From: William Denton ( buff@pobox.com)
Date: 26 Jun 2001

I just put down the first of Loren Estleman's Amos Walker books, MOTOR CITY BLUE (1980). It was decent enough, but the other two I've read, NEVER STREET and THE WITCHFINDER, both recent, were a lot better. . I don't remember them being so loaded with similes and metaphors as MOTOR CITY BLUE: "The city was as hot as a frying pan left on the burner overnight. My throat was as dry as a vermouth-less martini bar in the Sahara with four dehumidifers running. I quenched my thirst with some beer that was as cold as the look my grade seven teacher would give me when I misspelled 'functionary.'" Walker gets hit on the head a couple of times. The first time he tells us how it's not like on TV, and it hurts and you throw up and you can't just get up, shake your head, and walk away. Later he's beaten by a big guy with brass knuckles, passes out, is woken by a prostitute and is in bed with her ten minutes later.

It seems, from my small exposure, that over the years Estleman honed his craft, the Walker books settled into a groove, and Walker himself stayed an anachronistic PI, but a more fleshed-out and real person. MOTOR CITY was very early Estleman, and he's gotten a lot better since. Would those who've read more Walker books agree? Is there a book you'd recommend starting with, from which to work through the rest of the series?


William Denton : Toronto, Canada : http://www.miskatonic.org/ : Caveat lector.

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