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Black (2013)

by Russell Blake(Favorite Author)
3.81 of 5 Votes: 4
Reprobatio Ltd
review 1: Black is a private investigator trying to be a modern-day Bogart. Part of the fun is that he succeeds in this only in his own mind. Another plus is the banter with his secretary, and with others as well, but becomes a negative when it continues too long and comes off as artificial, far removed from reality and often inappropriate. So the book could use some editing. It also stretches credulity at the end when, after being so desperate for money for most of the book, he suddenly becomes very generous with the small payoff he gets, giving most of it away to unlikely people for unlikely reasons. Until then his foolish generosity was never mentioned. Also, his insurance company handing over $20,000 for a destroyed 1973 Cadillac is even more unrealistic; way back in 1992 ... moreI got less than $2000 for a wrecked 1978 Buick that was in better shape. Overall, the book was fun, and kept me reading, but it was just an average and very unlikely story.
review 2: Introducing (for me) a new detective. Artemus James (Jim) Black. Call me Black. Roughly hewn from a similar granite to Spade, Marlowe, Archer but with a marvellous sprinkling of Nick and Nora Charles. Yes it is set in a modern world as opposed to those earlier days of Chandleresque mean-streeting but the main character Artemus (He hates the name) echoes that desire to rescue damsels and to make a living doing it. Russell Blake however subtly and cleverly subverts this straightforward heroism with a healthy dose of cynical digression from essentially everybody that Black comes into contact with. His assistant, his flaky hippy billionaire parents,his cop friend, even his cat Mugsy. This is the world, in turn, trying to help Black to find himself, and we stand enthralled by the conflict. I thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to the rest of the series. less
Reviews (see all)
Great sense of humor and thoroughly enjoyed the quick read.
Run of the mill tough guy P.I. hard done buy story. Not bad
Beach read. Pulpy fun, but not much real substance.
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