She'd likely not want to strangle James if she met him. He's a cheerful, soft-spoken sort, more than willing to pose for photos with admiring fans. But Parker is an acute reader; words do flow in crazy abundance in James' books, at least the more recent ones. The difference is that I like the effect. Here's Colin Harpur in James' newest, I Am Gold, contemplating a hostage negotiation with an armed kidnapper who calls himself John:
"Harpur thought the greeting, regreeting, fizzled with emptiness and formula. Naturally it did. It came from the manual — Besieging for Dummies, or something like. And, just as naturally, this boy, this boy `John' in there could recognize smooth-textured bullshit. Very likely these calls would contain nothing but. In fact, perhaps ultimately there'd be so much he would get disorientated by it, half smothered by it, gently and mercilessly chinwagged into collapse and surrender by it. But, maybe he recognized this hazard and left the phone dead for spells while he got his breath back."That's a bigger step into contemplation than is usual in a police procedural, with perhaps more irreverence than is the custom, but the effect is all the stronger for this. ("mercilessly chinwagged into collapse and surrender" is nice because unexpected.) And, for all the baroque smother of verbiage, it's a plausible thought about such a negotiation. It's relevant, in other words, pace Parker. And I giggled like an idiot at this:
"`You're trying to soften me, aren't you, Olly?' ...That's relevant. More to the point, it's fun.
"Rockmain mouthed: `Fuck, fuck, the smartarse fuck.' Harpur took that to be an admission John read the psychotactics right. Iles leaned over and tapped Rockmain on the arm. When Rockmain turned towards him Iles pantomimed a lavatorial scene, holding his nose with one hand and pulling an imaginary flush chain with the other: his thoughts on Rockmain's intervention."
© Peter Rozovsky 2011