RARA-AVIS: rankin... no cheap thrills

From: Robison Michael R CNIN ( Robison_M@crane.navy.mil)
Date: 26 Apr 2002

hi everybody!

well, i've set a goal for myself. i'm hoping to read 20 new (to me) hardboiled authors before going back to authors i've already read. thats hard for me. when i find a new author i like, i have a ten- dency to buy everything else they've written and work my way thru it, maybe with one or two others just to break things up.

anyway, rankin gets the privilege of being the first. i just finished _the black book_. i liked it. rebus is a tough character, without being too macho. the plotting is tight. laurell hamilton said once that her editting philosophy (on her own books) is that every paragraph must further the plot. rankin writes this way too.

one thing i like about rankin is how he can weave subtle implications so gracefully into his book, for instance, the relationship between siobhan and rebus. he leaves a lot of things unspoken, leaving it to the reader to draw his own conclusions, such as the relationship between the cop holmes and gay eddie ringan.

something else i liked about rankin was his resis- tance to some of the hardboiled cliches, like gratuitious sex or the classic angst and demons of the troubled protagonist. although he has more than his fair share of personal and professional problems, rebus avoids rolling in misery. he thinks more than he feels. a refreshing change of pace.

but about this sex thing... jeez! what is it with you brits? i don't think boris starling's _messiah_ had any sex in it either. ALL american hardboiled novels have sex in it! i mean, do all you people over there actually get enough of the real thing that you don't need the cheap thrill of seeing it in print? if this is true, i'm applying for a passport.


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