Philip St. Ives
Created by Oliver Bleeck (Ross Thomas)
The very urbane PHILIP ST. IVES is a bit different from your average private eye. Sure, he's certainly not above the traditional private eye virtues of brain and brawn, but there's no rundown office, no bottle of rotgut in the desk drawer waiting for him at the end of a hard day slogging down the mean streets of some crime-ridden, corrupt city he can never seem to escape. Nope, St. Ives is a jetsetter whose beat seems to be the world. His cases take him to London, Yugoslavia, Rotterdam, Washington, and all points in between and along the way. And no sleazy divorce work for Phil either. He's a former police reporter turned professional go-between, a sort of semi-legit middleman working to negotiate the return of everything from stolen property to kidnap victims from the bad guys, while trying to keep his hands relatively clean.
Above-average thrillers, with a dry sense of humour at work. And no wonder--Oliver Bleeck is the pseudonym of world-renowned thriller author Ross Thomas.
There was even a film made from the novel The Procane Chronicle (1972), starring none other than seventies superstar Charles Bronson. It certainly takes liberties with the source material, and the ending is uncharacteristically light-hearted, considering all that's lead up to it. Still, while the film won't make anyone forget The Maltese Falcon or Chinatown, it's certainly one of the better things Bronson's ever done, and the supporting cast is dynamite. Jacqueline Bissett is breathtakingly beautiful, if underused, and it's great fun to see some of the supporting cast on their way to bigger and better roles.
Or just hanging in, as when Elisha Cook Jr., apparently the hardest working man in hard-boiled crime films, dropped in for a bit part.
-- Mark Sullivan
A List of K&R Specialists
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.
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