Sunday, June 10, 2012
"Innocent as a dove, you will harm no one,...wise as a serpent, no one will harm you." Haug
Jimmy's home town Holtville is in southern California across from Mexicali on the Mexican border. It's a place in the desert where "...even the plants have a chip on their shoulders.:"
Holtville hasn't changed much in the years that Jimmy has been gone and neither has his best friend, Bobby Maves. When Jimmy greets Bobby and asks how he's been, Bobby's response, "I live in Holtville. How good could I be?"
Jimmy's father has only one request, to find a prostitute named Yolanda who lives in Mexico.
In this noir novel, the desert is also a character. Jimmy, his friend, Bobby and a boyhood friend Tomas work to find Yolanda. Tomas is an underworld figure in Mexico who claims to be an arranger, to help people cross the border, to find women for pornographic movies and whatever can earn him money.
Yolanda is found and returns with Jimmy for a last visit with Jack. When Jack dies, peacefully, Yolanda is able to return for the service but something happens and the direction of the story changes. We learn more of Jack's earlier life and see a lonely man attempting to find happiness.
Jimmy sees an old girlfriend and finds another reason to remain in Holtville but will he?
I didn't know what to expect with this book but was pleasantly surprised. There is good characterization, humor is there as is a plot line that is well presented and provided me an unexpected pleasure.