always seemed normal to me for a mystery story to begin at the end
of a mahogany paneled hallway in front of a door with a transom
above and a beaded glass window with the name of a private eye in
gold letters. The guy inside would subsist on Lucky Strikes and
cheap whiskey. In spite of his rumpled suit, and he always wore
a suit, and his stained hat, he loved his country, his mother, and
believed that good triumphed over evil.
things are different in the literary world these days. The traditional
mystery is very difficult to find. Oh, there’s still plenty
of murder going on out there but it’s not some customary bad
guy getting revenge on a squealer or an opportunistic jewel thief
killing a courier carrying a satchel full of diamonds. Even the
ever popular serial killer is seeing his star wane.
it always seems to be a renegade terrorist trained by the CIA, KGB,
or any one of a dozen other covert operations agencies. And his
targets aren’t ordinary people either. They’re, at the
very least corporate CEO’s and more often high ranking government
officials. Even the Pope has become a favorite target. And the assassins
aren’t using thirty-eight snub noses anymore either. They
need far more sophisticated weapons and night vision goggles. For
some reason AK47’s are popular even though they’re a
somewhat inferior assault rifle. But these guys are highly trained
operatives and the author always takes you inside their heads so
that you can see the tactics develop through skilled eyes. The action
level has noticeably increased as well. It’s reminiscent of
Blackie who always seemed to find himself in a death struggle
on top of a water tower or on the roof of a speeding train. The
car chase scenes in Bullit and The
French Connection come to mind.
not complaining about modern thrillers, I just wish they hadn’t
Hammer and Sam
Spade out of the way while clawing their way to the forefront.
continue to read and review these books and I’ll genuinely
enjoy them… But I miss my old friends.