“Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “A sheer pleasure.” – Tana French. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville. “The effortless cool of Elmore Leonard at his peak.” – Ray Banks. “A fine writer at the top of his game.” – Lee Child.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Lone Ranger And Toronto Ride Again

All three regular readers of Crime Always Pays will know that John McFetridge (right) and I are taking a road-trip next week, starting on Sunday in Toronto and meandering down through New England towards Baltimore for Bouchercon, which runs from October 9 to 12. I will, I’m sure, be dining out for many years to come on the fact that I once, even for a shimmeringly brief moment in time, played Tonto to his Lone Ranger, Robin to his Batman, Waldorf to his Stadler, Ginger to his toe-twinkling Fred, etc.
  Anyhoos, the book-signing / reading / event itinerary can be found here, and if you’re in the vicinity of any of the outlets involved, we’d love to see you come along. John, I’m told, is a sight to behold in his diamante-spangled Lone Ranger / Batman / Stadler / Fred Astaire costume ...
  He also writes a mean story or two, which is actually the point of this post, because McFetridge has just collected all his web-published short stories and flash fiction on one interweb yokeybus, the whole shebang entitled ‘The Toronto Series’. If it’s good enough for Elmore Leonard, and it is, then it should be good enough for you. Here’s a taster from ‘Grow House’ to get you started …
Grow House
Steve Barrett had been back from Afghanistan two weeks when he stole his first car, a brand new BMW X5, leather interior, V8. What he did was, he stood around the parking lot of the Vaughn Mills Mall in north Toronto until some woman pulled in driving it and he followed her inside. Then he gave a couple of teenagers fifty bucks to steal her purse and while she was giving the mall security guard shit for half an hour, Steve drove the car to a garage on Dufferin owned by a biker named Danny Mac who gave him ten grand in cash.
  It was the same kind of independent thinking the army sent him home for showing. What the fuck did they expect him to do back home?
  Now, less than a month later, he was driving north on Avenue Road in a Jaguar XJ, British Racing Green, slowing down in front of the Four Seasons, looking for his girlfriend, Summer, and there she is, looking like every other twenty-something blonde in Yorkville; expensive skirt suit with the skirt way too short showing off fantastic skinny legs and a nice ass, the little jacket buttoned up to show her tits spilling out of the push-up bra, sunglasses and a big Holt Renfrew bag over her shoulder. And talking on the phone. She could be just another one of the rich kids with Daddy’s credit card, but when she got in the car saying, “The fuck you talking about Freddie, don’t give me that shit,” there was enough edge to make it real.
  That, and everything in the big Holt Renfrew bag was stolen.
  Steve pulled away from the curb looking at her and she gave him the nanosecond smile and went back to talking to her brother, saying they’d be right there and Steve saying, no we won’t, and Summer saying, don’t fucking worry and Steve saying worry all you want, I’m not helping and Summer saying, “Are you sure they’re dead?” ...
Jump on this for the rest ...

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Btw,Dec,today your books finally arrived (I was beginning to worry).
I have a pair of hectic days ahead,so I plan to begin them on Saturday.Can't wait!
Best wishes for the tour
Cheers,
Marco

Keith Rawson said...

Best of luck on the book tour to both you and John, Dec. I wish I could make it out to Baltimore for Bouchercon this year. The line up looks amazing! Enjoy the road trip and your time here in North America!

Peter Rozovsky said...

Sancho Panza to his Don Quixote. Loeb to his Leopold. Eggs to his ham. Falstaff to his Prince Hal (No, wait. That would be pretty good.) Tonic to his gin. Spencer to his ...

I liked "Grow House." And I've been to Holt Renfrew!!!
==============
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"
http://www.detectivesbeyondborders.blogspot.com/

Declan Burke said...

Ta for the good word, folks ... although I half suspect that the road-trip is just a cunning plan by McFetridge to sell me off to white slave traders. Still, it was fun while it lasted ... Cheers, Dec

Declan Burke said...

Marco - Let me know how the books treat you ... good and bad. I'm always keen to hear feedback. Cheers, Dec