RE: RARA-AVIS: Like a Hole in the Head

From: Mark Sullivan (
Date: 08 Sep 2000

Tribe wrote:

I was disappointed by this. The main character comes off as mean-spirited, as opposed to clever or smart-alecky. Dumb-ass plot. It's sort of like a Roadrunner cartoon, only not as clever, and annoying as all hell.

Neil wrote:

I liked it quite a bit. It's got attitude, sarcasm, is a bit silly, but I think that's a good thing. Several hard-boiled women are doing work in the same arena, too: Jenny Siler, Laurie Henderson, Jen, Vicki Hendricks. Great writers.

I lean slightly towards Tribe. I actually enjoyed the smart-ass attitude, but the plot was very, very thin. Of the two authors I've read on Neil's list, I'd place her much closer to Henderson's fun, but slight Black Rubber Dress (Thin Man-ish in attitude and drinking with the rich atmosphere, though nowhere near as good as Hammett) than Hendrick's Miami Purity (kind of a female version of Goodis or Cain), which I think is one of the top noirs of the last decade.


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