RARA-AVIS: the black ice

From: Carrie Pruett ( pruettc@hotmail.com)
Date: 28 Sep 2001

Date: Fri, 28 Sep 2001 15:19:41 -0500 From: "Graham Powell" < bleekerbooks@hotmail.com>

>I've only read one Connelly book, THE BLACK ICE, and I have to admit I
>didn't care for it. What most see as a rather dispassionate tone I
> >thoughtwas just distant and a little uninterested.

For someone who's starting out Connelly, I would recommend starting at the beginning because the stories really build on each other. However, for someone like Graham who started with one of the early books and didn't care for it, I'd recommend at least giving one more chance by skipping ahead to
"Angels Flight." This is possibly the best mystery and best L.A. book I've ever read; I liked the early Bosch books, but found AF to be just exponentially better (on the other hand, I didn't like "a darkness more than night" at all; I thought the POV switch was unwise since looking at Bosch from the outside makes him less interesting and more self-consciously

The Black Ice is not one of my favorites, I thought there was too much shoot-em-up, and I found the Mexico/bullfighting angle somewhat cliched. Leaving L.A. doesn't seem to agree with Connelly.

Here's a question: I've often found that writers who are very adept at writing about a certain place seem to stumble when the heroes leave it. For instance, I think Crais's weakest moments are in "Voodoo River" when he sends Elvis to Louisiana; I think the author is originally from Louisiana, but nevertheless he doesn't write it anywhere near as perceptively as he writes LA. And though I don't read Spenser, I've heard that the books where he *goes* to L.A. are inferior to the Boston books?

So - can you come up with any books where the author takes the detective out of his/her "natural habitat" and really succeeds at it? I think Lehane does a pretty good job with the Florida scenes in "Sacred," though overall it's probably his weakest book. Others?


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