Ross Thomas Analysis


(Masterpieces of Fiction, Detective and Mystery Edition)

Ross Thomas made the dark side of the worlds of politics, finance, and espionage as familiar to readers as the headlines in their daily newspapers. Crossing the mean, dark streets lined with executive suites and using the eye of a reporter and the tongue of an adder with a malicious sense of humor, he made the reader feel like an eavesdropper in the halls of power, often using the inside political manipulator as hero. As Oliver Bleeck, Thomas invented a new occupation for amateur sleuth Philip St. Ives. As a professional go-between, St. Ives dabbled in crimes ranging from art theft to Cold War double-crosses.


(Masterpieces of Fiction, Detective and Mystery Edition)

Donovan, Mark. “With Twenty-first Thriller, Writer Ross Thomas Just Might Hit It Big—Not That He Hasn’t Been Trying.” People Weekly 28 (November 30, 1987): 109. A look at Thomas’s output and his lack of a breakout hit after twenty-one attempts.

Hiss, Tony. “Remembering Ross Thomas.” The Atlantic Monthly 278, no. 5 (November, 1996): 117. Tribute to the late author by a writer known for his biographies and social commentary.

Hitz, Frederick P. The Great Game: The Myth and Reality of Espionage. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004. Hitz, a former inspector general of the Central Intelligence Agency, compares fictional spies to actual intelligence agents. Gives perspective to Thomas’s writing, although he is not directly discussed.

Kelly, R. Gordon. Mystery Fiction and Modern Life. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1998. Examines the parallels between real life and detective fiction. Contains brief analysis of Thomas’s work.

Roth, Marty. Foul and Fair Play: Reading Genre in Classic Detective Fiction. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1995. A post-structural analysis of the conventions of mystery and detective fiction. Examines 138 short stories and works from the 1840’s to the 1960’s. Mentions Thomas and helps place him in context.

Scaggs, John. Crime Fiction. New York: Routledge, 2005. Contains a chapter on crime thrillers that sheds light on Thomas’s work.