Friday, March 30, 2012

The Blood of an Englishman

Here's a bit from The Blood of an Englishman (1980), sixth of James McClure's novels about his Afrikaner police lieutenant Tromp Kramer, and his Zulu sidekick, Sgt. Mickey Zondi:

"`Boss Bradshaw is a tall tree,' Zondi remarked primly, `and thee is saying among my people—'

"`Bullshit,' interrupted Kramer, `you're making this up!'

"They laughed together, then peered over the cars in front of them..."
How refreshingly unsanctimonious, how unpolitcally correct and yet enearingly human is that?  I wrote a few months ago that I knew of nothing else in crime fiction like the Kramer and Zondi books: "The writing sparkles with the wit and concision of the best traditional mysteries even though the subject matter is sometimes as dark as that of the darkest hard-boileds. The social criticism is of a deftness that Stieg Larsson could never have managed if he'd written a thousand books, and the sympathetic eye for character is something like Andrea Camilleri's."

Nothing has changed my mind since. McClure was one of the great originals in crime fiction, a defier of categories, and very much worth reading for crime-fiction-lovers of all stripes.

© Peter Rozovsky 2012

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Blogger The Celtic Kagemusha said...

Off-topic, Peter, but a propos my comments about declining standards in the Irish Times

under the sub-heading
All-Ireland Colleges SH A Final
"A fascination showdown"

April 01, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Oh, I don't know. Perhaps each side is noted for the fascination it exerts, and this match will determine whose fascination is more bewitching, a kind of All-Ireland Fascination Final.

April 01, 2012  

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