Sunday, August 01, 2010

People Isolated by Their Times: Eliot Pattison's Crime Novels

Calling Elliot Pattison's work "crime novels" mis-labels what he's doing -- because they're actually "justice novels." As he spoke at Kingdom Books this evening, he drew parallels not just between the protagonists in his Bone Rattler series -- exiled Scotsman Duncan McCallum and Native American (Nipmuc) shaman Conawago -- but also between McCallum and Inspector Shan, another outsider, caught up in the ongoing injustice of the Chinese occupation of Tibet.

After reading three sections from his newest book, Eye of the Raven, Pattison also mentioned the coincidence of connecting after its predecessor, Bone Rattler, with a reader whose heritage is Iroquois; shared his passion for international concern about Tibet; and promised at least one more book in the Bone Rattler sequence and two more with Inspector Shan. But in early 2011, he said, he'll interrupt both of these sequences with a fresh one, running in parallel in terms of people isolated by the events around them. We'll all have to wait a few more months before the publisher of this new book, Counterpoint, will let us know what's up.

It was a terrific evening, with interested readers, compelling discussion, and many after-event conversations. Our thanks to Elliot Pattison, who shared a portion of his short vacation time here, before returning to his writing and his legal career. Here's to more of his thoughtful and tightly plotted books.

[PS -- the photo is from last year's visit ... we were so caught up in the evening's conversation that we never pulled out the camera this time!]

No comments: