RARA-AVIS: Recent reads : Elmore Leonard, Michael Connelly, James Lee Burke...

From: foolesgold (foolesgold@gmail.com)
Date: 31 Aug 2009

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    out of lurking for a moment...

    Elmore Leonard used to be my numero uno read. PAGAN BABIES was the last one that I can remember thinking "I loved this book" when I was finished. STICK, LABRAVA, FREAKY DEAKY, OUT OF SIGHT, and CUBA LIBRE were all instant classics for me. ROAD DOGS made me flash back to those books. It was his best (IMO) in years (although I'm sure I missed a few in the interim). I can't imagine putting out as many books as he has and still hitting the mark every time.

    Michael Connelly is really hitting on all cylinders. It looks like three bestsellers in 2009. He has three main characters in Harry Bosch, Mickey Haller, and Jack McEvoy who can each carry a story arc. THE SCARECROW was a nice shout out to his old profession of crime reporting.

    I agree with some on this list that James Lee Burke has gotten more verbose and florid over the years. I've always been a fan of the Robicheaux series, but in recent books I found myself asking if he really wants people to like or identify with Dave or not. With that being said, THE TINROOF BLOWDOWN had me tasting NOLA after Katrina.

    I like what Ray Banks is doing with the Cal Innes series. He has echoes of Bruen and Rankin running rampant in his work and I love the dialect of his dialogue. SUCKER PUNCH = great read.

    It was nice to see VANILLA RIDE on the shelf at the local library. I've always enjoyed the banter between Hap and Leonard. Lansdale's horror has never clicked with me, but I love the lovable losers.

    I'm taking on John D. MacDonald for the first time since I found a cache of ten of his books on the $1 rack at my local coffee shop. Perhaps Hamilton will be next.

    ...back to lurking, see ya in the daily digest.

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