Albert's rep built on his earlier books before this series?


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