This cover perfectly sums up the washed up drifter detective Jack Laramie. Like a lot of detectives in noir stories Jack Laramie is drinking to forget. I find this frustrating in some books because there seems to be no reason and it is just a sulky response to a hard life. Portions of the back-story are scattered through this book in a way that draws you in and puts Jack’s drifting in to context. I really appreciated that.
Although there are two stories in this book they are inter-connected and this led to an ending that was completely unexpected but absolutely perfect. The first story is set at a beauty contest that is scarier and more extreme than those reality show versions on recently. Jack gets screwed in more ways than one and ends up in the cooler. This leads him nicely in to the second story. This one is set in a bohemian estate and showed that it doesn’t matter how rich or well bred people are the same impulses hold sway.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anybody that enjoys crime noir.