Solomon's Vineyard (PlanetMonk Pulps Book 14) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 168 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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The essence here is that our protagonist and his partner are hired to get a rich man's daughter away from a cult. The partner is killed during the story and that gives the detective one more thing worry about. And then he runs into the femme fatale and really has his hands full. I was wondering how he would tie it all up in the end and it was clever and yet consistent and earned through the hard plotting that came before
I like sex , violence and pulp fiction.
But the sex and violence here are so hollow so childish so flat it seems as though the author has heard about these things but has not experienced any of it. I am not suggesting that it is necessary that he murder someone to write about it but his descriptions are like a child pointing his toy gun at someone and saying"bang bang you're dead". This book is not sexy or violent it is just vulgar and shows a total lack of writing skill.
Although currently unavailable in the Kindle store, I'm sure it will be back someday. If not, get thee to Munsey's for a free copy.
This was a time of gun-carrying detectives (usually ex-cops or ex-Army), living in cheap hotels that cost $5.00 a day, who ate in diners, held clandestine meetings late at night in shady nightclubs. Dicks that never would use a word like "clandestine" in writing a review, who always had a few buxom women orbiting them like planets around a sun.
PI's who knew they had to spread a little money around to get the answers they needed. It's like returning to re-mine a vein of gold found once in a river....a return to some of the great American pulp and noir of the first half of the 20th century. Another great Kindle public domain book and as copyright laws expire on older novels, these great reads keep popping up. I plan on exploring as many as possible.
Contemporary readers unable to enjoy this as a period piece will find something to offend every sensibility: racism, ethnic slurs and sexism. The macho fight scenes and graphic violence are so over the top as to be campy. The same holds true for the prodigious drinking and eating of the novel's anti-hero detective. This may reflect Latimer's well-established tendency to include comedic elements in his work.
Still, the beat, the pace, the dialogue all add up to a satisfying and well-crafted mystery. The subject matter - a young heiress who's fallen captive to a mega-church style operation awash in money and spellbound by a charismatic leader - provides a surprisingly contemporary note.
Mystery fans who want to explore the dark, tough, morally ambivalent roots of hardboiled P.I.'s could make a good start here.
Why is this a four-star read instead of a five-star? Because measured against the stark perfection of "Red Harvest" it's not quite in the same ballpark. Make no mistake: this is still a fine read, but it suffers in comparison with its inspiration-- and nitpickers could fault it for a predictable plot-twist and a too-abrupt ending.
Still, track this one down if you like the rough stuff. The writing is crisp and crackling, the babes are hot, and the blood flows freely.