RARA-AVIS: Plot, plot and more plot

From: Mark Sullivan ( DJ-Anonyme@webtv.net)
Date: 11 Sep 2001

I finished Strongarm last night (thanks, Andrew). Damn, Dan J Marlowe packs a lot of plot into his books. At first, it seems to be a simple revenge novel. A guy in the rackets was framed for a murder by his boss. He escapes from jail and wants revenge.

That alone would have been more than enough for most authors to fill a book, but Marlowe adds the Mob, spys, feds and a rambunctious young lady. It opens with a spectacular car crash and never lets up. There's even a love story (not with the hardboiled young dame, but with her older cousin). All in 160 pages. In some hands that would be far too much clutter, but Marlowe keeps it tight and under perfect control, channeling it all through Pete Karma's (only one of his names) first person point of view. There's plenty that is never fully explained, but we know everything Pete knows or needs to know to look out for his own concerns.

Good stuff.

On a related note, Marlowe's books seem very cinematic to me. Were any made into movies?


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