Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Right as Rain

Tell Me a Story - Book Review

Author - George Pelecanos
Right as Rain

Derek Strange is hired by Chris Wilson's mother to find out why her son, a black police officer, was killed by a white police officer, on a dark night in no man's land.

Derek guesses the answer is a case of mistaken identity, driven by the assumptions and preconceptions of innate racism. But what Derek finds is a hesitant affinity with the officer, who is desperate to proclaim himself "colour-blind." Dismissed from the force and convinced that there's more to his own story, the officer asks to join Derek in his investigation.

Right as Rain is a very masculine novel. It is chauvinist. It is ferocious and gritty in its depiction of drugs and drug use, and women take subservient roles to men. If you want great women characters go read someone like Penny Vincenzi. If you want a hard-hitting storyline then George Pelecanos might just be for you.

The conflict of Right as Rain is for truth, integrity and moral redemption, and the result is unquestionably a knockout.

That Immortal Jukebox Sensation

Tell Me A Story - Book Review

Author - Gareth R. Roberts

That Immortal Jukebox Sensation
The novel centres on Richie Strafe, who in his mid-30s finds himself trapped in a career as a solicitor and is going nowhere, caught in a liaison that has lost meaning and deeply bitter about the pop star success of his one-time school band mate, Capaldi. Events combine to push Strafe back to his hometown, and he gets entangled up with a vicious killer - and plots a murder of his own.

The book is fast paced. The hapless Strafe is a curiously endearing character for all his insufferable tendencies. Cultural references
abound, to 1970s and 80s music, like Joy Division and the Undertones.

It’s a quick read, but an enjoyable one – good for a surge of nostalgia. I enjoyed it.