Re: RARA-AVIS: Recent reads

From: Mark Sullivan (
Date: 26 Apr 2001

Doug, sorry to hear about your TV. Did it jump or was it pushed?

Anyway, you wrote:


"Didn't like this one at all -- a vigilante novel, it starts very strong but requires, as the mainspring of the action, a suspension of disbelief that I simply wasn't prepared to make."

Didn't this win Gores an Edgar for best first novel? I must admit this didn't do much for me, either. I probably only went on with him because I already had the next few and wanted to get to Hammett (I can be kind of anal about reading authors and/or series in order). I'm glad I did go on. I was hooked by the DKA novels and especially liked Interface. Gores has returned to the revenge novel with Wolf Time and Dead Man, both of which were good, the latter better, but I'm not thrilled with the subgenre either.


"This was my last try with Burke -- I'm crossing him off my list. This has all of the flaws I've come to associate with Burke (I've read two others, BLACK CHERRY BLUES and A STAINED WHITE RADIANCE): a ridiculous plot, overwritten prose, a sort of sanctimony that really gets under my skin, and a huffing and puffing after Literary Significance that's painful to see. Don't understand why he's so popular, when so many better writers in the genre aren't."

I've given up on Burke, myself, feel he fell into a schtick after Electric Mist. Even when he tried to refresh himself with a new series, he carried all of the cliches with him, including conversations with a ghost. However, after I got past Neon Rain (well written, but ho-hum, another alcoholic cop facing his demons), I felt the next few Robicheaux novels were great, particularly Black Cherry Blues. I also liked his straight novel Lost Get-Back Boogie, the main character of which was in many ways a dry run of the Robicheaux character.


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