Monday, June 08, 2009
Mr. Monk and The Dirty Cop; Gorman
Any novel that can make me laugh out loud six or seven times in the first chapter is one I'd recommend without qualification. And good as that first chapter is, MONK AND THE DIRTY COP only gets better partly because of the central idea's ingenuity and partly because of the wit with which it's used.
The set-up here is that Monk is forced out of the police department because the city's finances are in such bad shape. But maybe Captain Stottlemeyer is also a little tired of sharing the credit for solving murder cases with everybody's favorite neurotic. Now most people when they get laid off look for other work or indulge in a bit of relaxation. But this, after all, is Monk. Despite not getting paid he continues to work on cases to the great displeasure of his assistant Natalie who feels that he shouldn't work for nothing. The arguments with Natalie and his fanatical need to solve crimes show both Monk and Lee Goldberg at their finest. Really funny writing.
Then there's another slick twist when Captain Stottlemeyer himself gets framed for a murder and needs the kind of detective work only Monk came bring to a case.
I've enjoyed all the Monk novels. Monk is my all-time favorite comic detective and Lee Goldberg has honored him by writing some of the finest tie-novels ever conceived. These have a richness of incident and backstory and place that give them real depth. And for me MR. MONK AND THE DIRTY COP is the best one yet.
Pulp Serenade runs a long review of my forthcoming novel The Midnight Room.
There's a lengthy interview with me tonight on Western Fiction Review