Aficionados of the city New York loves to pretend to hate know that Michael Connelly’s books are a super way to slip into L.A. when you can’t get away from Cincinnati. I can’t tell you whether he’s a fine writer. I no longer even pretend to know what fine writing is and I’m old enough and have read enough to be suspicious when somebody starts to praise a writer for his fine writing. It is too often true that a writer who is said to have done fine writing is a writer who’s leaving in all those parts Elmore Leonard leaves out. So, now that I think about it, you can’t hit Michael Connelly with the fine writing stick, because he leaves out plenty of that useless ornamentation, leaving nice spare detective thrillers in a great location. But what I need to remind you is that there is an alternative to Michael Connelly for L.A. crime: Robert Crais. I see he’s on the NYT best seller list for Chasing Darkness, which I haven’t gotten to yet, but I’m confident enough from his previous stuff to tell you you’ll be in very good hands if you can get your hands on it.
On the same list: The Last Patriot by Brad Thor. This I have actually read, and I can assure you that you will be better off with Robert Crais, or for that matter, a really good Superman issue. It’s action figures at play. If you have to read something with action figures from the NYT list, you’re better off with The Last Oracle by James Rollins which I have also read, but you’d probably have more fun with those L.A. crimes I’m subtly shoving down your throats.