Re: RARA-AVIS: Recent purchases and reads

From: Mark Sullivan (
Date: 31 Jan 2001

I recently purchased Vengeance Man by Dan Marlowe. I'm looking forward to reading it soon.

I'll probably pick up Run now that it's out in paper.

I've been catching up on my Michael Connellys. I read the Poet, Trunk Music and I'm a little more than halfway through Blood Work. I've liked them all, he really can write and has clearly done his research, employing lots of telling details. However, I must admit I prefer his Bosch series books to his one-shots. I'm catching up to be ready for his latest, which combines the two.

I also recently got (from Terrill's new store) and read Ice Harvest by Scott Phillips. This is a nice, contained narrative, with everything happening in one night, as the lead character's scam comes to a head. Although I still haven't decided whether or not a small twist at the very end was a bit too O'Henry, the book would have made a very nice Gold Medal paperback, which is pretty high praise in my mind. (Terrill, is he the same Scott Phillips who wrote the movie The Drive? That's a pretty good trash action film, plenty of momentum with a few goofy, quirky sidetrips.)

At the same time, I picked up Mark Coggin's The Immortal Game. This is a solid, traditional PI debut. (Is there going to be a sequel?) The wisecracks sometimes get to be a bit too much (and I'm a fan of wisecracks, the early Elvis Coles never bothered me), but it has a nice plot, likeable side characters and a nice sense of place. Speaking of the last, any fan of Hammett will get a kick of the locations in this book. PI August Riordan lives in Sam Spade's apartment building, his office is in the building which housed the Continental/Pinkerton Agency; he rubs the Samuel Jewelers clock for luck, stops into John's Grill, etc. Coggins never calls attention to any of these, but it's a nice touch for fans to pick up on. Even though I pulled out my copy of Don Herron's Dashiell Hammett Tour, I'm sure there were many more references I missed.

By the way, I may only have Herron's guidebook, but a friend of mine recently went on the actual tour and loved it. Afterwards, she sat around with Herron in John's Grill and they talked about Hammett and Willeford over a few beers


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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 31 Jan 2001 EST