Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Joe Gores as Gangster Writer

Date: 02 Feb 2008


Thanks for the clarification. That makes a lot of sense. There is a lot of gray area as well, not just in Gores's work but in general. A routine case becomes personal for a professional investigator and by necessity and/or choice an amateur takes on the role of investigator.
  Any good examples spring to mind of these kinds of transitions?

I'm sure there are many, many examples in noir literature. Ironically enough, typical noir protagonists rarely live in black and white worlds.

Best, Harry

the roll of investigator Quoting JIM DOHERTY <>:

> Harry,
> Re your question below:
> "I'm just about done WOLF TIME and I'm curious
> whether, in your opinion, you would consider Hollis
> Fletcher an amateur or a professional. He is
> clearly an expert hunter/tracker but he himself
> expresses doubts about his ability to transfer those
> skills to tracking down the person that shot and
> crippled him. And, on the other side of the coin,
> there are plenty of professional politicians, but
> would you consider them professional 'bad guys' in the
> traditional sense?"
> Fletch strikes me as being similar to Curt Halsted,
> the college professor in A TIME FOR PREDATORS. He's
> not really a professional detective, but he has
> professional skills that can be applied to the task.
> In the case of Hollis Fletcher, it's the skills of a
> hunter and outdoorsman. In the case of Halsted, it's
> his long-dormant skills as a combat soldier. But, to
> a degree, all amateur sleuths have skills that can be
> applied to crime solving. What sets a professional
> apart is self-identification, and whether or not the
> character is trying to make a living from it. If he's
> been trained as some sort of investigator, thinks of
> himself as some sort of investigator, and makes a
> living at it, or at least gets paid for it, then he's
> a pro. If he's just applying skills he's learned from
> a different walk of life than police work (private
> investigation, espionage, etc.) to a specific, one
> time only task, then he's not.
> In the case of WOLF TIME, the presidential candidate
> who's one of the villains is not making money from his
> criminality, per se. He's trying to suppress a guilty
> secret. In this context, he's rather like the
> upper-class murderer of a cozy, who's not a
> professional criminal per se, but who persuades
> himself that the crime he's committing is necessary,
> "just this once," to preserve his opinion.
> Just my take.
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