RARA-AVIS: WHITE MEAT, Peter Corris 1981

From: Robison Michael R CNIN ( Robison_M@crane.navy.mil)
Date: 17 Apr 2003

I just finished another Australian hardboiled, this one by Peter Corris called WHITE MEAT. It's the second in the Cliff Hardy series. I loved it. I've always wanted to go to Australia and check out the diving in the Great Barrier Reef and maybe drive a ways into the outback. Barring seeing it myself, Corris does a great job of evoking Australia and its people in brief descriptive prose. He gets all this in without getting in the way of the plot. Actually, it adds to it. The scenery and the weather and the people and the plot all blend together into a beautiful book. The book reminds me some of Crumley's LAST GOOD KISS. The characters might not be as expertly drawn, but they were still superb.

I have trouble occasionally finding PI books that I really like. This book is one of the reasons I keep coming back. It was great. Highly recommended.

Another one I just finished is Roger Torrey's 42 DAYS TO MURDER. If I recall correctly, Richard Moore and Bill Denton liked this one a lot. Demonstrating that reading is a subjective experience, it didn't do much for me. I couldn't develop any empathy at all with the protagonist or any interest in the plot or any appreciation for his style. I understand that Torrey is another one of those mysterious writers with very little biographical information on him.

I also started in on Ruehm's (sp?) collection of Black Mask stories. I read Daly's "The False Burton Combs" and Hammett's "The Road Home" and "The Gutting of Coiffignal." After reading Daly's SNARL OF THE BEAST I'll have to admit that I've grown tired of his particular style of colloquialism and the continuous bragging on the part of Daly's protagonist. Every page you gotta hear him tell you how tough he is. I thought both the Hammett stories were good, especially the last line of "Coiffignal." Norbert Davis is next, with "Kansas City Flash." That will be my first exposure to Davis. The one I'm really interested in is Lester Dent's "Angelfish." His name was mentioned several times in Frank's PULP JUNGLE.



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