Re: RARA-AVIS: Recent reads: Starr, Child, Slaughter

From: Doug Bassett (
Date: 20 Jul 2004

--- Karin Montin <> wrote:
> Unlike miker, I thought Jason Starr's Tough Luck was
> pretty good.
> This was the first I'd read by Starr, and I
> thoroughly enjoyed it.
> Nothing Personal, another one by Starr, also
> involves gambling on sports.

 This book has the bleakest ending I've read in
> a long time. A very good read and unqualifiedly
> noir. It even says so on the back cover.

I haven't read TOUGH LUCK, but I've read COLD CALLER and NOTHING PERSONAL and liked them both very much. COLD CALLER, in particular, felt like an enjoyable updating of Willeford, especially making wise use of the Willeford psycho -- the protagonist who's a bad guy but doesn't really understand he's a bad guy.

> Running Blind, by Lee Child,

I've read some of this. I have KILLING FLOOR somewhere. My general feeling about Child is that there's good lean hb tales lurking somewhere underneath the bestseller bloat. Jack Reacher is a very appealing protagonist (shades of Travis McGee) but the plots are overstuffed and the impact is lost.
(I think Child might be very effective at about 75-100 pages less.)

I'm currently rereading stuff I've gotten out of storage. Lawrence Block's EIGHT MILLION WAYS TO DIE is, I think, the best Scudder novel, with one of the best representations of prostitution I've ever read in the genre. I also looked at Block's WHEN THE SACRED GINMILL CLOSES and have come to the conclusion that the original source novella, "By the Dawn's Early Light", is much superior.


===== Doug Bassett

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