Re: RARA-AVIS: the black ice

From: George Upper (
Date: 01 Oct 2001

--- M Blumenthal <> wrote:
> GOD SAVE. is the second, GODWULF is the first,
> JUDAS is the fifth, MORTAL
> is the third and PROMISED is the fourth. It seems
> the books are listed
> pretty randomly..

Ugh. Having that book on my bedside table would keep me up nights.

> I've read only the first twenty books in the
> series. I don't think Hawk's
> background or life is ever mentioned at any length..

There are only the merest hints. Of course, he was a boxer at the same time as Spenser, and one of the books--I can't recall which--tells the story of their meeting in a fight that Spenser won by a decision but which Hawk thinks was given to Spenser by the (white) officials. Other than that, you're right.

> I think Robert Crais
> realized the necessity of doing this in LA REQUIEM
> which was mainly about
> his Hawklike character, Joe Pike. Because Parker
> identifies so with Spenser
> I don't think will ever do this because it would
> acknowledge the character
> Spenser is not particularly interesting.

I think you've hit it on the head, Mark. One of the things I liked about POTSHOT, his most recent, is the gathering of seven of these characters from earlier books--Spenser, Hawk, Vinnie Morris, Bernard Fortunato, etc.--and the dialogue that results. Parker has retained, I think, the ability to write good dialogue with these kinds of characters--just not Spenser (who serves as little more than a straight man half the time in POTSHOT).

I only buy Parker used now, unless I'm writing something about him, as I was with POTSHOT. But I'd pick up a Parker book about Hawk in a second.


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

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