RARA-AVIS: Re: Robbie's Wife by Russell Hill

From: Karin Montin ( kmontin@sympatico.ca)
Date: 29 Jan 2007

I've been meaning to write about Robbie's Wife. I was lucky enough to win an advance copy from the publisher. (Sign up for the mailing list and you'll have a chance to win books, too.)

The writing is excellent--well-crafted prose and an ending that I didn't see coming. Narrator Jack Stone is a screenwriter and sections of the book are in the form of a screenplay recounting things he has done or would like to do. Eventually reality and fantasy merge. As Dave says, the pace is rather slow, with the result that when I put the book down, I didn't pick it back up for a couple of weeks at one point. I should have read it continuously.

A quibble about the artwork: once again the scene on the cover isn't in the book, and Maggie, the femme fatale, actually has long auburn hair, rather than blonde. There is also something distinctly off about her face as drawn. She looks kind of like an insane Barbie doll, which isn't even suggested by the writing.

I would like author info in the book, as well. A photo is always nice.

This was my third Hard Case Crime novel. I've just started on number four, Bust, and I have great hopes for it.


On Sat Jan 27, 2007 10:51 am ((PST)), Dave Zeltserman < dz@hardluckstories.com> wrote:
>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!

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