Wednesday, April 13, 2011
A Grandmaster is Having a Birthday
Ed here: Bill Pronzini is having a birthday today. This is an opportune time for me to thank him for thirty years of friendship, innumerable kinds of help and for never complaining about how much I've learned (i.e. stolen) from his work. Happy birthday, Bill.
Here's a review from a few years ago. This is one of my favorites of Bill's stand alones.
The Other Side of Silence
Bill Pronzini has become not only a poet of people, but a poet of place as well. In THE OTHER SIDE OF SILENCE, corporate security specialist Rick Fallon is, like many Pronzini protagonists, spiritually adrift. And with good reason: The death of his son also meant the death of his marriage. So when he finds Casey Dunbar in an isolated pocket of Death Valley and finds her suicidal, he recognizes a kindred spirit.
Her son has been abducted by her vengeful and cynical husband, not because he cares about the boy, but because he wants to destroy her. The desert speaks to both Fallon and Casey, and in its solemn silence, they agree to start on the long and dangerous journey to recapture her son.
Pronzini’s prose has never been more evocative, giving us a land as seared as the people who inhabit it. The pursuit of the boy is filled with page-turning suspense and constant revelation of the characters the two protagonists meet on their way to the explosive and unexpected ending.
If you need any more evidence as to why The Mystery Writers of America named Pronzini this year’s Grand Master, this novel should make the case once and for all. —Ed Gorman