Re: RARA-AVIS: Recent reads

From: George Upper (
Date: 25 Aug 2001

--- Doug Bassett <> wrote:
> Max Allan Collins -- SPREE. My first Collins, though
> I'm certainly familiar with the name. Heist book
> based
> around a great idea -- robbing a mall. [edited]
> right now I'm reading Collins's TRUE DETECTIVE.


Is incest a relatively common occurance in SPREE? Is the main character named Frank Nolan, or something like that? I'm trying to remember if I've read that one or not. If I did, it was years and years ago, but I remember liking it.

Please let me know what you think of TRUE DETECTIVE. I have a copy in my TBR pile, and am about to need to pick a new book from that pile.

And on that note, I just finished Collins' SHADOW OF A TIGER, one of the early Dan Fortune series. A good read. I found the very occasional awkward sentence--maybe a half dozen or so in 200 pages. But the dialogue was very realistic, I thought, and the characterization superb. Fortune dwells on 'the meaning of it all' just enough to make him human, without sounding like a penny-ante philosopher a la Spenser. I'll be looking for more from this author in the used book stores.

One last note: the two Mack Slade books by John Blumenthal have been mentioned here in the not-too-distant past. I think someone (Mark?) found them in a box somewhere and wanted to know whether to keep them. I described them as something like a cross between the movie Airplane and Mike Hammer (which makes me think that Mr. Lau might like them, after reading his recent posts about his Hammer screenplay...but maybe not). *Anyway,* John just joined a writer's group in which I am also a member, and we had a brief conversation about the books--he appeared surprised that anyone had read them, much less remembered them. He did say, however, that his latest, WHAT'S WRONG WITH DORFMAN?, is in the same vein. Those who liked the two Mack Slade, and I seem to remember that there were one or two other than me, might want to check it out. Blumenthal also did the screenplay for the Martin Lawrence film Blue Streak, I believe.


===== George C. Upper III, Editor The Lightning Bell Poetry Journal

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