During the early 1990s when I was still a young hip lad (in my head, anyway) I was on a mission to track down every single Burt Hirschfeld book in existence. It didn’t matter how many or how much they cost, I just wanted to complete my collection that started with this featured title, FLAWLESS (1985, Jove). This one has one of the best paperback covers of the glam ‘80s. I kid you not on this. Ever since the successful publication of Judith Krantz’s SCRUPLES, every publisher in America wanted to capitalize on the trend by focusing on the face of the heroine on their covers. In the case of FLAWLESS, she is a mix of Brooke Shields and Kim Delaney rolled into one. Simple but effective. The novel? About the same.
FLAWLESS delivers mostly the goods when the supposedly main character does take center stage—in about a third into the story. What the author does instead, with this tale of family feuds and shady business deals amongst the jewel industry, is concentrating on the male side of things and keeping everything in check with a fast-moving plot. A well made task, if you ask me, but one which could have had a higher benefit had it focused more on the heroine's point of view (like the book back cover teaser makes you believe). As is, the novel reads more like a ‘60s pulp actioner than anything else. Yet narratively speaking, Hirschfeld still knows how to charm his readers, and the path to the final climactic scene makes one yearns to grab other hirschfelds in the future, like I eventually did in the long run.
As of today, I almost own the complete collection of Burt Hirschfeld’s novels. There are still some titles I am in no hurry to get. Titles that failed to strike my fancy, whether they are non-fictions or TV show/movie tie-ins. If I do come upon them by chance, believe me I will purchase them. As of the end of 2018 I have not had the pleasure of catching them whenever I visit a bookstore here in Canada or around the world. Sure, there is always the Web to rely on but I just refuse to pay a bundle for titles I will most likely never read. Besides I got so many unread novels by this guy that I’m willing to settle for what I own right now. And you know the old saying, too many books so little time... I have no idea if I’ll manage to go through all of them but I sure will try.
Until next post—Martin