RARA-AVIS: sidekicks

From: Carrie Pruett ( pruettc@hotmail.com)
Date: 14 Nov 2001

>Just out of curiosity, are there any sidekick novels where the >sociopath
>is the main character and the honorable guy is the sidekick?


Carol O'Connell's Kathy Mallory is arguably a sociopath and she hangs with this sweet unassuming fellow whose name I can't remember. I've only read
"Mallory's Oracle" and didn't care for it - I liked the concept but so much of the book consisted of men chuckling "Wow, that Kathy, man, she sure is crazy." Got on my nerves after a while as did her beautiful blonde looks and perfect manicure, uggh. But a lot of people love this series, and they often mention its reversal of the good/psycho dynamic.

I don't know about Hawk and Spenser, but I rarely feel like the sidekick is actually used to keep the hero's hands clean. There is always a bit of that lurking in the background, but when it comes down to actual events in the books, I can't think of Pike doing something Elvis wouldn't have done or Bubba doing something Patrick wouldn't have done. Lehane does use "deus ex machina" devices a few times I can think of but it's usually Patrick's lawyer who works the magic, or in some cases bad guys finishing each other off. Mouse, at least in "Devil" is a shadow from Easy's past he'd just as soon get rid of, and Mosley is obviously using this device very consciously.
  Ditto for Coben - though I despise both Myron and Win, I assume from their Kant-and-Machiavelli-do-Abbott-and-Costello routine that the relationship is set up to make us ponder their actions. . .etc, etc.


"When I finally caught up with Abraham Trahearne, he was drinking beer with an alcoholic bulldog named Fireball Roberts in a ramshackle joint just outside of Sonoma, California, drinking the heart right out of a fine spring afternoon."
-James Crumley, "The Last Good Kiss"

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 14 Nov 2001 EST