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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I missed Tres ... and kinda still do.
I'm a big fan of Rick Riordan and his San Antonio PI Tres Navarre. I've enjoyed Riordan's previous novels, including the non-Tres Cold Springs, and am ready to declare he's the one novelist whose next work I'm always anxiously awaiting. After reading Southtown, I think I have to say my single favorite sentence in the entire work is the one at the end of the About the...
Published on July 28, 2004 by Andrew S. Rogers

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
It does not appear to be a new book which is what I paid for. Even my husband asked why I bought a used
book.
Published 6 months ago by Joyc e A. Lampner


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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I missed Tres ... and kinda still do., July 28, 2004
This review is from: Southtown (Hardcover)
I'm a big fan of Rick Riordan and his San Antonio PI Tres Navarre. I've enjoyed Riordan's previous novels, including the non-Tres Cold Springs, and am ready to declare he's the one novelist whose next work I'm always anxiously awaiting. After reading Southtown, I think I have to say my single favorite sentence in the entire work is the one at the end of the About the Author section: Rick Riordan "lives in San Antonio ... where he is at work on the next novel in the Tres Navarre series."

I'm looking forward to that one because, unfortunately, Southtown didn't quite slake my thirst for another great Tres adventure. In The Devil Went Down to Austin, the last Tres novel, Riordan introduced the technique of departing from Tres' first-person narrative from time to time to give the reader information Tres himself never saw. Now, in Southtown, about half the story is told in omniscient third-person. Only Tres' own scenes are told in his own voice.

This technique allows Riordan to do the kind of psychological exploration he did in Cold Springs. But it makes for a lot less Tres than many of his fans might like -- especially since this book already struck me as fairly brief relative to the other books in the series (it can't just have been my eagerness to read the story that let me finish the book in just a few hours over two evenings), and perhaps a little hurried. At one point, I found myself wondering whether Riordan is getting bored with Tres Navarre. After all, Conan Doyle came to hate Sherlock Holmes and was eager to push him over Reichenbach Falls so he could move on to writing other things. Riordan seems to be exploring different ways to convey psychological tension and suspense, which is great. But as a fan, I'm hoping Tres isn't getting in his way.

That's not to say this is a bad book. Certainly Tres fans won't want to pass it up. I've mentioned in a review of another Tres Navarre title that it's nice to see him maturing as a person (in his world) and a character (in ours), and both those processes continue in Southtown. Many of the supporting characters from earlier books are back, but Tres' relationships with them have evolved in subtle -- or sometimes less subtle -- ways. And the resolution of this story suggests even bigger changes to come in the future.

Southtown is a fine story and a good entry in a high-quality series. But it fell just a little bit short in paying off the eagerness with which I awaited it. So while I again find myself looking forward to the next Tres Navarre novel, I'm hoping the author isn't feeling compelled to turn them out too quickly. There haven't been any bad (or even so-so) Riordan books yet, but in my opinion the best Navarre books have been *really* good, and that's what I'm hoping to see again.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rollicking fun in San Antonio, May 1, 2004
This review is from: Southtown (Hardcover)
When last we saw Tres Navarre, he was busting up the heroin trade in San Antonio's West Side and considering a more challenging job as a medieval studies professor. Luckily for fans of contemporary crime thrillers, Navarre chose dark alleys over the Dark Ages, and he's back after a three-year sabbatical.
Rick Riordan's new "South Town" heralds Navarre's return after publishing his stand-alone thriller "Cold Springs" last year. And the action picks up at the same pace it left off.
The promise of confronting a killer that even killers fear is how Riordan coaxed his popular protagonist out of literary retirement. "Cold Springs," was his fourth book, but his first without Navarre. Having won crime-fiction's Triple Crown (the Edgar, Shamus and Anthony awards) on the strength of the Tres Navarre series, it was a wise move for Riordan, who in real life is a mild-mannered teacher at an upscale private junior high school in San Antonio.
Not that "Cold Springs" was a clunker -- it wasn't. But Navarre is truly one of hard-boiled crime fiction's most complex and sarcastic sleuths since Phillip Marlowe. But while Marlowe wasn't especially cuddly, Navarre holds both black belt in karate and a Ph.D. in English from Berkeley.
And "South Town" -- a localism for the down-side neighborhoods of San Antonio -- runs faster than a Texas road-runner on August asphalt as it hurtles through the diverse worlds of human trafficking, homicide cops and one-hundred-year floods. Riordan populates it with a delightfully motley cast, from widow-raping perverts to a shady pawnshop owner turned stay-at-home dad -- and a third-grade soccer team. As usual, Riordan careens through his Gordian plot only to add a final, thought-provoking twist that no sane reader sees coming.
Riordan's Navarre is tough to beat, mentally or physically: His wise-cracking is as abundant as his skull-cracking. A Tres Navarre thriller inspires as many laughs as gasps.
Any reader who waits impatiently for every new Dave Robichaux or Stephanie Plum mystery can add Riordan to his to-be-read list. He's one of the real artists in the world of neo-noir, where a private-eye can politely question an outlaw by splashing his face with fajitas -- then go out the next morning and coach a youth-league under-10 soccer team.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rollicking fun in San Antonio, July 24, 2004
This review is from: Southtown (Hardcover)
When last we saw Tres Navarre, he was busting up the heroin trade in San Antonio's West Side and considering a more challenging job as a medieval studies professor. Luckily for fans of contemporary crime thrillers, Navarre chose dark alleys over the Dark Ages, and he's back after a three-year sabbatical.

