Wednesday, February 21, 2007

E. Howard Hunt

COMING SOON -- An original piece by Stephen Marlowe about how he and Richard S. Prather collaborated on one of the most famous Gold Medals of them all, DOUBLE TROUBLE. Stay tuned.

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I'm halfway through The House on Q Street by Robert Dietrich aka E. Howard Hunt. And despite a few far-right observations enjoying the hell out of it. At this stage in his career his early start as a literary novelist is still in evidence even though the book is by and large standard but excellent pulp. The style here is very polished with none of the crudities of lesser pulp and there are many sophisticated references to art and music and literature. The type of references that one probably does encounter in Georgetown and environs. The refrences never get pretentious and in fact help take us into a world I've never visited before.

Who'd have thought that you could build a hardboiled series arond a CPA protagonist? But when you think of it, money is at the center of most crooked deals in Washington. And it wasn't any different back in the Cold War Fifties. If Hunt reminds me of anybody, it's a less violent Donald Hamilton. The world views are similar and so are the attitudes. Dutiful Cold Warriors to the end.

I'd recommend this book without qualification. Even though he became a nutjob later on (or maybe he was always a nutjob), Hunt here shows himself to be one hell of a good storyteller.

1 comment:

Duane Swierczynski said...

Looking forward to that Stephen Marlowe piece.

I totally agree with you on HOUSE ON Q STREET. Art Bourgeau at Whodunit in Philly plucked it from a shelf and told me, "You'll like this." I was dubious--I mean, the protagonist is a friggin' accountant. But like you, I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed it, and the writing was very strong.