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Goodey’s Last Stand – “The Real Thing”

August 5, 2015

Cops_1923

I thought this would be stereotype, hard-boiled detective stuff. It’s not. Starting with the narrator shooting an innocent Polish night watchman by mistake, a cop losing his job and then being promised to get it back if he solves a rather involved murder as a PI.

Sure, there is the expected wise-guy patter, but in this case it seems heart-felt and there are settings (a cemetery outside of San Francisco, for example) and characters that are genuine (“Let me give you some advice: No matter how much you don’t like your job, it’s better than being retired. When the time comes that somebody wants to retire you, you take that gun of yours and blow your brains out first.”)

I don’t know if there are real hard-boiled detectives. I do know there are real hard-boiled detective writers. This is one of them. You forget, after reading so many failures that are trying to succeed, what it is like when you come across a novel that doesn’t. This is the real thing!

PS Did I mention that Sam Goodey’s former boss is named “Lehman.” And that Sam’s first wife is “Pat?” No relations, but it is incredible to see your name and that of your divorced wife in print.

5 out of 5_edited-1

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