RARA-AVIS: maitland

From: Carrie Pruett ( pruettc@hotmail.com)
Date: 23 Apr 2002

Craig wrote re: Barry Maitland's Kolla/Brock series
>How do they compare to Ian Rankin's books or Peter Robinson's? (they
> >struck me as being somewhat similar, but am I correct?)

I agree with Nicole that Maitland isn't hard boiled. Rankin definitely is hardboiled; I would not call Robinson hard boiled, either, though "Cold is the Grave" was getting there (the first half particularly, when Riddle sends Banks on an "unofficial" errand seems very consciously indebted to American HB PI fiction); and I have heard that his most recent book may be even more HB. But essentially the Banks books are psychological procedurals, more in the Ruth Rendell or Anne Perry tradition, and I can't stretch my imagination around Banks as a hardboiled character. They're awesome books ("In a Dry Season" is one of my favorite crime novels of all time), I just wouldn't call them hardboiled.

Maitland is closer to Robinson than to Rankin, but I don't think it's a very good comparison in either case. Maitland is almost completely indifferent to procedure, which is one of Robinson's strengths. The first two Brock/Kolla books are even more like amateur sleuth stories than procedurals. And Maitland just doesn't write hard boiled. The books are rather dark and fairly violent but they lack that unknown thing, call it toughness of colloquialism or whatever.



He got thirty years for lovin' her/ from some Oklahoma governor,/ who said
"everything this doughboy does is wrong" - Tom Waits

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