Saturday, March 7, 2009
Edgar award nominee for 1st novel "The Kind One"
Fans of Ranymond Chandler will enjoy this novel set in Los Angeles in the 1930's. It isn't so much a mystery as a novel of mobsters with Philip Marlowe type of unwasted space and dialogue.
Danny Landon is working for a mobster named Bud Seitz.
Danny, aka, Two Gun Danny, has amnesia from being hit on the head with a lead pipe.
Bud asks Danny to act as bodyguard for his mistress, Darla.
As the novel begins there is an uncomfortable scene where Bud's pet chimp bites Darla and Danny has to put the animal down. This is too reminiscent of the recent attack by a chimpanzee to the woman in Stamford, CT.
This descriptive novel is plot driven with intense dialogue and little character development.
After a slow start, we see considerable bi play between Danny and Darla. The reader is made to wonder if they will become romantically involved and if so, will they meet the same fate as Bud's last girlfriend and the employee who made a poor choice and inappropriately touched her and paid the ultimate price.
As the action progresses, Danny is attempting to help his 11 year old neighbor, Sophie, who is in an abusive home.
Life is cheap for those who associate with Bud and he doesn't hesitate to kill anyone who displeases him weather it is a stranger or one of his employees.
As Darla becomes more uncomfortable with Bud's autocratic attitude towards her, Danny's feelings for her grow. She seems to care for Danny in return but the reader can't be sure.
With action mounting, we find that there is a relationship between Danny and Bud that is more than just employer, employee and this adds another complication.
Finally, Sophie is about to be sent to a reform school by her alcoholic mother and Darla is desperate to escape from Bud and Danny must help each person.
This is a well told story and was nominated for an Edgar Award for best first novel. It is also going to be a movie and is in current production with Casey Afflec and due to be released in 2010.
Congratulations to Mr. Epperson on a job well done.