Monday, December 19, 2005

From the Bayou to the North

So I finished (with a little skimming) Barry Maitland's Malcontenta last night. It was decent, good enough that I will probably read another one of his books at some point. For my money, the best British mystery writer is Peter Robinson. His later stuff is better, try In a Dry Season. The books remind me of those of James Lee Burke. Like Burke, Robinson develops his main and secondary characters over the books, which makes reading more of them rewarding. Unlike other mystery writers, the stories aren't just backgrounds for the main characters, they are interesting, involving and often tragic on their own. Both writers focus on one part of the world, Burke on Louisiana and Robinson on Yorkshire. Burke's character is actually the less realistic one. In most of the books, he picks a fight with someone, usually of some influence, and often capable of violence. He should be dead by now.

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