Rick Riordan's new "South Town" heralds Navarre's return after publishing his stand-alone thriller "Cold Springs" last year. And the action picks up at the same pace it left off.

The promise of confronting a killer that even killers fear is how Riordan coaxed his popular protagonist out of literary retirement. "Cold Springs," was his fourth book, but his first without Navarre. Having won crime-fiction's Triple Crown (the Edgar, Shamus and Anthony awards) on the strength of the Tres Navarre series, it was a wise move for Riordan, who in real life is a mild-mannered teacher at an upscale private junior high school in San Antonio.

Not that "Cold Springs" was a clunker -- it wasn't. But Navarre is truly one of hard-boiled crime fiction's most complex and sarcastic sleuths since Phillip Marlowe. But while Marlowe wasn't especially cuddly, Navarre holds both black belt in karate and a Ph.D. in English from Berkeley.

And "South Town" -- a localism for the down-side neighborhoods of San Antonio -- runs faster than a Texas road-runner on August asphalt as it hurtles through the diverse worlds of human trafficking, homicide cops and one-hundred-year floods. Riordan populates it with a delightfully motley cast, from widow-raping perverts to a shady pawnshop owner turned stay-at-home dad -- and a third-grade soccer team. As usual, Riordan careens through his Gordian plot only to add a final, thought-provoking twist that no sane reader sees coming.

Riordan's Navarre is tough to beat, mentally or physically: His wise-cracking is as abundant as his skull-cracking. A Tres Navarre thriller inspires as many laughs as gasps.

Any reader who waits impatiently for every new Dave Robichaux or Stephanie Plum mystery can add Riordan to his to-be-read list. He's one of the real artists in the world of neo-noir, where a private-eye can politely question an outlaw by splashing his face with fajitas -- then go out the next morning and coach a youth-league under-10 soccer team.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, June 28, 2014
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This review is from: Southtown (Mass Market Paperback)
Love the author and his cool, funny PI.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed, December 14, 2013
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This review is from: Southtown (Mass Market Paperback)
It does not appear to be a new book which is what I paid for. Even my husband asked why I bought a used
book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, October 3, 2013
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This review is from: Southtown (Mass Market Paperback)
If you are from the San Antonio/Austin you may enjoy this author. He knows the town from the "old days" and I really enjoyed the series.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good book., September 7, 2013
This review is from: Southtown (Kindle Edition)
Good mystery. Kept me in suspense. Liked the characters. Look forward to the next book of the series by author.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Well done, September 3, 2013
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This review is from: Southtown (Kindle Edition)
Good read. Good character development and action. I didn't want to put it down. I'm looking forward to the next book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Tres Navarre series, June 13, 2013
By 
Sandra A. Allen (Sierra Vista, AZ USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Southtown (Mass Market Paperback)
I really enjoyed this series. They had a similarity of plot, but with so many turns and twists they all remain compelling.
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5.0 out of 5 stars That's Navarre for you., February 17, 2013
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This review is from: Southtown (Kindle Edition)
Quintessential Tres. Loved it from start to finish. I will be very sad to see this series come to an end.
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Southtown
Southtown by Rick Riordan (Mass Market Paperback - December 28, 2004)
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