RARA-AVIS: The Big Caper

From: tomarmstrongmusic (tom@tomarmstrongmusic.com)
Date: 22 Oct 2009

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    Probably old news to a lot of youse guys on here, but dang, Lionel White's "The Big Caper" is terrific. I just finished it yesterday. It's got just about everything you could ask for in a Gold Medal. Very tightly plotted, but not artificially so - all the plotting flows naturally from the characters, who they are and how they act under given circumstances. Both character & plot are perfectly balanced & blended to create narrative drive. Lean, clean prose without a word wasted. Sympathetic but flawed characters at the center, some very memorable creeps around them, countdown suspense giving way to some tough action, a good ending. Really primo stuff. I loved it. Anyone on here who particularly likes ensemble crime procedurals should seek it out.

    Started WR Burnett's "Asphalt Jungle" this morning. Some of his prose is ham-fisted: cliche images just shy of "it was a dark and stormy night...", too much 'tell' etc. But so far, the guy has a knack for character and storytelling that has me overlooking the flaws and I'm getting sucked into it.

    Tom Armstrong

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