Wednesday, August 8, 2018

July's Favorite Reads

Swann’s Last Song, Charles Salzberg. Not the typical way to start a series—declaring it to be the “last” of anything—but there are a lot of unusual things here. Henry Swann is a skip tracer. Nothing as glorious or sexy as a bounty hunter. Swann just finds people who have split on wives or husbands, debts, unfortunate circumstances. It’s a pleasure, Swann thinks, to take the hot upper-crust woman’s money to find her husband; not so much when the man turns up dead and she still wants him to keep looking. The case takes Swann from New York to LA to Mexico to Berlin and back to New York to a resolution that isn’t what Swann expected at all. Swann’s pretty much an undesirable until he gets his teeth into the case and comes to the realization he wants to do this one right for a change and shows more mettle than he thought he had. This is one of those books that grew on me. I thought it was good while reading it, and found my thoughts on looking back growing fonder all the time.

Dirty Sweet, John McFetridge. A re-read for me, as McFetridge hasn’t been writing books as fast as I want to read them, so I started the Toronto Series over from the beginning. An outstanding first novel—the author had previously collaborated with Scott Albert to write the underappreciated Below the Line—all the things McFetridge would build on in Everybody Knows This is Nowhere and Swap are here. Just the right mix of danger and fun. A lot of writers have been influenced by Elmore Leonard, but few have shown that influence more uniquely than is done here.

1 comment:

Elgin Bleecker said...

Dana – McFetridge is on my list to read. Have not heard of Salzberg. Thanks for the notes.