From: Mark Sullivan (
Date: 27 Jun 2001


In my mind you've bookended the good books in the series. Motor City Blue is too early, Never Street too late.

I've mentioned before that I can be kind of anal about reading series in order. I thought Motor City Blue was merely okay, it was trying way too hard. I would not have read the second, Angel Eyes, if I hadn't already owned it (I had picked up the first three before I got around to reading any of them). But I did and I eventually gave it a chance when I was running low on new PI books. It still wasn't great, but it was just better enough that I decided to give him one more chance. I'm glad I did, Midnight Man was the beginning of the good ones. From there, I read each as it hit paperback -- Glass Highway, Sugartown, Every Brilliant Eye, Lady Yesterday, Downriver, Silent Thunder and Sweet Women Lie. That last seemed out of sequence. It was good, but it didn't seem to fit its place in the chronology, seemed to have been written earlier.

I lost track of him for a while, then read Never Street when we read it here. As I said then, I was disappointed. I found it a little too cute, by overtly referencing film noir and making it clear that Walker fit into those movies better than he did the modern world, the anachronisms had been turned into a inside joke. It was like some sci-fi story where a man from one generation, in this case the '40s, was dropped into another era, in this case the '90s. Push it a couple of decades later and you've got Spillane's Mike Danger.

So Bill, I'd start with Midnight Man and read any after that. As I recall, there's no real continuity, so there's not much need to read them in order, unless you're anal like I am.

And while we're talking about Estleman, let me again endorse his Macklin series, about a hit man and his family problems. I was always sorry there were only three of these.

I was also sorry Peeper, about a thoroughly corrupt PI, was a one-shot.


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