RARA-AVIS: Out of the army and into trouble

From: William Denton ( wtd@pobox.com)
Date: 12 Jun 2005

I recently read Donald E. Westlake's 361 (1962). It's one of his first hardboiled books, I think, and it's good. A young man gets out of the army (Cold War mandatory service) and on his first day back his father is killed while driving him in a car, and the man himself is badly injured. He and his brother go for revenge. It's similar in a general way to Ed Gorman's WHAT THE DEAD MEN SAY, which I mentioned reading a few days ago.

There are other books with the same setup--guy gets out of Army, is older and tougher, returns to home town, trouble comes--and I know I've read some, but I can't think of any. Did Ross Macdonald's early BLUE CITY work this way? I know it's about a guy returning to his home town, but I can't remember if he'd been off in the war.


William Denton : Toronto, Canada : http://www.miskatonic.org/

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