RARA-AVIS: Recent reads

From: Doug Bassett ( dj_bassett@yahoo.com)
Date: 09 Apr 2001

Well, I've actually been skipping back and forth between Larry McMurtry's awesome LONESOME DOVE and a bunch of hb novels. Most of them didn't do too much for me, but, well, thems the breaks.

ACT OF LOVE -- Joe Lansdale. Very much wanted to read this one -- I admire Lansdale without reservation, and this had quite a reputation at one time for being excessively bloody and violent. Finally found a copy and truthfully was rather disappointed. This one was Lansdale's first novel and as he sort of confesses in his afterword, it's rather purple. Also rather earnest and solemn -- Lansdale says that one of his main influences at the time was early Dean Koontz, and yeah, it shows. (I don't like Dean Koontz).

DEAD CITY -- Shane Stevens Another one I was very curious about, ever since Stephen King mentioned his name in the back of THE DARK HALF. This is a very typical Mob story -- not badly written, but nothing particularly remarkable about it, either. I have Steven's BY REASON OF INSANITY in another stack -- hopefully that's better.

WALK A BLACK WIND -- Michael Collins My first Dan Fortune novel. Starts out strong, fuzzes out about 2/3 the way through, then picks up again in the final pages. I can't really recommend this one, though Fortune is a fascinating creation and I'd like to read more in the series. Any suggestions?

FINAL NOTICE -- Joe Gores My first in this series. Maybe I caught this on a bad day, but this seemed like a pale imitation of the 87th Precinct books. Does anyone have any suggestions here, too?

TOLL CALL -- Stephen Greenleaf Greenleaf is a favorite of mine, one of the few writers who seem to use Ross Macdonald's influence well. Almost done with this, but this is a typically classy, literate, and very believable plot. I like how Greenleaf manages to make his points in these books without too much sermonizing (ala Parker).


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

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