RARA-AVIS: 1980s: Estleman's The Glass Highway (1983)

From: William Denton ( buff@pobox.com)
Date: 06 Apr 2003

Thanks to Mr. Robison for kicking off 1980s month. I cracked open an early entry in Loren Estleman's Amos Walker series, THE GLASS HIGHWAY
(1983). Chain-smoking, hard-drinking, Detroit tough guy P.I. Walker is hired by a TV news anchor to find his missing son. Walker does so in short order, but it's far from over: there's a murder.

I've liked everything else I've read by Estleman, but I gave up on this one less than half-way through. The whole thing seemed very cliched, Walker's wisecracks were forced, it was all derivative, and I didn't like it when Walker flicked his cigarette butt into someone's kitchen sink. That's rude.

Lots of you have read all the Walker books. How would you rank this one against the others? It was Estleman's tenth book, but the fourth Walker book. I have a bunch on the shelf that I have yet to read, but I have read two or three of the recent ones and they were much better.

Next up I'll be reading one of Bill Pronzini's Nameless Detective books. Walker and Nameless must rank high when considering hardboiled 1980s detectives.


William Denton : Toronto, Canada : http://www.miskatonic.org/ : Caveat lector.

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