Thursday, 26 April 2018

The Gutter and the Grave

I blogged about it recently, but as I finished it since then, I thought I could have it as today 's reading suggestion. I am talking of course about The Gutter and the Grave, by Ed McBain. Surprisingly it does not feature the detectives of the 87th Precinct, but ex private eye turned drunkard and bum Matt Cordell, who lost his license and everything else, including himself, when he beat up the lover of his wife. Narrated by Cordell himself, the story uses many tropes, some would say clichés, of hard-boiled crime fiction: an investigation on a minor crime (someone stealing from a cashier) quickly leads to one on a murder, then a second murder, there are femmes fatales a plenty and a good deal of shady characters, an oppressive heatwave, violence of all kinds. What makes the novel stand above other similar ones is the strength of McBain's writing: vivid imagery, sharp dialogues, genuine characters behind their archetypes. One cannot go wrong with Ed McBain.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

Tropes make the world go round!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

You're such a bad influence on me, Guillaume. I just bought a copy of this on my Kindle. I'm off to read it now, tropes and all!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

And I just finished it! It was a good read.