RARA-AVIS: Robbie's Wife by Russell Hill

From: Dave Zeltserman ( dz@hardluckstories.com)
Date: 27 Jan 2007

I just finished an ARC for an upcoming Hardcase Case original, Robbie's Wife by Russell Hill and this is really quite a remarkable achievement. It's a bit like Body Heat except set in the English countryside with a slower, more languid tone, plus with the husband and protagonist flipped around (husband is young, attractive, virile while the guy who gets seduced is well past middle-aged). The first 150 pages the pacing is on the slow side and it's mostly the exceptional quality of the writing that keeps the reader going, but then the book picks up speed and the protagonist ends up sinking to levels of noir hell that few have ever reached. This one is well worth reading, and with the recently released The Peddler by Richard Prather, Hardcase has given us two very distinct and rewarding visions of noir. Well done, Charles-- and please pass onto Russell what a remarkable book this is!

--Dave Z.

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