“Suddenly it was as if I could see this scene as it unfolded on a stage or screen: the vast house, lit from within but surrounded by darkness. The troubled wife treading lightly on the kitchen floorboards, whispering to her husband. And the workman beneath her feet, beneath the house, staring overhead: all knotted muscle and clenched teeth, mythical and bristling. A member of the underworld, bent on mutiny.”
Elissa Ward, The Secret Lives of Married Women
Hard Case doesn’t always deliver on its promise: their stuff tends a little toward the faults of pulp, as it should; mechanical plotting, functional characterization, thin and predictable if lurid psychology, velocity over all else. They are, after all, unrepentantly a pulp house, even if they do very nice stuff with their pulp. But every once in a while there’s something that reaches outside its class—or, in this case, so entirely captures and crystallizes it that you just have to tip your hat.
May 31, 2014, 10:30am Comments