Re: RARA-AVIS: RE: Jeremiah Healey and Bullitt

From: Doug Bassett (
Date: 15 Dec 2000

I'm afraid the word "crummy" was used by me. :)

The one Healey novel I've read -- and it's been awhile, so I don't remember the title, only that it involved the search for a child, had the following:

-- a Boston location
-- an overly-sensitive PI hero
-- a "Susan"-like female with whom he has a Very Mature and Understanding Relationship (I remember the book begins with the two of them taking scuba-diving lessons together)
-- food talk. No, not as much as Parker, but it's there.
-- and a tone very reminiscent of Parker, in my opinion: the whole "how does one act like a tough PI in this Very Confusing World" kind of thing.

True, not much wisecracking (that I remember) but I don't see that as a plus -- I don't care for Robert Crais's early "Spenser knockoff" books either, but at least they're amusing.

Hey, if people like Healey each his/her own -- I won't begrudge anyone their tastes. But I remember disliking this particular book a great deal and I doubt I'll read another Healey anytime soon.

Re Greenleaf comparisons -- I admire Stephen Greenleaf's work immensely, am very sorry that most of it has slipped out of print, and wish he was better known. But based on my experience, nah, I don't see much basis for comparison between him and Healey. Greenleaf seems to me to be more in the Ross Macdonald mold.


--- Dick Lochte <> wrote:
> In the discussion of Robert Parker, somebody
> referred to Jeremiah Healey's
> books as crummy, or a word to that effect. The
> implication was that Healey's
> books were Parker knock-offs. I don't see it. The
> authors may both call
> Boston home, but the similarity ends there. Healey's
> sleuth is less physical
> and considerably less of a wiseguy than Spenser. He
> works alone; no
> sociopathic sidekick needed. There's not much food
> talk. His lady friends
> are all dead. And the novels are extremely
> well-plotted, filled with
> detection and intelligent interrogations. If there's
> any literary influence,
> it seems to come from Stephen Greenleaf. What's not
> to like?

===== Doug Bassett

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