Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: career and peak

From: Mark Sullivan (
Date: 20 Nov 2001


I think you touch on the essence of keeping a series vital, not giving in to the easy repetition of established patterns. You, in particular, have done a good job of this by continuing to come up with intriguing new plots, often in new setting. (Plus you have stepped outside the series to give yourself sme space.) On top of that, you've done a good job of balancing character without it turning into a set of hollow gimmicks. I think a lot of this has to do with your establishing character through actions, not speeches (except to Beth, of course). For instance, I remember Cuddy's relationship with the homeless guy who trained him for the marathon and his reluctant bonding with Nancy's sick cat as well as I do many of the mysteries. This is not to downplay the mysteries, though. I feel like I know every inch of that road where the
"accident" occured in Only Good Lawyer.

So I guess I'm saying, thanks for some great books and thanks for stopping by.

I do have a question for you, though. After the panel discussion between George Pelecanos and SJ Rozan at the Bouchercon, you picked up on a comment George had made about a lot of the sensibility of noir growing from the disillusionment held by the returning vets. If I recall correctly, you brought up the question of whether or not that was still the case, whether or not a military background still fueled the hardboiled/noir outlook. I was wondering what your own answer to that question would be. Is it necessary to have been in a war to be affected by it? I know that Vietnam cast a long shadow over me and affected the way I see a lot of things, even though it was winding down enough by the time I turned 18 that I was never forced to make a decision about going.


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