RARA-AVIS: Re: Wade Miller & Whit Masterson = best reads, most desired...??

From: JIM DOHERTY ( jimdohertyjr@yahoo.com)
Date: 04 Jul 2006


Re your questions below

"1) What's your Fave WM/WM title, and why...??"

Favorite Miller, GUILTY BYSTANDER. I liked the notion of a hard-drinking PI who actually was affected, and not in a comical way, by what he drank. The idea of an alcoholic detective who cleans himself up, almost overnight, to come to the aid of a loved one will be recycled years later in Mickey Spilane's "comeback" novel, THE GIRL HUNTERS.
    Favorite Masterson: A toss-up between 711 -OFFICER NEEDS HELP (aka WARNING SHOT) and PLAY LIKE YOU'RE DEAD. The first is a procedural about a cop who gets into a questionable shooting when the gun he says the man he shot pulled on him turns up missing. It sort of segues into a PI story when, suspended, he has to work on his own to prove his innocence. Also made a great movie with David Jansen.

The second is a more straightforward cop novel dealing, presciently, with the problem of custodial abductions, as a tough cop, angling for a promotion, must track down an unbalanced father who's taken his son from his ex-wife, the custodial parent. Strongly suspenseful, with a villain both frightening and sympathetic.

In a way, neither of my "Masterson" choices count, since they were written after the death of Bill Miller. When Bob Wade was left, "Wade Miller" was retired, and Wade carried on alone, most often as
"2) Which WM/WM title would you most like to see back in print, and why...??"

Miller's DEADLY WEAPON, a one-off PI novel (though sharing some of the same supporting characters as the Thursday series) that was their first novel.

Masterson's A HAMMER IN HIS HAND, perhaps the last actual collaboration between Wade and Miller, features a policewoman on the trail of a serial killer decades before Thomas Harris wrote THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS.

Main reason for both. I've never seen either of them, though I've heard about them for years, and would love the chance to read them.


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