Sunday, May 23, 2010
THE RIGHT MADNESS - James Crumley
It is well known that there is no justice on plant Earth, but one of the greatest literary injustices is that James Crumley is not one of the best known crime writers in history. The equal of Hammett,Chandler and MacDonald.
His hero in this story is the alcoholic Private Investigator, C W Sughrue, who is not only ultra violent when the need arises but he is very human as well with lots of emotions, the strongest being loyalty. Sughrue smokes dope, snorts cocaine, smokes crack and drinks like a fish, but he gets the job done.
In this tale he sets out to help his best friend locate some files that have been stolen. And to say things get a bit out of hand is an understatement of quite large proportions, but they do, my,my.
Along the way we meet sundry psychopaths, wives, girlfriends and bent cops, all the usual for a "noir".
As stated it is very violent and you could never accuse Crumley of writing for laughs. In fact I felt exhausted at the end - its dark but mighty entertaining.
James Crumley passed away in 2008 without the following that was his due, but he's that good he'll stay in print and one day people will realise what they missed out on.