Friday, October 30, 2009
Review: The Crime Writer
The Crime Writer by Gregg Hurwitz
Reason for reading: Crime novel for the Genre Challenge
Description: "Drew Danner , an L.A.-based crime novelist, awakens in a hospital bed with a scar on his head, blood under his nails, and a cop by his side. Accused of murdering his ex-fiancée, Drew has no memory of the crime but reconstructs the story the only way he knows how—as a novel. As he searches the dark corridors of his life and the city he loves, another young woman is similarly murdered and Drew must confront the very real possibility of his own guilt."
First line: "I woke up with IVs taped to my arms, a feeding tube shoved through my nose, and my tongue pressed against my teeth, dead and thick as a sock."
My thoughts: The book starts off with a real bang - Drew wakes up from having a brain tumor removed and is accused of murder. It was suspenseful and you really wondered how or if Drew was going to be able to clear his name when all of the evidence was stacked against him. He goes on a reckless quest to find out if someone framed him - so reckless that I found myself telling him several times that he should stop it, he'd only be digging himself in deeper!
L.A. is almost another character in the book. The author has obviously spent a lot of time there and writes eloquently and sometimes humourously about its beauty, superficiality, and cruelty.
The secondary characters are well drawn. Drew's best friend Chic, a former ballplayer famous for dropping a game-losing pop fly, is a great character - wise, calm, and a fiercely loyal and helpful friend. His life with his wife and brood of children is sensitively portrayed, a good contrast to the chaos in Drew's life. Drew also manages to acquire a Little Brother while trying to solve the case - Junior, a wise-cracking, dog-loving, often-in-court graffiti artist.
I think my favourite parts were the pages that replicated Drew's manuscript - basically a book within the book. They had his editor's snarky comments scrawled in the margins, which was an entertaining touch.
By the end the book sort of devolves into more of a typical murder mystery, but there is enough action and enough twists along the way to make it a pretty satisfying book. Not entirely my thing, but it was an interesting read.