RE: RARA-AVIS: Holiday hardboiled?

From: Chris M (
Date: 03 Jan 2005

Here's my belated response to Miker's holiday hardboiled query. I've read some great stuff lately. In no particular order:

The Killing of the Tinkers - Ken Bruen: Wow. The second Jack Taylor story is lean and mean. Bruen has quickly become a favorite. As an aside: I always like it when a book's characters are into hardboiled books. Taylor likes Pelecanos and Sallis.

A Place of Execution - Val McDermid: I've had friends recommending this one since 2001 and for some reason I never got around to it. This is a terrific book. It starts as a fictional version of a true crime book and takes off into something else for the final 100 pages or so. I need to read more McDermid soonest.

A Murder of Justice - Robert Andrews: I enjoy this series, now in its third installment. Andrews doesn't fall into my Blown Away category, but he writes good, solid books.

Dirty Sally - Michael Simon: A nice debut. One of the blurbs compares Simon's Austin with the L.A. of Ellroy's Quartet, but I was reminded much more of Ellroy's Clandestine as I read this one. I'll look forward to future books from Simon.

Earthquake Weather - Terrill Lankford: It's been praised here already, but let me add my voice to the chorus. One of the best elements is the way Lankford is funny throughout the book without being goofy like so many crime stories that aim for humor and miss the mark.

I also had a chance to read Black Money. It's only my second Ross Macdonald book and I was under whelmed. When I began reading crime fiction (Robert Parker and James Ellroy were my main introductions, followed later by Connelly), I enjoyed going back and reading Chandler and Hammett. I don't think the Lew Archer books will be as enjoyable for me, though it is easy to spot why they were so influential. Maybe I'm the hardboiled lit equivalent of the kid who frustrates his elders because he doesn't appreciate the Beatles or Led Zeppelin due too over familiarity with their successors.

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 03 Jan 2005 EST