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Ratings and Reviews (2 12 star ratings
2 reviews

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2.5 out of 5
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  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    Not One of "The Best Crime Novels in Existence"

    2.5 stars I have come to expect great crime fiction from Brash Books, which rescued from relative obscurity the incomparable Peter Bragg series by Jack Lynch, so I was excited to receive an ARC of Geoffrey Miller's debut, The Black Glove, which Brash describes as "Edgar nominated" and allegedly "equal[ to] the work of Hammett and Chandler." Published by one of my favorite publishers and nominated for the most prestigious award in the mystery genre; how could The Black Glove be anything less than brilliant? If you've read this far, you've probably already figured out that, in my opinion, The Black Glove fell pretty short of the mark. I was so surprised by the poor writing and unnecessarily convoluted plot, in fact, that I checked the Edgars database for some clue as to what the Mystery Writers of America saw that I missed, and there it was: The Black Glove was nominated in 1982, after which nothing more was heard from Miller (although the Brash Books website indicates that he has recently completed his second book). I can't fault Miller for losing that Edgar to Stuart Woods, but the other three nominees are as little known as Miller himself. Reading The Black Glove, I was reminded of my experiences in going back now to watch the TV shows I loved in the 1970s; to put it mildly, none of them have aged well. To offer just a couple of examples of Miller's jarring descriptive phrases: A police officer observes a corpse "and the results of his head wounds that were all about him like a halo painted on the ground." An attractive woman, one whom the narrator likes, "spew[s] charm like a severed artery," while another pretty girl "wear[s] a big smile all the time as if she was trying to jam radar." Our hero's temper explodes, "overloaded in one grain of moment." By the time Miller had the hero peering through "aspiclike" fog, I was so distracted by the prose that I lost interest in the action - presumably not the result an author hopes for when writing a book his publisher characterizes as a "thriller." I admire Brash Books' mission of publishing "the best crime novels in existence," even when, or perhaps especially when, those books have fallen out of print. In the case of The Black Glove, however, I think Brash should have let sleeping dogs lie. I received a free copy of The Black Glove from Brash Books in exchange for an honest review.
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