Just getting caught up on a long, LOOOOONG thread (27 freaking pages, seriously?!!), and that is the thought that popped into my head while reading what y*all have wrote. DAWN PATROL was great, THICK AS THIEVES was great (although, as organic as the ending was, I do understand people being upset about *the death*), and other than for that I am trying to scan all the crime novels I have read in the last year or so. Last week, I read BREAKOUT, NOBODY RUNS FOREVER, ASK THE PARROT, and DIRTY MONEY, the last four Parker novels by Richard Stark (aka Donald Westlake) before he passed away, and they pretty much brushed away all the other crime novels I have read recently, because even though he was old as hell, the dude knew how to write. So yeah, they brushed away a lot, except the Monty Haaviko novels, which you guys already attended to earlier in the thread, and I agree with everyone in that it is a total shame the dude is dead.
Somebody somewhere wrote that they had just finished Bobby Z, and that they liked it but it wasn*t head of the class. I am with you on that, BUT, in a kind of behind-the-scenes/directors-cut sort of way, I do have this to share: Winslow, at the time of writing Bobby Z, was on an international investigation gig that essentially demanded that he be totally sub rosa, and take the bus from Torrance into LA every freaking morning. While on the bus, blending with the people (because how awesome is it that a writer of great fiction is also, pretty much, one of his own characters?), he wrote Bobby Z longhand, with pen to paper, with no revisions. Once I had read the interview where Winslow divulged that, I went and re-read Bobby Z, and I have to say, if you read it as a guy writing manically, full-speed, with no time to look back on what he has written, that really, REALLY shows through.