On writer Ed Gorman’s blog, he writes about the upcoming reprint of two of Vin Packer’s vintage Gold Medal thrillers. I thought the way he described Packer’s characters was eloquent…and entertaining in its own right.
What unites the two types of Packer books is what the people of both worlds have in common–secrets. Terrible secrets. Secrets that eat at them like a feverish disease. Secrets that will ultimately destoy them–they’ll explode if these secrets are revealed; they’ll implode when they reach the point where they can no longer drag themselves through another day of the masquerade.
The secrets can be sexual, financial, social, criminal. It doesn’t matter. What does matter is that they’re hiding out inside themselves, trying to cauterize their wounds with drink, drugs in the later books, sex, vengeance, rage. Of course, these spiritual sedatives produce nothing more than further–and sometimes fatal–alienation.
I also learned something I didn’t know before: hardboiled Vin Packer was actually the pseudonym of a woman — Marijane Meaker.
2 thoughts on “Packer Packs Punch”
Really? How interesting indeed, considering th kind of career and life Meaker led. I knew her best as M.E. Kerr, author of some weird little YA books, but she’s also been in the news of late for being an ex-girlfriend of Patricia Highsmith.
And let’s not forget that a rock band (fairly obscure, I’ll admit) named itself for one of Packer’s novels. The band and the novel were called The Damnation of Adam Blessing.