RARA-AVIS: Peter Robinson

From: Carrie Pruett ( pruettc@hotmail.com)
Date: 13 Jun 2002

Mike wrote:

>anyway, i don't make enough money to make the mistake of buying books >that
>aren't remotely something that i would like.

there are no libraries where you live? ;) I'm not sure if you're saying Robinson isn't something you'd like; if so I wouldn't write him off just because he doesn't fit in the hard-boiled box. For the record, I find PD James unreadable, and Rendell doesn't do much for me, but I think Robinson is great. I don't mean to say that you have to like James and Rendell to like Robinson's books, just that he doesn't really come out of the hardboiled tradition. In any case, the first half or so of "Cold is the Grave" seems clearly to be modeled on a PI story - the protagonist, Alan Banks, is a police inspector but in this book he is asked by his superior to conduct an "unofficial" search for his missing daughter and is pulled into London's sleazy underbelly. Plenty of stuff for a hardboiled fan to like. And from there the plot goes in some interesting directions. I suggested reading the previous book because there's some history between Banks and the superior that is worth knowing, but it's certainly not a requirement. Anyway, my main point is that if you like HB, you'll probably like "Cold is the Grave," even though the majority of Robinson's work doesn't really fit in that category. I'll just add that Banks is one of my favorite characters, and that I found the young femme in "Cold" to be particularly beguiling (and I don't even swing that way ;)), a very refreshing twist on the "little girl lost".


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