From: Harry Joseph Lerner (
Date: 17 Oct 2009

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    Speaking of John D., I just started "All These Condemned" and although I am only about 30 or so pages into it, I am already intrigued by the use of multiple first-person narration and the leapfrogging back and forth through time to before and after the murder in question. I am eager to see how it all comes together. Not too much pontificating so far...

    Harry Lerner
    ________________________________________ From: [] On Behalf Of tomarmstrongmusic [] Sent: October 16, 2009 8:00 PM To: Subject: RARA-AVIS: John D.

    I just finished a John D McDonald standalone, "One Monday We Killed Them All". what a title, eh?

    I had a mixed reaction to this book, mostly on account of the narrative voice. it's written in first person, but about a third of the time I was unconvinced that what I was reading was how that character would actually say or describe something. especially, like in the McGee books, when characters would go on lengthy implausible monologues about a topic, in McDonald's "pointed sociological asides" way, here mostly about the state of American justice. too much of John D putting his words into his characters' mouths. that stuff really bugs me, pulls me out of the story, just makes me roll my eyes. it's a mistake that John D's peers, like Charles Williams and Gil Brewer and Jim Thompson, were much less likely to make when writing in first person.

    the flipside of that, the successful part of it, was the first person voice made the central relationships come alive pretty well. the cop telling the story has to deal with his sociopathic criminal brother-in-law, so there's a lot of tension between him, his wife, and the creep.

    then the payoff was worth it, as the climactic action sequences in the last few chapters were very well done.

    so uh yeah there's my mini review. what's everyone else reading?

    Tom Armstrong

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