Re: RARA-AVIS: New member

From: Jeremy Duns (
Date: 13 May 2002

Thanks, Doug. Are you following me? :)

--- Rene Ribic <> wrote:
 Hello Jeremy & welcome,

Thanks, Rene.

> I have one or two of this series in paperback but as
> I don't read French
> the chance that I'll read any of them are very slim.
> IIRC, I bought one
> because the cover looked vaguely familiar - it turns
> out it was pinched
> from a Gold Medal paperback, The Violent Ones by
> Howard (Watergate)
> Hunt. I must admit the tiger skin bikini was the
> only reason I bought
> the book (for about 20c.).

I have a few E Howard Hunt novels written under pseudonyms, but I haven't read them yet. I followed them from the back of a Mark Hood novel. I realise that Hunt has written hundreds of novels - which are the best? Would they classify as hard-boiled at all?

those Semyonov books
> sound interesting. I
> don't recall the earlier discussion: were they
> strongly recommended by
> someone? Are the books available in paperback?

Rene, it was in March, I think. Someone asked about contemporary Russian crime novels and Semyonov was mentioned. Actually, someone did recommend Seventeen Moments of Spring, too. He has another novel translated, also a spy thriller, with the wonderful title TASS is authorized to announce... It's nowhere near as good as Seventeen Moments of Spring, which I would favourably compare to the early Quillers. Very tense stuff. The book opens with Isaev, known as von Stirlitz, waiting at a villa outside Berlin for an informant to arrive. The informant is part of Stirlitz's cover, ferreting out potential traitors to the Reich. The man presents Stirlitz with a tape of a conversation he has had with a pastor, in which he has pretended to be a communist. Stirlitz realises that the informant is a little too clever for comfort. He tells him he has done great work and deserves a holiday, and writes out a note for it, which the informant signs. Then they go for a walk. Stirlitz shoots the informant in the back of the head. I don't have the book at hand, so I paraphrase, but it goes something like "Unlike in the books or movies, Stirlitz didn't waste any time explaining *why* he was going to kill him." Then he writes the informant's suicide note, saying that he was under enormous stress
(he has the holiday slip to prove it). The novel has a very complicated plot, but it all comes together beautifully. In Russia, Stirlitz is as well known as James Bond or Robin Hood, and is the subject of countless jokes. He featured in a dozen or so thrillers (previous ones set up his cover in Germany prior to the war). 17 Moments is available in the US in paperback under the name The Himmler Ploy (used, of course - it was written in the 60s). I liked it so much that I was interested in buying the film rights, but I reached a dead end. Anyone here read Cyrillic?
:) Jeremy

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