My books can be purchased as e-books for only $1.99. If interested, just click here: Books.
Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
In case anyone is interested in any of my past posts, an archive list can be found at the bottom of this page.
My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.
Friday, March 21
Fictional Tough Guys
I read quite a bit, but for the last twenty years or so I’ve read exclusively in the mystery/action/suspense genre. Except for all the British horse racing novels by Dick Francis, my wife was mostly too busy or too disinterested to read, but lately she’s taken it up. Nasty habit, reading. When you get hooked that’s about all you want to do. She had never read any of the Ed McBain stuff, so I started her on the Matthew Hope series, thirteen novels about a Florida lawyer who just can’t seem to stay out of trouble. Or trouble keeps finding him. She raced her way through that series and then I started feeding her the 87th Precinct series with McBain’s memorable cast of characters set in a fictional New York. She’s now starting the 44th with ten to go. Keeps her out of mischief. The 87th Precinct series was always one of my favorites, and as I do with most writers I like, I read them and then re-read them, sometimes more than twice. I’ve read both McBains twice, the John Sandford Prey series twice, the Parker Spensers and Jesse Stones and Suunny Randalls all twice, the Lee Child’s Jack Reachers twice, all of the Dick Francis books twice, the Lawrence Block Matt Scudders twice, and my favorite of all, John D. MacDonald’s Travis McGee series four times. Yeah, you could say I’m compulsive. I read the McGee series so often because I was trying to get a handle on MacDonald’s style and all the biographical details of Travis McGee in order to write the final in the series about this iconic tough guy, a novel I would call The Black Widow. But MacDonald’s son didn’t want anyone to touch his father’s legacy. I couldn’t feel too bad about his denial since he’d also said no Stephen King about doing the same thing. Right now I’m just beginning my second reading of Robert Crais’s series about Elvis Cole and Joe Pike, an obvious West Coast copy of Parker’s Spenser. I’ve read nearly all of what Stephen King has written, but he seems to be able to write faster than I can read. And Dean Koontz the same. A long time ago I began James Patterson’s Alex Cross series, but Patterson became so stupidly bloody that I gave him up, and he’s since become so commercial he writes four or five a year in collaboration with four or five other people. No thanks. I still have Michael Connelly and his Harry Bosch, Jonathan Kellerman and his Alex Delaware, James W. Hall and his Thorn, Kathy Reichs and her Temperance Brennan. What more do I need? I need more young authors with tough guy main characters. All the authors of my past preferences are dead or dying. If you’re looking for something to read and have never encountered any of the people I’ve mentioned, go there and rejoice.
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