Thursday, September 28, 2006

The James Deans - Reed Farrel Coleman

Just finished Mr. Coleman's book and it is incredible. There is a reason why I think it is incredible. It seems, at first like a good PI story, not unlike Chandler's The Big Sleep - the detecctive, in this case Moe Prager, is summoned by the powerful and wealthy client and given a job he doesn't really relish but can't leave alone either. The PI gets emotionally involved, gets given the run around, even gets knocked on the noggin. None of this stopshim from doggedly pursuing the case, sinking his teeth into the killer's leg and refusing to let go even when it is in his best interest to do so, even when it becomes dangerous to hang on.

But the incredible part comes with the fact that Moe Prager is so fully human yet his development is slow and evenly spread out throughout the book. His wife is mentioned early on, but I didn't know she would be so central, not to the plot, but to Moe's life. And there it goes. There's the incredible part really: Moe Prager has a life. By the last words, he felt as real to me as many of the people I actually know. So did his family, so did his friends. And yet, I can't point to any one place where Coleman forced me to think of them this way. No place where he sat me down and hit me over the head with Prager's life. There was sleight of hand involved I'm sure.


Blogger Euro Crime said...

I enjoyed The James Deans too. I also like Steve Hamilton's books for a similar reason, his network of friends (and enemies) and the quiet writing style - even if I don't like the girlfriend :-))

September 28, 2006 3:37 PM  
Blogger Jennifer Jordan said...

I think it's because Reed let the reader imagine the family that we end up feeling we know them. And I have a deep and abiding need to know what Moe's big secret is.

I agree about the Hamilton series. I don't know of one person that likes "the girlfriend."

October 06, 2006 11:40 AM  

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