Wednesday, October 31, 2007

PEEPER

The other night a few of you joined me in saying that it's nice to read/see something purely entertaining sometimes. One of my favorites in this category is Loren Estleman's 1989 novel about a sink-hole dirtbag Detroit private eye named Ralph Poteet.

Even after three readings over the years, Peeper keeps me laughing--many times out loud--all the way through. This isn't cheap parody. It's a witty take on many private eye cliches filled with people you wouldn't want to meet without wearing a bio-hazard suit, including a monsignor who dies in a whorehouse. Poteet is asked to help secret the man's enormous body to a more discreet location. And he decides while he's at it...to snap a few pics of the corpse. Never know what kind of money they'll bring on the open market.

What makes this work is Estleman's enormous skill. Nobody writes a better classical private eye story better than Loren and even when he's having fun with the tropes. He does so with his usual mastery of language, pacing and storytelling.

Trust me. You'l like this one a lot.

2 comments:

Richard S. Wheeler said...

Peeper was amusing from beginning to end, written by a guy who knows what lies under every slimy rock. Loren was at his best with that gem. Thanks for reminding me.

pattinase (abbott) said...

"Amos Walker's Detroit" is sitting on my coffee table right now. I'll have to look for this lighter touch.