Re: RARA-AVIS: Shotgun Alley

From: Keith Sparrow (
Date: 29 Nov 2004

The strength in this series is the long-suffering Weiss. He is a wonderfully tormented, tortured soul. Bishop is, regretably, a cliche. Lee Child handles the character more sucessfully.

Keith Sparrow Sparrow's Nest Books Member: IOBA: Independent Online Booksellers Association
----- Original Message ----- From: "Craig Larson" <> To: <> Sent: Monday, November 29, 2004 6:26 AM Subject: RARA-AVIS: Shotgun Alley

> Over the weekend, I read Andrew Klavan's
> second Weiss and Bishop novel, Shotgun Alley,
> and really enjoyed it, though in retrospect, the
> book is chock-full of cliches: the tough guy hero
> who infiltrates a biker gang and proves himself
> to be just as virile as the rest and a femme fatale
> right out of film noir. But Klavan writes with such
> power and assuredness, that the whole thing comes
> to vivid life and it moves.
> Jim Bishop is charged with bringing back the daughter
> of a rich man who is planning a senate run. In an
> act of rebellion, she's joined a biker gang made up
> of misfits and castoffs too crazy to be accepted in
> the traditional gangs (at one point, a character says
> "What does a biker have to do to earn the nickname
> Mad Dog?"). They're the Outriders and they're not
> above killing a few innocent bystanders who might
> get in the way of their smash and grab thefts.
> Back at the office, Weiss has been hired by a feminist
> professor to track down the person responsible for a
> string of sexually-harassing emails. The only problem
> is she's been receiving them for over nine months--it
> turns out she's fallen in love with the sender and wants
> help tracking him down. The process of finding out who
> the sender is allows Weiss some time to reflect on his
> unrequited love for his fantasy woman from the previous
> novel. He knows that there's an unstoppable killer out
> there, just waiting to follow him should he try to find
> this woman.
> There's a great scene where the unnamed "I" narrator
> (if we believe the book's foreword, this is Klavan himself)
> meets a woman who seems to be his perfect match and
> they have a wonderful conversation which ends with her
> giving him her phone number and eliciting a promise for him
> to call. Very soon after, he drifts into an all-consuming
> sexual relationship with Weiss' female operative Sissy, and
> forgets all about Emma McNair, his perfect woman. Very
> sad, really.
> We learn more about the backstory of the relationship
> between Bishop and Weiss and how they started working
> together. It all builds to a raid on a warehouse during a
> dark and stormy night, with police and FBI agents, tipped
> off by Bishop, waiting to capture the gang.
> I really had a great time with this book and it was literally
> a page-turner that wouldn't let me go. There were several
> times that I was about to put the book aside and do something
> else, but I read just one more sentence and that was enough
> to draw me into the next chapter and then the next. I liked
> Dynamite Road a lot, but Shotgun Alley is even better.
> Craig Larson
> Minneapolis, MN
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