RARA-AVIS: Recent reads

From: Doug Bassett ( dj_bassett@yahoo.com)
Date: 21 Dec 2000

Have a lot of free time lately, so I've been on a bit of a tear:

William Irish/Cornell Woolrich -- STRANGLERS SERENADE I've talked about this book a bit in another post; although I'm not a huge Woolrich fan, I liked this one a great deal. Problem with it, though, is that the two plot twists around which the book moves have been done to death: I saw 'em coming a mile away and it just killed the second half of the book for me. Woolrich might well have been the first one to use these -- hey, why not? -- but that doesn't change anything, really.

Harry Whittington -- MOURN THE HANGMAN I think Whittington is the consummate professional -- I've *never* been disappointed in a Whittington book. This one tells a familiar story for him: guy is set up on a murder charge, has to race the cops to find out the bad guy. But it's done exceptionally well. Highly recommended if you can find it -- I picked up the original paperback some time ago at a library sale.

Harold R. Daniels -- THE GIRL IN 304 I'm pretty sure Bill Crider recommended this one somewhere. It's a solid police procedural dealing with the murder of a prostitute in a backwater Southern county. Starts out a little slow, but Daniels is exceptionally good at characterization and the book picks up steam about 1/2 way through, racing to the climax and a genuine surprise ending. Again, recommended if you can find it.

Marc Behm -- EYE OF THE BEHOLDER Really disliked this one. Two unlikable characters -- a voyeuristic detective known only as the "Eye" and a serial killer who seems to have no character whatsoever -- encounter and begin a strange relationship that lasts many years. Dull, completely illogical, and in my opinion not particularly perceptive psychologically. Has a bit of a cult reputation -- don't understand why.

Right now I'm reading Eugene Izzi's INVASIONS, just in the early pages of it but it's pretty good so far.

Happy Holidays, everbody!


===== Doug Bassett dj_bassett@yahoo.com

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