RARA-AVIS: recent reads

From: DJ-Anonyme@webtv.net
Date: 25 Feb 2008

Nothing heavy, nothing profound, but some good books that hit the pure entertainment spot I was looking to hit. In no particular order:

Blackmail Inc by Robert Kyle (AKA Terrall)

A pretty straight, traditional '50s PI novel . . . with '50s values: the whole thing hinges on how horrible it is for an actor to be outed in a tabloid (wait, maybe things haven't changed that much). Kind of generic, but that's just what I was looking for. Good characters, plot and wisecracking. This is the first in the Ben Gates series, the second of which was recently published by Hard Case Crime. On their website, they refer to the series as Terrall's "comic work," which I don't get beyond Gates's smartass remarks. It certainly doesn't try for the comedy in Prather's Shell Scotts, for instance.

Stark by Edward Bunker

A pretty straight Gold Medal type book about a con man and junkie who has been given a choice between snitching and going to jail. The con man tries to work it to his advantage. Kind of light fare for Bunker, who went on to write No Beast So Fierce, Animal Factory, etc, but good for what it is. Really inane, hip speak intro by Ellroy.

The Getaway Man by Andrew Vachss

Thanks to whoever recently mentioned this book. Reminded me I had it. Really, really good book about, well, a getaway driver. Very much in the Gold Medal vein. Made me wish I had some unread Dan J Marlowes to follow it up with. Wish Vachss wrote more standalones; this is almost as good as Shella, which was amazing.

Half the Blood in Brooklyn by Charlie Huston

Even more slapdash than Huston's slapdash norm in this vampire noir series, but still entertaining. And it ends with a few "big doings" that should make the next in the series even better (if he's a little less seat of the pants in his internal plotting).

Deadly Beloved by Max Allan Collins

A while ago, I mentioned I was reading this and was going to be pissed if I had indeed guessed who did it even before I knew what was done. I am still trying to figure out why I still enjoyed this book even though it was predictable and I didn't really buy Collins's female first person. I guess it was just the comic book fan still inside me.

And I've just started Bad Thoughts by Dave Zeltserman. Which reminds me, isn't Small Crimes supposed to be out by now? Is it out?


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