Crime Scene

The fates smiled on me in my frantic Friday evening search for something to read over the weekend, guiding my addled self to Lush Life, the latest crime novel from Richard Price. I remembered that Lush Life got unusually heavy review coverage for a crime novel – not always a good thing, by the way – it’s kind of annoying when card carrying book-chat types discover that genre fiction is not only entertaining but actually better literature than 95% of the Iowa Writers Workshop approved stuff. Kind of? Make that deeply annoying. And when I got home and got into the book I saw right away what had sucked in the reviewers: Price slathers on way more writing than, say, Elmore Leonard. But that shouldn’t be held against him. That’s just the way he does it. Anybody who lives in Over The Rhine or is thinking about living in Over The Rhine or who goes to school there or to clubs should see lots of parallels between Price’s murder scene, Manhattan’s Lower East Side, and our own transitional semi-cool semi-slum. Good read. But no better than the less adulated George Pelecanos who, even before he picked up some notoriety writing for the Wire, was doing in book after book for Washington DC what Price does for New York in Lush Life. Pelecanos has a new one – The Turnaround – coming out on August 1. We’ll have it in before then. And we’ve got all of his others.

-Nemo Wolfe

Published in: on July 1, 2008 at 10:01 am  Leave a Comment  

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