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  • By Dan Marvin
    Oct 15, 2009
    "Not the book you think it is..." I didn’t want to like D by Baron Brady. I read the first several chapters and thought with a certain amount of disdain that it was simply a whodunit, the kind of story I’ve written myself. Pull Sam Spade into the present, photoshop a cell phone into his hand, and he becomes Birk Dillinger our dashing protagonist. Birk is a fun character to write, a hard drinking, hard charging private eye. Unfortunately, he’s not a fun character to read. His dialogue is too simple, his character too much of a cliché. Consider this bit of writing as Birk ruminates on Lieutenant Todd , the policeman who doesn’t take him seriously: "He accomplished nothing and had the nerve to belittle my achievements because he had a badge and I didn’t. He reeked of arrogance, as unmistakably pungent as cat piss. I didn’t tell him to go to hell, and I should have." Worse yet, a few chapters in Baron Brady starts sidetracking into lengthy discussions about... More > what constitutes reality. Why does a simple man like Birk Dillinger need to ponder reality for pages on end while he’s looking for clues to solve his case? Granted, there is a lot of subterfuge here to contend with, there are the requisite femme fatales who don’t give straight answers. There are competing private eyes who are either looking for answers or working in cahoots with the killer. There are red herrings, too many people with the initial “D” to figure out whodunit quickly. However, as I kept reading, cracks kept opening in the narrative. What had started out as a simple private eye story detoured into a Stephen King novel, complete with a dwarf with a mouth full of razor sharp teeth and a psychiatrist we always hear but never meet. As we veered off of the obvious track, I found myself enjoying the story more than I thought I would. In fact, the further we got away from Sam Spade, and closer to Ralph Roberts (from the King novel Insomnia), the more fun the book became. There are other characters in the novel. They aren’t people, but they play just as large a role. Birk’s watch (with “Remember you will die” written on the face) seems to jump forward and lag behind. He takes it in for repairs only to discover that it isn’t the watch that’s defective, it appears to be reality itself that is listing this way and that. Another character is the diner Lucky’s where prostitutes mysteriously disappear, an anachronism in the middle of the sprawl of Los Angeles. As the writing becomes more complicated and more fun, we get this description: "It was a dead street, a street without humanity, but a street which had been forgotten if it weren’t for Lucky’s on the corner. At least there wouldn’t have been any spectators if it weren’t for Lucky’s; and I was beginning to think that people came to Lucky’s hoping to witness a murder or, at the very least, find the victim of one." As I read, I had to re-examine what I thought I knew about this book. The internal dialogue that I had passed over as filler in the early chapters starts to become very important. By the time I realized what was going on, it was too late, the book was over, the case was solved, and I had a newfound respect for Baron Brady and his characters. Give the book a chance to prove its true colors and see if you can solve the mystery! Read the full review at The Lulu Book Review< Less
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Product Details

September 24, 2008
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
0.76 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
6 wide x 9 tall
Product ID
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