Politically disillusioned crime-fiction good guys
Here's the comment, about a character named Khamis Zeydan, police chief of Bethlehem:
“`All right, then. Let's see if we can get any information from the information department.' ...
"[Siri] was a remarkably patient man, but he had no time for incompetence in the government sector. He and Boua had fought for most of their lives to end corrupt systems and he had no intention of being part of one. In his most officious voice, he belted out: `Good god, man! What do you think you're doing? This is a government department, not a rest home. What if there was some sporting emergency or something?'"
The characters, one a protagonist, the other a protagonist's dangerous friend, are both disillusioned revolutionaries who have not let their disillusionment carry them over to the dark side, at least not entirely. That old formula about walking the mean streets who are not themselves mean proves adaptable to cultural and political circumstances different from Raymond Chandler's.
"He's typical of high-level Palestinian military men – though not those with the absolute top jobs. Most of them are very disillusioned. They thought they'd come back from exile to be policemen, and suddenly young gunmen took over the streets and they weren't allowed to do anything about it. Khamis Zeydan is based on a friend of mine who introduced me to many of his colleagues in this discontented echelon of the Palestinian military."
That's two disillusioned revolutionaries who nonetheless stayed on the good side. Can you think of any more crime-fiction heroes or helpers whose disillusionment was political?
© Peter Rozovsky 2008
Matt Beynon Rees