From: Kevin Burton Smith ( kvnsmith@thrillingdetective.com)
Date: 19 Oct 2001

Chris wrote:

>While I haven't read a great deal of Leonard either, I wouldn't recommend
>starting with this one. It's good enough, but I couldn't bring myself to
>finish it and finally saw the movie just to see how it ended. The movie was
>better. There was talk on this list recently about how his recent novels
>seem like they're written with too much of an eye toward turning them into
>screenplays, and I have to agree and say it's usually to the detriment of
>the book but the benefit of the movie.

On the other hand, Robert Crais' HOSTAGE, which practically screams screenplay, is simply one of the most entertainingly, gut-wrenching thrill rides I've ever come across. It plays out like THE DESPERATE HOURS amped up to DIE HARD #1 (the good one) levels, the ultimate hostage crisis gone wrong. Even the cliches in the book snap, crackle and pop, setting you up for one mind-fuck after another. You really get dragged into the story, whether you should know better or not. This is a hard one to read sitting down. Literally, in my case. By the end, I found myself pacing back and forth like an expectant father, reading as fast as I could.

The rights have already been snapped up by Bruce Willis, apparently, with Crais to do the screenplay. In the hands of a director with a sharp touch, this flick could be a mutha.

And speaking of movies and books, and San Francisco books (trust me, someone was), Kent Harrington's new one, THE TATOOED MUSE, makes very convincing use of the City and at least one of it's major landmarks/tourist attractions. It's a swirling mix of Hitchcock odds and ends, with more than a dash of VERTIGO, and a sprinkle of PSYCHO. He also throws in writer's block, the Holocaust, psychiatry, and even a good old locked room mystery. Something for everyone!


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