Sunday, 25 August 2013

hawk and fisher; sara paretsky

I had it in mind that an interesting crossover genre would be detective/mystery story set in fantasy context. I'm not sure where I heard of Simon R Green's series featuring Hawk and Fisher, two city guards solving crimes in a fantasy city, but I got a three-in-one volume of the first three in the series. I read the first one, Hawk & Fisher, while on holiday just now, and don't feel inclined to read the other two (or, if his other fantasy books are like this - I'd never heard of him, but he's written quite a lot - any other of his books). It was cliche-ridden and the dialogue was poorly written. Another one of those increasing number of books which makes me think, how did this get published and I could do better than this, but in a way which depresses rather than encourages. All well enough to think that, but the fact is that he did in the first instance actually take the trouble to write it and then worked to get it published; I can think all I like that the books I've never written would be better than so many of the books I've read...

The story itself was a classic (in the sense of archetypal, rather than great) locked room, country house mystery, with usual sets of characters, relationships and motives; it could be changed into a non-fantasy version without too much difficulty.

After I read that I started reading Toxic Shock, a VI Warshawski novel by Sara Paretsky, which Bethan had just finished but didn't much like (first of hers she'd read, and also that I was trying), but baled out after a couple of chapters. It was ticking key boxes I didn't like - unsympathetic main character, gritty modern American, plot and setting which didn't interest me - plus the fact that Bethan didn't like it (and didn't say 'but I think you might').

The Hawk & Fisher omnibus was the only novel I brought with me, and I've been avoiding buying too many more books knowing that I'd be carrying them home. I bought a commentary, which I won't be reading now, and Alan Alda's autobiog, which I have now read and of which more later, and The Claw of the Conciliator (second volume in Gene Wolfe's New Sun series), which I thought I'd save for later (but may yet start). So I've started Wind in the Willows, which is in the house, and which I've never read and is on a couple of my 'best books' lists (though reading children's classics as an adult rarely works, I've found), and I can pick it up easily if I don't finish it here.