Re: RARA-AVIS: police procedurals

From: Mario Taboada (
Date: 11 Aug 2002

Bill James writes procedurals that give a lot of weight to the life of policemen. There is nothing separating those lives from the police work that nominally constitutes the theme. The psychological complexity of his characters, the beautiful coldness of his style, the real-life sloppiness of the cases, the moral ambiguity, and the realistic dialogue all contribute as much to the procedural genre as any amount of detail on procedure. This may sound exagerated, but I think James has invented something, has in effect renewed the genre. In a totally different style, so has K.C. Constantine, who also writes about the life of policemen (mainly one policeman) without neglecting procedure, such as there is, but without giving it much weight.



"The skill of man is unequal to the formation of a new man from old materials, but the battered tenement may, with care, be long sustained by props" -- From Becklard's Physiology.

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