Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
Night Train Hardcover – January 12, 1998
|New from||Used from|
Discover Mystery Novels
Browse collections of mystery novels curated by expert booksellers on AbeBooks, an Amazon Company. Learn More on AbeBooks.com.
Frequently bought together
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
On a beautiful night in a second-tier American city, a beautiful astrophysicist with the clichéd everything to live for shoots herself dead with a .22. Tough-talking detective Mike Hoolihan, quickly summoned to the scene, has witnessed every sort of victim: "Jumpers, stumpers, dumpers, dunkers, bleeders, floaters, poppers, bursters." But this case is different. Mike has known the young woman for years--she's the daughter, it turns out, of Mike's mentor, Colonel Tom Rockwell. And the colonel is desperate to find a perp, despite massive evidence to the contrary.
In Night Train, Martin Amis has fixed his sights on the American female--with a difference. Mike is in fact a woman--a hulking, chain-smoking, deep-voiced alcoholic who comes complete with a squalid family background and a none-too-happy foreground. She even lives in a building next to the proverbial night train and can't survive without her tape with eight different versions of the R & B "hymn to the low rent."
Did this novel begin as narrative flexing, yet another test the hypertalented author--and number-one Elmore Leonard fan--wanted to pose to himself? If so, he has passed with flying colors. True, Mike's search occasionally pushes her up against pulp pathos, but mostly the genre keeps Amis true. "Police are pretty blasé about ballistics. Remember the Kennedy assassination and 'the magic bullet'? We know that every bullet is a magic bullet. Particularly the .22 roundnose. When a bullet enters a human being, it has hysterics. As if it knows it shouldn't be there."
Mike spends her time weighing the evidence, wishing it would point to murder, and letting us in on some current police realities. Whatever television tells us, in real life (not to mention postmodern crime fiction), there's no neat solution. Even that old standard, the good cop-bad cop approach, no longer works: "It's not just that Joe Perp is on to it, having seen good cop-bad cop a million times on reruns of Hawaii Five-O. The only time bad cop was any good was in the old days, when he used to come into the interrogation room every ten minutes and smash your suspect over the head with the yellow pages." With such discourses, Amis is stretching the rubber band of his book's realism. But in the end, all his fancy footwork doesn't stop us from admiring and pitying his heroine, and hoping she won't board the ultimate night train: suicide.
From School Library Journal
YA?"Suicide is the night train, speeding your way to darkness." Detective Mike Hoolihan is a case-hardened policewoman, but this case is different. The dead woman is Jennifer Rockwell, the daughter of Mike's friend (and boss), Colonel Tom Rockwell, head of criminal investigation. Even though all the evidence points to suicide, Colonel Tom asks Mike to take another look. Everyone agrees that Jennifer had everything; she was beautiful, a brilliant astrophysicist with a promising career, in love with a professor at the university. Why suicide? As Mike probes the secrets of the deceased woman's life, she is forced to re-examine her own, and the decision she makes at the end of her investigation says as much about her as it does about Jennifer, or Colonel Tom. The author's portrayal of the conflicts and complexities of a criminal investigation is utterly convincing, the dialogue is authentic, and the writing is both spare and powerful. YAs who like detective stories will find themselves pulled into this investigation.?Molly Connally, Kings Park Library, Fairfax County, VA
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Reviewers who are giving this book poor ratings should be aware that this book is part in college curriculum. Some readers might need to re-read the book several times to understand it, but at some point they would get a clear understanding what feeds police brutality and led to all these gruesome shootings in recent years. This book is not a HBO's CSI plot, it is real world police procedure. No knight in shining armor, no dragon to slay. No clear good guys or bad guys, just characters whose moral compass is somewhere in between.
Amis does a great job showing the reader who these people are instead of telling us with an abundance of adjectives. This was a quick read and enjoyable from start to finish. You become engaged from the very beginning, unaware of the passing of time until you close the back cover and finally look at the clock.
Night Train's brevity and relative simplicity may make it a reasonable taster for the Amis virgin, before heading on to richer fare like the two titles mentioned above. It will almost certainly be a bit unsatisfying to anyone who's read the longer and more pyrotechnic stuff that made Amis's reputation, but if you liked those then you'll enjoy this much as you might a well-turned b-side by a favourite band.