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Wednesday, July 19, 2006
THE OLDER HE GETS, THE BETTER HE WRITES
"If you're a singer you lose your voice. A baseball player loses his arm. A writer gets more knowledge, and if he's good, the older he gets, the better he writes." Mickey Spillane
It was sad news indeed to hear that Mickey Spillane had died. Rodger posted an excerpt from Vengeance Is Mine!, and Pat has never forgotten the ending to I The Jury: where Mike Hammer's new girlfriend does a striptease to try to distract him from the fact that he's figured out that …
I've never read Mickey Spillane -- not yet -- but he does figure into one of my stories about a refreshingly old-fashioned librarian who goes strictly By The Book:
“What are you going to do, Officer Rooney, haul me off to jail?”
He had to suppress a smile as her choice of words caught him off guard. “You've been rapping knuckles for decades and nobody has ever turned into a psychopathic killer yet, least of all me.”
“Mickey Spillane, wasn't it,” she declared rather smugly.
“You've got some memory, Miss Emily. I The Jury. Boy, that takes me back. That Mickey Spillane sure can write. It’s been a long time since I read one of his books. Too long.” Rooney sighed
"Nobody reads a mystery to get to the middle. They read it to get to the end. If it's a letdown, they won't buy anymore. The first page sells that book. The last page sells your next book." Mickey Spillane
There is no better description of William "Kent" Krueger's Cork O'Connor series than that. Krueger is one of those writers who "the older he gets, the better he writes." Beginning with the first book, Iron Lake, I've read every one in the series. Krueger was apprehensive about the ending in the 5th book, Mercy Falls. I think he described it as "risky." In my opinion the risk paid off. I loved it and told him so. So when he offered me an ARC copy (advanced reader's copy) of his latest, Copper River (due out next month), I jumped at the chance. It arrived on Monday and I, the world's slowest reader, finished it last night.
I hate coming to the end of Krueger's books. They're that good. But don't take my word; click on the links to read excerpts. Krueger can't crank 'em out fast enough for me.