RARA-AVIS: What I'm Reading

From: Nathan Cain ( IndieCrime@gmail.com)
Date: 20 Sep 2007

I thought I'd chime in with what I've been reading lately. I didn't jump in earlier because I wanted to finish Pelecanos' The Night Gardener, which impressed me a great deal. It was a very mature, realistic work of crime fiction, and my first experience with Pelecanos' work outside of The Wire. The book got a lot of praise, and I thought it earned it.

I also recently read The Barbarous Coast by Ross MacDonald. It wasn't one of the better Archer books. The story itself wasn't bad, but I don't think the writing was all that great. It had a howler of a simile (or maybe a metaphor, I don't have the book handy) where MacDonald compares a woman's stockinged feet to "furtive animals making love beneath the hem of her dress" or something like that. Very bad. This book also had a real viciousness about it, too. MacDonald didn't hold back when writing about Hollywood and show business. His animosity leaps off the page, and there are almost no sympathetic characters.

I also read James Reasoner's Texas Wind, which I didn't like quite as much as Dust Devils, but it was still a good read.

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