Reviewed: 2006-06-28 - (Review Updated: 2006-07-01)
Oh my! "The Lady in Blue" was good. It really was. "Finding Elvis" is better.
Hawk starts the story wondering if she got married the previous night in Las Vegas - not a good position for an avowed lesbian. Answering that question, and how it relates to her friends from "The Lady in Blue", Lisa and Ted, should have been easy. Not so fast!
The quest for answers takes a strange turn when she's hired to aid the reconcilliation of a billionaire and his estranged daughter. The daughter, Gretchen, quickly became one of my favorite characters and it seems that she's going to be around for a while, as you'll discover when Hawk's marital status is finally straightened out!
There isn't a whole lot of explicit sex here but the sexual tension stays high enough to keep someone wanting a good stroke happy indeed.
Plot and technical quality? This is Wine Maker, we're talking about - there's really no doubt. I don't have any background in forensics but what's presented here sounds plausible to a layman.
The scene with Hawk and Gretchen in the pharmacy will go down as one of my all time favorites. You'll know it when you read it, and I'd highly recommend reading it as soon as you can.
Reviewed: 2006-02-06 - (Review Updated: 2011-11-11)
I tend to 'listen' to stories whilst I am commuting. I have a text-to-speech client on my laptop and I use it to great effect on the drive. It stops me having to listen to the drivel which is talk-radio or classic-rock DJs.
I actually sat in the parking lot of my office building waiting for the end of "The Lady in Blue" Wine Maker's previous tale. His writing is excellent, both in terms of his technical ability and also the brilliant use of humour and plot to drive the reader headlong through the story.
This, second in a hopefully long bookshelf of novels, switches the focus of the story to follow the adventures of beautiful lesbian detective: Hawk.
What starts as a seemingly simple task of trying to uncover what she and her two friends had done during a drunken night in Vegas, quickly turns into a series of jaunts across the country. Hawk finds herself hired as some sort of shrink to help give psychological advice to a beautiful, hyper-rich call-girl called Gretchen.
Gretchen is straight, but keen to try everything. Hawk is tempted but tries to take her job seriously enough to resist. Both of them seem destined to find their lives entwined more and more.
There's rich daddies, evil step mothers, wise-cracking taxi drivers and in the middle of the lot of them, two gorgeous women who are about to burst into flames of passion!!
Since I listen to them, I don't know whether any spelling mistakes due to homophones exist (except for the use of Capitol in place of Capital :) ) I do know that I heard no grammatical problems and lots to make me smile.
** Update **
So, as of now, F.E is up to chapter 11. It's made a marvellous couple of twists since I wrote the first review and I am heartened to see that the level of excellence is rising all the time.
I am often amazed (I make it a rule to be amazed by at least two things before breakfast (sic) ) by the cleverness of writers and Wine Maker is standing 'on the summit' due to his excellent control of the storyline. This is certainly a tale that appears to have been story-boarded, the intricate relationships between characters would make that a necessity. There's several points in the story where I had that eerie feeling that I was listening in on real people. They are all created and motivated with such individuality.
Chandler wrote his first Philip Marlowe story, 72 years ago and whilst I doubt this story would have been acceptable for public reading back then, it certainly continues the genre beautifully -- and this time the hero actually does get the girl.