Keeping it fresh
How do these authors keep that well-worn fictional territory fresh? Yesterday I cited one way Shrier does it. Today is Chercover's turn. For one thing, he'll sharpen a traditional P.I. trait just enough to make it stand out. One such example in Big City, Bad Blood is his protagonist's willingness to use violence when necessary. Chercover's guy goes a bit farther than most. You'll recognize the example I have in mind when you read the book.
This protagonist is also comfortable with technology without compromising his toughness, slipping into geekiness, or getting obtrusive about how much research the author has done. I'd flagged one nice example of this, which I'll share with you as I soon as I can find the page it's on.
Now it's your turn. What are your favorite examples of authors' strategies for keeping a traditional genre fresh?
(Whether intentionally or otherwise, Shrier and Chercover have also given their P.I. heroes resonant names: Jonah — as in the whale guy who bounces back to life after being in a pretty tough situation — Geller in Shrier's case, Ray Dudgeon in Chercover's.)
© Peter Rozovsky 2009