Wyatt and Parker, Part II
I've just finished Disher's second Wyatt novel, Paydirt, and, as the novel ends, Wyatt, troubled by a hitman from the mob, called here "The Outfit," vows to take his quarrel to the Outfit personally. Those angry November readers may be unhappy to learn that Stark had written a Parker novel called The Outfit, in which, well, you can guess.
If I were Australian, I might be more sensitive to allegations that Disher was engaging in "cultural cringing" by using an American model. (Of course, I'm not American, either, as readers of this blog might assume.) Instead, I urge everyone to read some Wyatt novels, then a few of the earlier Parkers. Then they should read Disher's clever and funny short story "My Brother Jack," available in The Oxford Book of Detective Stories. In addition to providing some of the best crime writing from any country, this should convince readers that Wyatt is no mere copy of Parker. And "My Brother Jack" should make any reader believe that Disher may have been at once paying homage to a great crime writer and setting himself the challenge of sticking fairly closely to a model while at the same time creating a character of noticeably different temperament.
I have never seen Disher discuss the Wyatt-Parker question. Do any readers know of such a discussion? Better still, if Garry Disher ever reads this, I'd love to hear what he has to say.
© Peter Rozovsky 2007