RARA-AVIS: Re: How Much Background?

From: Graham Powell ( bleekerbooks@hotmail.com)
Date: 13 May 2003

I just finished Robert Crais' latest novel, THE LAST DETECTIVE, and it contains some information about Elvis Cole's childhood, much like LA REQUIEM did for Joe Pike. I thought it was very effective in REQUIEM but much less so in the more recent book. I also read on Crais' web site that a lot of background material was left on the cutting room floor.

Although LAST DETECTIVE was a pretty good book, I thought it lacked the Elvis-ness which is the main reason I read the series in the first place. Crais uses a lot of third-person viewpoint, from many different characters, as well as first-person narration, and it just didn't do much for me. It's obvious he wants to tell stories he can't tell using just first-person, but I just found it unsatisfying.

As for Pelecanos' SHOEDOG, most of the first thirty pages or so is sort of an extended prologue detailing Constantin's life up until the events that make up the rest of the novel. I thought it was very effective at bringing out his character. So there.

--------------- http://www.BleekerBooks.com

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