Wednesday, March 29, 2017
I do like this bit at the beginning.
This edition contains the complete text of the original hardcover edition.
NOT ONE WORD HAS BEEN OMITTED.
Considering that I found some odd typos, I’m wondering if that was why they put that it. ‘No no no! That’s EXACTLY like the paper book! We thought you wanted to errors!’
Regardless, Elvis is hired by a young woman who believes her fiancee, who is a police officer, is in trouble.
Jennifer Sheridan had sounded young on the phone, but in person she looked younger, with a fresh-scrubbed face and clear healthy skin and dark auburn hair. Pretty. The kind of happy, innocent pretty that starts deep inside, and doesn’t stop on the way out. That kind of pretty.
Pike looked up from the report. “We’re squaring off against five LAPD officers, and all we’re getting paid is forty bucks?”
“Nope. We’re also getting forty dollars per month for the next forty-nine months.”
Pike shook his head.
“Think of it as job security, Joe. Four years of steady income.”
We do get bits of the time the book was written.
I made hissing and cracking noises into the phone. “I’m calling from the new car phone. Pretty good, huh?”
Rusty Swetaggen said, “Bullshit, you got a car phone.”
As I said before, those bits crack me up, because they put the book in a very specific time, but aside from the technological parts, the characters and situations don’t feel especially dated. (But there are plenty of bits that would be so very different just ten years later.) Take this bit.
A woman I know gave me a build-it-yourself bird-feeder kit for Christmas, so I built it, and hung it from the eve of my roof high enough to keep the birds safe from my cat. But the birds scratch the seed out of the feeder, then fly down to the deck to eat the seed. They know there’s a cat, but still they go down to pick at the seed. When you think about it, people are often like this, too.
The sink and the tub and the toilet were filmed with the sort of built-up grime that comes of long-term inattention, as if Riggens used these things and left, expecting that someone else would clean them, only the someone never showed and never cleaned.
Those bits could be at any time.
This book we meet another character I especially like.
Ray Depente looked my way and gave embarrassed. “These kids think this movie stuff is a big deal. They don’t know. A client’s a client.”
“I’ve got a class.”
A dozen little girls came in, shepherded by a tall erect black woman in a neat dress suit. Most of the little girls were black, but a couple were Hispanic. They all wore clean white karate gies and tennis shoes. They took off their shoes before they stepped onto the mat.
Ray uncrossed his arms and smiled. “Here they are, now.”
I like the complex characters Elvis interacts with, and I like the complexity of Elvis. Plus, I always enjoy reading about food.
This book is quite dark with a lot of death, and I found parts of it difficult to read, but that realism is what I like so much about the books.
Published by Bantam