Saturday, April 15, 2006

Private Investigations

I don't read alot of crime fiction but enjoy a few authors; one of whom is Sara Paretsky. I just read her first novel "Indemnity Only", having picked up a 2nd hand copy recently - its been a few years since I read one of her books, but V.I. Warshawski, her female Polish Private investigator based in Chicago is always compelling. Considering this was the first book, its interesting how little back story there is - though this is expanded in future novels - but also, how many of the signature ideas of her books are already there. Most compelling, of course, is that crime fiction is about the only place where a writer can finger big business and contemporary issues; though last night I caught BBC News 24's Hard Talk, and an interview with Jay McInerney. Despite being an open, willing interviewee, it was frustrating - going over his first book, Bright Lights, Big City again and the "image" that was in this book (though how anyone could ever read that and not see its more satire than lifestyle choice escapes me), and then jumping forward to his latest post-9/11 novel. That this revisits characters from what is probably his best book, "Brightness Falls", was not even alluded to. Missed opportunities.

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