Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Robert Campbell was born in Newark New Jersey. Along with his crime novels, he wrote several screenplays for television series. However, it is his books that were his signature pieces.
He was the creator of three series featuring a detective of some sort. His most notable characters are as follows:
Whistler, Private Eye
Jim Flannery, Sewer Inspector
Jake Hatch, railroad detective.
He also wrote a couple of other stand alone novels; his best was a book called "Juice".
While all of his books are good, it was his tales of L A as expressed in the books about Whistler and the book Juice that are my favorite. These would appeal to lovers of Chandler in that he picked up where Raymond left off. The stories, while set in the 1980's, read like books from the 1940's.
His characters were also magnificent and reminscent of the ones you would find in Damon Runyon's work. They were down on their luck hard guys who skulked around in the shadows and would stick a knife in you, when your back was turned. This description would apply to both good and bad people in his stories.
If you want to read this author I would start with following titles:
In La La Land We Trust
Alice In La La Land
The Wizard of La La Land
Sweet La La Land
These are fast reads and will leave you wanting more from this great writer of crime fiction.