Wednesday, September 14, 2011

David Corbett's Do They Know I'm Running?

I've been reading David Corbett's articulate and interesting posts on the Rara-Avis e-mail list for some time now and many people on the list have recommended his books, so I thought I'd give one a try. Do They Know I'm Running? is a very serious crime novel, almost more like a mainstream novel (he's being compared to Graham Greene in the back copy), and it touches very serious issues with painstaking details and social criticism.

The book is set in Central America and the story involves hijacking a possible Muslim terrorist into the USA. This is being done with the help of some Salvadorans who are anxious to make a better living up north. The global politics and the Mexican drug lords step into the game and the result is ugly.

As I said, the book is serious. It's almost too serious. It's also a bit too long and there are too many characters, I at least lost track. Well, I started this when I was sick... I also had some trouble getting accustomed to Corbett's literary, somewhat spastic style, but there were many moments of greatness and some beautiful prose. Some of the action scenes were very good too. Corbett manages also to show how even the baddest of the people are usually victims and results of the circumstances. Recommended, but not for fans of more pulpish stuff.

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