Monday, June 18, 2007

Bad Luck and Trouble & Red Wind

In an earlier post, I wrote about Michael Connelly's homage to Raymond Chandler in Connelly's latest, The Overlook. It's not surprising that Connelly would incorporate a passage inspired by Chandler since Connelly credits his decision to become a writer on the discovery of Chandler's books.

What is a little more surprising is to find a homage to Chandler in British native Lee Child's latest, Bad Luck and Trouble. Compare the famous opening paragraph of the Chandler short story Red Wind:

There was a desert wind blowing that night. It was one of those hot dry Santa Anas that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights like that every booze party ends in a fight. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husband's necks. Anything can happen. You can even get a full glass of beer at a cocktail lounge.

To the first paragraph in chapter 21 of Trouble:

Santa Ana was way south and east, past Anaheim, down in Orange County. The township itself was twenty miles west of the Santa Ana Mountains, where the infamous winds came from. Time to time they blew in, dry, warm, steady, and they sent the whole of LA crazy. Reacher had seen their effects a couple of times ... He had seen minor barroom brawls end up as multiple first-degree homicides. He had seen burnt toast end up in wife-beating and prison and divorce. He had seen a guy get bludgeoned to the ground for walking too slow on the sidewalk.
But maybe it's not so surprising since Chandler, while born in the US, also spent the majority of his youth in England.


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