Re: RARA-AVIS: Robert Wilson

From: Peedie Monk (
Date: 08 May 2002

Carrie wrote:
>This seems to be the first book he's
> had published in the States but I see that he has some British
> of crime novels set in Africa with some intriguing titles: A Darkening
> Stain, Blood Is Dirt
> The Big Killing, and Instruments Of Darkness - all of which are available
> pretty cheap on the UK amazon. so i guess i'm basically curious if
> anybody's read the books, how they rate, and where Wilson fits in terms of
> genre.

I've read three of the four you've mentioned (haven't read Blood Is Dirt yet). They're all brilliant and terrifying. Bruce Medway, (a "PI" who isn't), is described as a 'fixer' for traders. The books are all set in West Africa, where corruption, poverty, disease and death are never far away. The plots are as dark as any in the canon, including Vachss.

I was very disappointed when Wilson veered off in a more literary direction with his later novels. Still, it's worked for him. He was practically unheard of before _A Small Death In Lisbon_. Now he's on the UK bestseller lists and published in the States. Can't argue with that.

Al Guthrie

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