Monday, April 09, 2007

Line of Fire -- Donald Hamilton


After reading Murderers' Row I moved on to Line of Fire, which is just as good as I remembered. If not better. It seems to me that there's a direct line from this book to Stephen Hunter's Point of Impact. Even the titles have a certain similarity and fit the stories the same way. Both feature an assassination that's not what it appears to be. Both are full of talk about different kinds of guns and bullets and what they can do, and both have a lot about shooting at a distance.

But I digress. I want to talk about Hamilton's book, which is so well done that even though I'd read it before and knew where it was going, it held me right from the first page. (One great thing about those old paperbacks was that you could read them in a couple of hours.) The story's just packed with stuff: a damaged hero (think Jake Barnes), a crooked politician, a thug with ambition, sex, violence, a couple of neat twists, and just plain good writing. If you haven't read anything by Hamilton except the Matt Helm books, you really should read this one. You won't regret it.

2 comments:

Jeff Meyerson said...

I agree, Bill. Terrific stuff.

Peter Rozovsky said...

Right on. Line of Fire is a beautiful piece of work. In re Jake Barnes, nice, too, that the book acknowledges Hemingway.