James Crumley

Though he likes to introduce his work by explaining that he is "the bastard son of Raymond Chandler", his heros, Milo Milodragovitch and C.W. Sughrue, have retreated from the metropolitan mean streets to a small town in Montana. Introduced in The Wrong Case, Milodragovitch is as a small-time investigator waiting for his 52nd birthday - when he is to inherit a fortune from his parents (both of whom committed suicide.) Sughrue first appears in The Last Goodbye Kiss, trying to escape mainstream society and his experiences in Vietnam. Both series have a compelling, bleak humour where male bonding is fuelled by alcohol, drugs and violence. Milodragovitch and Sughrue finally teamed up for Bordersnakes.

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