21 December 2007


The Hard Case books are stacking up like 747s at SFO. I got off the beam for a few weeks and I have been scrambling to catch up on my backlog. The latest one I tackled was Branded Woman by "Wade Miller." This one is HCC-011 from July of 2005 and concerns a femme fatale jewel thief on a vengeance crusade in the Mexican Riviera. It has a fast pace, and lots of intrigue, mystery and violence. What could be bad? Actually, it is a fun read, but not high up on the literary scale. Guys like Block, Goodis and Westlake can really turn a phrase and cut down on the damn adverbs at the same time. So I tagged this one a "potboiler." The author, Wade Miller, is a pseudonym of a writing pair, Robert Wade and Bill Miller. How two guys could work together so closely for such a long time and have such a prodigious output is beyond me. I would drive any writing partner of mine to drink, and I've no doubt he'd do the same for me. Nonetheless, these guys have an impressive and enviable legacy in the mystery/crime/noir universe. Like most of the Hard Case selections, this book makes you want to read more of the same. I wonder if this story was ever filmed--it seems like Branded Woman would make a hell of a flick.

No comments: