Savage Season (Hap Collins and Leonard Pine, #1)

Savage Season (Hap Collins and Leonard Pine, #1) - Joe R. Lansdale I really loved The Thicket last year when I chose it to quench my thirst for a good Western read. I was impressed by how engaging the writing was. I decided this year to jump into more books by author Joe Lansdale, and I thought a good start would be his popular Texas crime series featuring his characters Hap Collins and Leonard Pine. This first novel in the series lived up to my lofty expectations!

Hap & Leonard are best buddies, are minding their own business and shooting some skeet in Hap's backyard, when a cute blond heartbreaker walks back into Hap's life, offering more of that sweet love that he remembers fondly. But like any experienced femme fatale knows, most human men would agree to any post-coital request no matter how stupid. So in bed, he agrees to help her and her new man find a treasure trove of cash lost after a bank heist years ago.
"I didn't want to be anywhere near Trudy right then. I had a hunch she would have harsh words to say about me and Leonard, and I wasn't up to it. I didn't want her to get me near a bed either. She could really talk in bed, and if she talked long enough and moved certain parts of her body just right, I might agree to have Leonard shot at sunset."

Lansdale is one of those writers that makes it seem so easy. He manages to find that balance between economic storytelling and lyrical, expressive prose; a balance that my favorite writers possess. It makes for a captivating read that's entertaining and still leaves an impression. In just this one book, Hap and Leonard become two of the most enjoyable protagonists I've come across in a crime series. They seem like two guys I'd like to be friends with and so I would be willing to go on any adventure with them in the future. In this way, they're right up there with Walter Mosley's Easy Rawlins and Dennis Lehane's Kenzie and Gennaro as some of my favorite crime heroes. Likeable, everyday people caught up in dark, extraordinary situations, where they have to step up and be heroes. Hap and Leonard are so different on the surface but are perfect compliments for each other, making for hilarious banter between them that makes the proceedings that much more enjoyable. Can't wait to see what craziness they get into next.
"Yea, that money could make up for a lot of missed ambitions, but without it we were nothing more than a batch of losers, standing cold and silly, empty-handed on the muddy bank of an unnamed creek."

L.A. Confidential

L.A. Confidential - James Ellroy L.A. Confidential feels like the book that James Ellroy has been preparing for and working up to during his entire career up to this point. He takes all of the themes he explored in previous novels and packs them into a book that's an even larger, more epic tale of crime, perversion, and Hollywood corruption than any of his previous books. L.A. Confidential tells the story of three LAPD officers who are initially at odds with one another after the infamous Bloody Christmas police brutality scandal and once again cross paths after a bloody massacre at the Nite Owl coffee shop in Hollywood. At first, each of them are involved in separate investigations. Slowly these mysteries all seem to connect to the Nite Owl in some way and ultimately, the men must learn to put there differences aside as they realize that they are neck deep in a scandal bigger than anything they could've imagined, one that goes beyond the Nite Owl Massacre, that involves filth porn, heroin, tabloid extortion, a popular kid's theme park (Disneyland anyone?), and high-class whores cut to look like movie stars.

I mentioned before that the novel is even more epic than the previous ones in the L.A. Quartet, but is so huge that it's hard to keep track of at times, which makes for a slower read than the more focused stories in The Black Dahlia and The Big Nowhere. It has the most complicated mystery and conspiracy that I've ever read, so complicated that it seems to involve ever person living in L.A. County, and even the characters sometimes have to create graphs to keep track of everything. But no one could've wrangled all of these threads into something coherent other than author James Ellroy, showing his tremendous skill as a writer. And this is the novel where he begins his experimentation with his writing style, moving toward the clipped, manic, jazzy prose that he uses in later novels.

As usual, the characters in this were fascinating, strong men with weaknesses and dark secrets, who through their investigation, seek something close to redemption. Edmund Exley is a young officer living under his father's shadow and a war hero reputation based on a lie, and who is an ambitious, by-the-book, do-gooder who believes in the pursuit of absolute justice and willing to rat out his fellow officers and be hated by everyone to move up in the department. Wendell "Bud" White is a bruising, hard co cop, haunted by witnessing the violent murder of his mother by his father, and takes it out on woman beaters that he arrests. He hates the fact that he's seen as lacking the intelligence to be a good detective, only good with his fists, and he becomes obsessed with privately investigating a string of hooker murders. And finally there's "Trashcan" Jack Vincennes, a Narcotics officer with his own skeletons in his closet, who's dead set on arresting drug users, but more importantly, he strives for Hollywood stardom, consulting on a hit cop show, rousts celebrity druggies, and gives exclusive dirt to tabloid writer Sid Hudgens and his Hush Hush scandal mag in exchange for cash, article write-ups, and a photo op. He begins investigating the production of porno picture books, and we realize that Trashcan Jack might also have an unhealthy obsession with what's between the pages of the books that he finds. The way that each story evolves and interconnects is truly something to behold! This book has enough story for 5 novels, but somehow it's told in about 500 pages. How that's even possible is beyond me...

The movie based on this book is one of my top five favorites, and reading this novel made me appreciate it even more. I've realized it's probably the best movie adaptation of a book to date. How it takes this loaded story that could be adapted into a 10-part miniseries, and successfully converts it into an exciting and engaging 2 hour, 20 minute movie is a feat that really should be recognized. Obviously the movie is missing lots of the story from the book, but the movie really stands on it's own, and skillfully combines multiple characters and creates new scenes and themes that still works to tell the story in an effective way. Although it's sadly missing much of Jack Vincennes's intriguing storyline, it introduces new backstory elements that I wish were in the book (Rollo Tomasi), strengthens the Bud and Exley dynamic, and makes Lynn Bracken an even stronger character. The fact that the movie is at times even better than the book and can stand on it's own really says something about the adaptation. I would suggest both seeing the movie and reading the book, as there is something to be gained by both.

James Ellroy is quickly becoming one of my favorites and I can't wait to soon read White Jazz and his other books. Anyway Dear Reader, that's all the dirt that's fit to print. And you heard it here first, off-the-record, on the QT, and very Hush Hush.

The Martini Shot: A Novella and Stories

The Martini Shot: A Novella and Stories - George Pelecanos Pelecanos is undeniably one of my favorite authors, so of course I had to jump headfirst into this newly-released collection of his short fiction, although I was already familiar with some of the stories. Fellow fans of the author will find many of his usual strengths on display here: his knack for creating flawed but sympathetic characters, his way with dialogue, and the potent atmosphere that he's able to convey in his urban D.C. environments.

One of the best examples of this is the first story in the collection, and possibly one of Pelecanos's best pieces, "The Confidential Informant." It's about an aging nobody who still lives with his parents, and becomes a CI for a local detective. It's a tale filled with an air of sadness, as the main character is still desperate for his parent's approval and he believes that he's finally found his calling as a snitch. Another story that's just as good, "String Music," follows a teen streetball player, who struggles to find a balance between being tough and being smart on the street. It was also refreshing reading "String Music" during the current atmosphere in the U.S. between the public and police officers. The character of Sergeant Peters is everything that a good cop should be. He's in touch with the community that he polices and has a relationship with people there. So instead of seeing the neighborhood as a place to flex his power and bust heads, he sees it as a place to protect. So kudos to Pelecanos for writing a cop character that can stand as an example for the real ones. These two stories feature some of the best writing that he has done.

One of the things that's always struck me about Pelecanos is the fact that he's probably the only non-black novelist who has a talent for constantly writing complex, honest, and fully realized black characters from the inner city. This can be credited not only to the fact that he's lived all of his life in "Chocolate City," but to what seems to be an acute sensitivity to the people and world around him. It's something I've noticed in all of his work. He can be described the same way the social worker in the short story "Chosen" describes Van and Eleni Lucas (Spero Lucas's adopted parents), who adopt two African-American boys: he never feels over-earnest, or trying too hard to be multicultural. His work feels genuine, unlike someone like Quentin Tarantino, who always seems to be trying too hard.

Most of the stories are solid, with the title novella being the weak link. The story is filled with tons of unnecessary detail about the inner workings of a movie set, to the point where most readers would lose interest. I got a kick out of it because I work in that industry and it was fun to see it written very accurately, but it did make the story much longer than it needed to be. At first, I couldn't understand the main character's motivations for looking into the death of another crew member, but by the end, his motivations are revealed and they're pretty interesting. The ending was satisfying, but the novella would have made a better short story.

I wouldn't recommend readers new to Pelecanos to start here, but it's a great, necessary addition to his work and would definitely recommend it to fans.

"I took the ball and dribbled it up. I knew what I was gonna do, knew exactly where I was gonna go with it, knew wasn't nobody out there could stop me. I wasn't thinkin about Wallace or the stoop of my mom's shoulders or which nigga was gonna be lookin to fuck my baby sister, and I wasn't thinkin on no job or college test or my future or nothin like that.
I was concentratin on droppin that pill through the hole. Watching myself doin it before I did. Out here in the sunshine, every dark thing far away. Runnin ball like I do."

The Wheelman

The Wheelman - Duane Swierczynski When it comes to big loads of money, trust nobody!

I probably wouldn't last very long as a career criminal. I probably would be on edge the whole time and would blow everyone away because I wouldn't be able to trust that any of my partners would be loyal. If I tried to pull a heist, the outcome might look a bit like this fun novel about a mute getaway driver during the most disastrous heist of his career. Lennon and his partners make their getaway from a $650K bank heist, but immediately all hell breaks loose!

The action almost never lets up throughout the entire novel, constantly growing into a complex web of colorful characters, twists and turns, and enough double- and triple-crosses to fill three Dashiell Hammett books and a season of 24. This is a fast-paced read and definitely one of the most entertaining novels I've read in a while! I love how each character introduced had more to him or her than met the eye at first, and they brought something new to the plot and pushed it along in a unique way. My favorite character was probably Saugherty, the corrupt ex-cop who made his way through the entire story drunk as a skunk, but surprisingly very functional.

Action-packed, and at times downright hilarious, I would recommend this to any fan of crime thrillers. If Elmore Leonard got a little buzzed and tried to churn out a Richard Stark novel, this book might've been the product!
"This bastard, Lennon decided, was going to die the slowest of slow deaths. The kind where you start out with a cheese grater and a blowtorch, and things escalate from there."

It's Only Death

It's Only Death -  Lee  Thompson
"They clubbed me and tossed me into the trunk of a new pink Cadillac shortly after midnight. I knew the car and couldn't figure out at first why it had to be her car. But the last three days, since I blew back into Miami, had been building up to this. I'd had old enemies who were just waiting for my mother to die so they could kill me, and I had made new enemies while trying to forge a bond with my sister that I had irrevocably broken when I killed our father ten years ago."
I know that it's preferred that reviewers not quote from an Advanced Copy of a book but I couldn't resist showing potential readers how skilled a writer Lee Thompson can be! He packs more story in this book's first paragraph than most authors have in the first half of their work! Here, he not only sets up time and setting, but also introduces the important characters, their relationships , and provides key details in an intriguing way that serves as an awesome taste of things to come! And he does all of this with impressive economy!

Elmore James Jackson has been on the lam for a decade, after killing his father in a spur-of-the-moment bank robbery, shattering his family. He finally rolls back into his small Florida hometown after he's contacted by his younger sister and finds out that his mother is dying of cancer. Naturally, he has a plethora of enemies that would love to snuff him out as soon as possible. But he hopes that before that happens he can make peace with his Mom and reconnect with his estranged sister.

It's Only Death is a gripping story, well-written in James's engrossing POV. It's a smooth read, and at times, I lost track of time as the story sucked me in and moved at a great pace. Thompson creates an interesting character in James, a man difficult to empathize with at first, but the author succeeds in making me engaged in his decisions and obstacles, and his desire to reconnect to the loved ones he hurt before it's too late. But probably even more interesting, when you learn more about James's relationship with his parents and what might have caused his violence, you realize that there's a strong possibility that James might truly be a sociopath. I wish Thompson delved into this a bit more, as I think that's the most fascinating part of the story. It's Only Death is a solid piece of crime writing and I can't wait to jump into more of Thompson's work.

*I received this Advanced Copy from publisher DarkFuse through NetGalley for an honest review*

The Outfit

The Outfit  - Richard Stark I love that I've discovered the Parker series. I'd been searching for a good series of popcorn books that I can read quickly without a whole lot of brainpower when I'm in that mood, or when I'm working and have little time to read. The Parker books have filled that void for me. They're quick, in-and-out little adventures that I can pop like mean little gummi bears whenever I want!

This episode seems to concludes the beef between master criminal Parker and the organized crime syndicate, the Outfit, a beef that began in the first novel, The Hunter. In The Hunter, Parker warned the bastards that he could rally together his network of professionals and make the Outfit's life a living hell. But they didn't listen. So Parker is making good on his promise.

This was probably the most exciting of the three Parker books I've read so far, as Parker sets off a powder keg of crime, with him and his associates dedicated to pulling off a crippling number of Outfit robberies all over the country. It's always a pleasure reading how author Richard Stark meticulously crafts these robberies and makes each one feel fresh. As usual, there's not much to these books, but they're short little adventures guaranteed to keep you entertained!

*The 80th and final book I read in 2014! Just in time!*

Chronicle of a Death Foretold (Vintage International)

Chronicle of a Death Foretold - Gabriel García Márquez In a tiny, coastal Latin American town, Angela Vicario and Bayardo San Román get married and have the biggest party the town had seen! But soon after, Bayardo returns his new wife to her shocked family after he realizes that her virginity has been spoiled. In an effort to restore her honor, her twin brothers murder her alleged deflowerer in cold blood (obviously not a spoiler), but not before announcing their intentions for all to hear.
"'All right, girl,' he told her, trembling with rage, 'tell us who it was.'

She only took the time necessary to say the name. She looked for it in the shadows, she found it at first sight among the many, many easily confused names from this world and the other, and she nailed it to the wall with her well-aimed dart, like a butterfly with no will whose sentence has always been written.

'Santiago Nasar,' she said"
The late master Gabriel García Márquez (with credit to translator Gregory Rabassa) has once again impressed me and captivated me with his command of language, this time in an effort to explore and document the events that surround this very public homicide. Not only does Marquez look at whether or not the Vicario brothers are right in defending their sister's honor in such a way, but even more significant, he writes a fascinating portrait of a small town, and how its collective mindset, the self-absorption of it's citizens, bad decisions, unfortunate fate, and possibly straight up lies came together in an epic fail of preventing a tragedy that ultimately affect the community for years to come.
"They taught her old wives' tricks to feign her lost possession, so that on her first morning as a newlywed she could display open under the sun in the courtyard of her house the linen sheet with the stain of honor."

This Is How You Lose Her

This Is How You Lose Her - Junot Díaz Earlier this year I read Junot Díaz's first and only novel to date, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, and was smitten by it. A large part of why that book was so enjoyable was the point-of-view of it's omniscient narrator Yunior. While Oscar was never able to find a girl, Yunior never seemed able to keep one. Díaz's newest book, a story collection, is a sort of follow-up to Oscar Wao, focusing more on Yunior the Dumb-ass, and Yunior's predicament of not being able to hold a relationship; all of them are doomed, but all of them leave an impression.

Although he's a good-looking chick magnet, he always seems to screw things up. He could blame this predicament on so many things, including his Dominican ancestry, his family-life, his rolling-stone Papi, or the influence of his lady-killing brother Rafa. But that would be the easy explanation. This collection of interconnected stories touches on the machismo inherent in most men that can ultimately lead to their downfall in relationships.

I don't know what hot-blooded guy couldn't relate to Yunior. Although I feel like I'm a good dude, I've done some stupid shit in my time, ruined what could've been great things, and will always live to regret it. And if you asked me today to explain why I'd done those things, I really couldn't tell you. But what I can tell you is that this book touched me, because I could see hints of myself and my friends in Yunior.

Once again, Díaz's casual but poignant prose helps to craft a vibrant, energetic piece of work that's almost just as good as Oscar Wao, jumping back and forth in time as well as jumping back and forth from first-person POV to a surprisingly effective second-person POV. It felt like Yunior was one of the homies, talking to me over a game of pool, which made the book intensely readable. And strangely enough, with all the cheating and failed relationships going on, the book is a surprisingly spirited and lively look at love and heartbreak in all its forms.
“In another universe I probably came out OK, ended up with mad novias and jobs and a sea of love in which to swim, but in this world I had a brother who was dying of cancer and a long dark patch of life like a mile of black ice waiting for me up ahead.”

Easy Death (Hard Case Crime)

Easy Death (Hard Case Crime) - Daniel Boyd 3.5 out of 5 stars
Easy Death is a fun little yuletide carol of crime and suspense by the guys over at Hard Case Crime, about an armored-car heist pulled by a couple of good-ol-boys and their twisty attempt at a getaway, while being pursued by the cops. I enjoyed it but it's a tricky one. On one hand, at times the writing feels amateurish, the story requires a lot of suspension of disbelief, the back-and-forth jumping between first-person and third-person POV is annoying, and the cute Christmas carol references got a bit cheeky at times. But on the other hand, it's cleverly structured, it's got great twists that I guarantee you won't see coming, and it was a thrill watching these guys attempt to get away with the money even when all the odds are against them, just in time for last-minute Christmas shopping!

The Man with the Getaway Face: A Parker Novel (Parker Novels)

The Man with the Getaway Face: A Parker Novel (Parker Novels) - Richard Stark This takes up shortly after [b:The Hunter|3421619|The Hunter (Parker, #1)|Richard Stark||3948439] left off, and Parker has just gotten a new face from a plastic surgeon so he can hide from the Outfit and do his dirty deeds in peace. But because he is still low on dough, he reluctantly agrees to a shakily-planned armored car hold up that might not be worth it.

This might sound like a generic plot for your run-of-the-mill crime thriller, but what makes this one unique is that Parker knows from the get-go that a member of the crew will try to pull a double-cross. So on top of whether or not they'll be able to pull the job off, he has to also worry about staying one step ahead of the two-timing teammate.

It's a fun little heist caper in which we now get to see Parker interact with a team. Though this book feels a little like a pit stop on the way to an inevitable showdown with the Outfit, it's entertaining enough and left me wanting to know what happens next! Plus, it has the most awesome title of all the Parker books.

The Vengeful Virgin

The Vengeful Virgin - Gil Brewer Whoa! Talk about having serious girl problems!!

A month ago I read another tight Gil Brewer pulp called The Red Scarf and got a kick out of it. But this awesomely-titled little gem rocked! Brewer takes a cue from the James M. Cain Holy Book of Noir, and weaves a tale of a TV sales-and-repairman whose business is less than stellar, and to top it off he has a psycho-stalker ex-girlfriend that won't leave him alone. Things change when he places a house call to a red-headed, little rich virgin who takes care of her ailing stepdad, and he immediately starts catching feelings. But then he starts catching ideas instead when:

1) he finds out the fun way that she's definitely NOT a virgin
2) she begins to drop hints that maybe her rich old man should die a bit quicker...

The book starts off at a leisurely pace, as the main characters flirt not only with each other but also with their murderous intents. But once they pass the point of no return, things get ratcheted up to a nail-biting intensity! Obstacles pile and pile and there's almost no letting up as Jack, the main character, tries to stay ahead of the hurdles and get away scot-free, while also trying to keep a lid on his increasing paranoia. It makes for an entertaining read, where you know that it won't end well (as it is with most of these stories), but your eyes stay glued to the page to see how the tragedy will play itself out. And if you're one of those people who needs their fiction to have fancy, lofty themes, here's one theme that sums up this book. 90's R&B group BellBivDevoe said it best in their hit song: "Never trust a big butt and a smile. That girl is Poison!!"
"Her aqua dress was all roped up around her middle, and her hair was snarled, and she just lay there, like some glorious whore, glorifying her whoring, happy as hell."

When We Join Jesus In Hell

When We Join Jesus In Hell - Lee  Thompson A ex-boxer comes home from his dead end job to find that his wife is not alone in their bedroom. What happens after that is what you need to read the book to find out.

For such a little novelette, this book has a pretty high body count. And no one is safe: not children, little old ladies, or even small animals. The story is bloody and violent, but the book wears its heart on its sleeve and manages to somehow also be a heartbreaking, tragic, and deeply emotional tale of loss, regret, and whether or not vengeance actually solves anything. The writing really left me unnerved throughout, my eyes constantly bugging out as the story moved to darker places with every page and nervous to find out what happened next. The most recent Kindle edition also includes a great little short story called "Beneath The Weeping Willow," about a broken family seen through the eyes of an autistic young boy, that is just as powerful and packs a wallop of an ending.

The Hunter: A Parker Novel (Parker Novels)

The Hunter: A Parker Novel (Parker Novels) - Richard Stark This is what hard-boiled crime fiction is all about. A mean, thrilling, fast-moving story with little-to-no frills, and lots of badassery. And Parker might just be the biggest badass in the literary crime world. In this loose cannon of a novel, the first one in a long-running, popular series, Parker, a professional heistman, literally walks across the George Washington bridge into New York City with nothing but the clothes on his back and revenge on his mind against his backstabbing weakling of a wife and an ex-partner that double-crossed him and left him for dead. Walking into NYC, he's essentially just a hobo after recently breaking out of a prison farm out west, but it was a delight seeing him quickly use his skills to con his way into some seed money, and by the end of the first chapter, he's in a nice hotel, laying in a hot bath, drinking from a bottle of vodka. A great introduction to the character. And from then on, it's an exciting ride where we learn what happened previously that led to Parker being in this situation while at the same time we follow him as he tries to bring the pain to those that wronged him.

If you're looking for some deep look at the human condition, look elsewhere. But don't get it twisted, this is still a very well-written novel filled with guns, fists, money, sex, and hard vengeance. Like I said: what hard-boiled crime fiction is all about.

The Ax

The Ax - Donald E Westlake The Ax starts strong with a great plot that is irresistible and tailor-made for a modern noir tale. Burke Devore has been laid off from his job as a manager at a paper manufacturer and has been jobless for two years. In a desperate attempt to land a job, he gathers together resumes of men that could be seen as his competition, and proceeds to take the steps that would guarantee his resume would be at the top of the pile: killing his competition one by one.
"What it comes down to is, the CEOs, and the stockholders who put them there, are the enemy, but they are not the problem. They are society's problem, but they are not my personal problem.

These six resumés. These are my personal problem."
I was struck by how believable the entire situation was. This type of story could have easily succumbed to convenient plot-points and fantastical feats of ability by the protagonist. But I never felt a false note in the entire novel. Another risk is that the developments could have easily gotten repetitive. But incredibly, the book is still intensely readable and well-paced, with each murder-attempt feeling fresh and suspenseful.

The novel put you right into the mind of Burke, a man in a situation that we can all relate to in this modern job market. I could especially relate to him, being a freelance worker and having to deal with competition everyday. I was with him all the way. I related to his desperate need to take action, I felt his frustrations every time his plans met another obstacle, cheered for him every time he cleverly got his way out of trouble, and morbidly enough, I wanted to see him succeed.

Oasis of the Damned

Oasis of the Damned - Greg F. Gifune
"'Realistically, how many more of these things could there be?'
'No idea', he muttered. 'But I'm pretty sure realistically has nothing to do with it.'"
In this fast-paced horror novella I read on a plane ride, two soldiers find themselves stranded at a mysterious and abandoned WWII outpost in the middle of an unforgiving desert. They struggle to save their skins and their sanity when, every night, bloodthirsty creatures emerge from the dunes, hungry and ready to eat the flesh from their bodies.

Author Greg F. Gifune infuses the story with both excitement and a creepy atmosphere (even the desert is foreboding) while still finding time to develop the main character and allow her backstory to be essential to the story. And the more I learned about the ferocious predators, they're unnerving abilities, and what they will do to a person BEFORE they kill them, the more worried I got for our heroes. I started hoping that, on the next page, I wouldn't have to read about them falling into the hands of these creatures. While not a game-changer, this shorter horror tale is still entertaining and chilling all the way through to it's unsettling ending.

*I received an Advanced Copy of this novella from publisher DarkFuse through Netgalley for review.*

The Long-Legged Fly

The Long-Legged Fly - James Sallis, Carol Lea Benjamin
"In the darkness things always go away from you. Memory holds you down while regret and sorrow kick the hell out of you.

The only help you'll get is a few hard drinks and morning."
This book is unlike any other detective novel I've read. You know how in all detective stories you get the sense that the case our hero is investigating is a stand-out case for him amongst all of his smaller, regular assignments? That it's a a mystery that he'll probably remember forever and is worth dedicating a book to above the others? Well, The Long-Legged Fly focuses instead on those OTHER cases: the everyday ones, the day-to-day work. The book can barely be considered a novel; it's more of a series of short stories highlighting key times throughout different decades in Creole private detective (and part-time insurance strong-arm) Lew Griffin's life as an individual instead of just a hard-boiled dick. Even though the mysteries are fairly tame and inconsequential, each decade finds Lew as a different person, a complex man that finds himself and loses himself again, that evolves and transforms throughout the years, as any person would.
"The world doesn't change, and mostly we don't either, we just go on looking into the same mirror, trying on different hats and expressions and new sets of vice, opinion, and prejudice; pretending, as children do, to see and feel things that are not there."
It's also written by [a:James Sallis|91115|James Sallis|], who is not only a crime novelist but also a poet, philosopher, and musician. He fills the book with sometimes drunken but always poignant ruminations on life, the blues, and classic literature. Although the book's structure makes it sometimes difficult to be engaged in the superficial story, the character of Lew Griffin is the star of the show, and it's fascinating watching him evolve. I really enjoyed this one. Sallis is a really gifted writer and I'm interesting in seeing where Griffin goes from here.
"Maybe the best parts of our lives are always over. Maybe happiness, contentment, are things we only recollect through the filters of time, elusive ghosts forever behind us."

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