When a computer salesman comes home she greets him with a smile which denies the need to talk about the bill, all the bills, for things he wants to deny her. Later, in the bath, she shoots him. His name is Dennis Poole. He is the kind of man who tips exactly 15% and not a penny more and is proud because it shows he can figure it out in his head. He is a man with a soft belly and thinning hair who sells equipment to other men like himself and he is the cousin of a Los Angeles hood who hires Joe Pitt to find out who killed him.
Dennis Poole is introduced on page 2, killed on page 4, but we have a clear and exact idea of him. Enough to groan a little when his blood drains into the bath. Just enough of a character to make us curious.
There are more clear and distinct ideas, probable, precise images of characters, types, and encounters. The character of the murderess, amateurish, superficial, but conniving, good at imitating emotions but unempathetic, is a live sketch of a psychopath.
The dialogues are witty and fun.
” ..I just sell sound-imaging machines to doctors and hospitals…I’m Brian Corey.” “Pleased to meet you. I’m Marsha.” “No last name?” “Corey. I’m going to be Marsha Corey, right?”
“The life she had constructed for herself was good. But this evening with Joe Pitt was better.”
Joe Pitt is cool, a private detective, hired to find a murderess who is getting better and better and a good match for the serious homicide detective on the case, Catherine Hobbes.
A smart, well crafted and engaging crime novel.