Re: RARA-AVIS: Memento

Date: 20 Aug 2001

Re Mark's comment below:

> Well, he [the hero of *Memento*] was an
> investigator, fulfilling the I, but
> technically, he
> wasn't private, so no P. He was a company man, on
> the staff of the
> insurance company, unlike Joseph Hansen's David
> Brandstetter, say, who
> did most of his insurance work on a freelance basis.

Last time I checked, insurance companies were
*privately* owned *businesses*, not government law enforcement agencies. So he *was* a private detective.

Taking your assertion to its logical conclusion, the Continental Op wasn't a PI because he worked for a large company; Frederic Nebel's Donahue wasn't a PI for the same reason; neither was Mannix during the initial "Interetect" season; neither was Dave Brandstetter for the first few books when he was still working for Medallion Insurance; and neither was the character who works as an investigator for the titular
*California Fire & Life* (a novel that won Don Winslow a Shamus for best PRIVATE EYE novel, BTW).

A "private detective" is simply a professional detective who works for private concerns rather than public ones.



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