Ahoy there me mateys! For those of ye who are new to me log, a word: though this log’s focus is on sci-fi, fantasy, and young adult, this Captain does have broader reading tastes. Occasionally I will share some novels that I enjoyed that are off the charts (a non sci-fi, fantasy, or young adult novel), as it were. So today I bring ye:
the infinite blacktop (Sara Gran)
This here be the second book in my Scallywagathon 2019 Challenge. Challenge two was: Blow down the man: a book by a female author. The infinite blacktop was a random pick from the library based on the cover and then the blurb. It is not me usual genre but I thought it sounded too good to pass up.
This book follows Claire DeWitt who knows she is the world’s best detective. The story begins with Claire waking up confused and befuddled after a car accident. But as she begins to put the pieces back together, she realizes that the crash was an attempted murder. Who is out to kill her and why?
The story is told in three intertwining stories – two involving the past that both relate to the present investigation. What I didn’t know before beginning is that this be book #3 of a series. Despite that, I had no problem getting into the story and loved the three timelines. The present timeline was me favourite. I loved the set-up for this book. The beginning chapter was enough to capture me fancy.
Of course a lot of that stems from Claire. She is kinda crazy. Aye, she solves cases. But sometimes it be against the will of those involved. She is stubborn, full of grit, a liar, and kinda awesome. Drug use is involved. Heavy drinking is involved. Making lots of bad choices is involved. Ye want to smack her upside the head for stupidity and then get too distracted by cheering her on. Despite meself, I fell in love with her.
I am not getting too much into the plot because it’s a) slightly too complicated to explain; and b) it’s better to experience for yerself. But I am so glad I picked up this quirky, wonderful read. And I have no problem at all with having started with book three. Arrr!
Goodreads has this to say about the novel:
Claire DeWitt, the world’s best private detective, wakes up one dark night in an ambulance in Oakland: someone has just tried to murder her. But she’s not dead. Not yet.
More sure of herself than of the police, Claire follows the clues on a 52-hour odyssey through shimmering Las Vegas and the shabby surrounding desert to find out who wants her dead. But in order to save herself, Claire will have to revisit her own complicated past as she navigates the present: a past of childhood obsessions, rival detectives, lost friends, and mysteries mostly—but not always—solved.
Three intertwining stories illuminate three eras of Claire’s life: her early years as an ambitious girl detective in Brooklyn (before it was gentrified), which ended when her best friend and partner in crime-solving disappeared; a case of an unexplained death in the art world of late-1990s Los Angeles, when, devastated by the demise of her mentor in New Orleans, Claire was forced to start again; and her current quest to save her own life from a determined assassin.
As the connections between the stories come into focus, the truth becomes clear. But Claire, battered and bruised, will never quit her search for the answer to the biggest mystery of all: how can anyone survive in a world so clearly designed to break our hearts?
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