RARA-AVIS: Lionel White

From: hardcasecrime (editor@hardcasecrime.com)
Date: 04 Sep 2009

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    > By the way, does anybody have any suggestions
    > on Lionel White books? I read Clean Break
    > (otherwise known as The Killing) and dug that.

    Sadly, nothing else White wrote ever came close to the high standard he set in CLEAN BREAK. Not even remotely. A few of his caper novels have decent plots, but they also suffer from the author's slightly creepy attachment to writing rape (or near-rape) scenes that are clearly meant to be arousing for the reader, or at least seem to have been so for the writer, and his tendency to paint black and Mexican characters with the crudest of brushstrokes. (Best of all, of course, are the cases where he combines these two.) I'm the last person on earth to be, or ask others to be, PC, but I find myself wincing in embarrassment when I read much of White's stuff. It's one of the reasons there hasn't been a White novel in our line.

    But THE KILLING is outstanding. No question about that.


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